A Letter from 2014 Me To 2009 Me

Dear Type-A, Control-Freak, 12th-grader Anna from 2009,

Yes, I just called you a type-A control freak.  Because you are.  You hide behind other people’s opinions and you like approval.  You don’t like to think for yourself, because what if you are wrong?  You follow the rules and you have this awesome confidence when you know something really well.  I know this MS has been hard so far, and it’s not over yet.

Who am I, and how do I know these things?  I’m you, after college.  I am currently 23, and life is pretty great right now.  You’re still walking, but you know all those lectures everyone gives you about stretching and exercising?  They’re serious.  Keep at it.  You won’t regret it.  (You’ll probably be lectured from all sorts of people throughout life, so you might as well learn to listen, not do everything but what you’re told.)  I’m still walking, although my limp has gotten worse over time.  (Keep stretching!  Even as I write this now, I haven’t stretched yet today, and I feel like such a hypocrite.)  I am currently job searching—the “currently” part encompassing the last month or so, but I haven’t really done anything about it until now.

I want to encourage you.  Keep playing music.  You just decided, about now, I think, that you’re going to major in instrumental music.  It’s tough, but you will love learning all that you are going to learn.  All the music theory, music history, and those instruments?  You’ll learn so much!  Also, keep writing.  Don’t be discouraged that the story you wrote last year isn’t very good (it isn’t—what is the plot even supposed to be?  It’s weak.)  KEEP WRITING.  You will just keep getting better.  I promise.  I haven’t had anything published yet, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried.  And it’s all been totally worth it.  And, you’re going to get involved in this campus ministry, at first because you feel like you’re supposed to.  But God is about to change your life super dramatically using it.  You will love it. And you might find a future career opportunity through it.  Through any of these things that you love—you won’t stop loving them.  In fact, you’ll become better at what you like to do, and you may find future career opportunities through any of those things.  You may be freaking out because you don’t know what you’ll be doing—that’s okay.  I actually still don’t know.  But one thing I’ve learned is to be okay with that.

College is better than high school.  I promise.  And it just keeps getting better.  I am so excited for what comes next.  I’m so ready to leave college behind.  In a letter you wrote to your high school graduating-self back in 7th grade, you totally planned out your future.  It’s kind of embarrassing, you’ll come to realize when you read it in a couple months.  You’re not as bad as you used to be, but you’ll keep easing up.  The details aren’t worth getting upset over.  They’re not that big of a deal.  As Dad says, “Don’t worry about the little things.  And it’s all little things.”

There are so many things I wish I could tell you right now.  You are going to make so many friends in the next 5 years!  But sometimes not knowing is the best.  You love surprises.  So wait and be surprised.  Chose a major and stick with it, but have fun!  And don’t worry about the future.  It takes a long time to learn that lesson, and I’m still continually learning it.  God has the best for you in mind.  Sometimes it will hurt, and sometimes you will cry.  But it’s worth it.  Live and love—you love so well.  Be comfortable with who you are as an individual with your own opinions and talents—not just the opinions and talents you think you should have.  It’s okay not to be the best—you won’t get to play with the Augustana Band every year, but that’s okay.  You’ll still get to play.  Strive to be YOUR best.  There IS a difference, and it’s okay.  I am so excited for you.  You are faithful and fun and so great!

Stay you,

Anna from 2014

Circumstances and God’s Perfect Timing

One day Moses, Jesus, and an old man went golfing.  There was this really big water trap that had pretty much flooded, but that didn’t stop them.  Moses hits his golf ball into the water trap, divides the water, and hits it out.  Jesus hits his golf ball into the water trap, walks on the water, and hits it out.  The old man hits his ball into the water trap.  But a fish grabs the ball in his mouth.  Just that instant, a bird swoops down and grabs the fish that has the ball in his mouth.  The bird flies up and over the golf course.  Just as he is flying over the green of the hole they are on, the fish drops the golf ball out of his mouth and the ball lands in the hole.  Moses turns to Jesus and says, “I hate when your dad comes golfing with us.”

