This morning I woke up and felt like I had been hit by a truck…twice.
My knees were scuffed up from diving on the turf, jumping to keep the ball from going into the goal. My hips were sore and creaky. My calves were tense and tight. My back was wrought and solid.
But I smiled at the reminder of yesterday 🙂
I opened up my Bible Study and my journal, ready to learn. But as I went on, I realized how uncomfortable I was in the study, how I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, how concentrated I was on my feelings. That’s when I realized what was happening.
Now, I don’t mean to sound psychotically paranoid, but my Aunt Cyndy on my mother’s side has a saying that goes “If the Devil ain’t messin’ with ya, you’re doing something wrong.” Obviously this isn’t always the case. Sometimes God gives us periods of rest, times of peace, where things are going well and there are no serious trials going on, the quiet before a storm, a respite in the war. But Satan will usually leave people alone if they’re already headed in the direction he wants them to go. Satan concentrates on keeping them where they are, making sure they never come in contact with the knowledge and the awareness of the love of God. With Christians, it’s a bit different. Once you’re saved, Satan has already lost your soul. But now the battle comes on tenfold, because now Satan is trying to keep you from being fruitful for God.
Anyway, the point is that I’ve been really happy lately, very at peace, and even though I’ve been aware of becoming too concentrated on my feelings, a lot of the things I’ve been doing have been based off of how I feel, what makes me happy, and while all the results have been good and I haven’t been tempted or forsook my testimony, I had been in a position where it would’ve been way too easy for Satan to take advantage of that vulnerability. I’ve been blindsided by the enemy one too many times to take this lightly, and while I know this may sound absolutely insane and ridiculous and rigid but believe me.
So this morning, as I studied more and prayed more, I asked God to help me stay aware, to enjoy this time in my life when things are wonderful and my circumstances are rather ideal, when life is really bright and beautiful in the most obvious ways but to also be wary of Satan wanting to disrupt it.
After closing my journal, I got breakfast and a cup of tea, got changed, and headed out to church with Rebecca. It was so warm outside! Not just sunny and refreshing, but warm! The air was just thick enough to feel like summer accompanied by a cool breeze. As we walked, we noticed cherry blossoms blooming in the park near the house, and we stopped to smell them. Wow.
Sunday School flew by, but our study concerning David and his sin with Bathsheba has was fruitful. Even after David had totally blown it, lost his son, been brought low, God didn’t beat him over the head with his sin, but rather blessed him with a second son who would grow up to be the wisest man on earth (other than Jesus during His earthly ministry), who would build Solomon’s temple. Imagine that.
I stayed downstairs during the morning service to help set up for a fundraiser. I ran back and forth grabbing utensils, rags, trays, and the like, tripping over just about everything including my own two feet but still finding many things to laugh about 🙂 The fundraiser went well and all the singles in the College and Career class had a blast doing it (or at least I thought so). After cleaning up, I went up to afternoon service.
We participated in the Lord’s supper today, in Communion, and it was refreshing. Pastor preached on why the local church is called a family, and I think it was a good reminder to everyone, but especially to me. I was reminded that we’re an army, the church, but we’re also a bride. It’s neat to think about, the bride of Christ moving across a battleground in her wedding dress, carrying a long sword and a shield, prepared to fight against the enemy.
While I was sitting in the service, I thought about how everyone had been talking about getting new Easter dresses, about getting dressed up for Easter Sunday. While I don’t normally put much of anything into how I dress (I’d rather be practical and comfortable than glamorous any day), I couldn’t help but have a small desire to have an Easter dress to wear next Sunday, the day of the Resurrection of my Lord and Savior, the celebration of an empty tomb. My mother had never done the whole Easter dress thing, at least not that I can remember, so it’s not like I could miss it. It was a small thing that I brushed off as soon as it came.
At the end of the service, we sang “The Old Rugged Cross,” and I was transported back to The Sticks, standing next to my mother and singing that song with her. I realized how, even though I had been away from home for a long time, only being a visitor for a handful of weeks at a time or even only a handful of days, I still wasn’t entirely homesick, not really. Sure, I missed my family, my friends, my Shire, my everything…but I felt at home in that pew, standing beside Grace, Rebecca, and Antoinette. As I looked around, seeing Adham and Edward, Ray, Melinda, and Pastor, Jenny and Arial, Sam and Maria, and all of my other friends, I was reminded that my home is wherever God is, and He’s in these people, who love me. I was reminded that I’m loved, and how absolutely blessed I am to be able to say that.
Afternoon service ended, and a group of us (Rebecca, Elisa, Antoinette, Grace, Edward, and I) walked along the sidewalk, me carrying a big aluminum try of leftover food from the fundraiser (yay! real food!). Edward broke off from the group as all of us girls went to get ice-cream. Grace bought me a cone, even though I hadn’t planned on getting anything. It was much appreciated 🙂
As Rebecca and I walked back to her house, she asked me how the skirt (I had tried on a skirt of hers that morning that she was getting rid of) had fit me. I told her it’d fit me well. She then asked if I would want to look through some clothes she was getting rid of. I accepted and that’s what we did when we arrived at the house.
I fit into almost all of her dresses and some of her tops. As I tried on the dresses, I realized God, without my even asking Him, had provided me with a beautiful dress to wear for Easter Sunday. Wow.
When I got back to my dorm, I was overwhelmed with the beauty and the ridiculous blessings that had characterized this past weekend. It was so much fun and so absolutely pure and wonderful and natural and not once did I feel uncomfortable (well, I felt awkward and idiotic and silly once or twice…or maybe three times, but that’s kind of a normal thing for me :P).
And then I remembered that I had homework.
And that’s what the evening consisted of: homework, homework, writer’s block, and more homework. But I got a lot done, learned much, and enjoyed every moment of it. This next week, just like the week before it, is going to be busy. Bible studies, homework and school studying, term papers due, soccer, sleepovers, writing of all sorts, and praying, lots and lots and lots of praying.
I can’t wait 🙂
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” —Ephesians 6:17,18, ESV