“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you according to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” —1 Peter 5:10
Yesterday I went to my academic adviser to set up my schedule for next semester…already. Time has flown, and I remember at the beginning of the semester thinking that there was no way I was going to make it. And yet God is good, and He showed me how to not be so busy, to prioritize people, to be disciplined. Granted, I’m still learning those lessons and much more, but He’s taught me how to start 🙂
On my way to the internship, when I had to pick up my bike and carry them up the stairs like I normally do, I noticed a tall middle-aged man behind me, watching to see what I was going to do as I stood at the base of the first flight. I smiled.
“I’m sorry. I might take a little bit.”
He then, with a kind, paternal smile, asked if I would like some help. Not wanting to shove the opportunity on to him, I thanked him and asked if he could handle the back of the bike and I could carry the front. He did grab the back…and then he grabbed the front, and I quickly saw that he planned on carrying the bike completely solo. And he did 🙂 He carried my bike up both flights of stairs and set it gently on the concrete pathway at the top, wishing me a good day and giving me a smile. I thanked him, being sure to show how obviously appreciative I was, which I always try to do when men act like real men.
God is good 🙂
I spent the day at the internship, mailing things and editing things and printing things and such, and my boss let me go home early 🙂 So I biked myself back to the dorm, thankful that God worked everything out for the day, and once I came back into my room, I fell right into bed and slept for an hour. Biking is exhausting.
Part of another lesson I’m learning (and I feel like I will ALWAYS be learning this lesson) is just how many things don’t require my comment, how some things just don’t need to be said, and how sometimes I just need to not talk. Sometimes when I’m talking to Bree or even to Hannah and Beth, I always find myself saying things that really just aren’t necessary, and the only way to tell what is and what isn’t necessary is to have discernment, and God is slowly (slowly because of me, not at all because of Him) showing me how to be discerning. He doesn’t tell us to ask Him for wisdom for nothing.
Again, I’m very young and, consequently, very naive and inexperienced and I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, but God said in His word that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). First of all, I’m just so grateful, that God tells us to ask Him for the things we lack, especially wisdom, because sometimes ya just feel plain incompetent and like you can’t do anything right, even the smallest most menial tasks. Second of all, I’m so glad that He’s willing to be in our lives and help us. Not only does He give us purpose and a mission to pursue (spreading the gospel throughout the world, loving others, and loving Him), but He gives us the tools, makes us sufficient to pursue it, always being with us in the form of the Holy Spirit and constantly remaining active in our lives. How glad I am that God is not distant.
Last night, I headed out to Jenny’s house dressed in dark clothing and carrying a duffel bag…I promise I didn’t look as sketchy as I sound. The entire time, on the train, walking to Jenny’s house, I was having a mini breakdown.
I have never in my entire life pranked someone. It’s just not what I do. I don’t retaliate, not normally. So when Jenny, at the beginning of October, asked me if I wanted to prank some of our church people on Halloween night, and I said yes, I took a walk down memory lane.
My grandparents love to tell stories about my father and his siblings. One of the stories they like to tell is about how on Halloween night my uncle and his friends went out egging cars. Well, they egged one truck, and the headlights flashed on. My uncle was a deer in those headlights as he realized it was my grandfather and my father who sat up front. Needless to say, my uncle ran home, followed by my grandfather, and I’m never told what happened afterwards, but boy.
My first thought concerning this whole pranking business was “Is there any possibility that I’ll end up in jail?” My second thought was “Is there any possibility that I could die?”
I imagine Ronald Weasely telling me to sort out my priorities as I look back on my thought process.
Anyway, I arrived at Jenny’s house and Raven (one of the girls at church; she’s wonderful 🙂 ), Jenny, and I ate pizza and snacked on candy corn (SO MUCH CANDY CORN) and talked about guys and God and things. Jenny made French press and the three of us sat down in front of my laptop to watch the original “The Woman In Black.”
While the movie was playing, our trio taped mini packages of twizzlers, jolly ranchers, and whoppers to the tines of forks. Apparently “forking” someone’s yard is a popular Halloween prank, though, because we were doing it to people we knew, we thought it might be nice to put candy on the forks, so when the members of the house went out to pull the forks out of the ground, they would get candy with it 🙂
I hate horror movies. I’m so glad, however, that Jenny and Raven got such a kick out of my screaming my head off at a particularly frightening part of the movie, or when I would yell at the people for being unintelligent or warning them that things weren’t so easy in such circumstances.
