Being a Water-Walker

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How Confused! December 2, 2007

Filed under: Dating/Courtship,Family,Growth,Marriage,Prayer,Uncategorized — judgedbyhim @ 8:23 pm

I don’t know… life is just crazy right now. I’m so weirded out by things in general. I guess it’s also known as stress. I quit my second job because of situations I don’t feel like talking about. Trying to find another, knowing my options entail either a suffocating, greasy work atmosphere or a harassing, verbally abusive boss, is not encouraging. Work in general is getting to me, even though my other job is relatively pleasant.

I got sick on Thanksgiving, and I’m still trying to recover my voice. It’s not going so well, even worse now that I sang (pitifully) in the choir today and wore out my vocal chords more than usual. My college application is stressing me out, because I have to get a doctor’s appointment scheduled for it, which is bad enough, but it includes a shot and I’m scared stiff (and shaking) of needles.

Finally, I’m having some spiritual struggles. I’m still in the letdown after the spiritual high summer camp gave me. All the commitments I made over the summer are throw into sharp relief against the reality of my life and my own humanity. Specifically, turning the pen of my love story over to God has turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. It’s not as scary as it was, I’m committed to it, and I love the ease of knowing it’s taken care of. Still, it’s so hard for me to keep my emotional sanctity. I’m a female, which means I tend to be emotional; I’m 17, which makes it even worse; and I’m also a hopeless romantic. So it’s really hard for me to keep my heart out of things. I’m trying, I really am, but I keep thinking, “What if he’s the one?” and just taking it too far emotionally. I’ve also been receiving some tough criticism about my standards from people very close to me, which hurts a lot though I think it’s meant to be joking.

What’s left, then? When I don’t know, I’m too weak, and I’m glaringly helpless, what do I do? I can only do one thing: turn back to the One who made me. Just as I relied upon Him to write my love story, just as I rely on Him for providence in my future education, just as I rely upon Him to strengthen me again Satan’s attacks, I must turn to Him when my own humanity gets in the way. My self-reliance and selfishness is doing the opposite of what I need; it only weakens me further. It hurts so much to ask God to break me when I already feel bruised, but if I just let go it wouldn’t hurt so much!

I need to realize just how much I need God and just how little I need myself. The significance of God casts such a shadow of insignificance upon my own abilities that it’s quite the reality check. So, God will handle the stress. I remember the old chorus, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus/ Look full in His wonderful face/ And the things of earth will grow strangely dim/ In the light of his glory and grace”.


Not Coincidence November 7, 2007

Filed under: Coincidence,Family,Growth,Praise — judgedbyhim @ 7:31 pm

Have you ever looked back on something and realized it meant much more than you thought it did at the time? I had a moment like that this morning. When I woke up, my mom said, “Dakota has something exciting to tell you. He’s been going crazy waiting for you to get up.” I found my twelve-year-old brother and asked him what it was. He proceeded to read to me the letter I had helped him write last year to his favorite author, Brian Jacques, who writes a medieval fantasy series starring talking animals. The books are kind of like a more serious, complex Disney Robin Hood (you know, the talking animals swordfighting). I adored the books when I was Dakota’s age, and was more than willing to help him with this letter he wrote. In it, he suggested a plot line to Mr. Jacques, saying he thought it would make a good novel. I helped him with the plot, since I’m a writer, and he sent off the letter. I guessed nothing would ever come of it–it was just fan mail to this guy, right?

That’s why Dakota blew my socks off when he read me his letter and then held up Mr. Jacques’ newest book, Eulalia!. He said, “The plot’s completely different, but some of the scenes are the same, and he uses the same characters!” He proceeded to explain the parallels: there are at least six. Shocked, I watched his eyes dance and his feet dance around the kitchen as he poured out his joy at his discovery. He told me he had not found any acknowledgment of his contribution (I think he was kind of hoping the book was dedicated to him) and I saw him searching the pages, still hoping he would find something.

I took the book from him and he told me he had read the book, but skipped the prologue. Of course, I went straight there and found this paragraph: “Since I arrived at this mountain, I have set myself a pleasurable duty. From my own recollections, and information gathered from friends, both old and young, I recently put quill to parchment and began this Chronicle. Mayhaps when the story is finally told, my young daughter will enjoy reading it. I hope you will, too, my friend. Well, it starts like this…” This is written in voice of the character writing the “Chronicle”, but I found its message to be clear. I read it to Dakota and said, “Here’s your acknowledgment, buddy.” He went crazy!

