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Entries in The Good Portion (1)


I'm thankful I was boy crazy

I have three brothers, and I have a mother who wasn't a "girly girl." My first best friend was a boy. I always liked being friends with boys. And when I got to be 12 or 13, they became even more fascinating. I was boy crazy. I wish I had not been. Being too boy crazy distracted me from other things. When I think of what I am learning at seminary and what I would like to do, I'm sad, because for me, at 53, it's a little late. 

And yet, I know that God is in control of the universe. He is in control of my destiny. I was reminded of that as I read Rebecca Stark's book The Good Portion: God. In her chapter on God's wisdom, she points out that God has perfect and unlimited knowledge. And it is a knowledge about my life. She says:

Let your mind rest in this: God knows everything you don't, and not merely because He sees into the future, but because he planned the future. You are in the hands of the one for whom nothing future is uncertain, the one who knows it all because He planned it all.

When I look back at things in my past, when it is tempting to feel regret, I take this truth retroactively and remind myself that God knew what he was doing in my past. 

Eleventh grade was a difficult one for many reasons. Not having been raised with any religious training, other than having been baptized as a Catholic, I used to spend my Saturday afternoons in St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, which was across the street from my high school. I would just sit there and wonder. What did it all mean? I was too shy to ask anyone, and no one really ever came into the building while I was there, anyway.

And then, there was a boy (wasn't there always a boy?) in my 11th grade English class whom I liked a lot. I wanted to get to know him more. This boy was a Mormon. There were many Mormons in my school, living in Calgary, Alberta, as I did. How could I get to know this boy? A girl across the street from me was Mormon. On previous occasions, she had invited me to the dances that were held every Saturday night (an evangelistic tool) for young people. I would kill two birds with one stone: I would ask to investigate the Mormon Church.

And I did. And I was immersed in it for a number of months. And I was a good Mormon. The anticipated romance of the century with the red headed boy in my English class never came to fruition. Ultimately, I decided against the Mormon church in an eleventh hour change of heart. And while I knew it wasn't for me, I knew one thing: whatever church I looked into, it needed to use the Bible. While the missionaries who taught me eventually guided me to the Book of Mormon, they started with the Bible; James 1:5 to be exact (and it was taken out of its proper context).

After I changed my mind about Mormonism, I finally got the courage up to visit that Catholic church again and ask to speak to a priest. I remember that morning well; the Calgary Stampede parade was on a little television in the office of the Church as I waited. The priest listened to my story, but when I asked him if he could tell me where in the Bible it said I must do things like go to confession, and how the bread and wine became flesh and blood, he had one answer: "Come to mass." 

Well, thanks for that.

That was the end of that. I was seventeen years old that day, and when I was twenty, after meeting the man who would become my husband, I read in the Bible what my greatest need was: salvation because of my sin. That was the beginning of the rest of my life. And it all started with a boy. 

God knew my future in that school in Calgary. He knew where he would take me. Perhaps being boy crazy interfered too much. Well, it did. In high school, I never got the grades I did while in university or seminary. I was looking for meaning in a relationship with a boy, but God knew there was something better for me. And he patiently allowed me to fumble and bumble about until the moment when he knew I would see in his word how I could know him.

God has a reason for everything. It may not be something we understand, and trusting in that takes faith. But it's faith he will give us.