Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Dear Blog Friends,
Over the past two weeks I’ve hardly been on the computer but I hope to start emailing and posting more often again.
So there was Thanksgiving and then on the 28th of November I had my 17th birthday. 17 has always been a funny number to me. Right in between sweet 16 and the big 18. But this birthday was very special to me in many was. As I was preparing for another birthday several weeks before I suddenly realized how I really hadn’t thought about my birthday much this year. As a child I hated having my birthday on the 28th because I had to wait all month until the day. Almost as soon as November came I would go ahead and call myself my new age. This year I committed to never say I was 17 until the day. I must admit it was fun when we went to the mall the day after and for the first time I told someone when they asked how old I was, “I’m six…seventeen.”
But what was really so important to me this birthday? Several weeks ago as we had the Lord’s supper at our church I was praying and felt God tell me He wanted me to set aside this next year of my life completely sold out to Him. I asked Him what He meant and I knew I needed to make a list of goals for this year. One was to put romance on the back burner. Not that I’ve ever dated or anything but to focus on Him as the love of my life instead of very often daydreaming about future love. It wasn’t until I gave my dreams up and decided to stop thinking about that stuff that I realized how much I really did. Like those people who say, “I’m not addicted to smoking.” “Oh yeah, then why do you smoke 5 packs a day.” Well, I’ve given my future to God and I’m not going to daydream my days away on what might be. Not that I think it’s always wrong to desire and plan for the future but God showed me I thought about it too much.
Another thing is books. I’m addicted to them. God showed me I didn’t love the Bible as much as I should so every other month I’m not going to read anything but the Bible (and school books, of coarse. I don’t think there is much danger of school being an idol.)
There are other areas I need help in. I am constantly reminded that I need to love more, give more, submit more, not loose my temper, etc. The list goes on.
Have you ever found the Bible confusing? As I study it sometimes I just want to slam it shut. Sometimes I just don’t get it and then the doubts come. I always have to force myself to turn back to Hebrews 11 and recite, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. God help me!”
My studies have led me on so many trails. I struggle with God’s will. “What do you want with me?” My father is such a great guide sometimes I’m so thankful God made it so I can just follow him. He is determined to protect me and I’m so glad. He supports me on this next years commitments to which I hope I can fulfill. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever make a good wife and mother. All day I babysat my 2 year old brother and 8 year old sister. I feel at my end as I type this yet as I do it is a comfort to just sit with the only sound I hear being my old computer humming and remembering that God is a Powerful God who will never change. Thats how I’ll do it I guess. If it’s His will I know He will give me the strength. Pray for me as I enter this next year. However I might as well ask for prayer for my whole life. Because though in 12 months I’ll turn 18, continue to learn, most likely marry and have plenty of children. My life will be constant change full of periods of waiting. And the Christian walk never stops until that glorious day when one reaches heaven. Do you ever think about heaven? I do and every time I think about kneeling as Jesus’ feet I tingle.
I’ll finish this sporadically written post with something God’s shown me over the last week. My place is under authority and right now that is my father, to serve and help. I’m happy. I teach my brother who is in 6th grade and have so much fun helping him study, grading his work, etc. I love teaching. I have a great relationship with me mom and sister. They are my best friends. It’s so funny because it didn’t used to be like that. It would take me pages and pages to tell how it came about. My sister and I became good friends maybe three years ago but my mom wasn’t until the past year. It’s strange the way I thought it was all her fault the whole time but when I finally gave me heart to her and surrendered my own desires: that’s when it got better. Now I wouldn’t go back for anything.
So one day when I meet my dream guy hopefully I’ll be ready for him. Marriage is a beautiful thing. You know God loves tangible symbols to remind us how much we need Him. Look through the Bible and you’ll see all kinds of things He set up to remind His people of Him. The Passover, stones of remembrance, the ark, the Lord’s Supper, and so many more. Something God has shown me is that’s what marriage is. A picture of God’s sacrifice to His bride, the church. It is a precious picture and our culture as so distorted it with sex before marriage, women becoming the head, men shrinking, families divided. I read a wonderful book this week called “The Scarlet Thread,” that drove this home. This passage is taken from a characters journal who had been married to a lost man that died. She then, left all a lone and desperate, turned to Jesus and became a Christian. After that awhile latter she married a Christian man. Then in the end she writes a letter of thankfulness to God telling Him she’s she grateful to be loved by a Christian man, for even when she was married to her first husband who she loved so much in her earthly love nothing could compare to the love she had now. She writes,
“Is all this but a hint of what it will be like to be in full communion with You, Jesus? Do You show us the part so we yearn for the Whole? I remember Aunt Martha reading to me once that to look upon the face of God brings death. Still, sometimes every bit of me yearns to be in Heaven with You all the while I still want to stay here and live to be an old dotting woman seeing her children and grandchildren around her. I do not understand all that is changing in me.”
That part really blessed me for some reason. I like the end, “I do not understand all that is changing in me.” As it says in the love chapter of the Bible, “Now we see in part but when the perfect comes the partial will be done away.” What we have on earth in romance is only a glimpse of what is to come, in that God will be all we need, all we want, our true love, who died for us and has a place in heaven for us. So that’s what God has shown me and I can’t wait to see more. Right now I just want to learn to love Him more and not defile the single years He has laid out for me.