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Idols…

“Idols are anything in your life that takes the place of God,” my home church pastor says.

Sometimes I wonder if my idol is pain. I write about it. I think about it. I carry it around like a pack on my back.

Yes, it has given me insights to connect with others and share my life story. That is a blessing. But when it becomes more about the story than about God, we’ve got a problem. I never want it to be about that. I want to be pleasing to God. May God help me.

But I seem to put it up on a pedestal. I hold it out as a grand medal. I bring it out like the One Ring, to cackle over and polish. It thrums with power. It is my superiority. It is my badge. It is… my curse.

May God help me to let myself be defined by the future God has for me, not by the past I’ve walked. That was the advice the pastor’s wife gave me. I’ve known her family nearly forever. I remember when Pastor Jon got leukemia. I remember when he was healed. I remember when he was the kids’ pastor, and he did his Donald Duck voice for us kids. I know this family, and I trust them to speak truth and hope and direction into my life.

How do I look to God, on this Sunday? God has seen me over the years. He remembers the little girl who ran barefoot over the grass in the summer after Wednesday night church, her shoes left at the base of one of the trees. He remembers the girl with the long, fly-away brown hair atop that roof, playing her fiddle for the performances.

And now? I have become a beautiful young woman. Though I am frightened by what the future holds. Though I am bewildered by the difficult paths God has let me walk. But I want God and His will more than anything. I am the elf in the knit green shawl, her hair still long and brown, though now streaked with gold. I wear beautifully gypsy earrings and no makeup. And now I am seeking out guidance from a godly couple. I want to get well.

Let God define my future. He hasn’t failed me yet, and I don’t think He ever will. He’s had His Hand on me since I was a little girl until now. I have to give my pain to God.

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