All is well here and by the grace of God there is nothing new to report. We are simply living life together. Lots of activities, patience with the changing weather and studying. Lots of driving and working and trips to the grocery store to fill a kitchen that won’t seem to stay full. Lots of laughter and games and cuddles.
Sidney wrote the following to share at youth group, and I am sharing with you because she speaks from her heart. From a heart that loves her Heavenly Father. From a heart that has matured quickly and known more pain than any girl her age should experience. From a heart that trusts and believes good comes from all things. From a heart that is gentle. And pure. And beautiful. And fun. And hopeful. And full of grace.
I have always grown up in a Christian home. We went to church almost every Sunday and youth group. I had always believed in God but I never knew him as well.
When I really started to know him better is around the time my little brother with autism, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy had brain surgery. Ryan had many surgeries in his 9 years. The time when I really found that I needed God was in 2010 when he had 3 brain surgeries in the matter of 8 days. I thought that something was going to go wrong or that he would pass away. I didn’t really trust that everything was going to go smooth. My mom is a strong Christian and she kept telling me that I just needed to trust God. She kept telling me to pray and that everything was going to be ok. It was at that point that I really realized that I needed God. I started doing my devotions and praying.
From that point my relationship has grown closer with God. Then about 15 months later, Ryan had to have another brain surgery. I was very worried. I figured that if God brought Ryan through the last surgery He can bring him through this one too. But the big question I kept asking myself is why him, why Ryan. I never could figure out why God had made Ryan of all people go through all this. I didn’t know why and I still don’t know why; all I know is that He made him this way for a reason and we just have to love him for the time we have him. Also I found myself constantly coming over this quote, “God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.” I love that quote because it makes me realize that He gives those battles to people because He knows that they are strong enough to handle the situation.
Another thing that I have learned is that you have to play for God and not for fame or to show off in whatever you do. I feel that I do better when I play (volleyball) for Christ rather than play to look good. For example, before I play, I pray that God would help me to have a good attitude and that I would play for Him. Also, another example is that before I go back to serve I do my routine and then I take a deep breath and say to myself one of two things…Either “Lord help me to get this ball over the net” or the verse Philippians 4:13. I think it is important to play for God because He gave you your talents and you should honor Him in what you say and do.
I know that my faith isn’t just about me serving God but how God uses me to reach other people in my situations and how I handle what I am given. Also a lot of my faith and trusting God has to do with God giving me my little brother to help me know that I should not take life for granted.
Philippians 4:13 ~ “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Isaiah 41:13 ~ “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear I will help you.”
There is beauty here in this girl I call my daughter. And there is strength beyond measure. I am proud of her, but most of all I am so thankful for her heart that loves Jesus.