Posts Tagged With: Trust

In Kona: He Restores My Soul

“He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

 He restores my soul.”

Psalm 23:2-3

My dear friends,

After over a year of anticipation, I am here in Kona!  It truly is beautiful here!  I couldn’t have asked for a smoother trip here yesterday.  Since it was my first time flying alone, I was fairly nervous, but the Lord sent me such wonderful signs that he was with me.  One of my fellow students in my program was on my plane, and I got a window see on the plane next to a very kind christian couple.  When I got off the plane, immediately there were people from YWAM there to help me!

Today is my first full day here, it is going well.  It rained hard this morning, but unlike the familiar icy cold rain found in my home in Portland, this rain was warm; full of life.  This rain felt good.  It started raining when we all gathered at the Plaza of Nations; all the new students uniting for the first time.  It rained all during our morning welcoming ceremony and orientation, then the rain lifted just as we were finishing worship and praying together.  It was as if the Lord was looking down at us and saying through the rain “I see you all gathering here in my name. I bless you all, keep doing what you are doing.”

I feel so at peace about being here.  God has made is unmistakably clear to me that this is where I need to be at this time in my life.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel scared or restless; that doesn’t mean that it is going to be easy.  The opposite actually, I know this will be very hard sometimes.  But I know that this is what God wants me to be doing, so it will be more than worth it.  I am doing my best to get rid of my expectations about these next six months.  I am trying to put aside my priorities, and make connecting with God my main priority.

When we arrived at the base, each of the students in my program was given a gift bag, with a card in it from our leaders.  In my card, I was given the word “restoration,” and the verse above: Psalm 23:2-3.  I have a hope that the Lord will restore my soul while I am here; I am going to do my best to be open to him, give him every opportunity to do so.

Plaque in the Plaza of Nations

Plaque in the Plaza of Nations

Gathering in the Plaza of Nations; right before the rain started

Gathering in the Plaza of Nations; right before the rain started

YWAM Motto: "To know God..."

YWAM Motto: “To know God…”

"...and make him known"

“…and make him known”

Thank you for reading! Please don’t hesitate to subscribe to my posts by email and check out my Go Fund Me page for updates on my funding.  I am going to try to be posting often with pictures and updates on what I’m doing and learning.  God bless you all!

Categories: In Kona | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rewind: All For You

 This is a song I wrote while listening to a sermon at church with my grandma.  I posted it on my personal blog “Choosing Joy” on November 25th, 2011.  I have been meditating on these works a lot lately! All based of scripture!

All For You

By Heather McClish – The Corpse Butterfly 

Verse 1:

       D                                  A                         Bm

I am strong in the Lord who sees past my sin,

         G                                 A

Who sees the few strengths in me.

             D                   A                 Bm

He has a purpose for my life that is good,

Em          F#m          G           A

He has a plan that I cannot see.

Chorus:

G     A      Bm        G2       A

All for you, make me all for you

                 G2             D                     G2   Asus    A

Build me strong, fill me up, help me shine for you

                G       A       Bm           F#m       A     Bm

For I know that your plan has a start and an end

            G                    D

I am yours, you are  mine

              E     E7     C2    G     A

I am beautiful to you

Verse 2:

D                            A                         Bm

I will trust in the Lord who longs for my life,

           G                                      A

Who wants to make beauty from pain.

  D                      A                     Bm

He owes me nothing and I owe it all.

  Em                 F#m        G        A

Redeemed by him it is all my gain.

Verse 3:

                    D                     A                          Bm           

I am loved by the Lord, who sees my heart,

             G                               A

My heart that is prone to wrong.

            D            A                Bm

I am nothing own my so this be my cry:

Em             F#m              G           A

My life is God’s and to him I belong

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Post Thanksgiving Update

Laughing...because sometimes the life of Heather is just unbelievable.

Laughing…because sometimes the life of Heather is just unbelievable.

