Thursday, December 14, 2006

In All Thy Ways Acknowledge Him...

"and He shall direct thy paths."

God really does work all things together for good for those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. I've been thinking a lot lately about the little things that seemed miniscule at the time they happened, that proved to lead to life altering things. A year ago yesterday, Ben put the letter in the mail seeking my Dad's permission to court me. Just over a year ago, we joined Cornerstone Baptist Church, where we still attend.

I was thinking about little events leading up to it, and really...the first thing I can remember is when Mom and Dad decided to get me a subscription to Guide Post for Teens, a "Christian" magazine for teenagers, that is no longer in print. After receiving it for a year or so, I headed over to their website and joined their discussion forum. A few months later, in December of 2003, a debate about predestination was started by a user called AJLightBearer. Aaron is Ben's older brother. Upon debating with him briefly, we began talking over IM. Shortly after, I became acquainted with Lauren, their younger sister (who is now 19) over IM, as well. The following December (of 2004), my Mom, Dad, and I met up with Aaron and Lauren, at their church. Ben drove them there. That meeting, though short, was a great blessing.

Just 3 short months later, Ben and Lauren came down to minister in Pinellas Park, FL, where Terri Schiavo was being starved to death, and they stayed at our house. Had we not met up previously, they likely would not have come over. This is when Ben and I got to know eachother some, and after spending one day in Pinellas (April 2 is the post date) with them, it was also when my interest in pro-life ministry was sparked. About a month after Ben and Lauren returned to Virginia (I think it was towards the middle of May), Ben and I began PMing through their family's discussion board. We quickly became friends.

At the time, I was trying to figure out a way that I could homeschool, with both of my parents working. Knowing the transition from public school (for K-9th grade) would be quite a big one, we decided it would be good if I went to a homeschooler school. Our first attempt failed, as they wouldn't let me in because both of my parents worked. A friend of my parents' from our former church told us about a school called Smith Prep. It was exactly what we were looking for.

Around the time I was registering with them, I read an article on the Murch family's discussion board by a lady who did pro-life ministry in Orlando, named Patte Smith. I remember thinking how amazing it would be to hook up with her, because I really wanted to get involved--God had placed a burden in me for the helpless unborn. Within a day, we received a letter (via e-mail) from Mr. Smith, of Smith Prep. In the signiture of the email, I saw the name "Patte Smith." I quickly put two and two together, and realized that she was the same woman who wrote the article. I became very excited, and Dad said it was fine if I began ministering with her, since she was my teacher's wife. So, June 4th, I went for the first time (and if you're a regular reader, you know I still do).

It was through the testimony of the sidewalk counselors, as well as the recommendation of Mr. Smith that we decided to visit Cornerstone. The first week we went, I was sold (I'd been listening to Pastor Dave on the radio for a couple of weeks--he's SO good!). Within a few weeks, Mom and Dad were too. Also, Ben and my friendship continued to blossom, and on December 23, it will be exactly 1 year since our official courtship began.

What a joy the last couple of years of my life has been--what a journey God has brought me on! It really is amazing to take a look back and see how He so clearly works everything together for His won purposes. He is so good, and has blessed me (and continues to!) me SO FAR beyond what I deserve (His undilluted fury and wrath).

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