My last serious blog was quite revealing in that I had finally come to understand some things about God and faith.
#1. When I ask God for something, I believe He will answer.
#2. I may not like His answer.
#3. I have to trust that my Father knows best.
That blog represented a "light-bulb" moment for me. Once I wrote it, I fully anticipated many more inspiring posts to soon follow. I thought the revelations from God would just start flowing. I thought I would feel closer to Him. I thought I would continue to be at peace with all that has happened over the last year.
That is not the case.
The truth is the peace of that understanding only lasted for a little while. Then I reverted back to numbness.
And I feel like I have been sleep walking through life ever since.
Every Wednesday, my homeschool friends and I gather around a small table in the local public library. It is the time of week I most look forward to. I like to compare it to what I imagine "planning period" might be like for public school teachers, except without the planning.
Heeheehee... That makes no sense. Let me try that again.
Maybe it's more like "recess" or "music class", when someone else takes your kids for an hour. And at that moment, you are not responsible for teaching them anything.
I feel so grown up on Wednesdays, like I'm playing dress up in my mom's clothes and pretending to drink coffee.
A few weeks ago, I was at the library with my friends, and a couple of them suggested I read a book called The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rachel Nichols Alonzo.
This did not sound like my type of book. I like to read fun, fictional novels that provide an escape from reality. Not true stories that remind me how sad life can be.
But my friend, Missy, began telling me about this book. Our conversation went something like this...
Me: Ew. That sounds scary. What is it about?
Missy: It is a novel about a true crime committed in the 70's right here in North Carolina.
Me: Yeah. That still sounds scary.
Missy: No. No. No. You have to read it. It's really good.
Me: Will it give me nightmares?
Missy (laughing at me): Goodness, no. It's about forgiveness.
I read the book this weekend...
It gave me nightmares...
But seriously, it was a true story written by a woman recalling how her family was terrorized by an evil man when she was a young child. Her parents were shot right in front of her. Her mother died, and her father never fully recovered from the mental anguish inflicted by this "devil" who lived across the street.
You can see why I had nightmares.
However, I read the book in less than two days. I could not put it down for two reasons.
#1. I needed closure.
#2. Missy said it was about forgiveness, and I just could not wrap my brain around that.
It turns out, it truly is an awesome story of forgiveness. I am still quite baffled. It scared me to death, and opened my heart at the same time.
This woman, who had suffered life-altering fear and unspeakable loss at the hands of a madman, found it in her heart to pray for that same man and to forgive him.
I stayed up til 1 a.m. to finish this book. And when I turned out the light and lay there in the dark, I knew I would have nightmares, so I tried to stay awake as long as possible.
I thought about how I might react if I ever found myself in that type of situation. I'm quite certain my reactions would not reflect an unshakeable faith and deep love for God, as this woman's did.
I realized that I am not so deeply rooted in my faith that I would be able to forgive as easily as she has forgiven.
Once again, as I've done so many times before, I found myself wishing I knew God better. And once again, as I've done so many times before, I hung my head in shame because the only one to blame for that lack of knowledge is me.
Then I fell asleep and had horrible nightmares. Thank you Missy.
When I woke up Sunday morning, I literally jumped out of bed, eager to escape the nightmares, but also eager to go to church, hoping to hear something that would encourage this desire to know God better. My Sunday School teacher showed a DVD from Billy Graham's My Hope America series called The Cross. It was a moving compilation of testimonies, visuals, and messages. It really fed my soul.
I walked out of that classroom feeling like God is just as eager for me to know Him better, as I am. It got me excited.
And today, I began to incorporate Quiet Time into our school schedule. I rarely deviate from our school schedule, so I figure by making it part of our daily routine, it will not go undone. We will start our school day spending quality time in His Word, praying, meditating, and praising.
So, long story, short ~ that's why I'm writing today. To tell you that scary, awesome book gave me nightmares, woke me up, and reignited that hunger for God inside of me.
Thank you Missy. :)
Seeds of Faith - inspired by Elisha Skeen
What scares me the most is that I've been here before. Desiring to know God better. Hungry for knowledge. Eager for His Word.
And somehow I've always dropped the ball. I pray this time is different. And I ask you to pray for me as well.
The Bible says in Acts 13:22
And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
I have always loved that description of David, "a man after God's own heart". It gives me hope.
David was not a perfect man. He disappointed God on a number of occasions. Just as I have. Just as you have. And yet, God described him as "a man after mine own heart".
Despite my imperfections, I pray that someday, someone will describe me as "a woman after God's own heart".