2013 to 2014: Transitioning our mindsets

An Essay By Elizabeth Anne // 1/3/2014

“2013 In Review”. This keeps popping up everywhere, so I decided to create my own review… Fortunately, this year was pretty interesting for me. Enjoy the highlights of my life this year!
This year I…
Had a fun time in January with my friends as we had get-togethers and posted the pics all over FB.
In February I spent a week in Lafayette with my mom at the Faith Biblical Counseling Training where we got to catch up with old friends and learn new things (such as the fact that I’m a bit allergic to cats… yay)
In February I also spent a day with the First Baptist Church youth group at Cedarville University hangin’ with my bro and walking around in the cold. (brrrr)
In April things also started to get tense for my family. To say the least, many tears were shed and many conversations occurred in private as we dreaded each Sunday.
In April a friends told me that “Sugar, caffeine, and Elizabeth should never be combined... beware...” (so true…)
In April I turned 17… that’s a bit scary…
In May my rabbit gave birth to her first litter… they were soooo adorable!!! (Actually, they would be adorable still if I had all of them… but the one I have left is the sweetest rabbit ever!)
In May… I may have developed a crush on a guy I had been friends with for a while… (don’t tell anyone) only to later have it crushed when he said he didn’t “need” to talk to me… yeah… awkward…
In June I made gluten free pizza!
In June I shut down my old blog and started a new one on which I post my sermon notes- in poem form…
In July… everything crashed into pieces on the ground
In July… seriously… everything fell apart
In July… in case you didn’t catch it- everything is in PIECES!
In July… maybe the reality was that everything finally cleared up and we realized who our real friends were… and what church really is… not what we were attending (because church implies family, oneness, and Christ centered living) So, basically, all of my friends and anyone outside of my family who I had ever looked up to suddenly decided to use me and treat me like a tool to bring down my mom and dad. To say the least, I don’t even want to talk to some of them.
In July I went to the Warren County fair as a part of the Warren County Junior FairBoard
In July I worked at Camp Barakel for a week… my last year as a Tech 
In August my dad officially resigned as Pastor of First Baptist Church, and was then told not to come back despite the normal requirement that he stay for a few more weeks. As a result of being kicked out early, they docked his severance. (As much as they’d like to think they didn’t hurt us kids or our family as a whole… to say the least our only Christmas presents from our parents was a game of catch phrase.)
In August I moved into my new room and ate ice cream on the roof with my sister! 
In August we started visiting a different church each week as we worked towards starting our own church
In September I got stung by a bee for the first time in my life… while I was driving. Safe to say… it wasn’t very safe. At least I now know I’m not allergic to bees!
In September I learned in co-op that the Federalists created the electoral college because they were afraid Elvis would come back to life and run for president… fun times 
In September we decided on a name and logo for our new church: New Covenant Life Church
In October we had our first church service as New Covenant Life Church and started out with 48 people attending!
In October I and my younger brother attended a Congress of Vienna Simulation as the Russian representatives… We were tricked into losing… (well, we had figured out what was going on before long, but we decided to keep our promises to fell participants… which meant we lost…)
In October my mom had knee surgery and I found myself the main cook in the house… which had interesting results… (but not all bad…) To say the least, my grades suffered a little bit (when you’re cooking gluten free from scratch for every meal with minimal help from your siblings, you end up cooking all day.)
In October my computer brewed a steaming pot of unhappiness when it decided to crash without saving my creative genius! 
In November I finished my first book!!!!!
In November I went to see Catching Fire in the theaters and got pulled apart by my friends because I don’t believe the books are good literature…
In November we had Thanksgiving with family and I didn’t have to cook everything… (In fact, I didn’t end up having to cook anything… I just ended up rolling out the pie crusts).
In December my older brother told a group of kids that, for every person who put Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving, an elf kills a baby reindeer. One of them asked how many baby reindeer there were... Probably none by now...
In December I became the evil twin of a 2yr old… (don’t ask, it’s a long story)
In December I saw Frozen… AWESOME!!!
In December I published my own website… and edited it about 30 times
In December I saw The Desolation of Smaug… It was pretty good.
In December our church bought a church building!
In December I started to wonder who my friends were…
In December I finished my second book… in 2weeks!!!
In December I woke up Christmas morning with a cold and the first thing I heard was that my favorite pet had died without explanation

