The Cooper's Story
We would never have chosen the path God chose for us over the last two years. What is clear, though, is that the path God chose for us caused us to grow closer to Him as well as to each other.
Then, one day, a few weeks before she was to leave, she sat us down and told us she no longer wanted to attend this university. We were stunned but actually happy since we had doubts that she would flourish so far away from home in light of her behavior.
That fall, she attended a college closer to home. It was not her first choice, but it was the only one left to her with such a late decision to change schools. When she came home for Christmas, she had become a strange new girl. We soon discovered she had used many different illegal drugs and engaged in very dangerous behavior while at college and continued to while she was home.
We were dumbfounded and were initially shocked into inaction at this turn of events.
A friend told us about Prodigal Child Ministries. We called John and Fair and, much to our surprise, they were willing to meet with us for lunch the next day. At lunch, they offered what we needed most: hope. They gave us information on programs for our daughter. We ultimately chose one of these programs.
More importantly, they invited us to a Prodigal Child Ministries Bible study which was beginning shortly. What a blessing this study turned out to be for the both of us. Over the next few months, we learned that God had us in this place for a reason. We grew closer as a couple. We realized that our only hope was in Christ and that it would be wrong to permit our daughter to divide us.
So, we set about using this experience to strengthen our relationship with each other and with God. God met us in this darkest of moments and showed us a light that, oddly, could only come from such suffering. God used John and Fair to impart both the wisdom and encouragement we needed.
We would never have chosen the path God chose for us over the last two years. What is clear, though, is that the path God chose for us caused us to grow closer to Him as well as to each other. It is hard to overstate the importance of this and the effect it had had not only on our prodigal, but on her four siblings as well.
As Matthew Henry in his commentary on the book of Ruth says, ”It is not affliction itself, but affliction rightly born, that does us good.”
Thank you, John and Fair for teaching us to bear our affliction rightly.