Dear friends,

I am coming home from the Tri-Cities tomorrow and I NEED HELP! I have been very successful with Black Friday Shopping and have been able to get most of my Christmas/thank you gifts for people and a lot of new comfy/workout clothes for Kona. I got some new bed sheets and towels for my move also! I have been advice to get what I can here for cheap because everything is so expensive in Hawaii. So now I just need to sort everything out! I need to sort: what I am planning on bring to Kona, what clothes I am going try to sell, what items I can use for my next fundraiser or donate to my Grandma’s House, what items I need to put into storage, and what things go together to make nice Christmas gifts!

This is fun work, guys! And I have tons of yummy food to feed you and old things to give you if you so desire! But I do need help staying focused and lifting things. I also have finals week after next and need help studying! I actually enjoy my classes and homework, its just really helpful having someone with me keeping my on track and quizzing me.

I am sad to announce that I am having more health issues. I will not get into the nature of this yet because at this point there are a lot of unknowns…which is so frustrating! So my Go Fund Me site I would say is about half missions funding and half medical funding…crazy. I am excited to be ending my second day without any Dr./Urgent Care/ER visits…but I know it all will continue once I get home again. What I can say right now is that my right wrist is still giving me trouble (its is still obviously sprained/dislocated), I am very low iron and I seem to be having some heart trouble.

One more crazy hiccup in my life…my beautiful purse was stolen/lost on the bus on Tuesday! Yes, I have checked in with my bank. Yes, I have emailed Trimet. NOTHING! Finally I had all my IDs and cards in one place…then ALL GONE. Fortunately I still have my phone and keys.

So, here are the prayer/help as you can needs for right now:

  • That my purse will be returned
  • That I will have clarity concerning health decisions
  • That I will be able to focus and do well during finals
  • That I will be blessed with helpers to get things done; even the simple things are so hard sometimes
  • That my friends will be able to understand my needs and help me, especially financially
  • That I will be able to get on a good sleep rhythm
  • That I will be able to have good boundaries with certain people, no matter how much I love them
  • That I will have the energy and focus to get the important things done
  • That I will be thankful for many people and things I have been blessed with
  • That I will rely on GOD NO MATTER WHAT

I have several new blog posts in the works, including a Thanksgiving thankful post, and a recap of the Swing Dance Fundraiser…WITH PICTURES!  But this is what I have got for now. As much as I hate admitting it, I need help.

Keep updated with my Fundraising Site and Facebook Page, and of course for all my silly and/or deep thoughts on Twitter.

Blessings on you all!

Categories: Preparing for Kona, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Transfer to Lines 32, 34, 35, 79 and 154”

Well, I was going to write a post entitled “I Have a Big Mouth,” which I think I will still write sometime, but I decided to write this one instead. Today I’m going to talk about riding the bus.

Public transit has a big stigma. I really surprises me how many people will ride public transit all over the world, but never in their home town.

I rode the bus for the first time alone when I was twelve. We were taking care of my aging grandma, who we couldn’t leave the house with.  I took the bus to my dance lessons. I didn’t complain, because I knew my mother was doing the best she could.  I didn’t have a cell phone, but neither did my parents. Sometimes it was scary, but I lived.

Riding the bus has never been my favorite thing to do, but it gave me freedom.  I wasn’t completely reliant on others for rides anymore. I had the power to leave a situation of I was uncomfortable or scared.

After doing some traveling with friends in europe, public transit seemed much less taboo to me. All of my friends and I were riding transit together, no matter how well off they were back home.  Even my rich friends had to walk sometimes. I thrived, because I had done so much of that already at home.

Most of the time, I really enjoy riding the bus now! It is more relaxing than driving. I love watching people, listening to music, and running into old friends. Bus riding is very physically taxing, but emotionally calming. Its the same route, the same people, the same automated messages. For so many people, its their rhythm, their routine.

I will always associate different bus lines with certain people or events. I was asked out on my first date on a 33 bus.  I listened to endless Group 1 Crew and TobyMac while riding the 35. You get the idea.