I don’t know if Brian Jacques meant anything but what the character said in that paragraph. I don’t know if he meant to use Dakota’s ideas or not. It may be that it’s all one giant coincidence. There is one thing, however, that I know is not coincidence. God used this author to give my brother an experience he will remember as long as he lives. That little boy’s joy was contagious. Suddenly, he knows his ideas have worth, his opinion is important, and that his thoughts make a difference. What an effect that will have on his life! The boy who has the most fantastic ideas for stories but “can never get them to come out right on paper” has been shown that he has potential and merit. Wow!

I wish you could have seen the delight and thrill on his face, or the way he scampered around the house, copied the page with the paragraph above, and determined to purchase the book (as the other copy is the library’s). There is no doubt that this was no coincidence; it was orchestrated by God to give a young boy an experience that will be a molding influence on his life.



Neglected Family, Neglected God July 12, 2007

Filed under: Family — judgedbyhim @ 10:49 am

I started thinking about this subject after reading Peter’s June 11 entry (see Blogroll for link). The state of our American culture typifies the state of our hearts towards God.

In the colonial times, when most of the new inhabitants of America feared and worshipped God, the family was a huge component of everyday life. Parents were involved in every step of life, from choosing a career (quite often following in the father’s footsteps) to choosing a spouse.  Children told their parents what was happening in their lives. Mother and fathers were respected, honored, and listened to. Their opinion mattered and children usually realized they only had Mom and Dad for a limited time, so they had better absorb all the wisdom from them that they could in the time they had. Not only parents, but the family itself was a major focus of life. Siblings played together, stayed close throughout their lives, and helped each other in times of need. Often, unmarried siblings lived together for their whole lives.

God has designed the family as a picture of the way we are to relate to Him and to our fellow believers. Just as with parents, we should be in constant communication with Him, telling Him everything that is happening in our lives and keeping Him involved in every step–from choosing a career to choosing a spouse, just as with the parents He has placed in our lives to guide us. He is to be respected, honored, and seen as the greatest authority, the wisest Father we could ever have. We are to relate to our brothers and sisters in Christ in the same way we relate to our siblings, loving them unconditionally, bearing one anothers’ burdens, and staying close throughout our lives. What a perfect picture God has given us of what our relationship to Him is supposed to be! 

However, as our culture has “progressed”, this perfect picture has been defiled and twisted. Let us look for a moment at the state of our families today. Parents are resented, hated, and pushed out of childrens’ lives. Their authority is undermined and thwarted at every turn. Children complain that “if my parents would just leave me alone, I could do so much better”. The advent of cell phones, Internet, and iPods have turned kids’ brains off to their parents’ advice and drawn them away from fellowship with these people that God has placed in their lives. The last thing most kids today want to do is involve their parents in their romances and other life choices. The wisdom that their parents would pass on to them and the value of the time they could spend with them is completely lost on them. They cannot even see it anymore. Their eyes are blind. The same has happened with siblings. They are disconnected from one another, constantly arguing and bickering, hating each other and tearing one another down with their words. Kids (and adults) do all they can to get away from their parents and siblings, instead of embracing their fellowship and loving them wholeheartedly.

 The parallel to America’s relationship to God is glaringly clear.  God’s love is spurned, His authority ignored, His care resented, and His plan blamed for everything bad (“If God would just leave me alone, I could do so much better!”). Satan’s lies through media, other people, and our own sin nature have completely turned off our brains and hearts to God’s guidance and love. We tell God to keep out of our romance, our careers, our hobbies, and our life in general. We cannot see how precious and valuable His fellowship with us is. We are so blind. Our relationship to others, even Christians to Christians, is suffering as well. Many churches are calloused and hardened to the needs of the people in their congregations. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are neglected. We bicker among ourselves over the tiniest things (what color should the church carpet be, folks?). We have lost the love. Our hearts are being desensitized.

And unbelievers are even worse.

Yes, all of this I have seen in the Christian world. We want a free ride to heaven without showing our gratitude. We are like children who want a long vacation to Disney Land but don’t want to identify with the parents who paid dearly for that vacation. How dare we be so cold?

 The further downhill our families slide, the further our hearts drift from God. Look at the state of your family and let it be an indicator. How far have you and your family fallen? How far does that mean you and God have fallen?