Ella sat in the passenger seat while Faye drove them home.
“I'm worried about Beth. I’m not convinced that when she went forward it was real. ”Ella stated matter of factly. “I think she just wanted to join our club, be in the gang.”
“She’s reading her Bible, she might not be doing it in a demonstrative way, but to gain the New Testament knowledge that she has got, she has to be.” Faye defended her friend. "Why would you say that?"
“She’s not joyful though!” Ella said, getting to what she saw as the crux of the issue. She thought back to herself after she had given her life to God at seventeen. It was the moment when her life had changed. She’d walked in on one of these tent ministries in town. She’d been alone that day, her old friends were still in the gym every evening and weekend. She was bored, bored of her parents, bored of home, bored of life in general and wanted the free burger they were offering. She’d wandered in, sat near the back and just listened. What they were saying made sense and she found herself going forward at the end. Her parents, friends, even teachers at school hadn’t known what hit them. Suddenly, the daughter and friend they’d always known had changed and gone mad, talking about Jesus, the Bible and the cross. She’d found out about this amazing truth and wanted everybody to know about it.
“When I first got saved I went through this mad happy, stage where you couldn’t drag me down from cloud nine. Didn’t you?”
“I’m one of these people who have always been a Christian, for as far back as I can recall anyway, so no I don’t remember that elated stage you talk about, but the way I see it, is like learning to swim. It doesn’t surprise me that you jumped into the deep end of Christianity, no worries about being able to keep your head above water – that’s your character. It’s not meant to be a criticism Ella, but you are an extremist. You either love something or you hate it, there’s not a lot of middle ground with you.”
Ella tried to interrupt, but Faye wasn’t in the mood for an argument about Ella’s nature so she just pressed on.
“Beth’s contented and definitely gave her heart to Jesus that night. She did so, without tears, without huge displays of emotion, but that’s her way. She has to be in control of her feelings, because there isn’t that much else she’s has total command over. She’s been dipping her toes into our world, for weeks and is steadily getting deeper, but she’s still prefers to keep her feet firmly on the ground. That way if she gets hurt again, she knows she could still walk away. I know she won't now though. Unlike you, she came in knowing that her life wasn't gonna be suddenly wonderful. I imagine at some point, you came down from your high and mighty position pretty quickly."
"It took six months or so, before I realised that being a Christian didn't solve all your problems." Ella admitted. "It created some more, but gave you a way to cope."
"Were you angry at God when you found that out?"
"I guess...a little."
"Well, Beth's come to know the Father for who He is. She knows He's not Santa Clause and if she'd of come to God just to be healed that would have been wrong. In many ways, she's taken the escalator ride compared to most Christians. With Beth pain has becomes such a huge part of her life, that she almost expects it to always be there. She can't remember a time in her life when it wasn’t and God will have to give her the courage to allow herself to be happy. For Beth, it’ll take a decision, to ignore or simply rise above the pain of the past. She's not ready for that yet. Let God deal with her in His own time Els.”
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