Friday, September 7, 2012

Chapter 12: Putting on the armor of God

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”  Matthew 26:41 (also Mark 14:38)
We moved back from Scotland and began the second semester of our junior year.  Once again, several of our group of 8 friends lived together in the dorm.  That was the semester that we adopted the name GSA for our groupJ  I loved how involved we were in each other’s lives.  We stuck together through break-ups, planning a wedding, tough exams, big life decisions; and they were there for me when my parent’s divorce was finalized.  I think I had convinced myself that it wouldn’t actually happen; that I’d go home one weekend and everything would be back to the way it was.  But that was it, and I had to begin the mourning process that you go through after something like that happens.  Well, I’ve never been very good at mourning.  Death, a break-up, divorce… it’s just so final.  Over.  Out of your control.  I felt lost and started to tail-spin.  Before I knew it, I’d fallen into an eating disorder.  I had gained quite a bit of weight over in Scotland, was again wearing leotards every day in ballet class, and somehow eating and then relieving myself made my stress temporarily go away.  I was worrying, not trusting the Lord with the situation, and fell into sin.  So easy to do, right?  Nobody knew.  I didn’t even think about it; it’s just something I did.  For two years.            
“Be strong in the Lord… Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10, 13

And life went on.  I spent the summer after my junior year at home in Georgia working as a lifeguard for the local YMCA.  If I had one word to describe that summer, it would be relaxing.  Days were spent soaking in the sun watching kids at the pool.  One of my best friends from high school was also working at the Y that summer, so it was a lot like old timesJ  I spent most evenings watching old movies with my mom and spending a lot of time out on the back deck praying about my future.  I knew I would have to spend the next school year applying for jobs, and I wanted direction.  I knew I wanted to go to Africa as a missionary, but I needed confirmation from the Lord of exactly what He wanted me to do.  So every morning and most evenings I would sit out on the deck, watch the sky change colors, listen to the crickets and whippoorwills, and feel the warm summer breeze as I sat with my Bible and prayed.  By the time I started my senior year, I felt more grounded than I had in a long time.  I was focused.  I knew where I wanted to be in a year and what I needed to do to get there.  I joined a large church in Jackson and began making connections with missions agencies around the world.  I met with Dr.M on a regular basis to talk and pray about my options, and he tailored my schedule with classes that would help give me direction.  We even designed a new class together that year; “A Study of World Religions”.  I knew wherever I went on the missions field, I would be outnumbered as a Christian.  I wanted to be prepared for anything.  When I look back on this time, I do feel like I was preparing for a battle field.  I wanted to be strong and equipped.  By my last semester in college, I felt ready for any missionary adventure that came my way.  One afternoon my phone rang.  It was from Africa…

1 comment:

  1. Ahh! you are keeping me in suspense! even though i ultimately know what happened, it is SO good to read this, Michelle!!!