Chapter 2 – The Young Can Rest


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A Desire So Strong

  Chapter 2 – The Young Can Rest


Pulling back the curtains to peek outside at the day, Marie saw the cloudy overcast and felt a familiar tingle inside. She loved a cloudy and rainy day. She attributed her love for this kind of day to an experience she’d had when she was ten.
          It was a blistering hot summer day thirty nine years ago in the state of North Carolina where she’d lived with her parents and six siblings. Around noon, while outside playing, the sunny sky began to grow dark. She could smell rain and knew that a thunderstorm was brewing. Storms at that time were not something she enjoyed. Marie was actually terrified of them. She’d heeded the call of her mother for her and her siblings to come inside. This is one time Momma won’t have to call me twice, she thought.
          One of the most mind boggling things for her during that time was the way most country folk acted before a storm. They’d make the children come inside and put them all into one room. The adults would unplug everything that was plugged into an outlet: TVs, radios refrigerators, freezers, and lamps.
          The children weren’t allowed to move around once the storm started even though they were inside. Having often heard the need to be quiet during a storm because God was at work, Marie sat quietly as the rains began to pound the tin roof of the house. Already afraid, the deep voice of the thunder and the crackling of the lightning made her eyes grow big with fright. She’d looked at her siblings who didn’t seem to be as bothered by the storm as she was. In fact, she grew angry with her three younger brothers who were whispering to one another. “Momma said for us to be quiet!” she’d snapped at them. Of course they’d become quiet for a few minutes and then start whispering again. Marie closed her eyes and leaned against the wall where she sat on the floor anxiously waiting for the storm to pass. “Oh God, please let this be over soon,” she’d prayed.
          Walking around in her memory, Marie couldn’t actually recall how long she’d sat pleading with God to end the storm that day, but she did remember the sudden feelings of loneliness she’d felt inside and how the feelings just continued to intensify. Forgetting her fear of the storm that day, she jumped up from where she sat and ran into the little bedroom she alone shared. She ran to the window. The sky had begun to clear, yet the rains continued to pour. The thunder was softening its voice as the lightning could be seen flashing in a far distance.
          “God, I know what this rain is,” she said to the Lord as she looked at the sky. “This rain is your tears. You’re crying ain’t you Lord? Are you lonely God?” she’d asked concerned.“Where is your mother? Where is your father? How’d you git here anyway?”
          What happened next startled her more than the storm had frightened her.
         “As long as you live little one, never try to figure out howI came to be—just know that I am.”
         She became rigid and her hands became all clammy. She really hadn’t expected the Lord to talk to her. What do I do now? she asked herself. A strange calm arrested her. Finally moving, she wiped her wet hands on the shorts she wore.
Humbling herself, she held her head down. “Okay Lord—I won’t ask no more,” she said and hurriedly ran back to join her siblings in waiting out the storm.
         “Where you been?” one of her younger brothers asked.“Momma said for us to sit down.”
         “Shut up boy—I was looking at the rain.” she snapped.
         With the sound of the rain softly drumming the tin roof, Marie and her siblings were released to move around in the house. She ran back to the window in her room a little fearful but anxious to hear the voice of God again. Though He uttered not another word, she became excited about the rainbow that colored the sky. “Momma, Momma, I see the rainbow!” she yelled, running from her room. Marie and her siblings followed her mother out onto the porch where they stood looking at the rainbow. She felt all warm inside, not only because of the beauty of the rainbow but also because she’d made contact with the maker of the rainbow. Standing admiring the different colors, she thought again on what the Lord had said to her. She realized that the rainbow was a sign of God’s existence.
She’d never told anyone about that day until many years later when she shared with her Sunday school students her first encounter with God and how that encounter helped her to lose her fear of thunderstorms. Actually, she now welcomed every rainy day with a smile no matter how heavy the pour. A rainy day served as a reminder to her of the very reality of her God and also reminded her that in the midst of every storm, God can be found. Marie smiled as she recalled questioning the Lord one day in regards to what some have said about Him in a storm.
         “Why is it, God, that as a child the only time I heard about you doing any kind of work was when a storm came?”
         God laughed with Marie for a few minutes and said, “If the only time I work, Marie, is during a literal storm, then I’m a sorry God because it doesn’t storm every day. Rains don’t pour every day. Raging winds don’t blow every day.
Thunder doesn’t roar every day; neither does lightning strike everyday—ah, but know that every day there is a mental storm going on and a physical health storm going on. There is a spiritual storm going on as well as a financial storm going on. The storms of life rage every day, and just as I can be found in the midst of a literal storm, I too can be found in the midst of life’s storms.”
          “Lord, you sho’ preached a sister happy that day.” she said opening the drapes to the windows in her bedroom. Sighing with joy, she stood a few minutes more looking out at the day.
         “I’m glad that I’m not sleeping this beauty away.”
         If it happened to be an off day for her, Marie usually planned activities that were appropriate for the coziness of a cloudy or rainy day. Today, she felt especially blessed and decided she’d spend some time enjoying a warm soak surrounded by bubbles from a scented bubble bath. She finished making the bed which was a quick work, seeing as how she’d only messed up one side, and went into the bathroom to start the water for her soak.
          “I guess I should apologize for being angry with the telemarketers earlier, huh God?” she asked. Had they not awakened me, I’d probably slept through the early part of one of my most favorite days.”