In conclusion, riding the bus is still not my favorite thing.  Sometimes I see people I don’t like; sometimes I get scared. Its a freedom and a responsibility. Its a gift and curse. But sometimes, its ok. Sometimes listening to early in the morning sitting on the bus and listening to that certain song while watching the city outside wake up is just what I need.

What do you think? What sort of stigma do you see public transit having? How do you think it varies from place to place? Don’t forget to pray for Sarah Evans and check out my new Facebook Page! Blessings to you all!

Categories: Rewind, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rewind: Krayon Kids Camp – Joy*

Posted on my personal blog “Choosing Joy,” on July 18th, 2011.  Please read and enjoy!

*Name has been changed for the purpose of privacy. I have Chosen the name “Joy” because she brought joy to my life.

A few weeks ago I have had to wonderful privilege and opportunity to work at Krayon Kids Camp as a day camp counselor. The first half of my day I would spend with “the red group” consisting of mostly 9 and 10 year olds. I (along with the other red staff) would get them checked in, play games with the kids before camp, and then accompany the kids to their skills classes: vocal, dance, hip hop, and drama.

During lunch, which all the kids had together, so ages 7-12, I was just supposed to hang out with the kids, get the engaged with games and each other, and make sure they didn’t get into trouble. On the first day at lunch however, I met Joy.  I had already known that Joy needed some special attention, and for some reason I was very eager to meet her.  She was petite eleven-year-old, with shoulder-length blond hair. Her face was covered in freckles, and maybe some scaring, but I wasn’t sure.  I introduced myself, but mostly I just sat and watched her play.

In the afternoon, the kids were all split in different groups, workshops. They had picked which workshop they would be in when they registered for camp, but now came the chaotic part where we had to split all the kids up (not color-coded this time) and make sure they were all accounted for.  I had not been assigned a workshop that I would help in.  The camp directors just said they would put me where they needed me. With this in mind, I (trying to hide the eagerness) volunteered to go with Joy, relieving the camp counselor who had been her “buddy” in the morning .  I was briskly given an ok, and so I hurried off to join Joy in her workshop, which turned out to be “Glee Disney.”

It was an instant connection. As we started singing through the familiar Disney songs and learning the lyrics, we smiled at each other, beaming. For the record, I LOVE Disney songs. Apparently so did Joy. She was incredible. She sang so beautifully, and she had the most beautiful smile.  Before I knew it,  I was being told that it was time for me to take a break, and I realized it was mid afternoon, and I hadn’t eaten or taken a break at all. As I left, she looked at me with those beautiful eyes, saying, “You leave me? Please, come back soon!”

After that, I was given “Joy Duty” for the afternoons, and I loved it. Some days were good days, and sometimes they weren’t.  Her workshop was actually rather complicated. The kids were learning a medley of different Disney songs, with choreography. Joy pretty much already knew all the songs, which was great because I didn’t know how well she could read. She hated LEARNING the choreography, because they would play the same part of music over and over. She hated the repetition, and sometimes she just got tired out. So sometimes we had to have breaks and “Joy-appointed” time outs, just to talk and do puzzles.  She learned the movements to the songs pretty well, but I always stood next to her, as if one of the kids, and did the routines with her.  That seemed to help her a lot, helped her feel connected and helped her stay on track.  Joy wanted and tried to make friends with the other kids, but that was hard. For one thing, she couldn’t remember their names, but would identify the kids like “the girl with the feather in her hair,” or “The girl with the funny laugh,” or even better, “You know, THAT girl!”  Plus, I think a lot of the kids we scared of her, because she was really touchy.  I didn’t mind if she held my hand, rubbed my arm, or gave me a kiss, but a seven-year-old might.

As the week went on, things went more and more smoothly. Her laugh was incredible and she never ceased to amaze me. She even auditioned for her favorite song, “Kiss the Girl” from “The Little Mermaid.” She didn’t get to solo, but I don’t think she even understood. She was just happy that she got sing and “make the kids happy.”

