Friday, March 28, 2008

A New Journey

Hello friends,

When I first started this post, I didn't know what it was going to be about. I was going to begin by saying this: "Life is good. God is good, but I'm feeling a bit like Maria and Mariah...dry."

Well, I feel warmed, and touched, and loved, by someone very special. His name is Jesus. I have been feeling dry lately. Very much like the pilgrim Maria wrote about. I felt very alone and very cold, and felt like when I read God's Word I wasn't getting anything out. When I prayed, I felt like I was talking to a brick wall. When I played my music, I enjoyed it, but I didn't feel the heavenward connection I love. I just felt a bit like the world. Hugging my simple dreams and desires here on earth. I was falling into little traps and not really bothering to try to get out. That's probably why you haven't been reading too many profound and uplifting posts here lately. In fact, earlier today, I sat down to write an inspirational, Christian post, simply because I hadn't done one in a while, and I came up with that first line. I didn't know what to write!

What happened? I don't know. Like I said, life is good, and I am really enjoying seeing the possibilities that God has placed before me in this life. I love watching things unfold, or imagining what I hope to see unfold in the future. I have enjoyed great happiness, discovering gifts that I didn't even know were there, it's like Christmas, but better! I had the chance to sit in the sunshine in nature, surrounded by silence coupled with the occasional bit of birdsong, to feel the wind rustle my hair, to feel warmth from people I admire greatly, and to open myself up to finding out who I really am. Discovering who I am is certainly an adventure--there are many things about me I didn't know! When you find that you don't mind doing things out of the ordinary, or dressing a bit out of the ordinary, or smiling when everyone else is frowning, you feel happy. Very happy. So I guess, I was happy, but I felt a bit empty.

Last night, I was thinking on some hard decisions I have to make, and I was thinking about life recently. I was thinking about the things I hope will happen, and I was thinking about my little empty spot. I knew what it was, and so, I, as I have been doing every night, in an effort to fill in the hole, I prayed. Almost every time I crawl into bed, I say "God, please, I really want to feel you. I know that my faith in you is not all about feelings, but I think right now I need to feel you. Please help me to connect with you and not lose faith." Then I listened for Him a bit, and last night I read James 1.

James 1:5
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

So that's what I did. I didn't know what would happen.

Today I woke up, and I still had no idea what would happen. So far did that fact go, that I entirely forgot, until about 45 minutes before we had to leave, that I had a French course this morning! When I got home, I got on the computer, and checked up on everyone's blogs, listened to a few flute videos, and got a phone call from Camille. We had a lovely chat, and as I hung up the phone and started serving my lunch, Nadine called. She told me about a great movie, called 'A Walk to Remember'. We had fun on the phone for over an hour, and then got off the phone and I instant messaged with Tiffany and Nadine, where they met. Then I got on a skype call with Lisa, and we had great fun trying to discern if there was a difference between a wheelie bin and a garbage can. Erica showed up, and we spent probably a whole hour laughing about silliness. It was a lovely last day of my spring week off. I still felt kind of empty though.

After Chinese food, we watched 'A Walk to Remember'. It starts out rough, but that movie really touched me by the end. I must have had little trenches dug into my cheeks, and I could have sobbed freely if I had been alone in the room. The example that girl set in being set-apart as a Christian, even if presented slightly unrealistically from a secular point of view, helped me realize that my set-apart-ness stems from my relationship with God. Through my tears, I got on the computer, and started reading random blog posts. I just felt like I needed encouragement. I popped over to Merrill's blog, and read this post and this post. You are a very clever girl, Merrill. Somehow those two trains of thought really hit me hard. I really need to trust in God, I really need to reflect Christ, and I really need to do hard things for Him.

This new me, that God has helped me discover is going to do her best to follow Jesus just a little more closely. I am not taking Him for granted anymore. He's going to come with me everywhere I go, I think I've been leaving Him home a bit too much.