As Marie soaked in her ocean breeze bath bubbles, she thought on the things the Lord had shared with her earlier. The conversation on youthfulness reminded her of the conversation she had the day before with some of the younger co-workers on her job.
          “A young adult,” she recalled herself saying, “is by age a person between eighteen and twenty five, I say. You’re not even considered an adult until you reach eighteen, and in some instances, twenty one. Society makes the horrible mistake of labeling those between the ages of thirteen and seventeen as young adults. Someone who is thirteen to seventeen years old is a teen-ager,” she emphasized, “not a young adult.”
          I’ve seen through society’s mistake the terrible errors many teens are making. Through acceptance of a small thing as a label or title, many teens have stepped, and are stepping, out of position and are attempting to assume the roles of an adult. Trust me when I tell you that many and most teens can handle neither the role nor the responsibilities of adulthood. They aren’t fully equipped to take on all that the role entails. Shucks, some of us that are adults aren’t equipped to handle thangs because some of us assumed the role before our time.”
          Marie always included herself in conversations with people, especially the youth, regardless of what the topic was about. If the topic was on sin, then she was in the conversation regardless the sin. If the topic was on blessings, she was in the conversation too. She knew that whatever the topic, if she wasn’t guilty right then, then somewhere in time she had been and certainly could be again in the future. She’d found that by connecting herself with the topic, it made people, especially the young, know that they weren’t being singled out to be picked on, and by doing so, the listeners became more receptive to what she had to share.
The young people that day had given Marie their full attention as she chatted with them while on break. She only had fifteen minutes, but she’d take it and use it wisely.
          “I believe,” she continued, “Marie, Chapter I, Verses 15-17, that it’s during young adulthood, between the ages of eighteen and twenty five when you should start experiencing life and learning to be successful adults. This new role doesn’t mean we’re supposed to run around and sow wild oats, as they used to say. Sowing wild oats has caused many of us to forfeit some of the greater things meant for us in life.
          Being an adult does not imply that we are exempt from rules and instructions, but it does imply that we should willingly subject ourselves all the more because of the role that we’ve assumed. Having become adults doesn’t mean that you’ve fully arrived at having all of the answers and have no need to be taught anything. The old heads that have embarked and travelled this highway many years before us are a great help and can with their many experiences and insights, make our journey a little less challenging. But we have to listen and make applicable the insights given.”