I was originally told that Joy would not participate in the “end of the week presentation” at all. But as the week went on, I hoped and hoped otherwise. She was eager to do the show, and I wanted more than anything for her to do it too. I knew that the idea of performing in front of a ton of people could cause a melt-down, but I was willing to risk having to deal with that.  It wasn’t fair on her for her to practice so hard all week-long, and not have anything to show for it. So on the last run-through on Thursday, I had her do the whole thing without me. “Joy, can you show me how well you can do it?” She did the whole thing without a hitch. It was incredible. And the look on her face when she was looking at me, just melted my heart! I could see the pure joy on her face. Not only had she made me so proud, but she was sharing one of my favorite loves, singing and dancing.  After the whole thing was over she exclaimed, “Heather, Heather! Did you see me? I did SO good! I did it all perfect! Did you see?”

The Friday performance was there before I knew it.  I did have worry as we walked into the gym, for one thing because Joy hadn’t eaten any of her lunch. I knew it would be loud and echo-y in the gym, which could be a lot of sensory overload for her, for anyone hadn’t eaten properly. But we hustled in to the gym and got in to our spots where we sat and waited as announcements were made. Joy draped herself over my lap, and starting eating her lunch, right there on the gym floor. Finally the parents started to file in. The two of us watched and waited, looking for Joy’s mom. When most of the parents and there was still no sign of Joy’s mom, I  started to worry. I thought to myself, “I’m going to have a serious meltdown on my hands if this girl’s mother doesn’t arrive.”

The first groups started their performances, and still no sign of Joy’s mom. Good thing WE weren’t first up! Finally, right before It was our workshop’s turn to start, we spied Joy’s mom walking in the door. We waved, and she waved back, looking almost surprised that her daughter was with the other children, ready to join in.

The kids scrambled to their places and the music began.  Gotta admit, the adrenaline was pumping for me too. All of us camp counselors were kneeling in front of the kids, facing them, ready to prompt them with choreography. And then it started….and it was INCREDIBLE! The rundown of the songs went as follows:

  1.  Be Our Guest (Beauty and the Beast)
  2. Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
  3. Arabian Nights (Aladdin)
  4. Kiss the Girl (The Little Mermaid) 
  5. Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid)
  6. A Whole New World (Aladdin)
  7. Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast)
  8. Fathoms Below (Little Mermaid)
  9. Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid)
  10. Friend Like Me (Aladdin) 

Whew! A lot to learn in one week, huh? But ALL the kids did incredible! It was like a miracle. Joy had gone from flopping around and barely being able to handle learning the work, to doing the routines almost perfectly! I was so proud of her, and she was incredible to watch! Because she was SO HAPPY! I see so many kids just go through the motions with performing (and LIFE for that matter). But that is the special thing about some special kids like Joy aren’t always afraid to show how DANG HAPPY they are!  It’s just so simple: “This is what makes me happy, so here’s my lovely smile!”

Anyway, back on topic, Joy succeeded in every way. And her mother, with tears in her eyes, DEFINITELY agreed. Joy’s mother was very touched, and when I saw the look on her face, I knew I had been part of something miraculous. Her verbal gratitude toward me was beautiful. I am also pleased to say that I will most likely be babysitting Joy during the school year!

I finished the week feeling very accomplished. THIS is the reason I want to work with kids with special needs. It’s so fulfilling! I got to BE JESUS to this little girl for a week, and it blessed me SO MUCH!

Joy* and I on the final day of camp

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Rewind: Coffee Shop Ponderings

During the past few months, and years of that matter, I have spent a lot of time in various coffee shops. Coffee shops are good for a lot of different things.  They are good for charging laptops.  They are good public places to stay safe in. Some coffee shops are open in the early morning, some are open late at night, some don’t close at all.  This was some writing I did at a Starbucks in March. I was very frustrated because I had set up an ideal surrounding for myself to write, but then I couldn’t find anything to say.  I ended up writing like this for a while…”free writing” of sorts…and then went home very frazzled. In reality I was still getting some medications sorted out.

Anyway…take a peek tonight into the (sometimes frustrating) mind of Heather. Go ahead, and then tell me what you think!

