Thursday, February 28, 2013

Purity: For Better or Worse by my sister, Rebekah

                                                                                                                           Written by Rebekah Allison

                                   Thoughts from a non writer

So, the other night I was watching a period drama. You know, one of those where everybody is dressed in the clothes you wish never went out of style; where the hero is handsome, dashing, complete with a swoon-worthy accent; and the hero always ends up (after trials and misunderstanding) with the right heroine. They're the shows that make us adore our femininity! I could go on, but then I really would swoon and would be unable to finish this note.  Anyway, back to topic. It prompted me to think about one of the differences between then and now. You see, this week I also saw a magazine cover, basically, making fun of someone for their purity. My thought was, "How did we come this far?" In the aforementioned time of the period drama, this is how it worked: A young lady's reputation was EVERYTHING. I am not saying everything about the way they did things was always right. But, think of this. You lived in an age where you, your parents, your potential suitors, literally everyone, expected you to be a lady. (I think you all know what I mean when I say, "lady"). More than that, YOU expected everyone previously mentioned to treat you as a lady. So far, that sounds pretty good to me. Now, I have always liked the idea of being a lady because I am a "girly-girl". But if that wording does not sound nice to you, let me clarify. By "Lady", I simple mean that you behave in a way that makes people think well of you as a person. Being the kind of person that people would not believe any bad rumors about because, even if they do not know you, they know your good reputation.  Am I this type of lady? I hope so!  I think as young ladies, we need to stop believing the lie that our purity is something to be ashamed of. In a way, I think this lie is even harder on guys because it's related to a guys image. And because the guys are under pressure, they pressure girls.... and back to my target audience. =)

Young Ladies, I think we should start a trend. A trend of being proud of our purity. I do not know about you, but mine has been fought for! By my Lord; by my parents, other family and by myself. I am proud of it. (in what I hope, is a right pride, sort of way). I am not going to throw it away at the first guy who smiles and winks. (Side bar:  Does anyone one else hear Topher Grace shouting “ Guard your carnal treasure”?"... Just me?.... okay, moving on.)  Purity is something to be protected; sought after; held in high esteem; and treasured.  I can 100 precent tell you that if you want to marry a nice guy; (or even a not so nice guy... which I certainly hope you do not want to marry!); they want a "lady" for a wife. Okay, enough about that, because I am blushing.

I know I very well might be preaching to the choir. But, if the choir gets enough members, maybe, the rest of the world will listen and join? We need to change our thoughts and be "proud", so that when you stand for purity, people will look at you with respect; instead of disbelief and,  "Well, she's weird and has an abnormal attitude". I am convinced we are not as much of a minority as the world would have us think. But, even if we are, and we never stop the magazine articles or the weird looks. The bottom line is this: I want to respect myself and I want my family and future spouse to respect me. The decision is yours. However, I would say that we all makes mistakes and a reputation can be rebuilt. Even if only to yourself. So, never give up on you or your purity! I know of one Man Who values it highly and died to prove that you are special to Him! ( thanks, Jesus.)  Because in the end, this is what it comes down to: as girls, we want to be special to someone. We want to feel pretty and loved. WELL, WE ARE!  I hope and pray that I meet the man someday who prizes me and all I am!   Oh, and if he has a swoon-worthy accent, that would be alright. =) Until then, I pray for contentment in who I am... a "boyfriend-less" lady.  Also, I pray for purity in all of its forms. (I.E. my mind and body)

Just thoughts from this non-writer. Hopefully, something made sense in the randomness!  God Bless.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. -Psalm 51:10

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

This is only a Mountain

Shock, despair and horror was running through me as I sat in the Dr.’s office. This appointment was supposed to be giving me answers of why, after all these years, my health was not improving. Instead, I had to listen to a Dr. who does not know anything about me or my history; make terrible guesses and predictions of diseases and problems that I "might" have. The Dr. knew little about Celiac Disease and frankly, did not even agree that I had it. I just could not believe that she could sit there and make all these awful assumptions, that I knew were wrong. Then, as if the thing I was told was wrong with me wasn't bad enough; then, came what was recommended to do next. More tests that reveal practically nothing; more money, and more nothing! 
I walked out of the office with my Mom and looked at the hopeful and questioning faces of my Dad and sister. Quickly reading the expression on my face, they asked what happened. 
I couldn’t talk. 
I uttered a teary, muffled “I want to leave”, then rushed to the bathroom and broke down.  All this time I’ve never lost control of my emotions in a public place before but, there I was sobbing in the bathroom stall of a hospital. I didn't know at that point what to think. I was overwhelmed, angry and devoid of all hope. In my heart, I knew that what the Dr. had said was wrong, but the intense emotion I was feeling was not letting me see that. 

