Running through the night, my hair flowing in the wind, the golden light of street lamps defining the sidewalk corners. I’m running through my home town during the summer time…wait, no I’m not. I’m running through Brooklyn in March.
I woke up fully rested today (a rare occurrence), and I give the glory to God, because I fell asleep BEFORE MIDNIGHT last night and was totally relaxed. He’s just so cool, not only for good things like last night and even like today, but for the things that aren’t so pretty and that challenge me as well.
Anyway, I woke up and did my Bible Study. As I looked through the scriptures, I was reminded once again of God’s insane ability to make something cosmically good out of something frighteningly bad. Today it was barrenness, or the inability to have children. Yesterday it was singleness (go figure). Both of these things are often looked down upon it seems. But God in all His glory, brings about amazing opportunities for women who are barren and Christians who are single. Barren women have a unique opportunity to have more children in the spiritual sense than a fertile woman would have biological children. Isn’t that insanely awesome? I think so 🙂 For single people, God takes the possibility for loneliness and turns it into an opportunity for joyfulness in Him and Him alone, a season of life to follow Him wherever and focus on pleasing only Him without worrying about ties or roots or family just yet, though that is often part of the foreseen plan.
When I went to get changed this morning, I found that the dress shirt I’d brought smelled like…ugh…cat pee, which meant my cats got a hold of it before I left home. So I searched through my bag for another shirt and all I found was my long-sleeved black wrestling shirt with my last name down the left sleeve and “STORM WRESTLING” written on the front.
I can’t wear this to church I thought.
But then I remembered that, while I should certainly dress modestly and nicely, God thinks I’m beautiful no matter what I wear, whether I’m in a skirt and dress shirt or jeans and a T-shirt. And this morning it had to be the latter. So I wore my wrestling shirt and jeans with pride, knowing that even though I wasn’t polished and primped the way I thought I would, God still saw me as His daughter, His love, His treasure.
Jenny and I walked to a deli and grabbed bagels and coffee (I got a hot chocolate…coffee and I aren’t exactly on speaking terms at the moment). The bagel was delicious and just what I needed.
This morning in Sunday school, Sam talked about loving your enemies. I remember a story about a Muslim man learning that the Bible talked of loving your enemies, which was insane to him since hatred was how he was to see his enemies, especially Christians. After seeing the bigger picture as to why we are to love our enemies, he have his heart to The Lord and learned to love.
Loving our enemies is really difficult. It’s easy to love those who love us, but it’s insanely difficult to love those who are mean and harsh towards us. David, even though Saul was after his life without any valid reason, still saw this King as his master and, though he had the opportunity to kill him many times, spared his life because he genuinely loved Saul, an enemy.
In the morning service, Pastor talked about fear of condemnation, and in the afternoon he spoke of false teachers and how to be discerning and challenging of the doctrines presented to us by the world, which is interesting because that’s exactly what I was thinking about yesterday. Thank You, Jesus. 🙂
Pastor reminded me that if I want to know whether to accept or reject something I had to compare it to the Bible. There is no other standard by which to measure some other form of doctrine. Call me narrow-minded, but it’s true. The Bible is solid as a rock, impenetrable despite the disbelief of the world.
After the afternoon service, all of the College &Career people gathered together and ate pizza before going rock climbing….yes, rock climbing. We had a lot of laughs, some really bad (as in punny) jokes, and many mini-wars of witty banter. It was wonderful 🙂
We headed to Brooklyn Boulders, a rock climbing place in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. We arrived and I was immediately excited. The walls reached high up and were covered in knobs and bumps and lumps. People were belaying (climbing with a harness and rope) their partners and people were belaying themselves. Others were bouldering, which is climbing without a harness.
We all got shoes and harnesses, signed waivers in case one of us fell and broke our neck, and gathered around an instructor, who proceeded to explain every station to us. We ended with self-belaying, which is a sort of pulley system that catches you by your harness if you fall off the wall. That’s what most of us did first.
When it came to be my turn, I was so pumped to experience this challenge. I hooked my harness to the belay and began climbing. I was halfway up the inverted wall when my whole body began to shake and my chest seized up and anxiety plagued my heart, causing me to let go and fall back off the wall. Thankfully the belay caught me and lowered me down.
I hadn’t expected to be afraid.
I sat away for a moment or two, trying to stop my hands from shaking. After a few moments, I tried again on a different wall. I reached the top this time, though my body was still shaking and my heart was still racing.
By the time we were bouldering, I was fine, getting used to the shakiness and drowning out my own heartbeat with thoughts of victory over fear, because that’s the spirit God has given me. When it was all over, and most of us had tight forearms, swollen and blisters hands, and chalked up T-shirts, I was so grateful for God’s assistance in helping me overcome fear…I couldn’t have done it without Him.
Seeing that it was almost ten o’clock at night, I stayed again with Jenny and everyone. They’re such a blessing and I can’t even begin to express how much.
We rode back in Valerie’s (another woman who lives in the house with Jenny and Rebecca) van and parked away from the house. It was cold and dark outside and I was wearing my wrestling shorts so I ran to the house with Dina to stay warm, also because I just wanted to run 😀
When I arrived, I got comfortable, made some tea, and journaled while talking to Jenny. I prayed for everyone…praying for people is really cool, because you know that prayer has power and it not only encourages other people but it also encourages you, I think. I prayed for my parents, for my siblings, for my grandparents and aunts and uncles. I prayed for Jenny and Rebecca, for Beth and Hannah, for Leah and Aunt Lori, for the smaller Brock people, and for Nathan, Jacob, and Uncle Doug. I prayed for Pratt, for the people at school.
I also prayed about the term paper due at the end of next month.
In pursuit of a good grade on the last term paper, I poured my time and energy into it to make it the best I could manage, and I received a B+. That is not acceptable. But I decided that, as long as I’m not slacking and I am working for the grade, and I give my best and my best is yet again a B+, then I suppose there’s really nothing I can do about that…but then again I’ve always loved a challenge 😀
“Delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” —Psalm 37:4