Before continuing m&m’s story, a family update is in order.
We are living on the floor and it’s awesome. Save for a few orphaned couch cushions and forsaken pillows, we have nothing to sit on. We eat meals off our coffee table. Baby linville loves it, and we do too.
Mrs. linville is busy getting all her craft supplies in order to sell/distribute/give away following the annual Craft and Bake Sale at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She really outdid herself for this and brought home over $700 in profit!!! My wife is amazing!
I (Mr. linville) am about to have my final weigh in which will skyrocket us into a torrent of paperwork as we take the next (and final) steps toward going overseas!
And now: our feature presentation!
What follows is an on going story. Please read these previous posts before continuing if you haven’t already:
Working in the medical field is hard (13-14 hour days!), but there are little things that make it easier, like only working three days a week. Even so, I came home Monday night, July 23rd, feeling good, despite knowing I’d be up at 3:00am the next morning. God was working in our lives to get glory! In my experience, there is no thrill as exciting as that; not public speaking, guitar performing, rock climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, mountain-boarding, cliff diving, skydiving, nor airplane or helicopter flying. No exaggeration! hanging from a cliff or flying through the sky is not as exciting as seeing the Creator of mountains and air WORKING through you to get glory for Himself!
So, Monday went by in a flash. I don’t think I ever stopped smiling. The tech I worked with for the day was probably a little weirded out. Fortunately, she’s a Christian and understood (I hope). Mekhi was coming over that night to use the computer and I could hardly wait to talk to him about what he’d been reading in John and how he had been experiencing God in prayer. I was ready to hear about some supernatural transformation! When Mekhi came over he certainly seemed different. Wearing a big smile, he mentioned some texts from John that moved him, and some that confused him, but he said he had to go and wouldn’t be using the computer that night and then left. It was anti-climatic, but God wasn’t done.
Through July, Mrs. linville helped me get my tendency to watch online shows under control, so instead of sitting and watching something during/after dinner, we sat and talked. The Lord really blessed this and we were still talking at 10:00pm when the doorbell rang. Opening the door we found M&M standing there with Kayla. They all came in and Mekhi asked us to pray for Kayla. He shared how she had been having nightmares every night and would wake up screaming for Hope. We prayed and comforted Kayla as best we could, and then something amazing happened.
After an awkward silence, Mekhi thanked me for talking with him about Christ the day before and then asked me if I would mind sharing with Melanie what I had shared with him. Woah, what!? My heart exploded and then grew back in the same instant. I joyfully shared the gospel with Melanie again (the first time was when she sought shelter from Mekhi after their big fight). She listened intently and began crying as I shared with her the love of God to reconcile us to Himself through Christ. Once again, I was in awe. God wanted these people and, despite themselves, He was going to get them. Seeing God’s pursuing love of this couple filled me with peace. He will complete what He has begun, both in me, in Mrs. linville, and now in Mekhi and Melanie! I don’t know why I assumed it would all happen without any trouble. I don’t know how I forgot about the enemy and the darkness of our own hearts, but in the joy of the moment, it had slipped my mind.
Six days later and it’s Sunday. We’re sick and staying home from church. There’s been no communication between me and M&M since Monday night, although Mrs. linville and Melanie have been hanging out more regularly. I had just finished cleaning up after an amazing Sunday morning breakfast and Mrs. linville had just stepped into the shower when the doorbell rang (many of our adventures begin with that doorbell).
Melanie needed to wash a load of laundry so she proceeded to sort while I watched baby linville and Kayla. After a few minutes she came out of the laundry room and called Kayla to go back over to their place. I was curious about how things had been going since our last encounter, so I asked for an update. She hesitated.
While Kayla had stopped having nightmares about Hope, Mekhi had not, and his fears didn’t disappear in the daylight. They haunted him 24/7. I am not clear on the details here, but for whatever reason, Mekhi had come home drunk several times since Monday night. The worst had occurred on just the previous night! Mekhi’s behavior had forced Melanie to seek refuge in their neighbor Wes’ apartment. Mekhi had followed Melanie there and cussed them both out. Although Wes called the cops, Mekhi was fortunate that Wes didn’t press charges for being verbally assaulted and physically threatened in his apartment.
I could hardly believe it. Neither could Melanie. Mekhi was going through something serious, but he was keeping it bottled up inside, only showing the turmoil within when his hindrances were crippled by alcohol. Melanie and Kayla had stayed over at Wes’ apartment for a few hours to let Mekhi sober up. When they returned, Mekhi was weeping and rocking himself in the corner of a dark room listening to sad music and holding a picture of their late baby, Hope. Melanie said she didn’t know what to do so she just knelt next to him and prayed, but he kept interjecting “I don’t want none of that” as she prayed. She asked me if she had done the right thing. I affirmed her decision and explained to her that it’s good that Mekhi recognizes that he doesn’t want God or anything from Him. It’s good because when he looks at his life he will see clearly why God is just in condemning him and why he needs God to save him. She seemed to understand, but it looked like she was ready to change the topic. I switched directions and focused on how she was doing. I shared the gospel with her again, being sure to emphasize her need to cry out to God to be saved and ask Him for faith to trust in Christ to save her. Mrs. linville was quick to shower and dress and continued the conversation with Melanie while I watched baby linville and Kayla, and silently prayed.
Five days later, God answered those prayers.
…To be continued in The Final Act…