Today was the beginning of my search for answers to the questions that were raised last night. I talked to Don Collins and Steve Mason, and then I read my journal.
I said I needed to surround myself with wise people who have studied the Bible objectively. So I examined my list and chose to talk to some people who live here in Anderson: Don Collins, Steve Mason, and Spencer Spaulding. I have to admit that I am drawn to them because their beliefs are similar to mine, but I also know that they would tell me if I was wrong and that I would be able to listen and learn from them because they are much wiser than I am. Today at 3:30 I went to Don's office. After I explained the whole situation to him, he pointed out several things.
If having enough faith was all it took to be healed, then Christ himself would be out the door. Both Don and Steve pointed out that no amount of faith could or would keep Christ from the cross. They both also pointed to Paul, who had some kind of affliction, or "thorn in the flesh." (This affliction, they told me, is said to have been something about his vision, which I found interesting.) If faith was all it took, Paul would be out the door, too.
Later tonight I got out my journal. I had told Steve how easily I had accepted God's love when I was twelve and that I thought I needed to step back to that kind of acceptance. So I got out my journal to see exactly what was going on in these last six Februaries.
On January 29, 1985, I had been in one of my little arguments at school about where I would sit at lunch. I had been so upset that I talked to a teacher. Then I knew I would get it from the girls.
"'You handled it very well,' Mom said. 'Teachers aren't there just to teach. You are in their care all day. If I can't be there, then you go to someone who is there. You tell the girls that you went to her because you needed a friend, and right then you didn't see one.'"
Okay. Mom's not here. I am in the care of all these ministers and professors, if you can call it that. That's not being childish. It is saying that if I have questions, I should and have a right to find someone who can answer them. "When someone calls your faith into question, which is what she did, that is not from God," Steve mason told me. So in case I should start to feel guilty, I am saying here and now that I know without a doubt that I have done the right thing.
The week of February 2-9, 1986, I was dealing with a serious desire to "be someone." I wanted to be recognized for the dependence I had had on God and the ways I had served Him. Even then Mom was telling me that I should "do things for God." She is still telling me that today. I live only for Him, and I know that no amount of human approval could ever satisfy me. My real desire is to be credible, to be wise and worthy to minister to the people around me. I am realizing that I need to build a strong foundation for my beliefs because I am passing them on indirectly to an infinite number of people. Madeleine L'Engle says that it is impossible to have "just art." I think it is impossible to have just anything. Everything I do is a reflection of what I believe.
In February, 1988, I was learning to trust God and to sing for Him. That forces me back to the idea that I should do things for only Him.
Last February I had just found out that I had been accepted to Anderson. I was rejoicing, feeling that there was a reason for me to be here. There still is. Maybe it is music. I don't know about that. But I do know that I have learned many valuable things about myself here. I have also asked questions that have caused me to seek to know the Lord in a very personal way. Those questions have changed my life, and I cannot regret coming here, even when I remember the enormous trials I have faced here.