A Real Home - Sequel

 

            Hi! In case you don’t know me yet, go back and read A Real Home. That was the story of my life up until graduation, but now I am a bit older and would like to share a few things God taught me as a teen.

               teen girl lying on side

 

1. God‘s will - When I was 15, I wanted to go on a missions trip to Ethiopia for three months to work with a nurse. I felt God might be calling me into medical missions in the 10-40 window so this was perfect - right?  Wrong.  My parents said, “No.” They weren’t letting me grow up.  They did pick one trip they would allow me to go on. I really wasn’t too impressed, but it was better than nothing. I went to Mexico for a week. I loved it! I came home a completely different kid. A big way God leads is through our parents.

                                                                        money bundles

2. Faith - Once it was decided I was going to Mexico, I had to come up with money. It was also my last chance to go to nursing camp - more money. Total: about $1450. Every penny counted, I had $355 - and I could only work 5 hours/week.  Then came 9-11-2001. Suddenly there weren’t enough flags to go around. In disaster, God gave me an opportunity. As a wholesaler my dad could get flags for me and I could start a business. My parents challenged me to test the Lord and give ALL the profits to God for the trip and watch Him work. Gulp! …..Well, I did & He did---work - that is.  End result: God tripled the amount I had invested.  My church helped too. I not only got to go to both Mexico and nursing camp, but drama camp as well. God does do above what we ask or think.

 

3. God’s sovereignty- when I was 4, I asked Mommy, “If God is really in control why did He let so many bad things happen to me?” God showed me these things happened so I could be saved and raised in a Christian home. I also had hated the state for making me visit my birth mother (Remember I was an adopted foster kid.),  because if I knew that if I didn’t know her it wouldn’t hurt when she died. Again God showed me that I not only had to know her, but love her and pray for her so she could be saved, despite the pain.   

 

                                               desk with books

4. Honesty -  Um,…I cheated on schoolwork. I lied. I stole. No matter what Mom did, I still found ways around her. But I couldn’t find ways around God. He gives parents wisdom. I had to re-do every assignment I ever cheated on and more. It would have been so much easier for all if I had done my work right the first time.  Looking back, I really wish I had been more serious about school. The classes I hated the most: Spanish, Pre-calc, and Physics, were the ones I needed most later on. My parents’ choices had been right for me again. In addition, I learned what genuine forgiveness for my dishonesty was through a man at our church.

 

5. Purity - In 9th grade, while listening to my biology teacher, I decided in my heart that I would remain pure, not date until I was old enough to get married, and not date anyone who was not going to the mission field. I really wanted one of those purity rings to show I had made a vow to God, but while my parents knew what I had decided, they completely missed the ring idea. Parents aren’t perfect. It took them 9 years to catch on. For my 22nd birthday my father presented me with a diamond ring and a card on purity including Numbers 30:3-4 “If a woman vow a vow unto the Lord,… being in her father’s house in her youth, and her father hear her vow… then all her vows shall stand.”                                                                         

                         Purity - a priceless treasure.          ring with diamond cross

                                   My ring - a public testimony.

                                              Dad’s ceremony - a precious moment.

 

           

            When I graduated, I was 17, just old enough to drive. Since Mom had lost her license because of seizures, I had to learn to drive. When I got my license, I got the privilege of doing all of Mom’s driving. What a pain!

            patient in bed

            Then Mom got cancer. I was working full-time for a hospital. Every Friday I took off to take Mom to chemotherapy - waiting 6-8 hours, because I was so scared I would lose her. Even with that going on, I got to go back to Mexico for a second time.  The hitch that year was that my grandmother, who was helping to take care of Mom, had suddenly gotten deathly sick. I didn’t want to leave Grandma, but she told me to do what the Lord wanted and not to worry about her.  I left, knowing I might not ever see her again on earth. The night I got home I was really excited about all those who had gotten saved, but when my parents picked me up at the airport they told me to just be quiet. My grandmother had gone into a coma.  She had cancer too. Four days later Grandma went to Glory.

            

            Health deteriorated again, Mercury levels climbed, this time leaving severe pain and neuropathy. I wore braces on both wrists and ankles. Blood sugars went crazy, and I went on an insulin pump. Asthma flared and ankles swelled. I got forced off the EMT squad I really wanted to work on. I also realized I couldn’t physically make it through nursing or med school. (I was going to be a medical missionary - remember?) I couldn’t even go to the college I wanted to either.  Life was the pits again.