 

Circumstances.  I don’t really know how it’s all working, but God has had a plan from the beginning, and he wants everyone to know it.  In Genesis 6, God tells Noah to build an ark and gather all animals, two by two, to fill it.  Noah builds the ark, but if he had worried about how to gather the animals, he shouldn’t have.  God had creatures of every kind, at least two of each, come to the ark when it was time to load up.

It’s a good lesson: take action, and don’t worry—God’s got it under control!

It’s like mine and Doug’s story, starting all the way back in 2011.  I told God that if I didn’t get accepted to Project, I just wouldn’t go.  But I got accepted.  Then I told him that if I didn’t raise my support, I wouldn’t go.  But I raised way more than I needed.  Over the years, Doug and I were good friends and we wrote letters and talked about Jesus together and stuff.  I told God that I wanted Doug to find someone he needed.  I wanted him to be happy.  Then Doug asked ME out.  And then I told God that his timing was perfect.  I told him that under no circumstances did I want my heart to be broken, so he brought Doug and I closer together, assuring me it would not.  It just happened to work out that Doug could come to my place for Thanksgiving (after much prayer and uncertainty as to if Doug would have Thanksgiving off of work).  And of course I was going to his place for Christmas.  We were engaged.  And then things just continued to line up.  We decided to lease an apartment after not having seen it, one we had simply heard about through conversation on Facebook.  And it just happened that we were the first to say we wanted the place.  It also just so happened that our landlord said I could give lessons from the apartment, and that his daughter was interested in learning the piano.  Goodness.

Right now, I’m waiting for everything to keep lining up.  I’m just expecting them to.  I move forward and am trying not to worry about what’ll happen next.  I took the Praxis test, so I can improve my scores to meet Kentucky’s standards.  I’ll get my scores back in a week.  If I don’t pass, maybe I’m not supposed to be a teacher in Kentucky.  If I am, maybe the perfect teaching job will open up?  But there are so many other things I could do!

I’m really wow-ed by circumstances.  All I have to do is take steps to move forward and trust.  If it isn’t supposed to be, it won’t.  But if it is?  Sometimes it’s way more obvious than other times but God usually makes it clear.  I am in awe and will praise my God forever! 😀

Anna

When have circumstances been working out for you in a way that you have no room to question the Lord? 

My Morning Musings and Jesus

I am amazed by God’s hand every time I see it or hear about it.  Talking with others about what has happened in their lives that led them to where they are at?  Wow.  Even looking around at my own life?  It’s a lot clearer to see God’s hand when you look for it.  Like this whole subbing thing.  I was talking to God last night, and I’m like, “I need energy.  I haven’t been getting up early enough on days I don’t even have to.”  God knows I need to be subbing to pay for rent and stuff, but I didn’t get a job today.  So I got up at 6 anyway, to check if there were any jobs and there wasn’t, so I’m staying up.  Maybe I’ll work tomorrow, and this way, energy won’t be as high of a concern, right?  Since I got up at the outrageous hour of 6am (two of my roommates are in college ministry, so they don’t even roll over until 8, on their earliest days), I think I’ll spend this time with the Lord.

Romans 15:13: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.  Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Circumstances keep telling me not to doubt God, because he is always faithful and true.  Over and over again he has come through, so why not trust him with what I need now and in the future?  When I trust him completely, I don’t worry.  I’m filled with peace, because I know that he will always come through.  I spend a lot of posts on this blog talking about worry, because it used to consume me.  But it doesn’t anymore.  Why worry?  Control is an illusion—even when we think we’re in control, we’re not.  So let’s succumb to the One who is and talk with him about everything instead of trying to do it on our own! 🙂

