So… for school, I had to write a autobiography! It ended up being 15 pages and 6,537 words! And I thought maybe you would all want to read the finished version? Here ya go!!
(repost – June 5, 2020)
The noise increases as everyone gathers around the table. We talk freely, waiting till the stragglers finally arrive. Two conversations about guns are going on between the boys while the girls are chatting about what they are going to play after supper and I am trying to keep Deidra sitting at the table. Dad and Mom sit waiting and finally decided that staring at us isn’t going to make us calm down. They call for silence and we have a prayer, during which all but three people have their eyes open. Just as Dad says the “Eh” sound in “Amen” the voices of a dozen people fill the air as everyone takes up their conversations again. A crowd rushes to the island to form a line for food. A cry goes up as Hans’ plate tips and taco salad scatters across the floor. Garrett complains that Kaleb used the wrong plate and Colton yells that no one is listening to him. Deidra is now in Mom’s chair and needs to be convinced to move back to the bench and eat her food. We bribe her with ice cream but she just lays her head on my lap and hides from everyone’s view. The main conversation tonight is the coronavirus pandemic as we all listen to the latest Dad has heard and add our opinions. A groan is heard from the little boys side of the table as three pairs of eyes stare at the milk dripping down onto the floor, like it’s a puppy that’s just grown wings. After they are woken from their trance a towel is grabbed and the mess is cleaned up. Mom is again thankful she doesn’t use a table cloth. Twenty minutes later the plates are clean and we all begin to scatter. Mom calls us back and we start our chores. In another forty five minutes the kitchen’s pigsty-look is finally rinsed down the drain and we all disperse to our evening activities. Such is a meal with my family of 12.
I was born on a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon at 2:38pm. It was November 14, 2004. My parents are Keith and Cheryl Lehman. I already had one older brother, Stephen, who was only 15 months old when I was born. As I grew older, Stephen and I did almost everything together. Whenever Stephen was away, I didn’t know what to do with myself! We enjoyed playing with blocks and tractors together, but I usually wasn’t able to convince him to play dolls with me. We also enjoyed playing outside in our yard and petting our dog, Spike. Sometimes we would gather our instruments made out of blocks and put on a rowdy concert. But some of the fun we schemed led to trouble. One time we decided that our stuffed animals needed haircuts so we set up a barber shop and gave them all trims! Mom wasn’t impressed.
When I was only six months old Dad bought a house in about an hour and a half from where we lived. From Memorial Day weekend of 2005, to January of the next year, Dad would go up almost every weekend to work on the house. It was a fixer-upper and needed a lot of work. Sometimes Mom would bring Stephen and I up and we would stay in our grandparents’ small camper. Around Thanksgiving, we moved out of our first house and into an apartment connected to my other grandparents’ house. Finally, Dad finished remodeling and in January 2006 we moved into our new house.
Then in September my first little brother, Kaleb, was born! It took me a little while to get used to not being the baby of the family, but I loved my little brother. I even came up with my own nickname for him, Teba, because his name was too hard to pronounce.
Not long after Kaleb was born, when I was supposed to be in bed for the night, I decided to go over and play in Stephen’s room. He had a tub of really cool Legos, but I was told not to play with them because I was too little. When my Dad caught me in Stephen’s room, I was sitting on the floor playing with the Legos. Dad picked me up and carried me to the bathroom for a spanking. What he didn’t realize was that I had succeeded to smuggle a Lego with me; in my mouth. While crying from my punishment, the little Lego slipped down my throat and I started choking and coughing. I coughed up some blood and Dad and Mom knew I needed to go to the ER. The whole drive I was coughing and throwing up. At the ER, the doctors took x-rays but because the Lego was plastic, it didn’t show up on the x-ray. They started giving me small sips of water, and I was able to keep them down so they assumed the Lego had gone the rest of the way down my throat and I was fine now. They gave me some medicine to soothe my scratched throat and sent us home.
