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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)

TITLE: EVEN WHEN YOU'RE YOUNG
By SYLVIA KING
10/29/06


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EVEN WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG

I was in fourth grade when I gave my heart to Jesus. Dad was concerned about my decision because he wasn’t sure I was old enough to really understand the seriousness of my decision.

Maybe because I was the oldest of five children I had learned about being responsible when I was very young. That spilled over into my walk with 1esus. Since I was shy and quiet I wasn’t sure how people outside of my family was going to know that a real change had taken place in my heart.

By the time I was a seventh grader I wasn’t sure there was much a kid could do for the Lord. Every night I would pray and ask Jesus to let people know He lived in my heart.

It was that year that we were allowed to take our first Home Economics class. I was thrilled. We had finished our first semester of sewing and was busy planning our first meal for our cooking class. Mrs. Camp had grouped us in tables of four. The table across the room just didn’t get along. Every day they argued and fought among themselves. None of us was comfortable being around them. It wasn’t hard to tell that Mrs. Camp was very frustrated and stressed with the situation. I wanted to help, but what could I do?

At the end of the day I crawled into bed and spent some time praying, I prayed specifically for the trouble makers. I wasn’t real pleased with what I felt the Holy Spirit was prompting me to do. Why should I volunteer to change tables with one of the girls at the front table? That would leave three strong personalities against my shy personality. Lord, please I begged, can’t someone else do it. You know I’m really shy and this is going to be a big problem for me. He reminded me He had heard those kind of arguments before from such men as Moses. He also reminded me “obedience was better than sacrifice.’

I waited until Mrs. Camp had a free period before I knocked on her office door. I certainly didn’t want anyone to know what I was about to do. “Come in,” Mrs. Camp beckoned as I opened the door. “Yes, Mam, what can I do for you?”

My heart felt as if it would pound out of my chest as I walked over to her desk. “Well. ugh I
just wanted to tell you I’d be willing to change tables with one of the girls at the front table if it would help,” I declared through parched lips. Several seconds passed in silence. Mrs. Camp reached up and tilted my face to where we made eye contact. With tenderness she said, “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9 NKJV)

After a few minutes of discussion we decided my visit to her office would be our little secret. My night had been restless. I was very apprehensive as I entered class the next morning. She started the class as usual. True to course an argument erupted within a few minutes. It was obviously a surprise to the class when I was the chosen to be moved to that table. My knees were knocking and my heart was running a race as I made the switch. I wasn’t sure what my next move would be but they weren’t really sure how to respond to me either,

Mrs. Camp had been very wise in moving the antagonist. They decided it was pretty near impossible to argue with someone that wouldn’t argue back. To my amazement the Lord prompted me to do little things that helped to break down the barriers and assure them I wasn’t a threat. One of the biggest problems was none of them really knew how to cook a full meal. I had cooked all summer because Mom had been pregnant and got sick every time she went in the kitchen. We soon fell into a comfortable work pattern. Since this was a group project our graded depended on our working together as a team, They were possibly more thrilled than I was when we got an A for the grading period. Even though our lifestyles were worlds apart the Holy Spirit established a friendship that lasted until we moved and taught me I wasn’t too young to be used by Him.

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Member Comments
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Jan Ackerson 11/08/06
This is very sweet, and inspiring. I'd like to see jr. high aged girls read this and discuss it--it's awesome.
david grant11/09/06
There are some very valuable gems hidden in this story. You have a lesson of obedience, and a lesson of compassion, and a lesson of triumph over fear.

Look at how to rewrite this. Strengthen the lead. I would suggest beginning with the problem and laying out the solution, and then the triumph. Example: God told me to trade places and I didn't want to. My early salavation gave me an ear for God and a heart for others. My obedience made everything work for everyone and really encouraged me.
Keep writing!!

brotherdave