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Purity Girls
Purity 101

Jesus Only
(The following story was submitted by Purity Girl and teen writer, Olivia McLeod.)

 

 

Chapter Five

     Carol shifted uncomfortably for the umpteenth time as Melody's youth pastor, Nathaniel Reeth, poured his heart out to all the teens in the room. The first half of the sermon was about the necessity of staying close to God, which didn't make much sense to Carol. The last half was what struck her: the necessity of having God in your life. When Pastor Reeth started talking about life after death, she listened intently. By the time the invitation was called, Carol knew what she had to do. As her first tear started to fall, she scooted out of the pew and made her way towards the back door. Carol stepped into the hallway and leaned against the wall.
     "Carol?" Melody called as she slipped out of the auditorium. "Carol, what's wrong?"
     "Me." Carol replied. "I can't believe that Mom and Dad have been right all along. It was me who was wrong." By now the tears had increased rapidly.
     "Carol, it's okay. You believe everything the preacher said, don't you?"
     Carol nodded. "I do now."
     "And do you want to receive Jesus into your heart?"
     She nodded again.
     "That's great! Now all you have to do is tell Him. You just have to repeat after me. Ready? Dear Jesus…"
     "Dear Jesus…"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     Joanne sat in the waiting room of Mercy Hospital, her face buried in her hands. It seemed that while every other pregnant woman got to enjoy feeling her child kick and squirm in her belly; Joanne's mother just had pains.
     Life just isn't fair.
     "What?" A male voice over her made her jump. She hadn't realized she had said it aloud.
     "Nothing." Joanne muttered, keeping her head down.
     The man took the seat next to her and leaned forward in an attempt to see her face. "You sure?"
     She nodded, still looking down. The man gave up and walked over to the front desk. "I'm here to see Mrs. Laurie Fowler, please." He said to the receptionist.
     Joanne's head finally came up. "How do you know my mom?" she asked the stranger.
     "I'm her pastor." He turned toward her. "Pastor Cleaveford. You must be Joanne. Your mother talks so much about you. I wish I could've met you under more pleasant circumstances, though."
     Joanne got up and started pacing. "If the God you talk about is real, then why is my mom going through so much pain?" she asked through clenched teeth.
     "It's often difficult for us to understand God's ways, because His ways are as far from ours as the heaven is from the earth. But we do know that He works out

 

even bad circumstances for the good of them that love Him."
     Joanne looked away. She wasn't buying his preacher talk.
     "Another thing we can be sure of is that God knows your mom can handle this. God doesn't give us anything he knows we can't handle."
     "And how do you know that?" Joanne whipped around to face him.
     "Because he published a book and gave it to me, and it says so in that book." the pastor stated matter-of-factly.
     "Let me see this book." Joanne said. This stranger definitely had her attention now.
     Pastor Cleaveford pulled a small book out of his back pocket that had New Testament scrolled across the front. "The whole Bible is much bigger; this is just half of it," he stated as he flipped through it. "Here it is. 1 Corinthians 10:13, 'There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.'"
     The pastor closed the book and held it protectively in his hands. "The end of that verse is saying that if we have a problem or a temptation in our life then God can help us bear it, but He can't help us unless we ask Him to."
    " In your mother's case, I'm sure she's asking God to help her get through this; now all she can do is trust Him to take care of her. And in reference to your question about God putting your mother through pain, sometimes God places a trial into our lives so He can get our attention and help us realize our need for Him."
     Joanne crossed her arms over her chest and raised her eyebrows. "My mom already talks about 'her relationship' with God, reads about Him, even sings about Him all the time. Why would God need to get her attention?"
     "Actually, I believe that God is trying to get your attention through this, Joanne."
     Joanne was speechless.
     Could this God who supposedly loved everyone be putting her mother through terrible pain just so He could get her attention? Was it that important to Him? She was just about to ask the man all the questions rolling around inside her head when a doctor entered the waiting room and called her name. As she turned around to face him, she heard the kind pastor end their conversation by saying softly: "Just think about these things when you get the time, Joanne."
     Oh, you have no idea how much I'll think about them. Joanne thought. For now, though, she would just have to push all those thoughts aside. She would have plenty of time to think later. Joanne bit her lip and slowly walked toward the doctor.

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