The next morning Mom gave me a banana to eat. I only ate a little bit of it and then threw it up. Something was still wrong. So Dad and Mom took me back to the doctor’s office. They sent us to a different ER, where they took x-rays but still weren’t able to find the Lego. Mom suggested giving me something to eat again. They gave me a piece of bread and I was able to keep it down. The small Lego steering wheel had finally unlodged! I recovered quickly though I don’t know if I learned my lesson… sometimes I still put Legos in my mouth to bite them apart. Thankfully I haven’t swallowed one since.
When I was 3 ½-years-old, Joseph Riley joined our family. Then, 14 months later, Mom announced that she was expecting baby #5! We all prayed for a girl, but I think I was the one wishing for a girl the most. I remember one evening when Dad and Mom drove all of us kids over to a friends’ house for the evening. When they came back, later that day, they walked through the door and announced that the baby was a girl! Briana Rachelle was born in May, on my 5 ½ birthday. I was so excited to have a baby sister to love. Of course I loved my brothers, but every child always longs for a sibling of their own gender, someone they can relate with.
Not long after Briana, our curly-headed bookworm, was born, Stephen and I decided to have a race and see which one of us was the fastest. We began at one end of our concrete pad and started to race to the other end. I ran as fast as I could, pumping my arms and legs hard. But then, as I got closer to the finish line, Stephen accidentally swerved over and crashed into me. I fell to the ground and my head hit the concrete. I lifted my hand to my forehead and felt blood dripping down my face. I went inside crying from the pain. Mom made me lay down on the couch and helped get the bleeding stopped. The slice in my forehead was bad enough that Dad decided to take me to the ER. I remember laying on a bed while the nurses gave me some medicine. I knew they were doing something to my head but I was too sleepy to know what was going on and feel pain. The next thing I remember is walking around Walmart at midnight with Daddy, feeling extremely tired. He bought me my first Lego set for being so brave! (I had grown up quite a bit since swallowing one!) It was a car, truck, airplane and gas station. It had hurt falling and cutting my head but getting a Lego set made it all worth it. I still have a scar on my forehead from the seven stitches, but I am thankful it wasn’t any worse. Pain is just one of the things that comes with life, and I guess if you have siblings you’re even more likely to have injuries!
When summer faded into fall, Celeste Lindell joined our quickly growing family. I was super excited to have another sister and Celeste, the most creative kid of the family, brings us a lot of joy.
One day when I was 6 or 7, we were playing with Play Dough at the little table. I don’t know how we got onto the discussion but I asked Mom how old she was when she became a Christian. She said she was 9, and so I decided when I turned 9, that’s when I would become a Christian too. For me, I don’t think I ever even thought about not accepting Jesus. Every Sunday I went to church and learned about Jesus, and every day at home we would pray to Him before meals and at bedtime. I always believed He was real and always thought that someday I’d become a Christian.
Several months later, a decision I made changed my life forever! I was only 7, and Mom was taking a nap while Stephen, Kaleb and I were playing house. Stephen played the dad, I played the mom, and Kaleb was our son. I wanted to pretend that Kaleb was becoming a Christian, and then I just decided that even though I wasn’t 9 yet, I wanted to become a Christian right then. So I prayed and asked Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my heart. I don’t remember exactly what I said but it was something like this: “Dear Jesus, I’m sorry for all the wrong things I’ve done. Thank you for dying for me. Please forgive me and come live in my heart. Amen.”
A few nights later, right before bed, Dad and Mom came into my room and talked to me about what I had done, what it meant, and then prayed for me. I felt really happy and went to sleep that night, smiling. Being a Christian changes how I live my life. It means that I try to follow Jesus and obey Him. I read His Word, and use the Bible as my guide for how to discern right from wrong. It also means that I always try to do the right thing, but when I do mess up, and sin, Jesus forgives me because His blood has washed me clean. Over the years I have had to ask Jesus for forgiveness hundreds of times, but He is always faithful to forgive me.
That spring, our lives changed once again. One evening, Dad and Mom gathered us all in the living room to talk. They told us that they felt like God was calling our family to move back to the apartment beside Grandpa and Grandma and work on the farm. Dad wanted a job that kept him at home and he wanted to be able to work with his kids. The couple who was renting from Grandpa and Grandma had just moved out and so Dad and Mom felt like God had opened the doors for us to move. I was a little sad to move away from all my friends but I was mostly just thrilled at being able to live closer to cousins. Now we wouldn’t have any more long trips to drive to visit our grandparents and cousins. Living only a few minutes from them, and working at the same place, meant we saw each other several times a week!