So, now as I jump into 2014, here’s what I have so far:
In January my mom received a death threat…

Okay. Not so pretty.
But really, so far 2014 isn’t looking too great. Maybe it will be worse than last year when I started to hate going to church because of how my mom cried every week and how the adults treated my family. Or maybe it will be better. I guess what I’ve been getting to with all of this is that we shouldn’t be looking to each year for our hope in life, but rather to God. The reality is that we live in a fallen world, and a fallen world will stink sometimes. So, maybe this will be your best year yet, or your worst, just remember that God is in control.

Comments

At first I couldn't really

At first I couldn't really tell where you were headed with this, but your last paragraph wrapped everything up quite well. Great reminder.

Benjamin | Sat, 01/04/2014

“D’ye know what Calvary was? What? What? What? It was damnation; and he took it lovingly.”
~John Duncan

I liked it

It was real and pretty simple. Nice job!

j. Glen pollard | Sun, 01/05/2014

"The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you."-When I Reach Me.

:)

Woah. That's a hard year. Thank you for sharing! The last paragraph is great and true. I'm glad that you can still say that after all that's happened.

Lucy Anne | Sun, 01/05/2014

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am amazed at your positive

I am amazed at your positive outlook. Thanks so much for sharing, and great reminder at the end.
Do you need prayer? You are always free to contact me whenever.
I know a little of what you are going through with the church thing, but not to the extent you are going through.
Thanks again for the reminder; God is in control!

Maddi | Tue, 01/07/2014

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Thanks for all your feedback.

Thanks for all your feedback. After I posted this, I was a little afraid that this had turned into me ranting, so I'm glad you all got the point at the end.
Looking back over this year, I think that really the end results that came from the circumstances outweigh the horrible things that happened. There are still some days when we sit down as a family and talk through what we should/shouldn't do if we run into certain people, but we wouldn't be seeing the miracles of God's hand at work in the lives of the people in our new church without the trials we went through. There is strong biblical truth being proclaimed from our "invisible" (or currently non-existent) pulpit and we even have a church building (or will have one in a couple of weeks). With fewer members than at our old church, we still have larger involvement in ministry than I've ever seen and the working of God through other churches to help us is humbling. Without the help of a sound system or a piano in-tune, our home is filled each Sunday with loud sounds of worship and 6year-old boys are praying aloud for the people who kicked his parents out of church. My dad's lack of pay led to him getting a job in town, which has led to further involvement in the community.
Also, for me personally, there are some exciting new possibilities for this next year that would never have even been considered if all of this hadn't happened.
So, as an extension of my conclusion-
Even in the persecution you find yourself surrounded by- God has a plan. He will get you through it and work it for his glory. Our experience has been proof of that.

Elizabeth Anne | Wed, 01/08/2014

See him with his books:
Tree beside the brooks,
Drinking at the root
Till the branch bear fruit.
See him with his pen:
Written line, and then,
Better thought preferred,
Deep from in the Word.
~John Piper

Maddi- If you want to pray,

Maddi-
If you want to pray, maybe you could simply pray for the growth of the universal church. I have heard again and again recently of situations like ours in which the church clings to tradition at the expense of truth. My mom comments often that it really looks as though God is purging the church, and maybe she's right.
Also, you could pray for New Covenant Life Church to keep growing and learning and that we would be able to stand against persecution.
Thank you so much for your encouraging response. :)

Elizabeth Anne | Wed, 01/08/2014

See him with his books:
Tree beside the brooks,
Drinking at the root
Till the branch bear fruit.
See him with his pen:
Written line, and then,
Better thought preferred,
Deep from in the Word.
~John Piper

Wow. It's so good to know God

Wow. It's so good to know God is in control, even when things spin out of control . . . thank you for sharing, and for your unwavering faith.

Hannah D. | Fri, 01/10/2014

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

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