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.



What God Is Doing July 11, 2007

Filed under: Growth — judgedbyhim @ 7:28 pm

This post is on what God is doing in my life right now. I cannot possibly cover it all because this is such a time of spiritual and emotional growth for me.

Right now I am working as kitchen staff at a New Life Bible Camp in Buffalo Mills, Pennsylvania. Our theme this year is “Knights of the Quest”, concentrating on the armor of God as laid out in Ephesians 6.  Each day the kids study a different piece of the armor. There are eight camp weeks and the same lessons are repeated each week through the summer. The campers might not get all of it, but the staff at least is bound to learn it! I have heard these lessons so many times by now, and in so many different ways as I work with a different counselor each week, that I have learned the lessons so well. I can easily apply them to my life now, because they are present in my mind everyday.

 This camp season has been a time of strong spiritual growth for me, especially in the area of devotions. I have been so often lazy with my personal time with God. I read the Bible in Sunday School, every day with my school Bible curriculum, and often with my siblings or at youth group. With all that, I often blow off personal devotions. Here at camp, time with the Lord each day is something I have to do. I have to rely on God so heavily, as camp is a time of emotional, spiritual, and physical stress. I just can’t do it on my own. I have been reading a Proverb a day, plus a devotional for summer camp staff with three Bible readings. I often read Psalms as well. I have been amazed at what I have been missing when I do not spend time in God’s love letter to me! I find myself wanting to read more and being disappointed when I have to put it down to go to work in the kitchen. I had not realized how much I needed this. Praise God for keeping me dedicated to the reading of His Word!

 I have also been learning to see a bigger picture of God, as Job did. My devotional had me read in Romans 5 the other day. The subject was God’s love, but I got stuck on verses 3 and 4, when it talked about suffering bringing perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. I did not understand why character brought hope! As I thought it out piece by piece, I realized the answer. One attains perseverance by sticking it out through hardships. Why stick it out? Because we know God has a plan and we learn to rely on Him. That brings a godly character. That character is more Christ-like and more inclined to remember God’s sovereign plan for one’s life. Because of God’s plan, we have hope for our future. God has a plan far bigger than my understanding. In fact, He is so much bigger than my understanding! The night after I read this devotion, a camp leader spoke on seeing the bigger picture of God. He said that fear cannot hinder us if we realize what a mighty God we serve. He read through several chapters of Job, where God drives home to a suffering Job how big He really is. How can we doubt the hope we have in a God that big? As I mentioned in my last post, fear is an issue I deal with daily. Here I see that I need not give in to fear in any way. My God is so much bigger than that!

God has also been teaching me how to rely on Him as not only my Savior, but also my best friend. At camp, I am three hours from my dear friends and family, with a ten minute phone limit, no cell phone, Stone Age internet, and a 10-minute computer use limit. I feel so cut off from all the people I love so dearly. My heart aches for my 22-month-old baby sister, for my best friend I normally see twice a week, and my parents to whom I can tell anything. I long to talk to my 14-year-old brother, who is almost as close, and closer in some ways, as my best friend. Yet I realize that I should be relying on God as my very best friend on earth. There is no limit on the time I can spend talking to Him. The connection is always available, never slow or busy. He knows me far better than Mom, Dad, best friend, or close brother. He knows exactly what I need to hear when I come to Him feeling heartbroken or defeated. He is the one person who will never let me down. Why, oh why, should I feel lonely?

I thank everyone who has prayed for me as I seek to work out my “issues” and my struggles. They have encouraged me so much. Most of all, I thank my God and my Savior, for He is the One who will always be there to catch me when I fall (and oh, man, I do fall!).

 I am such a chatterbox! I’ll check in soon with more on how camp is going. That 10-minute computer use is going into effect and there’s someone waiting!

 In Christ,