* All Joy *

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Suzy flopped face-first onto her bed and stared at the purple polka dots on her quilt. A firm knock on her bedroom door made her jump.

The door swung open. Her mom entered, wearing an apron that barely stretched around her. She sat on the bed and placed a careworn hand on Suzy’s shoulder. Suzy stared into her mom’s chocolate brown eyes for a few moments and swallowed a sob.

“What is it, honey?” her mom said.

Suzy tried to speak, but her voice got stuck. Her eyes moistened.

“Suzy, I can’t stand to see you hurt. Tell me what’s wrong and I’ll try to make it better.”

She found her voice. “Mom, it’s so hard. I know that wearing clothes that, like, aren’t tight or low-cut is the right thing to do, but – but –” she couldn’t finish.

“The girls were making fun of you again?” Fire flashed in her mom’s eyes.

“It would be, like, so easy to wear what everyone else does! Then no one would make fun of me. I just want to fit in and be, like, normal.”

Her mom’s arms tightened around her. Suzy realized her mom had been hugging her the whole time.

“I understand, Suzy,” her mom spoke so quietly that Suzy could hardly hear her. “And so does your very best friend, Jesus.”

Suzy laughed. “But Jesus didn’t have to, like, deal with in-crowds and fashions!”

“What about Isaiah 53:3: ‘He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,’” her mom quoted.

“Oh, yeah!” Suzy breathed, “How could I have forgotten?”

“He knows your troubles, Suzy, and understands them.”

She stared into her mom’s eyes. “God cares about my problems! Oh, Mom, I love Him.” Suzy breathed intently at the wonderful thought.

“What’s more, James 1:2 says, ‘Count it all joy when you meet trials.’”

“I know why He said that, Mom.”

Her mom smiled. “Why is that?”

“Because God loves me, He’ll take care of me. And the fact that He loves me should make me so happy that I can never be sad for long!”

The bedsprings creaked as she bounced on the bed.

Suzy’s mom stroked her hair. “Is your problem solved?”

She nodded and gave her mom a huge hug. “I’m so glad God gave you to me! Next time I have a problem, I’ll go straight to you.”

“I think that’s a good idea, Suzy.”

It took several minutes before Suzy and her mom stopped laughing.

~Esther Grace

+ + +

Esther Grace made a great point in today’s article. It would be much easier to do what everyone else is doing than to deal with criticism or jokes for standing up for what you believe in. But wouldn’t you regret not standing up for what is right?

When Jesus calls us into a relationship with Him, He doesn’t promise that it’s going to be easy. He says we will face many troubles. He says the world won’t like us and we will face criticism and persecution. At the same time, He says not to be discouraged or afraid because He is with us always and He will take care of us. When you’re faced with the decision of whether or not to stand for your beliefs, remember you’re not alone. Jesus experienced the same thing, as have many other Christians throughout the ages. Stand firm in what you believe and be joyful! Other people will notice and will be inspired to do the same.

More About Esther Grace

Esther Grace is a godly teenager just like you. She loves singing in choir. Arguing in Debate Club. Helping the church any possible way. Knitting teddies. Listening to music. Reading. Encouraging friends. Tickling the ivories (i.e. playing the piano).

Most importantly, Esther longs for a radical revolution to sweep through today’s world. But that’s not going to happen on its own. So she is resolved to stand firm amidst the storm; to speak the truth no matter what; to live for Christ.



Blogger Hannah said...

I like how you included a Bible verse showing how Jesus really does understand what we go through with not "fitting in with the crowd". Wonderful job! I can't wait for another one of your articles to be published. :) Keep up the good work!!

- Hannah

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aye, I myself have sometimes struggled with thinking, "Jesus never had to face anything like this!" This is a good verse to remind me of the truth... reminding me to keep in mind that God knows all my thoughts before I can even express them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a very good message - I think it sounds like something I would read at a prayer group or at Bible Club. Good job and keep it up Grace! God bless.
-Kailey G.

Blogger Madeline said...

Nice work, Esther. I agree with Brennan, sometimes it is hard to imagine that a perfect person went through the things that we're going through. Because he was "guilty" of all the sins anyone ever committed, and all the shame and everything that went along with it.

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