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From toddlers to teens — graduation season


As I’ve mentioned before, the Bible Study I’m in is currently covering Revelation. One thing the teacher, Kris Langam from Through the Word ministries keeps saying is that God often shakes our world until we don’t have anything left to hold on to, and we have to reach for Him.

That’s how much God loves us and plans what is best for our future. I didn’t say it would always be fun. But shaking our world is necessary —  especially if we don’t listen the first time.

Raising kids brings back a lot of memories. Remember when that toddler was trying so hard to learn to walk? Up down, up down, then they might get a few steps in while holding on to the coffee table. Then they fall and bust their lip on the coffee table.

My husband’s family had a huge round piece of marble with a “B” inscribed on it. It’s been in our home since the boys were babies. It’s beautiful and makes a great coffee table — except when kids are learning to walk. I remember we removed it from its stand and rolled it into a bedroom to store under the bed for a while when there were too many toddlers learning to walk. (I had the feeling of rolling away the tomb stone of Jesus — it’s that big and heavy.)

Thankfully, toddlers grow up. Do you remember how painful elementary school could be? Kids can be so cruel with their name calling that was supposedly “teasing” but still hurt your feelings.

Boys used to be so mean to me. Then someone told me they liked me and that’s why they teased me so much. Hummmmm — that kind of changed my tune a little bit. Maybe boys aren’t so awful. (It was interesting that God let me live in a boy’s locker room aka: our home) for many years before they married and left the nest.

Then toddlers become teenagers. Feels like it happens that fast. I remember the insecure feelings of being a teenager and trying to have good friends to hang with. Life just felt like one big awkward moment. I’m very thankful for an active youth group at church and Bill and Norma Carter who tried to help me keep my head on straight. I didn’t always listen. Shame on me. 

Then there’s also that pressure of “what are you going to do with your life?” I came from a great Christian family, but at that point, my best friend (who is a girl) and I were going to move out of our parents’ homes and get an apartment somewhere with a swimming pool. Our goal was to have a great tan. I’m not sure that plan would have worked with our current job situation paying the bills I didn’t realize would come.

I dated some guys who weren’t that good for me and then Christmas break came around and it’s like God hit me over the head with a baseball bat and I fell in love with a guy home from Bible College. We had been good friends for years. But how can you know on your first date that you belong together and it feels like a God thing? That happened for both of us.

I was too stubborn and hard headed to come to that point on my own. God had to shake my world until there was nothing left but Him to hang on to. That’s when He brought my future husband into my life and I agreed to be a missionary’s wife. That was Howard’s major at that time. Before graduation, that call changed to be a pastor. By that time, I was so in love I’d be the best janitor’s wife I could be, if that’s what God called Howard and I to do. 

If God appears to be shaking your world right now, know it’s for a reason. He may be trying to get your attention about something very important. God has the perfect Plan A for us to follow. Sometimes I feel like I mess up His plan and He’s down to Plan ZZ. But it’s OK. I’m still in His care, and that’s the best place a person can be. 

Bottom line. God has a plan — a great plan for your life. If you are still breathing, it’s not too late to jump on board. Sure you may have some scars and mistakes following you, but God can take care of those things, too. Still have questions? Visit truelife.org and you will find what you are looking for. God is waiting for you.


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