Tonight is a night of pondering.

Thinking.

Evening Walking.

Caramel Latte. 

Jars of Clay. 

Reading.

Blogging.

I wish I had the ability to take what is in my head and get it in words on this screen. There is so much I am longing to say, I just can’t seem to interpret it into words. I feel isolated. Trapped within my own mind, raging to get out. Where is God when I need him? In the words of Psalm 42, why are you cast down, oh my soul?

Failure.

Loser.

Their talking about you. Nobody like you. What a joke.

Where’s my camp? Where is my safe haven? Nowhere. It doesn’t exist.

God, be good to me. I’m trusting you will unmuddle my head soon.

I can’t feel you. You’re a cement wall in the sky.  Frustration. Anger. Every emotion at once. Why is the writing thing sooooo hard? Why can’t I interpret what’s in my head?

Tebo’s.

Dance.

“Darkness is my closest friend.”

My story is one of uncertainty.

Nicotine and Caffeine.

I’m losing it…

Jesus I’m crying out to you. Cover me. Help me function. I can’t do this on my own. Send me an angel of hope.

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With You in Spirit Tonight

Here’s another letter from a relative I received today. God is with us!!!

 

 

 

I remember swing parties and will be with you in spirit tonight, even though we are separated by some 66 years and an entire continent. I’m also excited for you as you prepare for your Great Adventure and will be mailing a contribution soon. 
 
I will also read your blog and email you from time to time. (I’m not a big Facebook fan.) When I turned 18, I had just finished my first year at Lindenwood College, a small Presbyterian school in St. Charles, MO, just outside St. Louis. I was on my own for the first time and loved every minute of it.
♥♥♥
Categories: Preparing for Kona, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rewind: My Journey Towards Choosing Joy

Below is a compilation of personal blog posts telling the story of my special horse and I, and the way we learned to trust together.  Please enjoy the stories and pictures.  Stay tuned for more posts telling about my more current experiences with horses, including a trip to this ranch just a month ago! 

Continue reading

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I Have to Speak

This morning I got a letter from a distant relative who read my most recent blog post Rewind and Right Now: Lost Within Myself.  They are true, honest words, and I offer them here for whoever they may speak to, not just me.  Read and receive, my friends.

Also, I have added a new category to my blog entitled Right Now, which will include posts like this one, which do not directly relate to my trip.  I do think it is helpful to talk about these sorts of issues before my trip however, for I will need to know how to deal with it when it inevitably comes up while I am in Kona or on outreach.

“Oh my dear Heather, you don’t realize what a precious soul you are. It probably doesn’t help to have some distant relative say that you are not alone; you are very loved. But as one who has lived in hopeless hell for years, I have to speak. Your emotions know that are taking a huge step, and IT IS scary. If I can offer just one piece of advice, please don’t decide that you are letting anyone down by feeling your emotions. Unless they start to damage you, it’s OK to acknowledge and embrace them. God put them there, and without them, we would be very shallow people. Your pain today will give you deep insights into the hurting people you will meet. I know these words won’t stop the pain. Funny thing about strong negative emotions is they won’t won’t let you feel the love and support we want to give you. PS You are FAR more in touch with your inner feelings than most folks who do this kind of thing. It’s pure terror now, but as distant third party, I’m actually excited to see the person you will be in a year or two from now.” 

We are not alone friends, no matter how alone we feel.  God is with us, and we all have at least one person who loves us. That’s what I’m holding on to tonight.

Categories: Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Trust and Obey: A Journal Belonging to Esther

This is an original composition based on the book of Esther. It is an idea of what she might have been thinking and feeling.  The piece was written in January 2012, and was a creative interpretation assignment for a high school Old Testament Survey Class.  Please enjoy!

