This weekend is the Quaker Arts Festival (aka, Tying Up Cancer's BIGGEST sale!). For anyone who's never heard of it, it's at the Orchard Park Middle School. So you oughta check it out. Tying Up Cancer's booth is near the back entrance to the middle school by the gym. If you're familiar with the place, there's a ramp and apparently our spot is right near there, but if you're not familiar my best advice is that it is in the parking lot where the bus garage is, but near the school
That picture over there is the first year of us Quaker Arts Festival-ing. Okay, so I'm not sure why we're eating pizza standing up. But I'm sporting my "everything is beautiful, but beautiful isn't everything" shirt so if you're super confused about the whole scenario here, focus on that. I don't seem to have a normal picture on hand so this has to suffice. See how happy we are?! Well, unfortunately you don't get to see our smiling faces when you stop by this year as we're both at college far far away. BUT you will certainly see other smiling faces; not to mention that Tying Up Cancer has an
It's not just the people around me that I typically don't trust. I also have a hard time trusting myself, and above all else, I find it hard to trust God.
Newsflash, Molly. Trusting in God is pretty much the way to live life.
And by pretty much, I mean it's really the only way to go.
Maybe you should learn how to do it.
Those are the typical thoughts that cross my mind when I consistently doubt God.
The thing is, this is pretty stupid, too. Not just because the Bible says God provides but because He always has provided in my life. Sure there are passages such as Proverbs 3:5-6 that say "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" and certainly that should be enough for me to give my life to God immediately. Who doesn't want someone else to make their paths straight for them? But when I examine my life I clearly see that God has directed me where to go: from college to the people I've known to the answers He provides when I need them the most. At the time I doubt God and my plan but it really is senseless; I''ve always ended up right where God intended, even when it wasn't what I wanted and I wasn't trusting in God.
When I was debating whether or not to raise awareness for pediatric cancer with the sale of a t-shirt this September, I knew that I needed to trust God with it. In fact I've been feeling that Tying Up Cancer as a whole needs to be directed to the glory of God, and that if He wanted it to succeed He'd make it succeed but otherwise perhaps it was time to be done. I know with the t-shirts too that if He wants it to succeed, it will. If not, well, I'd deal with that later. If you've been to the site where we're selling the shirt, you know that they're being sold for $17 and the overall goal is 177 shirts. Okay, so the number 17 is kinda my favorite number, and 17 is a pretty big deal in my life. For anyone who studies numbers in the bible (okay, so that probably leaves me, myself, and I) 17 is thought to signify spiritual perfection. It's crazily complicated so if you want to read about the number 17 you can do so here. Otherwise you can just roll with it and know that it was one way I let God decide what happens to the sale of the shirts, as ridiculous as that sounds.
The shirt sale hasn't caught fire like I hoped it would, and it frustrates me because pediatric cancer means so much to me. It frustrates me that many people don't seem to care that the incidence of invasive pediatric cancers is up 29% in the past 20 years and 1 in 5 children diagnosed will not survive 5 years after diagnosis. 2/3rds of survivors face long-term side effects, often in the form of a secondary cancer. 1/3 of survivors won't live 30 years past their diagnosis. The average age of diagnosis for children with cancer is 6, so 33% of them won't even live to be 40. I'll stop ranting for now. Again I question and doubt God; why would You make me passionate about something but when I work so hard for it, it doesn't work out?
So naturally I want to sell 5 million of these shirts so that literally everyone knows about the lack of funding received by pediatric cancer (because it's considered unprofitable by pharmaceutical companies and the federal government isn't very supportive), because that would make it possible to demand a change. But even though the sale hasn't been successful so far, this time my full trust is in God. If He doesn't want it to be successful, then I know it won't be, and I know that there is a reason for that. And if God wants the word to spread, I know it will spread like wildfire in everyone's souls. Perhaps this is one of those times where God's plan isn't our plan, but it ends up being a much better path for us than anything we could have come up with.
A few days ago my roommate and I were talking about a small group bible study opportunity. I was wondering what exactly the point of it was and whether or not I should put my name on the list to participate. She started talking about how good it is to be vulnerable, and how small groups give you an environment that feels safe to do it in. Yup, it's good to be vulnerable, at least in the mind's of something like 1% of humankind. If you're anything like me you're probably highly questioning that vulnerability could ever be good, which was my initial reaction to my roommate. But she insisted that it's so good to be vulnerable, as it allows us to be ourselves.
I can't say I like being vulnerable, but I sincerely hope that one day I too will proclaim how good it is to be vulnerable. And anyways, "no one can hide" from God so why bother with hiding at all? I do see how being vulnerable can be a worthwhile thing; we are all broken, and we need to embrace it in order to accept that we need Jesus as our Savior. So why not share in each others brokenness, so that we can develop worthwhile relationships with our brothers and sisters on earth?