Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Miracle: The begining - part 1

“Be sure to study for the exam for next time.” said the professor on the screen.
It was my junior year, and I was enrolled in a distance learning college class. Admittedly, I stuck out. I was surrounded by a sea of T-shirt and jeans and what was I wearing? Oh it was just my favorite cream shirt with a bejeweled collar, khaki pants and kitten heels...that all. I’d been labeled as “different” for as long as I could remember, but at the age of 16 I was finally starting to wear it proudly...well maybe it was more like semi-proudly. Being a homeschooler and the oldest of 6 surely never helped my chances of blending in any, especially when your family drove an embarrassingly huge conversion van that beeped when it was in reverse.

After class was over, I pulled out my newly obtained cell phone.

"Hey. I'm done...ok. See you in a bit." 

I had become very good at cooling disguising my "Dad, come pick me up" calls. Even so, it didn't help me feel less awkward for the horrid 8 minutes that I had to wait for him to get there. There might as well been a huge "looser" sign on my head.

"If only I hadn't waited so long to take my learners permit test!" I sighed to myself.

Finally, my Dad pulled up and we were soon headed home. As we passed through the crossroad that led to our house, the stack of books in my lap started to pester me, "Well, are you going to read when you get home or procrastinate until later?"

The year of “sweet 16” found me at a crossroad as well. We had moved from the city to a rural suburb (a county with only one high school), changed churches, my mom had her sixth kid, and I was having trouble “fitting in” with this new world I in which I found myself. I hated that my best friend live an hour from our house and that we no longer went to the mega church of First Baptist Jacksonville. I was miserable for a good many months.
It was also the year of many decisions. But the one that changed me the most was my choice to delve deeper into my faith. Growing up I was carted to church every time the doors were open and was saved at an early age, but my faith hadn’t found its own legs yet. All of the change that surrounded me forced those legs to either get stronger or become crippled. I chose the former. Little did I know all that this choice would entail, but I was soon to find out.
One Sunday at church we had a traveling singing group come to visit from The Baptist College of Florida. Never in my whole life had I heard of such a school, but they were pretty talented musicians. Being the music lover that I am, I listened intently. Then they started talking about their mission trip to China. (Or at least I’m pretty sure it was somewhere in Asia. China takes up most of it anyway.) I was suddenly unable to move and held captive by every word they said.
From the depths of my soul, a voice whispered…
“Jennifer, will you go for me? Jennifer, will you go?”

To be continued…

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