After the movie ended, we got dressed to go out and do the stuff. The moment we stepped outside, we were hit with gusts of wind and pockets of wet leaves and cold rain. I suddenly wondered if this was such a good idea.
We went to Duston’s house and “forked” their small section of grass in front of their house, making sure to leave candied forks placed amongst the uncandied ones. I began to wonder what my dad would think, what my mom would think, if maybe this was a horrible idea and I shouldn’t be there and yeah.
Raven ended up having to go home before we did anyone else’s house. So then it was just me and Jenny. We had a great time 🙂 We had to run away once or twice for fearing of being seen. We were quiet and tried to stay out of the light. And the more I thought about my church family and about their senses of humor and how they interact with each other, I realized that this was nothing more than banter 🙂
I can honestly say, however, that I would NOT do this to anyone I didn’t know or anyone I knew would get upset over it. I don’t think raw vandalism with mal intent is right or respectful.
We ended the night at around three in the morning, about two and a half hours after we came back to Jenny’s house. Before we’d walked in the door, we TP’ed the stairs up to her door, to maybe throw people off our trail, though both of us knew that nobody would be fooled. We stayed up and talked and Jenny presented me with a large bag of clothes to try on and we totally did the girl thang 😀 And it was nice.
This morning, at around nine, we both woke up and walked to Walgreens to pick up some things. Nobody had yet suspected or questioned us. But we were waiting…oh, we were waiting. Surely enough, after walking out of a small corner deli with bacon to eat with Big Breakfast, Sam texted Jenny with “Is there a confession we need to make?”
And so it began 🙂
When we came back to Jenny’s house, I changed and started in on breakfast, making pancakes and scrambled eggs with fresh cheddar cheese, cutting up strawberries and even, just because, putting on the table the bowl of candy corn, which seemed to be perpetually full of the fabulously unhealthy sugary goodness.
I talked to God and listened to music while making breakfast, thanking Him for the day, for the night before, for everything. But I was distracted. I needed to sit down and talk to Him about things.
We ate breakfast and talked until Jenny went to leave for a wedding. I stayed behind to do homework and clean up and do my Bible Study. When she left, I immediately sat down to talk to God, but found myself waking up with my head lying on the table.
Jenny came home an hour or so later and I was washing dishes. I finished and we had lunch and then went upstairs to bake pumpkin cheesecake. Rosie had left me ingredients to bake it 🙂
I had no idea what I was doing, even though Rosie left me with a recipe. After several different changes to the recipe and much taste testing and even some ridiculous video-making of us singing “That’s Amore” by Dean Martin, I pulled something out of the oven that looked and smelled like pumpkin cheesecake.
Jenny headed downstairs while I stayed and finally sat down to do my Bible Study, to talk to God. Some things, some very wonderful things have been happening as of late, which means, of course, I have to overthink all of it until it’s no longer enjoyable and completely ruined. I’m kidding, though I have done that before. I am getting distracted by all of the questions that surround the stuff that’s happening. Worries about the future and questions of how everything is going to work out are distracting me from the most important thing, which is my relationship with Christ. Today I had to check it all before Him, remind myself that, whatever happens, all I have to do is keep my eyes fixed on Him, not letting them move or waver. Everything He does is for my good and for His glory, and regardless of how wonderful the things are that are happening and despite what good could come of their development and whatnot, I’m convinced that I need to focus on Him, or else the good that could come of them will all be for naught. I need to be patient and wait and not worry, because this is what He’s asked me to do.
But I, being human, want to jump in and just see what’s going to happen and not have to wait, or, the exact opposite, I want to go back to the safe familiar place I was in before things began to shift into the unknown. I’ve never experienced this before and I’m not sure how anything is going to work out, and while I’d like to say I have all the knowledge and the ability to apply such knowledge, I do not. But it doesn’t come down to what I’m capable of or what I’m equipped with or what I’m going to do about any of the situations, but rather if I’m going to trust what God plans on doing in them and through them, if I plan on stepping back and waiting on Him and being willing to listen to Him and allow Him to have this area of my life completely, no strings attached, without my wanting to take it back.
Meanwhile, I have a short story for Studio due this week, and I have three possible stories I could write, but I don’t know how any of them will fare. This is not a convenient time for writer’s block. Maybe I should ask God what He thinks about these stories. That would be good.
“For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.” —1 Corinthians 14:33