You know, I have a very special teddy bear, and I've had him since I was little. When I was about 7, I remember my Mom saying she took her teddy everywhere. What she meant is that when she moved out etc., teddy came with her. I took it to mean that every time I went out, my teddy bear, Habakkuk, should come with me. He did. I took him right to the edge of the Grand Canyon and everything, as you can see! Over the years, I gave up on that, but I still took him with me every time I went on a big trip, even if he did stay in bed while I went out. Of course, I'm almost 16, and he doesn't always fit in my bags anymore, sometimes he stays home. I have to say though, it sometimes is a bit painful. I love that bear! But you see, that's what I did to God a bit these past few weeks. My sinful nature said "Hey, you can just leave Him at home while you go out." I did, and contrary to how it is with a teddy bear, with God, that's terribly wrong. I see that now, and I am very excited about bringing Him with me everywhere again.

I'm we--God and me--are going on a journey, and it's called LIFE! Eternal life.

God bless!!!

Hugs to all my huggable friends and a hearty handshake to the rest of you,


Maria said...

I am so happy for you Sheila! That is awesome. :D

We have to be careful what we pray for, because God always takes us seriously. :)

Anna said...

What a beautiful post Sheila! God surely is wonderful. I have always not been feeling dry lately. I often just hop off to bed after reading my bible a bit and Christian study book and pray only a tiny bit. So your post is a definite spur and motivation for me to praise more :)

I also have several beloved teddy bears, that even though I don´t take them with me anymore on tirps they´re on my shelf and I hug them regularly :)

Mariah said...

I'm so glad, Sheila, that you are doing some better. I feel like I may be starting to get somewhere too. I just hope it keeps going! I have been feeling dry lately, and I think that I feel as if I have to have a 'flood' for a anything to be happening. I guess I just have to realize that it might just start with a few 'sprinkles' before the rain. Thanks for the wonderful post!

Mariah said...

How do you think I should start taking God with me everywhere? I have thought of this before and it always seems that I make the resolution to do it, but as soon as I step out of my room it slips my mind until I am in trouble again!

Cowgirl_E said...

If I had been in the room by myself, I would've cried when I read your post...

That beginning bit of James 1 is one of my favorite Bible passages...and one of the few I've memorized. Its simplicity makes it incredible.

This is one of your best posts ever. When I read through it, I could tell that it wasn't Sheila talking, it was her God speaking through her...and that is an awesome thing.

And, if you have time sometime in the near future, I'd love to talk about what's up with you on the phone!

Cowgirl_E said...

I'm sorry, but I cannot get over how good this post is. I want to talk to you right now!!!

I love you girl!

Lisa said...

It is nice to read another post from you Sheila. You know, I have found that sometimes it's when you feel "dry" that you learn the most. God is watching over you.

Have a really blessed day today,
Love Lisa

Sheila said...

You girls never cease to amaze me.

Mariah: I really don't know how I'm going to take God everywhere. I can tell you, it's hard. I keep 'forgetting'! I think I have to learn that it's not me taking HIM places, but Him taking ME. :)

Erica: I will probably be on the phone with Mariah on Thursday, but I'm free Saturday! Please, I'd love to chat. What a sweet comment. I love you!

Everyone else: Thank you for your lovely comments. They really mean a lot to me.

Please feel free to keep commenting!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post Sheila! A couple of comments about the comments :-) You said afterwards that perhaps it was not so much you taking God with you, as Him taking YOU with HIM !! Right on. I think this is key. It is indeed Christ living in and through us - but this is a hard thing to really grasp and realise isn't it?! That in itself is a process, an unveiling revelation of our life in Christ.

Lisa said "You know, I have found that sometimes it's when you feel "dry" that you learn the most." This is(to us, unfortunately) often very true. When we are "dry" it's because we have lost our focus and we are in NEED of fellowship with the Water of Life.

I'm bursting with joy to see how you are working through these things and how you are loved and supported by a fine group of Christian young women as friends. Thanks to all of you!!

Sheila's Mom :-)
Mrs. Lorraine

Cowgirl_E said...

I love Sheila's mom!