Painting by Edwin Long, 1878

Painting by Edwin Long, 1878

Dear Journal,

                  Sometimes I feel so alone.  My parents have died, and all my friends are different than me.  I am different than all the other girls I know. None of the other girls are Jewish, they worship many gods. Their names are different, and they act differently as well. They have different traditions, they eat different foods, and they have many family relatives and great amounts of money.  Most importantly, they all have parents. Now I am very thankful for Mordecai for taking care of me all these years, for being like a father to me. Still, he is not my father. I want to trust that God has a purpose for me here in Persia. But right now, I feel so alone.

Dear Journal,

                  Today we heard that Queen Vashti is no longer queen!  Apparently, While King Xerxes was indulging during his banquet, he felt the need to show off his wife publicly.  Now if I was queen I would not like to be paraded around, with all sorts of most likely drunk men looking at me!  I suppose this is how Queen Vashti felt too, because she refused to show herself to her husband, the King.  Now King Xerxes has banished her from the throne. I do not like how he has treated Queen Vashti, I do not that is how a husband should act, no matter if he is the king or not. If I were the queen I think I would have wanted to respond the way she responded, but I do not know if I would have had the courage to.  Of course this would never happen, why would I ever stand before the King?

*About four years later*

Dear Journal,

                  I am so overwhelmed right now! Everything in my life has changed. I have been taken from my home and the little family that I have and been brought to the king’s palace with many other girls. We are here because the king misses Queen Vashti body.  Now he wants to find another woman to suite his pleasure, so many of us girls have been forced from our homes so he can take inventory. Hegai, the man who was put in charge us, has been very kind to me. He is making sure that I have the food I need, and maidens to take care of me. I feel blessed because of him.  Also, Mordecai told me to keep my Hebrew heritage and faith a secret.  I am trying my best to honor him and do as he wishes, but it is hard! I do not know how to act like the other Persian girls. I miss my home so much, even though Mordecai has been visiting me every day.

*About one year later*

Dear Journal,

                  I am so scared, for the time I have been dreading yet waiting for has come. Tonight I must go and sleep with the King. A year I have been preparing for this moment, being beautified in every way imaginable. Now I have to go and try to impress the king in bed! I am not ready for this, and I do not think I want to be ready. I am a virgin, and I do not know what I am doing. How am I supposed to please an old and experienced man? I do not know if I should even try to please him. Maybe if he does not approve of me, then my life will get back to normal.  However, if he somehow senses that I am not trying my best to bring him pleasure, he could assume that I am mocking him and have me beheaded. I am not called to honor elders and authorities? I do not know what to do or how to feel. I do not understand how God could have a purpose in this.

Dear Journal,

                  So much has happened; I do not know how to process it! First of all, my night with the king was unbelievable!  I could have never imagined such love and passion as I experienced that night. King Xerxes was so kind and gentle with me, and the way he touched me was so perfect. I felt completely safe in his arms, and I knew that he loved me. I knew because I didn’t adorn myself in unnecessary ways. If the king was going to see and spend time with me, it would be the real me.  King Xerxes has now chosen me as his queen. I have a crown to prove it.  We have all been enjoying a grand wedding feast, and I feel very happy. I am not sure if I even know what love is, but I do think I am in love with King Xerxes.  The only thing that worries me is that my new husband still does not know of my Jewish heritage and faith. I want to share everything with him, but I need to honor Mordecai’s wishes. He has a lot of wisdom, and I know there must be a reason he asked me to keep it a secret.

Dear Journal,

                  Little did I know that my new husband would such a death target! Today Mordecai informed me that two men were scheming to kill my husband, King Xerxes!  This upset me a lot, but on top of that, I had to go to the king and tell him this hard information. But because I took action and obeyed Mordecai, these horrible men have been caught and they will be put to death. I made sure to give all the credit to Mordecai.  I am starting to understand some of my relative’s great wisdom. I am starting to understand that if I simply trust and obey, no matter how hard it is, that I will be blessed. I wonder, does this apply to my relationship with God as well?

Dear Journal,

                  Right now I am sort of worried.  King Xerxes has brought a man named Haman to come help him rule over the people of Persia. The king finds much favor in Haman, and he had elevated him over everyone, giving him almost as much power as King Xerxes himself. I am glad that my husband has found a man that can keep him company, who he can confide in. Yet, there is something about Haman that makes me uneasy. Maybe I am just an attention seeking wife, but I do not think so. I sometimes sense tension between the two of them, and it makes me worry.