On Friday night, a lot of our friends and family came over and helped to finish with some last minute packing. Paw Paw and Mimi stayed with us that night. We slept on the floor because all our beds were packed away in the trailer. The next morning some of our cousins, the Groff’s, came down and we finished up all the packing and cleaning. Then we climbed into the our vehicles and drove up to our new house. Paw Paw, Uncle Ryan and Dad all hauled a trailer up! When we arrived at the farm, our other cousins, the Stahl’s and Grandpa and Grandma helped us unload and get settled in. I remember waking up the next morning, after sleeping my first night in my new room, and trying to figure out where I was!! It took a little to adjust and it was hard to believe we were actually living in a different house, but I got used to it.
Living next to Grandpa and Grandma meant that we got to see them almost every day! Uncle Peter and Aunt Melody still lived at home with them so we had great fun going over to their side of the house and visiting. We moved just when strawberry season started, so Dad was out all day working in the fields. Always having fresh fruits and vegetables to eat was definitely a positive change! My siblings and I spent our days roaming around the farm, working with Dad and enjoying the sunshine. There was always plenty to keep us busy. Our apartment was small, but we somehow made it work. I think the only ones who really minded the size was Dad and Mom. Us kids were enjoying living so close to family and having so much activity and excitement around us that we didn’t care how much space we had indoors! We were outside most of the day anyway!
My favorite memories from living on the farm are picking watermelon, cantaloupe, and gourds with Daddy. The farm had a lot of employees to help do the work. Dad and some of them would stand in the field and pick the watermelons and then throw them to more employees on the wagon. We would often stand on the wagon too and help put them in the bins. Sometimes, if there were small watermelons, Dad would throw them to us. At first, I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to catch them, but after a few times, I gained confidence and had a lot of fun.
Early July, Grandpa would combine the wheat. Then after it dried, James would bale it into small square bales. They were really rectangle but we called them square. All day and late into the evening the men and employees would haul the bales in on wagons and unload them into the barn. One time we were out watching them work and because it stayed light outside so long, we didn’t even realize how late it was! When we finally went in for supper it was already 8 ‘clock!
All throughout summer we would harvest sweet corn. Early every morning Dad would wake either Stephen, me or Kaleb up and we would go out with all the employees and drive the gator. We loaded 3 bins onto the gator and trailer. Then all the guys would carry baskets and would go into the corn field and pick the corn off the stalks. Once their baskets were full they would come and dump the corn into the bins. I would have to drive the gator forward when they cleared the area and moved farther up.
Mid summer we would plant strawberries for the next spring harvest. Grandpa, Uncle James, Dad, the employees, and the older children would all gather for a big strawberry planting party. It usually took a few days because we had 30,000 plants! Someone would drive the tractor and two people would sit on the transplanter and ride over the rows, putting plants in the raised beds. All of us kids would walk behind the planters and every time they missed a hole our job was to get a plant and put it in that empty hole. Sometimes the planters were so good they hardly every missed a hole. So we would start chanting, “Miss a plant! Miss a plant!” Every now and then they would purposefully miss one for us.
The day we finished planting the last plants, Mom, Aunt Laura, and Grandma would order pizza and we would gather on the wagon out by the newly planted strawberry patch. There we enjoyed pizza, soda and ice cream! This made all the work worth it!!
For about 4 months after we moved, we visited a different church almost every Sunday, trying to find the right fit. I think that was a challenging time for me. Each Sunday I had to meet new people and sit in Sunday School, where I didn’t know anyone. Every one was very welcoming, but it was still hard. During the hottest part of summer we decided to visit my second cousins’ church. And then we kept going back. The second time we attended there some girls came up to me and asked if I wanted to play with them. After going there for a year, I had became pretty good friends with all the girls there. Then in the winter of 2013, we decided to go visit our old church. Over the winter we drove an hour and a half to church every Sunday morning. I enjoyed the change, and became good friends with two of the girls there. They were super kind and invited me into their group. I found it was so much easier to talk with only two other girls then it is to talk with seven or eight! Spring 2014 we started going to my second cousins church again. I did enjoy being with the girls there and they were pretty good friends. But I always felt like I was kind of an outsider because they had known each other for years and I had only known them for a few months. I was only 8 at the time so making friends came pretty easily, but as I grew older I became more quiet and shy and I felt like my friendships with the girls stayed about the same while their friendships with each other grew stronger.