                                                         box ambulance

 

            The only good thing was that I could go back to Mexico again for the 3rd time - this time for 2 weeks. My childhood friend was coming too, but a hitch popped up this year too. One week we had a small group of kids who engaged in cliquishness, hurtful pranks, and foolishness. They not only put a damper on the week, but they were a discouragement to the other kids. One of those was my friend. Praise God she loved Him enough to continue and is now in full-time ministry serving the Lord. Learn to care about other people, seeking their salvation; and not your own selfish or foolish attitudes.

 

   insanity 2 wild colors After Mom got through the cancer thing, the doctors changed her meds. The result was a total disaster - disability both physically and mentally. She went totally insane. She had to be baby-sat 24/7. Now I had no choice. Every minute I had off work I had to relieve my dad from watching Mom so he could get in a few hours of work. I didn't know how to handle a nut case. By comparison, cancer was easy. More pits!

 

                                                                                paramedic

 During all this time I finally got into paramedic school,  and my physical  problems faded away. My blood sugar problems had vanished. I had gone through intense physical therapy, and the pain, weakness, and neuropathy had disappeared. Praise the Lord! My life was finally getting back on track, but I was still stuck with a loony for a mom. The worst part was not being able to help. After all, as en EMT, I was supposed to be able to help. That created a tremendous battle inside. Instead of seeking the Lord's strength, I sought escape. I had to get out of the house, so I went to the stores. I started spending. I got myself into deep credit card debt, something I have only finished paying back 3 years later. While taking care of Mom, I had gained control over her; but when she started getting better, she tried to start controlling my life again - just like I was still a kid. That made things really bad. I was 20 and had been on my own for 3 years. I didn't think I needed her "help" any more. There were, and still are, clashes. I'm still trying to learn to honor my parents, instead of just obeying them.

 

             Now I’m 22 and things are changing. When I was a teen I wanted privileges: my own apartment, my own car, my own job, my own money, my own friends, my own choices, my own freedom, and my own life. Today I have all these - and the responsibilities.

 

1. An apartment, with increasing rent and utility bills;

 

2. A van, a gas guzzler with high repair bills;

                                                                       red van

3. An EMT job, 50 hours/week, the responsibilities of driving 12 hours/day in miserable and dangerous traffic situations - sometimes at 80 mph (That part’s cool.); the job of saving failing lives . . .sometimes unsuccessfully;  schedule problems; and an additional 2 hours driving to and from work every day;

 

4. Money  - to tithe, give, save, pay bills and school necessities, and nothing to spend;

 

5. Friends - those ungodly people I work with - a mission field. I do have acquaintances at church, but with no time to develop relationships. And I’ve never even had a date. Except for Mom and Dad, I am alone - I have no parties, no cruising through town with friends in a sporty convertible, long hair blowing in the wind . . .

         medics with patient

             6. Choices - employment - which job to take; college - what to study, then homework and a 2-day/week-on-the-street internship; church - joining a Biblical one: responsibilities like choir, singing special music, rehearsals, and nursery on my only day off; clothes - along with the never-ending search for modest things, expense, laundry, mending, and keeping up with 4 different uniforms; music - listening to, finding, buying, practicing, and singing songs that will glorify God.

 

7. Freedom-to obey God’s authority, church authority, bosses, state EMT and paramedic protocols, dress and uniform codes, civil laws, driving laws, and landlord rules.

                                                                                                                       

8. My life - including all the consequences I bring on myself and others.  My parents kept telling me not to rush to grow up so fast: “Enjoy being a kid while you are a kid; because once you grow up, you can never go back.”  They were right again. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; But when I became a man, I put away childish things. (I Cor. 13:11).

 

                    zigzag with person

            Finally, I’m learning that sometimes God doesn’t always take us through the shortest, straightest path to get us where we are going. Sometimes He zigzags. My plans for being a medical missionary were completely changed  around - but God is still faithful. Lord willing, I’ll  finish my internship and residency; and take my state boards March 2009.  I plan to work as a paramedic for a while, then go back to school for nursing after all.  I’m praying too that the Lord will provide a husband who shares my heart’s desire for missions.  

                                                           

 

            It’s been 19 years since I first stood at that old brown door of my parents’ apartment. Much has happened since then, but in each situation I am learning to know God. I need to seek Him first in everything.  “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Pm. 37:4                                                  

 

 orange rose

Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 20 ... unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

2 Corinthians 8:21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

1 Corinthians 6:13b Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

A Real Home-Sequel: Word Search

A Real Home-part 1

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