A year ago, I thought I’d stay in the South Dakota-Minnesota region forever.  I mean, after this winter, I have my doubts, but now look!  I’m moving to Kentucky and I’m getting MARRIED!  I have absolutely no idea (still) about what awaits me in KY, but I’m trusting.  I’m asked what I’m up to when I’m not subbing, but I stay busy.  Interning with Jason, who is the head of the nursing home ministry I’ve been involved in?  (Which is super awesome and exciting, by the way.)  Working on those wife skills I’ll need next year?  (I’ve actually been making food that doesn’t just come from a box, and it’s edible!)  And planning a wedding, being proactive about getting teacher certification in KY, and writing.  Okay, so I haven’t been writing much fiction lately, but letters, emails, and the occasional blog post should count for something, right? 🙂

Romans 15:5-6: “May God, who gives the patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.  Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Blessings to all my readers, whether it be randomly now, or keeping up on all my stuff (which can be kind of repetitive, sorry about that)

Anna

Being Grown-Up and Worrying (Unneccesarily)

Being grown-up is scary.  They don’t tell you that when you’re little.  When we’re little, we just want to be adults; treated like adults, respected like adults, no rules like adults?  Except adults have rules.  They need to answer to people like their landlords, employers, and the IRS, amongst all other sorts of bills and decisions made by grown-ups.  In college, I felt like I was getting used to the idea.  And then I graduated.  Bombarded by decisions to make!  Where should we live?  Given the options of a few places, which is the best?  Where should I apply to work?  There are so many things I would enjoy.  What would give me enough money to pay the rent, the bills, and for food and necessities while Dr. Wile E. Coyote is in school?  How will I make friends as an adult?  How different is it from when we’re kids?  Hopefully, less drama.  One thing I’m not too good at is big-decision-making.  I have learned to trust my gut and think about logic at kind of the same time.  Okay, so mostly spontaneous gut-feeling.  But that’s usually right. 

And then, I take a deep breath.  Being “grown up,” I realize my faith has also developed with me.  I am closer to my God now than I ever was before.  When I was a kid, I acted like a kid, and I thought like a kid.  But now that I am an almost-married woman, I must put the ways of my childhood behind me (1 Cor. 13:11).  I still have a child-like atmosphere and energy at times, and that’s okay.  I ask my roommates to cook for me because I don’t really like it, and I stay in bed as long as I can, especially when I don’t have to work.  God tells me not to worry so much in verses that I have memorized and remind myself often.  “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” Matthew 6:34; “Do not be anxious or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9; “Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7, “BE STILL and know that I AM GOD” Psalm 46:10.  I used to worry about getting my homework done and still having time to read.  Now I worry about bigger things.  But NOTHING is too big for God.  This MS I have, that I worry about all the time?  God’s bigger than it.  He could take it away if he wanted to.  Finances and the future?  A job, a place to live, and friends?  God is bigger than everything there is.  He CREATED the world.  God is my comfort, my sword and shield.  When I’m a kid and when I’m an old geezer (I still have, like, 30 50 years to go on that).  “The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still” Exodus 14:14.  I don’t have to worry about all the things I tend to worry about; because God has totally got it.  Especially when I’m grown-up. 

Sometimes I sing my roommates awake or shoot them with Nerf guns.  Sometimes I do homework and sit in front of books and stuff.  Sometimes I think about making a fort or communicate only through song.  Sometimes I pay bills and keep records of things.  And sometimes, I like to cuddle up in my heavenly father’s arms, because yes, even grown-ups do that. 

I’M GETTING MARRIED! *SQUEAAAAAAAL*

Hello everyone!  I haven’t blogged in a very long time and I apologize.  I seriously was going to do one about Christmas cards closer to Christmas, but I hit “save draft” and was having technical difficulties uploading pics.  Excuses, excuses.  In the news: I’M ENGAGED!  If you want to know the story, it’s really long and I’m sorry, but I’m not telling it today.  Dr. Wile E. Coyote planned out this whole big long day, and it was wonderful.  That was New Year’s Eve (at like, 2pm, because that’s when he could get into the building where we had summer project, aka, where we met).  Since then, I’ve been a “giggly mess” according to Doc WEC, and I’ve begun wedding planning and talking to friends, telling them the story, etc, etc.  I was on Skype for 5 hours today!  (One of those calls being to the pre-doc.  I pretty much love talking with him all the time.  And that was only for like, two hours.)

