I had the pleasure of meeting Kelsey during Sukkot last year in Missouri. We found we had several things in common and began writing each other after Sukkot. The passion YHWH has given her for writing is amazing, and you can find her blog HERE - Naomi
My mom gave us a fulfilling, God-centered education. I was taught the Bible throughout my childhood, and I was baptized when I was seven. I was blessed to grow up with lots of homeschooled and/or Christian friends, so I was never exposed to the agonies of bullying, cliques, or other petty meanness. I witnessed them only occasionally on TV shows … but even that was limited since we were careful about what we watched.
Even though I grew up in a spiritual home, and had the life of Yeshua within me (I knew Him as Jesus then), there were still issues in my life that needed to be yielded to God. My strongest spiritual awakening came while I was twelve to fourteen. Mostly I was afraid of the fact that I didn’t know YHWH’s will for my life, and that I might be displeasing Him. I even doubted my salvation at times. But YHWH was faithful: when I look back, that period of worry and depression was the gate to the narrow, thorn-hedged path onto which He was leading me. Spiritual parents and activities weren’t going to be enough -- I had to be closer to God than anything this world contained or else I wouldn’t survive. That’s how I felt … life would be meaningless if I didn’t fully grasp Him.
Besides the Bible, YHWH led me to read several amazing books that were like a breath of fresh air as I struggled to figure out what a life yielded completely to Him looked like -- books by Hannah Whitall Smith (The God of All Comfort, Safe Within Your Love, with David Hazard) and Hannah Hurnard (Hind’s Feet on High Places, Mountain of Spices), the revised Elsie Dinsmore series by Martha Finley, Ester Reid, by Isabella Alden, The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, Dear Princess by Mary M. Landis, Jesus Freaks by DC Talk, and Road to Reality, by K. P. Yohanan, the founder of the mission Gospel for Asia. The Father used these to get my spiritual life in order. Any of these I would recommend as something to help you understand how to yield your life more completely to God.
Toward the end of 2005, my family learned we could keep more of the Torah than we’d thought plausible before, so we discovered how to set apart YHWH’s Sabbath and feast days as well as more aspects of our personal lives. That’s been an exciting spiritual journey.
He’s kept me busy. Besides what I do to help my mom and dad, I work part-time for a friend and neighbor, learning light remodeling and tons of other life skills; take martial arts classes and teach them; teach piano lessons; and do my favorite things of all -- study the Bible and Hebrew, write fiction and non-fiction, and read. Most important has been the time I’ve gotten to spend with my Abba and with my parents.
Because I’ve chosen to remain in my family home, I’ve been able to pursue a writing ministry, which wouldn’t have happened had I chosen college, career, and independence. I’m taking a course with a mentor, keeping a blog, writing for an online magazine (Imagine Mag), editing for another (Harvest Mag), and writing novels that will hopefully touch people’s lives. I don’t know what all is in my future, but God has shown me to continue what I’m doing now, and if there are any other opportunities that arrive, He’ll let me know whether I’m to follow them or not. The future is in His hands and He leads me day by day.
If a person has lived any length of time, he or she learns a few lessons, and, thankfully, I’m not an exception! Here are some that have been important to me:
1) God put you in your family for a reason; don’t be in a hurry to leave them, and don’t hesitate to put them first.
2) Life is happening right now; don’t wait for anything before you start to live, to feel content, to realize that you have everything you need and want right now. No prospective husband? Rejoice in the extra time you have with your parents and siblings, to pursue your gifts without having the responsibility of a household, and to grow and mature into someone a godly man would want to marry.
3) No matter where you are in your life, your life has value now. You’re not wasting time. As long you live according to the way God wants you to live, you’re fulfilling your purpose, right where He wants you.
I hope you are blessed as you seek to yield ever more to YHWH’s will. He gives us more than we ever think of requesting … in Him you’ll find everything you ever desire. The most significant thing you can do is lose yourself in His love … and the other important things will follow. Be strong, be prayerful, and trust in Him!