Featured #TellHisStory Writer: Lelia Chealey

November 19, 2013 | 18 comments

#TellHisStory Storytellers Series

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Story has the power to change the world, one paragraph at a time. I desire for this space to be a way to spread the message of great storytellers in our midst. That’s why I invite an author here every week to share a story with us.

This week’s featured storyteller is Lelia Chealey, a speaker and conference leader in Nebraska.

Be sure to come back tomorrow to link your own stories and photos with us in the #TellHisStory community.

KEEP HIM
By Lelia Chealey

Hey Girl—thinking of you and wondering: how do you not just fall apart some days knowing that this young man you love is in a place you don’t want him to be?

My friend had sent me this message on Facebook asking me about my 19-year-old son who is currently serving time in a maximum-security prison. When two detectives came looking for our son in March 2012, my prayer was for God’s protection as our only son faced felony charges. Fourteen months later as I sat in a courtroom waiting for the judge to give him his sentence on May 23, 2013, my prayer was for God’s grace.

As the gavel slammed down confirming the judge’s decision for him to go to prison, I watched as a sheriff frisked, handcuffed, and led my child out of the courtroom to begin his time. It took three weeks before I stopped crying. My heart was truly broken.

After about a month of not seeing or talking to him, one 15-minute phone call per day from him and twice a week visits an hour away with him became our new normal. My sister sent him a Bible and in his letters, he began to share verses that he was reading with us. That is when my prayer changed again.

This time I prayed two words.

Two words that did not escape my momma’s heart easily.

A prayer I would never let my son know I am praying over him.

Two simple words prayed to a powerful God.

Keep him became my new daily prayer.

I continue to pray this over him because before I want his physical freedom, I want him to have a relationship with Jesus that goes beyond a daily quiet time. I want him changed from inside out and so I pray for God to keep him even if that means he has to fulfill his maximum sentence of five years.

This past week God intervened and stopped a transfer of facilities that I was not convinced would be good for our son. “Keep him,” I had prayed each time he told us of his plans to go to work release after Thanksgiving. Then we received the news that the transfer would not go through due to some bad choices he made last week. At our last visit he said, “I think this is God’s way of telling me I’m just not ready yet.” All I could do was whisper the word “amen” to the Warden of my son’s heart.

Therefore, when my friend asked me mother-to-mother how I don’t just fall apart because my only son is in a place I don’t want him to be, I can honestly answer, “Because God is keeping him right where He needs him to be in order to get his heart.”

Earthly captivity in exchange for eternal captivity is worth every day that goes by without my son home. Keep him right where you need Him Lord until He is yours.

 

lelia chealey
Lelia Chealey lives in Nebraska and stays busy with her family while writing on her blog and in her spare time finishing her book. You can connect with Lelia at www.leliachealey.com.

 

 

 

by | November 19, 2013 | 18 comments

18 Comments

  1. Kelly Greer

    Lelia your prayer was straight from the Holy Spirit. God is faithful to complete the work he began in your son’s heart. My heart’s cry when my 15 year old step-son was sentenced to life in prison without parole, life, 20, 20 … was, Why? God? And God did a mighty work in all of our hearts. Our family was saved–each and every one — and our son was too. God took that which the enemy intended for evil and turned it to good. Much good. Today would be our son’s 31st birthday, and as you know, his hope this side of heaven expired before he completed ten years in a maximum security prison. But he was a good and faithful servant those 10 years. He started high school in September 1997 and due to what we believe to be multiple concussions, suffered psychosis and would end up in the adult justice system before they were issued first semester grade cards. He suffered there more than he would tell us. He protected his family from further harm. But I am telling his story because he couldn’t understand why God would allow these tragedies to frame his life unless it was to keep other children out of adult jails and prisons. So today, on what would have been his 31st birthday, I am remembering him by telling another little piece of his story. You can read about it here: http://www.kellyanngreer.blogspot.com/2013/11/do-they-celebrate-birthdays-in-heaven.html
    You inspire me to not loose hope for those kids and to remain strong in faith. God bless you and your son. The fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much, and the faith of a mother, there is nothing like it in the eyes of our Father. Love you and praying for you and your boy every day.

    Hugs,

    Kelly

    Reply
    • LeliaChealey

      Awww Kelly. Rough day I’m sure. Lifting you up as you tell his story! Love ya!

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh (((Kelly)))) … So much love to you tonight.

      Reply
  2. Patricia W Hunter

    Hard truths in this powerful testimony, Lelia. So grateful for how the Father has led and encouraged you as He has answered that two word prayer. Praying with you this morning, that the LORD will keep your son where He knows He’ll capture his heart and that your heart will continue to be at rest in the knowledge that God is sovereign and good and faithful.

    Reply
    • LeliaChealey

      Patricia,
      Thank you so much! There’s no way we could survive this without Jesus that’s for sure! 🙂 Thank you for your encouragement and prayers! Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

      Reply
  3. tammy@if meadows speak

    This speaks and ministers to me because I have this {adult} daughter….. Hopefully we will be able to share more this week in Texas, roomie. 🙂

    Reply
    • LeliaChealey

      Tammy, can’t wait to spend time with you! This is going to be a great week! 🙂 See you tomorrow.

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Can’t wait to see you, Tammy.

      Reply
  4. Megan Willome

    Lelia, thank you. I needed that “keep him” prayer. My son is not in prison, but we did have to send him away and in so doing, saved his life. He can walk when he’s 18. Keep him, Lord. And keep Lelia’s son, too.

    Reply
    • LeliaChealey

      Thank you Megan! Hard for a Mom to pray, but shows we’re trusting fully in God. Prayer for you and your son!

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying with you, Megan. You know that. Just wanted to say it right here. See you very soon….

      Reply
  5. dukeslee

    An incredible privilege to have you here, Lelia. I have read and re-read your words and am inspired by your faith, when so many of us might feel faithless. I am praying with you, for you, and for your son. Love you. See you tomorrow!!!!

    Reply
    • Lelia Chealey

      Jennifer,
      You bless me. Your life is such an example of being surrendered to Jesus. You give all for His all. Great time in Texas last week with you. Love you!

      Reply
  6. Lyli Dunbar

    Lelia, your story and the prayer you shared have encouraged me today. Thank you for showing me the way.

    Reply
    • Lelia Chealey

      Love when God gives us a timely message. Thanks too for sharing it on Twitter. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Shereen Lynn

    Thanks, Lelia. I will add your words, “Keep him”, to the ones I already pray for my son “Keep me out of the way”. Great bookends for hope that every mom needs, but especially those with sons like ours. (I think we went to high school together in Lincoln – I was in LCS class of ’86)

    Reply
    • Lelia Chealey

      Hello!
      Thank you so much! I love your prayer and need to pray that daily. 🙂 Go Crusaders! 😉 nice to see you on Jennifer’s blog.

      Reply
  8. Sandra Heska King

    Leila, how did I miss this the first time around. I’m so glad you re-posted the link. “Keep him/her” is a perfect prayer that all of us can pray for our loved ones. Praying for your mama heart–and for your son as he faces new possibilities. And praying God will hold him right where he needs to be in order for him to have a heart that runs hard only after Him. Much love to you.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Lessons Learned in 3-D — Spiritual Warfare | 3-D Lessons for Life - […] prayer:  ”Lord, keep my loved one who needs you so desperately.”  – Thank you, Leila, for sharing your story…
  2. Lessons Learned in 3-D -- Spiritual Warfare | 3-D Lessons for Life3-D Lessons for Life - […] prayer:  ”Lord, keep my loved one who needs you so desperately.”  – Thank you, Leila, for sharing your story…

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