I said yes before he was even done talking.  Not that I have a patience problem or anything.  :)
I said yes before he was even done talking. Not that I have a patience problem or anything. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about my relationship with D and how fast and how far we’ve come in the last, eh, five months.  I now zoom in on Genesis 24 and talk about D and my relationship at the same time:

Back in July, D told me that he was interested in pursuing me.  In Genesis 24, we see a servant who is sent by Abraham to find a wife for Isaac, and this was quite the task.  The woman was to say something specific, and then the servant was to bring the woman back to the foreign land where Abraham lived with his wife and son.  So the servant goes.  He finds her, this woman for Isaac.  And then he tells her to come with him.  Her family is all like “Ehhh….” but she’s like, “I will go” (v58b).  So she goes with Abraham’s servant and BOOM!  Wife for Isaac.  Backing up to the first sentence of this paragraph: Dr. Wile E. Coyote tells me he’s interested in pursuing me.  There’s a condition, that he’s going to go to a med school that’s way out of state.  First thing I told him?  “I’ll go anywhere.”  In a sum up (because I don’t remember exactly what I said), I told him what Ruth told Naomi in Ruth 1:16: “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.”  I told him that I can teach anywhere, and if God has another job for me, I’ll do that wherever God brings me.  And God was working in our relationship like crazy.  My friend Marissa calls us “like, 1200 kinds of adorable.”

Now, we’re planning a wedding for the month before he starts med school.  And it will be hard.  A new place, and the only person I’ll know is Dr. Coyote.  It’ll be a different culture, too, and I’ll be totally starting over.  I mean, now is def the time to make such a drastic move.  A couple months back, I was reading Deuteronomy and God told me to go ahead and go to Kentucky (this was before D had officially accepted the offer).  Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of (x), for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.”  (X could equal anything you want.  For me, this was a lot of fear of the unknown.)  Isn’t God great?  D and I talk about scripture and pray together, and it is great.  That’s what first made us notice each other.  [Insert silly lovesick puppy smiley face here.]

I sent this picture to my family/friends to tell them this happened (not that they weren't expecting to hear something sometime soon, I guess)
I sent this picture to my family/friends to tell them this happened (not that they weren’t expecting to hear something sometime soon, I guess)

Anyhoo, the next few months seem to be busy ones, but I’m excited.  They’ll be good.  And I’m getting MARRIED to my best friend!  That’s the most exciting part.  Is there a most exciting part?  Well, that’s probably it.  There’ll be lotsa other good stuff, too.  I have no idea what job I’ll have in KY or where exactly we’ll be living.  But as Abraham tells his worried servant in Genesis 24:7, God is totally at work here.  Wanna bet?  Everything will be fine, because “God will send his angel before you.”  His way will come to pass.  And so far, I like his way much better than mine.

In his grace,

the soon-to-be Mrs. Wile E. Coyote *squeal*

Did I just have mud rubbed in my eyes?

It’s crazy how you don’t notice things God is doing sometimes, and then suddenly, it’s like your eyes have been opened and you see him everywhere.  Like how I had a pretty great last week at the elementary school, and I received hugs from students as they were leaving the room as I stood there for the last time with their class.  Today, I drove around a lot, and it rained tons.  But on my last drive home, I saw two different rainbows.  Beautiful.  And those cloud formations were just lovely.  There’s also something about a combine in a field that makes me smile.  And last weekend, I got to go and see Dr. Wile E. Coyote in person (we met halfway in the middle, which happens to be the town he went to college in, so he knows it well), and we went on dates and spent time together and read the word together.  It was great.  Or noticing that South Dakota, where I live, doesn’t have the gas tax that Minnesota has?  (It’s ridiculous.)  Getting to spend time with Youngest Sister and hang out with Sarah and have discipleship with my girls and find such enjoyment playing music!  Music is a whole ‘nother beauty in itself that I could go on and on about.  But I have in the past.  I went out for lunch with the ‘rents, and my mom was joking that she would call Doc WEC’s workplace and ensure that he had November 29th off so he could come for thanksgiving.  Seriously, if anyone knows how to get one off work, let me know.  Thanksgiving is also my birthday.  Just sayin.

