First, I have to admit it's awfully nice when things are on God's time. I have been trying to write this particular post for a few weeks, and could not manage to get more than a sentence out without deleting. And after praying about it, I realized I was trying for force things on my own. So, when God tells you to move…. you move. And he did so, while in the middle of reading something else, and finally I felt that "click" inside me that said "GO WRITE BEFORE THE WORDS LEAVE YOU." (The caps lock was needed because that little voice inside me is actually speaking with such urgency and thrill)
-Growing up, my little brother and I had a green, giant toy box in our basement play area. It housed all of our toys collectively and in a mess of a way. Being that we were kids, after playtime when Mom would tell us to clean things up, we would just throw the toys in the box haphazardly. We would cram it in, push the lid down, and then I'd make my brother sit on it so it would close. As we grew older, we collected more toys. And as we did, Mom would ask us to go through the toy box and get rid of old toys to make room for the news one.
We were kids, so obviously we didn't do what Mom asked. We just jammed the news toys in, and proceeded to step harder on the lid when we cleaned up.
So every few months, Mom would get ticked and we would hear her dump our toy box out. We could hear it being dumped throughout the house because of the distinct noise of Legos running along the plastic of the box. Mom would start to sort the toys in the box, and make piles of my girly things, and my brother's excessive Nerf gun bullets. A pile for beanie babies. A pile for broken items.
And we would sit in the middle of the staircase and watch her. We weren't purposely trying to be rude, we just knew she was on a roll. She had her system, and while she may have been annoyed that she was doing it instead of us, she always did a good job because the box would be only half full (or half empty depending on who you ask) and we'd have a garbage bag of toys to give away.
Now fast forward to being 23-years-old with the giant green toy box and my toys being passed on. At 23, my world fell apart. I hit rock bottom, I had no idea who I was. I sat crying on my family's couch one day just begging to feel better. Begging God for some healing, something to make me not feel so empty.
Only, I really wasn't empty. I was full. Of crap actually. Not in a cute "You're filled with Christ" sort of way (which I was… but that's not the point.) I had picked up junk throughout my years. Bad habits, bad attitudes towards things, wrong thinkings. They had begun to overflow in me, and it was just how I could never see exactly how many toys I really had in my toy box because I had so much other crap. I couldn't see exactly who I was, who God wanted me to be because I had so much hurt and anger from years of being in… life.
I remember the conversation asking Dad what to do because I just wanted to be better. I was frustrated, nearly yelling at him because I knew this wasn't how I wanted to feel. I remember just frantically praying for some sort of healing. And then crying until I really had no more energy to even hold myself sitting upright. I know, that's dramatic. But being that I really just wanted to make God happy, I just wanted whatever He wanted, I'm allowed to be dramatic.
I'm not sure on the particular timing of the next part because it was so gradual. But I do know one day, Dad looked at me and told me I was different. We sat down and discussed how I was the same little girl I used to be. I wasn't a bossy, harsh, stressed-out woman I had developed into. And I told him, I felt like I had been opened up and dumped out. So for a month I felt wide open and vulnerable while God put me back together.
Then one day, I finally noticed who I was. I know that sounds cliche, but I noticed that all the crap I picked up through rough times in life pretty much diminished. I still had those qualities I felt like God always wanted me to have: compassion, a sweet disposition, a quiet drive.
And somewhere along the way as I tried to articulate this in my head, I connected how Mom used to dump out our toy box, and we would watch her purge the junk we didn't need, and put back the toys we always loved. And I couldn't praise God enough for dumping my own toy box and putting back ONLY what He wanted. And all I had to do, in more or less words, was ask him to.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
[ Let me preface this by saying two things:
- I'm putting this story out there and there may be some of you who think we're those crazy Christians who probably cast out evil spirits and rebuke the devil, in which case I'd tell you, yes we are and we're totally fine with that.
- This isn't the first weird incident we have incountered with God, and it won't be the last time I share neither. I'm working on getting my creative forces in align as my aunt and I begin the process of writing our first book. So bare with me as I try to find my voice in writing styles. ]
The long and the short of the story is God logged into our Amazon account (or maybe he bi-passed all that and just made it happen. He's God, He can do whatever he wants) and bought a devotional book to add to our prayer life. No, we didn't have a spammer/hacker buy us Christian devos into our own account (because if someone was going to hack our account, why would you buy a devotional?)
But really, God logged into our Amazon account and bought us a Kindle book.
But really, God logged into our Amazon account and bought us a Kindle book.
Found on Amazon here.
As a family, we have been praying together every night before. After a few months of doing this, we noticed our prayers were very routine and kind of lackluster. So, one night we asked God to lead us into what we should be praying, what to ask Him, how to seek Him. After saying "amen" we all headed to bed. The next morning, my dad texted me.
When I called my dad, he explained that this morning when we did his morning reading, he saw that he had a new Kindle book in his Kindle carousel. He assumed when I was in bed last night, I found a new book for us and ordered it. My dad and I are the only ones with our Amazon password. My brother doesn't really read, and I use the Kindle app on my iPad to read books that my dad has already finished.
But at 10:37pm, nearly a half an hour after we prayed to be lead, this book was purchased, and downloaded to our Amazon kindle account.
After telling my dad that I didn't buy it, and in fact have never heard of the book, he started laughing. Instead of laughing, I racked my brain with potential ways hackers could have logged into our account. But why would a hacker buy a Christian devotional where each day you read something about God's different names? And we don't have "1-Click" buying on Amazon, so it's not like I accidentally clicked on the book to buy.
My dad came home that day and joked about how if God was going to log into our account, He could have at least paid for it Himself? (Obviously a joke. We don't mind paying for our own devotionals. That money is definitely worth it.) A few days passed, and no new hacks happened. So we laughed with God, telling Him "Of course you'd use technology."
We don't know if God was trying to tell us to read this book and we just didn't hear Him. We don't know if He was just being funny and showing us what we can do. God does that, you know. But either way, we went with it. It's a year-long book where you read one page each day, and at the end is a little prayer that we include with praying as a family.
We haven't seen anything crazy result from reading this book. Some days the devotional speaks to one of us like crazy, and we chalk it up to God speaking to us. Other days we just hum and mumble "Interesting" after reading. But it's important to understand that sometimes we don't see the result of our prayers right away. I like to think of prayers as getting loaded into an account that God is able to use.
As for our Kindle account, God hasn't bought any other books. But He has used my dad's Kindle in funny other ways, and also an incident where God sent an email from my uncle's account about a car. But those will be saved for when you guys think I'm less crazy.