Bottom line: I have Celiac Disease. Celiac is a struggle. It is a serious autoimmune disease that if you have it, it will not be an easy road. I happen to have a very bad case of it, and therefore, have a lot of the other numerous problems that come with it. Being aggressive, taking matters into out own hands and not giving up the fight is what we have to do. I’m not going to give up! 

I still am processing all this. I’m still somewhat discouraged. In some ways, I am having to start at the beginning again and that is hard for me to accept. To think about more time and more struggling is disheartening. I was looking for a quick fix. To finally have my health and my life back. Yet here I am on hold once again. Or am I? Maybe I’m wrong just like the Dr. was wrong about me. I will most likely never do the things that I had planned for my future, but the key there, is it was the things “I” had planned. Clearly the Lord has a different plan for me. All this time without my health, and all the physical and emotional struggle's have taught me that I am not in control. God is. He has a plan for my life and this struggle is part of it. Having Celiac is a part of it. If I, a mere human, can come up with extravagant plans for my life, how much more can the plans of my Savior be for me! My life is not what I wanted it to be, but it's what its supposed to be. 

My long journey continues, but with Jesus walking right beside me, I can do it! I’m not giving up hope (Psalm 71:14)! We went to this Dr. to find answers and we got them... just not the way we expected. Even before the trauma of it wore off, we knew that going with what this Dr. was suggesting was not the way to go. While I’m sure that this person is very qualified in their field, for what I have and need they do not understand and cannot help. It was a clear answer and I’m thankful for it. 
For the first time in over a month, we are not petrified that I have something very dangerously wrong. Just the autoimmune disease that I already knew I had. While it's difficult and I would never wish for anyone to go through it; I know what I am dealing with and with the help of those who are also fighting Celiac and my family, I am going to do what I can to get back on my feet. 
How wonderful is it to have a Savior, Who even in the midst of trials, promises never to leave us or forsake us! I know I would of given up by now if I did not have Him to lean on. Continuing to move forward with Jesus by my side!  

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Unbelievable Grace

Recently, I have gone through a series of doctor appointments and tests. After being sick for four years with an autoimmune disease called Celiac Disease, I just was not improving. We were doing everything correct to get the Celiac under control, but yet I was still sick. In fact, I was getting worse. After the result of one of my test's came back, the doctors told my parents that what they believed was wrong with me, was very serious. Another autoimmune disease that is extremely rare and extremely bad. My parents felt that it was, at this time, their burden to carry so they did not tell me yet. They were basically sick and terrified about the prospect of this becoming a reality and were praying very hard.

Yesterday I had another test. The test took longer than it was supposed to take. So, it just added to our fear that something was very wrong. We arrived home last night and not too much later my doctor called with the news. I was slightly antsy, as I waited for my mom to hang up the phone and tell us what my Dr. had said. Eventually, she came into the kitchen and said what the results were. Everything that we were majorly concerned about was okay! It did show what the problem was, but it is fixable. I sat in a bit of confusion as I watched and listened to my parents, who at this point, looked insanely relieved and about in tears. I soon found out what caused this reaction and was, to be honest, horrified. The reality of what could of been washed over me in a rush of emotion. I was completely overwhelmed. 

My mind was a jumbled mess at that point. I just had one clear thought. 


How much my Savior loves me! He could of allowed me to have this terrible illness but He didn't. I feel blessed beyond belief. Even though I still have a long hard road ahead of me, I am thankful for it. Instead of climbing a cliff, I have a mountain. 

In the midst of difficult times, it is easy to go into a dark place. To focus on the negative and have a attitude of selfishness. I know that's how I get sometimes! Yesterday I was just struck with the amazing Grace of Jesus. The unbelievable Grace! After how I had been acting, I sure didn't feel like I deserved it. And the truth is, that I don't deserve it. Yet my all powerful Savior has offered it to me! 

Keeping my eyes firmly on Jesus is what I want to do with all my heart. He has never abandoned me and in my many trials I feel His presence so near. Holding me up in a situation I cannot go through on my own. One of my favorite songs says 
"I will trust in You. You've never failed before. I will trust in You." 
He has never failed before! I know this to be true! When I am weary and crying out to the Lord "I can't do this anymore!" He gives me the strength. I can look back over the last four years of my illness and see His leading. He has lead me every step of the way; and I am amazed at how He has sustained me and all the times He has given me grace! I am so thankful that I have the unconditional love and grace of Jesus! 

     Hebrews 4:16 -Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.