When I was in junior high and high school, I had a precious friend. She was different and not like anyone else. While all the girls including myself were involved in silly gossip and struggles with boys, she was not. She must have been studying because she was our Valedictorian out of about six hundred people. There was never a time I heard her say something bad about someone. Never! It's not that I don't remember, it's that she never did. We were close friends and at times we spent a lot of time together. Her family was one I adored. Her Dad was a Pastor of a church in the community and everyone knew who they were. Their reputation was gold. I always felt honored to be her friend and I longed to have the family she did. I know it wasn't perfect but I know that this family loved each other more than anything. One night she had spent the night at my house and we walked to the donut store when we woke up. That morning I was extremely upset about some stuff at home and I felt hopeless. I kept wishing I had a family like her's but I knew that when I returned home, the trouble would still be there. When she returned home, it would not. As we walked to the donut store, I cried. That morning she comforted me and encouraged me with godly counsel. I will never forget what she said, "Amanda, God has a plan for your life." It stuck with me and I believed her. I knew that God was big enough to have a plan for my life, I just didn't know why it had to be so rough right then. Then there was the year that I didn't make Class Council. I had been voted on the year before and the next I wasn't. She called me when I got home from school to find out the results and once again she said something I will always remember. "Amanda, we don't know why God chooses certain things for us. I know it hurts that you didn't make class council this year but God has a plan for you. Maybe there is going to be a fire in the school during a class council meeting and he doesn't want you to be at the school so he orchestrated something like this to protect you. Maybe he is trying to teach you something else. It may seem silly, but God has a plan for you and this does not mean no one likes you." She may not remember the walk to the donut store or the phone call we had that day but her words have never left me. After high school, we remained friends. While she was away at Texas A & M, I was living in an apartment all by myself trying to figure out this plan. She came to visit me in the summer and once again sat in my apartment listening to me cry over a broken heart. Once again, "Amanda, God has a plan for your life. He has the perfect husband for you." And once again, her words stuck with me.
At times I feel like that fifteen year old girl walking to the donut store. When troubles come, I feel like that sad girl all over again. The feelings I felt then, I continue to feel when I am hurting. But, thankfully the Lord uses Janna's words to remind me once again that He has a plan for my life. Sometimes I feel unloved, not needed, not liked, not wanted, not accepted. The walk to the Donut store comes back often. So many things from my past come back to my spirit when I am hurting. For so long I have been trying reject the pain and get rid of it and now I am trying to embrace it. God has a plan and maybe, just maybe the plan was the pain! The pain has produced many great things. Right now I am trying to press through and really listen to what God is revealing to me and I think that for me I have been given a revelation. If I will thank Him for this pain and thank Him for the past, then I can be free. Instead of putting so much pressure on myself to change, I need to embrace who I am. Those that don't accept me, I move on. Christ lives in me and anyone who does not accept me, rejects Him. (John 13) So, why am I putting so much stock in people. I have spent my whole life putting everyone's comments about me in the forefront of my mind. I have heard it from my family. I have heard it from friends. I have heard it my whole life and it has destroyed me because I have believed it. Since I have believed it, I have acted it all out and proved them right! But, it doesn't matter at all what they think. I am loved, I am accepted, I am chosen, I am needed, I am wanted! God will always choose me. He will always pick me to be on His team and He will always be there. His opinion is the only one that counts. He has a plan for my life!
As I try to matter in this world, I am also trying to like myself. God does have a plan for my life just like Janna told me fifteen years ago! I live just a couple of miles from the house I lived in and the donut store I walked to. It may be necessary to take a drive from that house to the donut store and hear God say, "Mandi, you are loved. You are needed. People like you. People love you. Your family needs you. Your family wants you. Your family loves you. I love you. Now you must love what I have created you to be."
Thanks for reading everyone. I don't have great writing to give right now but I do have great revelation from the Lord. As I hear His voice, I will share it with you. Thank you Janna, you made a difference in my life and in many others. I love your "guts" friend! I get that now! You really did love my guts and not everyone can love my guts but you did. Thank you for allowing God to use you. I think of you all the time and I need to make a trip to Austin! Kelly, let's go to Austin! :)