Thursday, June 29, 2006

On Driver's Education (and then some on ministry)

I studied hard for the course, partially to do well but more to learn what I will need to know. I got an A+ in the course, and on Friday my Mom took my sister and I to get our permits renewed (she's 20). On Sunday, I drove home from church on my third permit.... One of the young men from my congregation was in the class. Our conversation the first day:

YCM: What are you doing here?
YCW: Taking Driver's Ed.
YCM: I always assumed you'd taken it a long time ago.
YCW: Nope.
YCM: That's cool.
YCW: No, it's not. I'm 23.

Anyway, he said hi and how are you a couple times, and sat near me at one point when we weren't in our assigned seats, which was kind of him. And apparently he said a bit at home, too, because several people congratulated me on doing driver's ed and at least one mentioned the word persecution.

To me, persecution seems a bit strong, although perhaps not inaccurate. There were expressions of frustration when I asked a question, and when I sat down at a table to take a test some or all of the others there would leave on occasion. I also took flak for trying to quiet people so that I could hear the movies we were required to watch. Just stupid juvenile things. Some of it may have been for ratting out some who had cheated after he left the room. I told the man who said he was proud of me for persecution--a friend of the family and one of my husband's best men at the wedding--just what I had told my husband the day he picked me up after some of that: "I'm just glad that I'm not at the age that I care what sixteen-year-olds think of me anymore." (And am I!)
He said something about showing even sixteen-year-olds about God (which I'm not sure I did by yelling for quiet). Later I realized that my statement could be interpreted wrong, so I told him that I hadn't meant anything bad about 16-year-olds, and he said he hadn't taken it wrong.

I really am glad that I don't have to worry what teenagers think of me--or people in general. First of all, my goal should be to please God rather than men (although I should also strive to please my husband). When I look back on my school years, when I was often reviled--not for being a Christian, but just for being my rather nerdy and socially inept self--I realize that it probably hardened me in many ways. I don't look to others for approval or permission. Not fitting in is never more than a passing regret.

When I look at the way God has orchestrated my life, both now that I am following Him and long before, I am starting to see more clearly the fingerprints of the Master Architect. Because I was unpopular throughout my school years until I met my future husband, I never had a relationship with anyone else, and God had saved me for him. Losing my firstborn six months ago, when he or she was only a few weeks old and too tiny to even see, was not what I would have chosen. But God, in his greater wisdom, has given Joseph (or Anna)'s life and taken it away for His good reason. I would give anything to be six or seven months pregnant now--but instead my baby's death, along with his cousin's birth and at least one other sign from God, led me to the research I have done and am continuing to do. Joseph's life and death mean that none of his brothers or sisters will ever be destroyed through their parents' ignorance about how birth control works. It is my main goal, now, that none of his tiny brothers and sisters in Christ will face that fate either. I told my pastor I would buy him a copy of the Alcorn book he mentions, and he said he would read it. I did not tell him I planned to order in bulk, but I hope he will let me distribute it through the church once he does read it. Otherwise I'll have to do it on my own, but I still plan to do it. And it does not bother me that I may face opposition and that I have to say tactless things--at least, not enough to stop me. Just as some fast and some eat and both do it for the Lord, I believe that some are tactful to the glory of Jesus and some are tactless to the glory of Jesus. It's not that I try to be tactless, or that I am not compassionate; I simply must say things that are by their very nature tactless, though I try to say them as tactfully as possible. And I think that a lifetime of being tactless helps me out.

So when I look at the ministy God seems to have pushed me into, and how wonderfully He has suited me to it, I am convinced that I am where He wants me to be, and awed at how He has brought me to where and who I am. And I know that Joseph is with his Father in heaven, and that he is perfectly cared for, and that one day I will see him again, on the day that God's perfect and complete plan for my life is perfectly fulfilled.


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