I remembered my cousin, Luke, who had been such an inspiration to me when I was a teenager. I remembered that I had never told him how much his counsel had inspired me. I decided to call Luke and tell him. I got his phone number from my mother, but found that I could not call him. My throat would close and I would begin to cry every time I contemplated making the call. So to relieve my stress and follow God’s leading, I attempted to write a letter. I judged my words as insufficient and never sent any of the many letters that I had written.
A few weeks into this gentle nudging by the Holy Spirit, Mother called and invited us to come for the weekend. I gathered the kids, and off we went. After we got there, Mother told me that Luke was at his ranch (his second home), just a few miles from her home, also for that same weekend. He had asked for all of us to come for dinner.
I knew that God, in His grace, was giving me another chance. I had been so concerned with how I would be perceived that I could not follow God’s leading. However, there I was again, and His insistence was obvious. I prayed for courage and grace to verbally tell Luke at dinner. I prayed for an opportunity for us to be alone so that I would have time to speak from my heart. During the evening, God was faithful and did provide several opportunities for me to speak. Each time my throat would tighten, and I would feel that if I spoke, I would not stop crying. I was experiencing an overwhelming sense of gratitude and love for Luke, and I could not say those words. The evening ended and I had not been faithful to God nor honored the life of my cousin.
The following Monday, Mother called and said that Luke died early that morning. I felt so empty. God knew Luke needed to hear what I had to say. My brother did call Luke the night before he died. Chad had the same nudging and he had followed his calling. How could I understand my disobedience and all of my excuses? There was no undoing what I had done. How many times had I neglected to follow God’s nudging because of all the petty reasons that I made up? How often had I not trusted that if God has called me to a task, He would give me the courage and resources to accomplish it? Listening to God and then following His instruction is a major part of walking in the friendship that He offers me. I found forgiveness but not till I had searched my soul and accepted responsibility for my fear.