Looking around, I see the many blessings that have been in my life.  My family, the opportunity I’ve had to go to school and become a teacher, my friends.  Dr. Wile E. Coyote is a blessing, and we point each other to Jesus so much.  The fact that my family lives so close to me for a time?  The fact that the pre-doc was accepted to med school already?  So many things.  And while I ask for more and expect the LORD to continue to do wondrous things, I can only say thank you and praise him for what he has done so far.  I look back on my life in its entirety and see how far he’s brought me.  I submitted my book proposal last week.  I ask for prayers for that.  And for the future and all that encompasses it.  I trust God with it, and I am super happy that someone is standing next to me, holding my hand and walking and trusting with me the One who holds all things together.

Smiling especially thankfully,

Anna

Jesus, My Saving Grace, as Long as Life Endures

So, I’m a little tentative to put some things on my blog.  However; this is how I cope, and I wanted to share all Jesus’ reassurings he’s been showing me and giving me lately.  It is okay when you struggle with anything.  We live in a broken world, and life wouldn’t be lived well without struggles.  Keep on, keeping on!  Also, pray.  — Anna

 

The flooding waters are black with despair and illness.  Depression cuts through the waves and tries to take down any person it can.  I see my sister sinking.  “Help her, Jesus!  Pick her up!”  And he does.  But she is still in the water.

“You were sinking?” a doc asked my sister.  What if she begins to sink again? he wonders to himself.  And so a life boat is called to retrieve her.  It’s not a real life boat, though.  It’s a fleshful, temporary vessel.  I call upon the life boat that saves and redeems, the true God who cares for each of his children even more than any could imagine.  He can use the temporary vessel and anything he wants to so that his work can be done.  I don’t see my sister.

I am sitting on a life raft, as well.  The MS that inhibits my body tries to pull me down into the waters.  Depression splashes onto my body, too, but the real life boat has pulled me out of the waters before.  I see my sister clinging to the real life raft she had been on before, as all go with the other life boat.

“The waters had come up to my neck, but you saved me, oh God,” I whisper.  “There is no foothold in these miry depths, and one grows weary crying out to you.  But you answered me with your salvation, as you do so often.  Your great love rescues me from the mire and delivers me from the deep, black waters.  Now come near to my sister and rescue her, as well.”  (From Psalm 69)

I had never known what it was like, being the sister of someone with MS, like mine.  I’m the diagnosed person, but I think I understand.  MS affects everyone, as does every illness or disease flesh suffers from.  I helplessly watch her being taken away, and there is nothing I can do as they send me home.  I worry like crazy about her, and I plead with the real life boat’s captain.  “Anna,” he tells me, “I totally got this.  Just trust me.”

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving (Ps 69:30).  I worship him.  “Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, oh God.  Do not forget the helpless (Ps 10:12).  I cry to you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.  Those who know your name trust in you (Ps 9:10).

“The Lord has promised good to me; his Word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures” (Amazing Grace, verse 4) He will my raft and sails be, long after found are cures.  As long as life endures.


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Wee! God is Great!

