Friday, March 26, 2010

Be the Light They Need

Psalm 145:21 -- My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
So many amazing things have been going in my life. And none of it would be possible without God. I know I don't praise Him aloud as much as I should, but He is the constant thought in my head. Every breath. Every blink of my eye.
Psalm 30:11-12 -- You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
My Bible study has been going very well, and once again, I praise the Lord for that.

I wanted to share with you the relationship I have with my sister, Ryann.

She is STILL coming to the Bible study and I can see a change in her. She and I used to fight constantly. We would say that we wished we had other sisters. We would go weeks without talking. We would belittle each other. And I was becoming used to it. But when I started the Bible study, I asked her to come, and she did. From that moment on, I could see the life of God within her.

For the record, I want to say that I'm really proud of her. I know growing up, I didn't tell her things enough. I didn't tell her how much I loved her. I didn't tell her how thankful I was that she was my sister. I never told her that I was proud of her for the things that she accomplished. I was always coming down on her. I wanted her to be like me. I wanted her to strive to be better. And for a while, I blamed myself for her turning out the way she did, wishing that I had pushed her harder.

She hasn't always chosen the best things for her life, but she has a heart of gold. I can see the life in her, crying to be let out. Friends, life circumstances, and bad choices, are pushing her down. But, when she comes to the Bible study, she asks questions. She wants to know more. She laughs; genuinely laughs. And that sound has pierced my heart. She went for so long without laughter, being mad at the world, blaming everyone for the problems in her life.

Now I see her coming back.

And it's all thanks to God.

I've prayed and prayed for her to find her way back to Him, and I tried to push her. But I soon learned that I couldn't make someone love God. I couldn't make her want His love. So I just continued to pray. I asked her to come to the Bible study, and at first she was hesitant, but she did.

She is my best friend. And sharing God with her has really brought my own life and way of doing things into perspective. I've traded harsh words with words of comfort. I've traded judgment for acceptance. I've traded anger and hatred for love. If I can't do anything else for her, I want her to know that I will always be there to comfort her, to accept her, and to love her.

One definite change that I've seen in her, is her way of emoting. She never used to tell people how she felt, she would just explode in anger, or shut down completely. The other day, for a reason that I can't come up with, I decided to be mean to her. Then 2 days later, at the Bible study, she told me that what I did really hurt her feelings. I had been planning on apologizing, but I never got around to it; I just kept feeling badly. When she brought that to my attention, I realized that it must have really gotten to her heart, because she would never have told me something like that. She would have shut down, stopped coming to the Bible studies, and built up more anger against me.

She's started telling me about her life, and the choices that she's making. I know she still has a long way to go, but don't we all? I would never boast perfection, because then I wouldn't need God in my life, and I do. More than anything.

I can see His hand prints in my life; in the different places He is working. He is molding me and shaping me, and as a result, I'm able to share that experience with people around me. I'm praying that God is showing through me.

I want to be the light that my sister needs.
Matthew 5:14 -- You are the light of the world.
I will use the rest of my life to praise God, and to thank Him for the work that He is doing in not only my life, but the life of those around me. My sister. My mother. My grandmother. And all of you who read this blog.

I want to make a final point. This blog is not to bring glory to my own name. No. It's bringing glory to the Father. He deserves all of my praise, and more. My hope and prayer is that people will use this as a way of drawing near to Him. Find Him in every day life. In the sunset, in the stars, in the moon. In the laughter of children, in a hug, in an act of giving to someone who has less than you do. I write so that I can rationalize and make sense of my own life, but it's also a way to track my spiritual growth. Sometimes, knowing that someone else is going through the same thing you are, makes it a little easier to bear.

I can't bring the world to Jesus on my own. With His spirit working in me, I can help others to find His spirit. His words to me and for me are the product of this blog. And with Him, I can reach people that are searching for truth.
Numbers 11:17 -- I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.


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with love.