Dear Journal,

                  I love and respect my relative Mordecai so much. He raised me and always treated me like his very own daughter. That is why it worried me so much when I found out that he was outside crying and wearing sackcloth. The reason however was the most upsetting, and it confirmed my suspicions about Haman. I found out from Mordecai through messengers that he had refused to bow down to Haman. This didn’t surprise me at all, for Mordecai is a man of great and strong faith. I know that it would go against his convictions to bow to anyone except God. This angered Haman so much that he tried to bribe my husband to execute all those of Jewish heritage! Now Mordecai wants me to go to my husband the king and appeal this royal decree. Lately I have been doubting my relationship with King Xerxes.  I hope that he still finds favor in me, for he has not asked to see me for thirty days.  This makes me feel especially skeptical of going to my husband uninvited and trying to ask for something.  He has every power to have me killed, just for entering into his presence without an invitation. However, I know that if I do not approach him, I will be killed, along with my only father-figure and many other innocent Jews.  Nerveless, this does not make me any less afraid to go and talk to King Xerxes.  Now something just that Mordecai said to me through message keeps popping up in my head: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” This could be why the king found favor in me; this could be why I was chosen to be queen.  This could be the Lord’s plan and purpose for me. If so, why am I still so afraid? I know that Mordecai and many Jews are fasting while praying for me, but I cannot feel it. I feel completely alone, without any support. Yet I know what I must do: trust and obey, no matter how hard it is.

Dear Journal,

                  Well, I did it. Now looking back, I know that the Lord was with me. I entered into the room where my husband the king was sitting, and he was happy to see me. I was so happy to see him as well, and I wanted to just run into his arms and receive the comfort that I needed.  However, I knew that I could not do that. I had to be strong and poised for everything to work. I invited the king and Haman to eat dinner with me. When they came that night, I could tell that Haman was feeling pretty good about himself, and I did not like that one bit. King Xerxes then asked me what I really wanted, offering me greatness just so his curiosity would be eased. I invited them to come to dinner again, and then I would speak my mind. When they left, I felt worried, but I felt stronger and had confidence in my actions.

Dear Journal,

                  I feel the blessings of the Lord raining down on me. I now see how God worked everything together to glorify him. I am overwhelmed with the way that God used me in such a big way. I feel honored to be part of his perfect plan. I had my second dinner with King Xerxes and Haman.  When Haman came in that night, I knew that something was upsetting him, but I had no idea that it was directly related to Mordecai. After the meal was done, my husband again asked me what I desired. Not quite sure how to proceed, I blurted everything out. I told my husband that my desire was to live, along with the rest of the Hebrew nation. And the climax: I told the king that it was all Haman’s fault.  What happened next just reinforced my husband’s amazing love for me. Like a good husband and king should, he made everything right. In that same day, Haman was hanged on the gallows he had personally prepared for Mordecai. All of Haman’s possessions were given to me, and I in turn gave it all to Mordecai. The king gave Mordecai his signet ring, giving Mordecai all the authority that Haman had had. Mordecai and I revealed our relation to the king, who loves me still, even though I am not of his own race.  Finally, a law has been passed by the king and Mordecai that gives all Jews the freedom to defend themselves against anyone who tries to hurt them on the day that Haman appointed for our doom.

*Many years later*

Dear Journal,

I look back on my early years as queen and I have both wonderful and fearful memories.  I now understand why it needed to be me that became queen.  I understand why I had to go through the things that I did, so God could make an impact in my life and save his chosen people from destruction. Now I have the blessing of mentoring other Jews, along with Mordecai. I am also striving to teach my step-son of the ways of the Lord, so he may be a strong leader when his father dies. I know though that I am not better than any other young woman. I choose to trust and obey, no matter how hard it was, and because of that, a nation was saved and a heart was deeply changed.

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