I feel like I should write a post today.  I dunno, I’m just giddy, I guess.  Does anyone else say “Wee!” when they’re super excited, or is that just me?  So many things have been pretty awesome lately.  Codename “Dr. Wile E. Coyote” and I became Facebook official yesterday.  We met on Summer Project in Milwaukee, like, two years ago.  Not that we’ve spent much time in the same place since then.  Unless you count Skype?  No, I didn’t think so.  But, some of our friends from Project those few years ago weren’t at all surprised.  Is it weird when everyone else catches something, but it takes the actual people a while to figure it out?  Anyway, moving on.  This post is not just about Dr. Wile E.  J  At the beginning of the summer, I prayed for a friend.  Well, it’s the end of the summer, but I totally found one.  She’s going to PT school, and this morning over breakfast told me all about what part of the brain affected what, and she tried things and watched me walk and stuff like a physical therapist does.  She asked me if she could do tests on me, because studying on a live person is way better than flashcards.  So, she’s gonna work on rehab stuff with me, strengthening and walking right again.  I’m pretty excited.  I like hearing about what other people know a lot about and are interested in.  I asked my friend Marissa last year about WWI, and her being a history nerd completely, was super excited that I was actually interested and genuinely wanted to know.  Kind of like Sarah this morning.  She told me to stop her if I didn’t want to hear that stuff, but I was really excited.  She told me where she thought some of my lesions might be and why.  When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t care about these things whatsoever.  A teenager who didn’t care where the heck the lesions were, just that they were there?  I find talk about the complexity of the human body very interesting.  And bam, Dr. Wile E. isn’t a doctor, yet, but he’s applying to med schools, and warned me that I’d hear a lot about what he’s learning when he does start school.  I’m not a science person, but I do find it interesting.  I’m a music and writing-type person.  The fine arts are my specialty.  Everything else?  Well, that’s why we’re all so different.

I’m also super excited, because on Monday, I’m going to be going over my story with Jody, and she’ll be done copy-editing.  Dr. Wile E. says he wants to be done going through it around then, too.  Wee!  My cousins are back from being camp counselors at Christikan (I may have spelled that wrong), and I got to help my aunt Sally set up her first-grade classroom yesterday.  Reading through some psalms just makes me excited about Jesus, too.  He has done so many great things, from Abraham to Moses, and now for us, it’s so amazing.  He is perfect and just and righteous.  David’s psalms of praise reflect the praises of my heart.  I write psalms, too, but not very many are so wonderfully worded.  Just READING the Word instead of writing is like a hug from God, and it’s all I need.  I write as a form of praise to him, also, but no words nor songs nor works can ever thank him enough for all he is and does.  He’s just great.  Wee!

Anna

The Correct Path? (Is it even possible to find?)

Once upon a time, there was a writer who liked to write.  And a blogger who liked to blog. (Same person.)   She was not only a hobby-writer, but also a musician and a soon-to-be teacher, as long as this next semester goes well.  And then, this writer/blogger/musician/teacher, wanted to add something else and so she had a genius idea to go to seminary.  This person that I’m talking about in third person is actually me, if you didn’t guess, and I want to do everything.  Oh, and I hobby-compose music, too.  It’s super fun.  But if I try to do all of the previously mentioned things, will I be only “okay” at everything?

Let’s ease up as I remember that the Lord has totally got my back and my future, so I don’t have to worry about that.  Whatever I decide to do will be in his will, even if I become something totally different and unrelated to all of the above.  If I suddenly became a janitor, that would be God’s will, too.  But I don’t foresee that happening EVER, and we get the point that everything we do is in God’s will.  Don’t you think he is bigger than that?  Of course he is.  He has not just chosen ONE path for your life.  When there are options before you, you get to choose.  We were given freewill, after all.  And don’t get into a big argument about Calvinism, because that doesn’t matter.  Yes, we have options.  We can chose any path before us and it will be the right one.  I was Skyping with my friend Ola on Sunday, and she was sharing about how we are each unique.  YES.  We are unique and the Holy Spirit is in each of God’s children.  And that, my friends, is incredible.  In Exodus, the Holy Spirit came to one man and the tabernacle was built perfectly.  The Holy Spirit is in each of us, so no matter what we do, it won’t be wrong.  The Spirit will USE us wherever we are and whoever we’re in contact with.  Our job is to remember him and let him live through us, so that these things are possible.  Not saying that they aren’t if we don’t, but it certainly makes things easier and makes you, the person who asks the Holy Spirit to move through you, more aware of what he is doing.