          The group of five nodded their heads, and one or two of them even smiled. I believe our time to experience life; start careers, meet people, and go places is during young adulthood. It is not the time to be tied down in superficial relationships which sometimes produce baby mommas and baby daddies four or five times over.”
          “Miss Marie, is nineteen too young to be in a serious relationship?” Taneisha asked.
          “That’s a great question,” Marie answered wondering to herself what the best answer should be. “I was listening, Taneisha, to a motivational speaker on television the other day who was talking about relationships. He said that there are those who are in our lives for a season and others for a lifetime. He explained that one of the biggest errors we make with people is confusing the seasonal with the lifetime. In doing so, we fall in love in the wrong relationship. Many times what we find thereafter are lives filled with misery and hardships. Ten times out of ten, the relationships end disastrously. He said in so many words, Taneisha, that seasonal people are depositors of nuggets or sowers of seeds. They enter your life, deposit insights or experiences, and leave. Many times we’ll try to strap them to our lives for longer than is actually intended and make a big mess of things. We should seek the guidance of God, dear one, regarding every individual we meet and especially seek His guidance concerning the individual who dances on more strings of the heart than others. Because we are limited in our insights of people, God, who is omniscient—which means He knows everything—knows every individual on the face of the entire planet through and through. He knows their intents and motives. He knows when they’re honest and dishonest or shucking and jiving. Because God is a loving God and cares about our well-being, know that He will tell you the truth about people and will instruct you on how far you should go in life with a person.”
          Marie looked at Taneisha. “How many people have you dated prior to . . . . ?”
          “Sherrod,” Taneisha answered. “His name is Sherrod, and I’ve only dated one other person before him. That relationship only lasted six months. The boy was a playa.”
          “Oh, well have you sought the face of God concerning Sherrod, Taneisha?”
          “No, I haven’t Miss Marie. I think it’s right because it feels right.”
          Marie sighed at the dreamy reply. “The point I’d like to make young people is this: Being young adults with no children and no great responsibilities as of yet affords you the opportunity to meet so many other people. Now, I didn’t say lay around with other people or play the whore with other people—I said meet and by all means seek the guidance of God concerning the people you meet.”
          Many of them started laughing. They knew exactly where she was coming from. The one thing Marie didn’t do with the young people was sugar coat anything. Several of them had come to her before sharing personal matters, so she felt comfortable being straight with them. All of them knew they’d get it no other way except straight when she’d talk with them.
          “Look y’all, we older adults struggle with relationships too just as you younger adults do. Because the perfect union of God was defiled by sin, we’re gonna experience ups and downs, highs and lows in relationships of whatever kind.
However, God always has the answers—the solutions to all turmoil, and He provides instructions that’ll protect our hearts and minds through each relationship. There are so many reasons adults divorce: domestic violence, adultery, irresponsibility, laziness, and the lack of mutual respect just to name a few. How many marriages among adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty five would you estimate ends in divorce?”
          She really wasn’t looking for an answer. She simply wanted the group to embrace the question with meditation and prayer. She’d hoped they’d search themselves with honesty and look to God for guidance before jumping into situations and circumstances that would scar their lives and shatter their dreams.


“Oh, this is so good” she said drying off in a fluffy bath towel. She blew out the ocean breeze scented candles and went into her bedroom to finish her pampering process. She chose powder and lotion from her White Diamonds collection and sat on the edge of the bed to apply the lotion. She really enjoyed the feel of the lotion against her skin and enjoyed seeing the small specks of glitter left after the lotion was applied.
          If only I’d applied some of those things to my own life those years ago, she thought still reminiscing about her talk with her co-workers. I know things would have been much easier. Even with all the messes made, the marriages, and bad relationships, one would think I’d never want marriage or anything resembling it.   Yet deep within her, that hunger remained. The desire to be a godly wife, to love as Sarah loved Abraham, reverencing him and calling him Lord. Marie sighed dreamingly. “You know that Abraham sho’’ must have been good to Sarah,” she said aloud. She laughed and started dressing for the day.


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