Have you ever had a problem with letting people encourage you? I know that question sounds really weird, but just think about it.
Well, I realized last night (among many other things) that I have a serious problem with letting people encourage me, with embracing that encouragement. Let me explain: someone recommended a book for me to read, having really thought it through and being totally convinced this was a book I would like, a book that would encourage me towards God. While I really wanted to read the book, I didn’t want to let that person encourage me, especially not through literature.
My relationship with literature is very intimate. You know the saying, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?” Well, the way to Hunter’s heart is through books. For someone to give me a book they want me to read, something they think will peak my interest and challenge me, is very similar to, though not interchangeable with, telling me they care about me. I know, this could cause a lot of problems, but I can’t help it. I love books!
Anyway, last night I was actually fighting with myself about reading the book, because reading the book would mean I was letting that person care about me, which I just couldn’t do. And that’s when God reached out and caught my attention; He pointed out some bitterness and fear and unforgiveness that had been festering in the bottom of my heart for way too long. He exposed me and showed me how hardened I had become towards certain people. After a long time, I purchased the book on my Kindle app and began reading it this morning. Needless to say, I felt so free, so much better when I let go of my bitterness. As I began reading this book, which is Wisdom & Wonder by Abraham Kuyper, I was able to be totally encouraged by it, and Satan couldn’t distract me, though he certainly tried. I feel like just before God has anything relatively important happen in my life, Satan doubles his efforts to discourage and to destroy me.
Today, something happened that, if God hadn’t brought me back to Him, I wouldn’t have been anywhere near prepared for. It was nothing bad; it was actually really encouraging and awesome 🙂 But I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate it as much if I hadn’t been knocked around a little bit to see my bitterness. It was just…wow…it was amazing.
I trekked out early this morning to I.C.S. (International Christian School) to help Jenny clean out the basement. As part of the volunteer/employee/student dress code, all girls have to wear skirts or dresses. I wore a skirt, but I was wondering how in the world we were going to effectively clean out the basement (which I found out later was full of very heavy, awkward, and annoying obstacles, much like a maze or a giant junk drawer) while wearing skirts. But after we finally got everything in order and everything was relatively organized, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that both of us had still maintained our adorable femininity. Okay, maybe not our adorable femininity, but you definitely couldn’t tell we had just spent two hours cleaning out a moldy basement.
Lunch was kind of like a little party 🙂 “All the Single Ladies” of the school got together and ordered pizza. Rosy (one of the secretaries who also happens to be a good friend…in fact, all of the girls there were good friends :)) had made brownies. We had a great time.
Then! The best part!
I GOT TO USE THE PAPER SHREDDER!! I was right that Frank was an easy name to remember, because the moment I stepped up to the shredder, I greeted it by its name. It was like being reunited with an old acquaintance. I really don’t know why I like using the paper shredder…maybe because feeding paper into and then emptying it is kind of therapeutic, much like popping bubble wrap. Also, I listened to music and thought about God and talked to Him while I was doing it, so that was really cool too 🙂
Upon returning to campus after finishing up shredding four garbage bags of paper, I went and worked out, running three miles in under thirty-two minutes again, despite my lack of physical exercise due to my term paper. Speaking of my term paper, I only have one more point and then my conclusion and I’m done! It will be over! And then I will have to tackle all of the papers I’ve been neglecting because I’ve spent all of my time on this term paper! Well, at least I only have one term paper and a bunch of final essays. It would be a tad bit overwhelming if I had four or five term papers to work on.
I reserved my bus ticket today and I’m scheduled to head home Tuesday afternoon. I’m so excited! I Skyped my mom tonight and discovered that Gracie is having one of her huge sleepovers. I used to have big sleepovers too, but then I became older and my friends and I became too mature; we called them “Christmas parties” and other things…pssh, just kidding, my friends and I didn’t become mature at all, we just didn’t do sleepovers as often 😛 We still put popcorn in each other’s ears, eat ridiculous amounts of junk food, and watch random videos on Youtube. Unfortunately, most of my friends back home aren’t saved, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hang out with them and have a good time. I just tend to stick out a little bit, but I don’t mind 🙂
Wow. It’s amazing how a week can turn around when God is involved. It’s amazing how anything can happen, even the most implausible, improbable things, when He wills it. He’s really got everything under control, ya know? He really does. And I’m so glad! If my life were up to me, if my salvation were up to me, if every decision I made had the potential to either amplify or negate my eternal life, I’m pretty sure I would be a lost cause. But I’m not, because it doesn’t depend on me; it depends on Him. He has a plan all laid out for me: I just have to get out of the way and let Him fulfill it.
God’s got this 🙂
“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world. When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight….” —Proverbs 8:22-30, ESV