But sometimes I doubt a lot.  Actually, a lot of times.  My music ed prof talked about me filling out job applications while I’m student teaching when he saw me today, and I get really excited, because it would be so fun!  But what about seminary?  How long will that wait?  Until I get burned out from teaching?  The average music teacher lasts about three years.  But to spite that number, I will make myself go at least four.  Not that I like to spite statistics, but I kind of do.  How many years will I teach before seminary?  Because I want to do both.  And also, a book that I finished this summer is being copy-edited by a friend/neighbor/retired English prof who I’m giving horn lessons to (and she is my very best student in SO many ways).  I’m pretty excited.  I need some prayer there, please, ‘cuz I’m planning to send it in to some publishers at the end of the summer.  (Smiley face)

The Lord has a unique path designed for you, and you get to choose the direction.  Well, God is ultimately in control, so he will use the direction you take for his glory.  Pray and ask him to use the steps you take!  And, if you get impatient with life like I sometimes do, just remember that his timing is ALWAYS perfect, whether we like it or not.  God can do some pretty awesome things in the waiting-period, just saying.

Anna

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Trust, Boaz Boards, Worry, and Other Thoughts

Yesterday’s post was frantic and scatter-brained, maybe.  I dunno.  I guess it’s what happens when I just write and am not listening at all.  The “future” is kind of a touchy subject, but as I have developed more of a relationship with God, it is easier not to take it into my own hands and stress over it.  Sometimes I try to flush the worry that comes into my mind out, reminding myself of the trust I don’t want to take away from the Lord.  Other times, when I start to worry about my future, the people and events in it, I just pray about it.  It is okay to say, “God, this is what I really want to happen.”  I have laid it all out for him, what I want out of life and what I want to do.  But we all must remember the heart behind it.  “Okay, God.  That is what I want,” (sometimes I detail it, even), “but it’s not up to me.  My future is in your hands, and I trust you with it.”  Sometimes actually telling him what’s wrong or what’s bothering you helps, even though he knows it already.

Three different Bible studies or life groups I have led or co-led in the last few years have gone through the book of Ruth.  We make a list of character traits for Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz.  The groups are made up of college women, and the week after we’re through chapter four, we bring general scrapbook supplies.  Then, we make a “Boaz Board.”

They are all so different, but they say similar things.  Mine is the upper left.
They are all so different, but they say similar things. Mine is the upper left.

On these boards of sort that we make are all the characteristics of Boaz from the book of Ruth, along with characteristics that we want in our own “somebody” someday.  I think it is good to know what to wait for, 2/3 of these groups being freshmen.  However, it is important to remember that these are not a checklist.  I was talking about this with the last group I made these with in May.  There are obviously more important things on the board than others (like loves the Lord with all his heart, soul, and mind), but just making the board, I think, helps encourage all these young women not to settle, because that’s not what God wants for any of us.  This is related to the first paragraph—the future.  I have made three “Boaz Boards,” and though there are definite similarities, they are all different and say different things slightly.  It is interesting, too, because the girls’ personalities are reflected in their boards.  It’s great.  So if any of you are leading a young women’s Bible study, go through Ruth and discuss each chapter, making a list of characteristics of each person.  Then, at the end, make a Boaz Board!  It’s fun and it keeps girls coming and engaged.

This is the first one I ever made, when I was not the head of the group for this part and just a part of it.  It's my favorite one.  :)
This is the first one I ever made, when I was not the head of the group for this part and just a part of it. It’s my favorite one. 🙂

Anyhoo, I got off-topic slightly, but it all points to the fact that not knowing what will happen is okay.  Yes, sometimes I do these healthy things to deter worry and crush it because my faith is awesome.  But there are times I still do worry and freak out a little (like yesterday?).  This happens a lot when I’m having a bad day MS-wise, or decision deadlines are nearing fast.  Is it a sin to worry?  By worrying, you are taking away your faith in God and trying to do things yourself, realize it or not, so…yes, worry is a sin.  At least that’s my take.  What do you worry about?

Anna