by Dani Catherine
“What are you reading?” my friend, Ashley, asked as I was sitting in her chair at her hair salon reading the Bible. That was the moment that opened the door for me to share my faith.
Ashley and I met when we were both fresh out of high school. We would talk occasionally and even though then we weren’t close, I knew that we would be. In 2011, at 23, Ashley was diagnosed with liver cancer. I wasn’t living home at the time, so I was out of the loop. I will never forget getting a text message from my brother saying, “Ash has liver cancer, can you please pray for her?” That started our journey together.
I moved back home shortly after she had surgery and was considered in remission. When Ashley and I finally reconnected, although she masks it very well with her bubbly personality and beautiful smile, I saw sadness and fear. Did she know that God’s protection was on her? Did she know that people have been praying for her health? Did she even know Jesus? She reminded me of me when I wasn’t following Christ. At times, I wanted to walk away because I saw so much of me in her. But nobody gave up on me when I was lost and there was no way I was going to leave her.
We spent almost everyday together the summer of 2012 and even though at times it was hard for me to be with her, I continued to love her. She would call me a “Holy Roller”, use foul language that would make my ears bleed, and turn down every invitation to church and bible study, but I was not going to let the enemy win; I was going to fight for her and be patient doing so. I was going to find a common ground and let CHRIST save her.
On Thanksgiving, one month after her yearly check up, she called me and told me she was throwing up blood. I dropped everything I was doing, fell to my knees and prayed. I thought her cancer was back and that this was going to be it. While I drove her to the hospital and as she was leaning over in pain, I placed my hand on her and prayed that God would show her His mighty hand of healing and protection. When she was admitted to the hospital, she asked me “Did you pray for me?” and I said “Yes” and she looked at me and said “Thank you, sis.” She had to undergo some vigorous tests, and by the grace of God, her cancer wasn’t back.
I got to share my faith with Ashley a lot after that medical scare and I truly believe she was starting to see Gods hand in her life. She moved away to be with her family, and it was hard for me to not have her bubbly personality and witty attitude in my life everyday, but mostly, it was hard for me because I felt like my job wasn’t done.
A few months ago, I got a text from Ashley with a list… it was a prayer list. She went from making fun of me for praying before meals to having a prayer list. That was a HUGE step for her! My heart sings every time I think about that moment; that was Ashley taking steps towards growing in her faith and knowing Christ.
God led me to Ashley at the perfect time to plant a seed that is growing everyday. Our friendship has been a struggle at times, but I am blessed that God led me to her. As her walk with Christ is still developing, I know that she is one step closer to knowing who her Savior truly is.
I know it may be hard at times to have friendships with non-believers, but remember that God has placed you in their life for a reason. Stand firm in your faith, and when you feel like walking away, don’t let the enemy win! Plant the seed and show them to the truth.
Have you ever felt God leading you to minister to a non-believer? If so, how did you stand firm in your faith? Share your thoughts and comments below!
Dani Catherine is the Communications Coordinator for the Beautiful Ministry, as well as a full time Substance Abuse Therapist. Dani loves to bake, eat ice cream, paint, snap photos and spend time with her loved ones.