I was working on this post before we heard the news about Josh. I think it's more relevant than ever,
and I want to share it with you. This was written on day three of this last speech tournament.
Sometimes God moves a mountain all at once, and other times he subtly moves one small grain of sand at a time. I have had speech rounds before where God has literally fed me each individual line of my speech, one at a time. I've had rounds where I've gotten so into my topic or character that I finish so emotionally and physically drained that I've almost passed out. I've Had rounds where God chose to humble me, and somehow He helped me to understand the message that He was teaching me, rather than being upset.
I could go on and on about the amazing experiences I've had in my four years of competing, but today was a grain of sand type of day. God blessed me in so many ways today; so many little, tiny ways. You know, each of my days are probably just as stuffed full of little miracles as today was, but I don't generally notice them...Oh, how I'm missing out! Hearing people tell me that my eight year old sister prayed with them before their semis round brought me near tears. Having one of my timers tell me that my Persuasive was exactly what she needed to hear made my day. Praying with people before rounds put everything in perspective. Seeing young men open doors for women, allowing them to walk somewhere first, and just being gentlemen was encouraging. Hugging my mom, just filled me with joy.
My speech, "career," is almost done, and I've found myself fearing that I won't have the same faith awakening, stretching experiences once I'm done. But really, God is just as involved in our lives everyday at home as He is during these times. My little sister is just as much a blessing every day as she was today. God can, and does, speak through each of us every day, just as He does when we give prepared speeches. Praying for people doesn't work better at tournaments, He is just as much involved in our lives and answers our prayers in the same way when we pray on ordinary days. Young men, believe it or not, do open doors and allow us to walk first and they are gentlemen (at least a good amount of them are...) in the, "real world," not just at tournaments. And I can most certainly hug my mom just as many times every day as I did today, and she's just as awesome on, "normal," days as when she's wearing a super-spy earpiece at tournaments (oh yeah, my mom is the bomb).
Since writing the above, God has been working in the most mysterious ways. Josh is no longer on earth, and is rather praising God in his new home. I qualified to Nationals in three events, two of which Josh helped me with, but qualifying has lost its wonder. I'm now just wanting to present these speeches for God's glory, to make Josh proud. People are hurting, feeling confused, possibly even angry. But still, God works through the mountains and the grains of sand, and He is always right here with us, every step of the way.
- All the way my Savior leads me,What have I to ask beside?Can I doubt His tender mercy,Who through life has been my Guide?Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,Here by faith in Him to dwell!For I know, whate’er befall me,Jesus doeth all things well;For I know, whate’er befall me,Jesus doeth all things well.
- All the way my Savior leads me,Cheers each winding path I tread,Gives me grace for every trial,Feeds me with the living Bread.Though my weary steps may falterAnd my soul athirst may be,Gushing from the Rock before me,Lo! A spring of joy I see;Gushing from the Rock before me,Lo! A spring of joy I see.
- All the way my Savior leads me,Oh, the fullness of His love!Perfect rest to me is promisedIn my Father’s house above.When my spirit, clothed immortal,Wings its flight to realms of dayThis my song through endless ages:Jesus led me all the way;This my song through endless ages:Jesus led me all the way.(Fanny Crosby)Please continue to keep Josh's family and friends in your prayers. Also, his parents just found the blog post that he was working on, but was unable to finish, on his computer. Please read that here.Over and out,~Emily