It had been years since she even looked at me. I miss the days when she would depend on me, and put me first in her life. I was just collecting dust like all the other books on her shelf, but the difference is that none of the other books could change her life for the better.
A couple of years ago Olivia would take me everywhere, and every Sunday I would teach her something new. We spent time together each Wednesday night learning. Olivia loved reading me, and I loved sharing God’s word with her. She even got me a Bible cover, and it was made with beautiful brown leather and had Proverbs 21:35 written on top of it in black. I felt important, and I loved watching her grow in her faith. She used to put her thoughts down in me and highlight things that impacted her. She would share things in me with her friends. Olivia knew her worth, she knew how to love others, she was happy, and I was happy for her. She gave all her worries to the Lord and trusted His plan for her. My favorite thing was helping her learn more about God, and understanding more about his love. I helped give her hope, and I loved seeing her hopeful. I made a difference in her life, and, it was an amazing thing. Now I don’t get to see her hopeful much anymore.
Olivia started to forget me almost every Sunday going to church, and then she just stopped going, with or without me. She was always on her phone, and then she woke up in the morning I was no longer the first thing she would turn to. Olivia would spend some time with me every now and then, and she would read a verse or two. I was never more important than her phone. Then she was never home anymore, and she would come in only late at night. Even when she came in late, she was still preoccupied with her phone. Then the only thing I heard about was her new boyfriend, and she put all of her time and energy into him. He didn’t even seem very nice. Olivia would come home and cry almost every night, but she never cried out to God. She no longer gave all her worries to God, but she struggled every day with anxiety. Olivia would look in the mirror and hate what she saw because she forgot what God says about her beauty and worth. She never even mentioned me or God anymore, and I started noticing the dust collecting on my case that used to be new. Olivia started dressing like “other girls” to get attention, but she did not have to dress like that for God’s attention. She started to yell in frustration at her parents and she never left her room. Olivia stopped talking to her friends, well at least the ones I knew of, and they were always uplifting too.
I never hear of her boyfriend anymore, so they must have broken up. Olivia has not gone out with her friends in a while. Now she just stays in her room, and she is always sad or angry. She used to be so happy, and I miss it. Olivia began to think she was not good enough and she felt unloved. Again, Olivia forgot what the words in me said and how to see herself through God’s eyes.
One day Olivia came home late in the afternoon and she got a phone call from her father. Olivia’s face was suddenly filled grief as she was told that her mom was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. She was stunned with shock and fear as tears began to roll down her face, and she did not know what to do. I felt so bad for her and I knew I could help her but Olivia began to drown her sorrows with worldly things. She had hit rock bottom and thought that things could not get any worse.
I did not see her for a couple of days and I was starting to worry, and then late one night she came in her room with a look of bewilderment on her face. It looked as if her whole world was destroyed. Her mom had passed away just a few hours earlier. Olivia was confused and wondered why this had happened to her, and then she broke out in tears and began to throw things in a fit of confusion and anger. A few seconds later she found an old piece of paper on her floor next to her bookshelf, it was a note that her mom had written to her a couple of months back. The note read “God will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6, I love you – Mom”
Then Olivia in all her misery and sin cried out to God. She asked for forgiveness, grabbed me, and immersed herself in God’s word. Olivia read Psalms 139: 13-14 “For you created my inmost being you knit me together in my mothers’ womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.” She was reminded of her worth and how special she is to God. She read Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still a sinner Christ died for us.”, and she no longer felt unloved because she had a God that loved her unconditionally. Olivia saw a verse she highlighted years ago Jeremiah 29:11 “ for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”, and she knew that she could trust God’s plan for her life and that everything happens for a reason. She did not have to carry the weight of her sins, but she was set free from the bondage of sin.
It was like old times again, when I helped her grow in her faith and trust in the Lord. Olivia was the lost sheep that was found or the son that was lost and came running back into the open arms of his father. Olivia started going back to church and I would go with her. She followed God diligently from then on and she has used her story to spread the word of God. Olivia and I have helped change the lives of many people that were struggling. Her life was filled with joy once again and you could see how the Lord changed her. One day when she was studying me, she looked down at my pages and said, “I missed you.”
Lena is a freshman in high school from Perry, Florida. She strives to be the best she can be at all things. She would say writing isn’t her first love, but that changed after she was giving a creative writing assignment in English class this school year. Her love for Jesus and encouraging others to shine for him are important to her. She loves basketball, softball, and volleyball. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends.