Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)
- TITLE: A Most Personal Peace
By Kristi Wood
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My exasperated teenager stalked away from me in total rebellion.
“Lord, help me to reach her and communicate clearly what it is that you want to do for her.” I prayed silently.
Even though it was over twenty years ago, I can remember just like it was yesterday when I surrendered that part of my teenage life to God’s direction. I wasn’t looking for husband either. In fact, I was still hurting from the really bad break-up months earlier with my first serious relationship.
I wasn’t even looking for a boyfriend at my new school. I just wanted a real friend. It was a very small Christian school. Almost all of the other kids had attended since kindergarten and they went to the host church which was a different denomination from mine. I didn’t fit in at all and I was lonely.
My only ‘friend’ there was a rather heavy girl who was an outcast herself. One day on the way to lunch Sharon started to taunt me with a little chant, “The Ward boys are following you.”
I tried to ignore her. It was a tiny school with barely enough room to get down the hallway. Of course most of the other kids were technically following me. They were following her too. Besides, I didn’t even want a boyfriend.
After a few weeks of her little chant I began to wonder which of the Ward twins could be interested in me. Clearly, nobody there had ever bothered to learn which one was which since they were always referred to as ‘the Ward boys’ and it was a fairly difficult thing to discern with the school uniforms and identical haircuts. But I began to notice that one of them was a little taller and the other one had a raspy voice because of his asthma. I still couldn’t put a name to either one though.
As spring break approached, so did the excitement about an upcoming competition for the secondary students. It was a week-long event at a local campground and I decided to enter a couple of photos. The dress code at the campground seemed ridiculous to me but I was grateful to at least choose the colors and styles of my outfits. I was also a little curious to see what the Ward boys would be wearing and how individual their styles would be.
Each evening after the days’ competitions were over there was a message. The very first night I heard God nudging me in my spirit. I knew that I had been as judgmental toward the kids at my new school as they were to me for having different doctrinal beliefs. I also realized I had been avoiding the Ward boys just in case Sharon’s taunts were true.
After the message I tried to apologize to them for my attitude but only found one of them interested in even talking to me. He was the taller one and participating in the track competition in a couple of days. He also talked about his dog and the appaloosa mare he was training. Something about him caught my attention. His dog and horse stories reminded me of my dear granddad who was at a nursing home. By the end of the week we had both discovered we shared something important in common. He had also been hurt in a bad break-up and had decided to let God lead him instead of seeking out his own idea of a girlfriend.
From that night on a friendship grew. I attended his track meet events and he escorted me to the awards dinner the last night of the week where my photos won second place. We became best friends and prayed hard all summer about God’s direction for us.
Then one Monday early the next fall I could hardly wait to talk to him before school. I had experienced a deep peacefulness during my prayer time over the weekend and I just knew. We were meant to be together. God promised us that if we would keep our eyes on Him, He would be faithful and keep us together.
“I wasn’t looking for a husband when I met your dad.” I reminded my daughter.
“Just don’t tell me your story again!” She sounded exasperated.
“Lord, lead her to depend on you,” I prayed quietly for what seemed the millionth time.
And I know He will.
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