Several years ago my daughter, Karis (I have her permission to tell this story), was struggling with her faith. Our life circumstances in 2012 were turned upside down and Karis believed the lie that God didn’t care about our family anymore. She started making decisions based on that lie… she lost her ability to claim her identity in Christ and she was in a dark place spiritually. You may be thinking that she was out robbing banks or selling herself on street corners, but those things were way off her radar. She was still a “good kid”. She just didn’t believe in God anymore. She was making decisions void of Him in her life – her stoic attitude, deceitful attempts and overall disrespect were clues to me.
When I discovered she had turned her back on God, my worst fears were realized. I told her that I wasn’t going to force a belief in Jesus and that she needed to make those choices on her own. However, I also told her that I would never stop fighting for her heart and for her to be restored to her foundation of faith. I told her that she had to go to church as long as she lived under our roof but I understood if she didn’t want to serve anymore and she shouldn’t be leading others if she didn’t even believe what she would be “leading” (primarily worship). I had my mentors and close friends praying for her. I tried to have conversations with her about Jesus and His love for her. I offered to get her a counselor. I encouraged her to ask someone she trusted to mentor her. I asked if she would be willing to try healing prayer. The only thing she was really willing to do was ask someone to mentor her and she did that at least. (Praise the Lord)
I was so discouraged… I could see glimpses of improvement but not a lot of change was happening in her heart. I felt so responsible. God had entrusted my kids to me and I felt like a failure. I was weary. I needed help. Karis was unwilling to receive support and instruction. I wasn’t giving up, but I also knew I couldn’t force anything. Even though I had many wonderful people praying for her, I knew I needed to do something different. God put it on my heart to establish a Warrior Team for her. I didn’t know if it would work, but I wanted to try! I asked five women that love and care about Karis to be on this team. My plan was to basically journal Karis’ journey – her ups and downs, hurts and victories – to these women. I knew this had to be about Karis and not about me. I was praying each of them would be receptive to the idea. They were people who already interacted with her, loved her and had connection with her. When I asked them, every one of them said “yes” in May of 2014.
The story goes from there… there were so many times I would ask our team to pray and we would see fruit within days and sometimes just HOURS! God has been so good and all of this is now a part of her spiritual testimony – she is in love with Jesus again! Her fiery spirit and rebellious heart are on HIS path and now, her desire is to go into ministry. I can’t wait for her to share her own story!
Once Karis turned 18, I wanted to reveal this Warrior Team to her. A few weekends ago, all seven of us piled into a suite in a hotel and were able to gather around her and bless her. Each person wrote a letter of encouragement – cherished words from each of them that Karis will have for the rest of her life. Our weekend was full of tears and revelation, love and blessing. I’ve never experienced anything like it and am so grateful for these amazing people in Karis’ life – in my life. There are others that wrote letters to Karis that weekend outside of the team too! She has so many supporters and prayer warriors. I’m so grateful to everyone who has invested so much love, time and energy into her life!
Don’t ever underestimate the power of prayerful people that love and care about you. Mountains have moved.