On March 9, 2013, Hans Franklin was welcomed into the family. We were still living at the apartment and the night he was born we all went over and slept in Grandma’s side of the house. He was born only a few minutes after we all fell asleep! The next morning we got to see him first thing when we woke up.
Around the time that the leaves started changing colors, Dad and Mom decided to take us all on a week long vacation to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. We left early Sunday morning and traveled all day. It took 11 hours to get to the place where we were staying. It was a cute little house, called The Cottage, that was just down the street from the Ohio River. We got settled in and ate sloppy joe sandwiches for supper. Dad and Mom slept in a room downstairs with Hans. The rest of us slept upstairs in the loft.
The next morning we loaded up and drove to the Creation Museum. We were all pumped, hoping we would get to see Buddy Davis. We had seen him in a lot of Answers in Genesis videos where he talked about dinosaurs and in our minds meeting him was like meeting a famous movie star! Right when we walked in the door we saw Buddy Davis walking out!! We got to shake his hand and say hi, which was very thrilling. Then we got registered and started exploring the museum. My favorite part was walking through a model Garden of Eden with all kinds of green trees, flowers and animals. There were even huge model dinosaurs! Our whole day was spent in the Museum. We also got good tasty food from the restaurant there.
On Tuesday we went back to the Museum again but this time we walked through the gardens outside. We also visited the petting zoo. We fed a few of the animals, including a donkey. Then we continued our journey through the garden. There was a lot of cool bridges and some of the plants growing there were so tall it was like walking through a tunnel! While we were walking along the paths we met a goose who kept honking at us! When evening came, we were all sad that we had to leave. There was soo much more we could have done! We went back to The Cottage and that evening Dad walked with us to the Ohio River. Dad showed me how to skip stones but it was super hard and I only got a few to skip. I was amazed at how Dad could make them skip three or four times!
When the sun lifted it’s rosy head into the sky the next morning we packed up and began our journey back to our home state. Along the way we stopped at a Cabela’s store in West Virginia. There we got to walk around and burn off energy after riding in the van for so long. We also got some dart guns to play with. We arrived at our cabin late that evening. The rest of the week was spent hiking, playing games, building puzzles and just having good quality family time. It was a fun vacation but it was also good to get back home and back into routine.
Plus even though it was sad our vacation was over, we now had something else to look forward to! Dad and Mom announced that baby #8 would be coming in the summer!
Over that winter and spring Grandpa and Grandma had a lot of long meetings with Uncle James and Aunt Laura and Dad and Mom. We had no idea what they were talking about. After a lot of planning and thinking, they announced that Grandpa and Grandma had decided to buy a smaller house just down the road, in between the main farm and the farm James and Laura lived on. They also decided that since James was going to run the farm, that we should move up to James and Laura’s house and they would move down to the main farm house! The second farm that we were planning to move too was owned by another lady, and Grandpa just rented it.
We started the moving process the second week of May 2014. On Tuesday Grandpa and Grandma moved out of the farmhouse and into their new house just down the road. The next day, James and Laura moved into Grandpa and Grandma’s side. All day Thursday we got to live right next to our cousins!! We played together every moment we could!! Then on Friday we moved up to James and Laura’s red brick house. In my mind it was crazy to believe that we were living in our cousins’ house! Now it was our house!
Early spring, before we moved, Dad had brought us all up to the farm and we had planted heirloom tomatoes in the high tunnel. Those he harvested that summer and sold them to Grandpa’s market. Gradually, Dad expanded and rented more land from Grandpa and began planting more vegetables. The next year we started growing ever-bearing strawberries which we harvested from July to November! Living on a different farm, meant there wasn’t quite as much action at our place. I felt a little more isolated from all the fun activities and jumped at every chance to go down to the farm and help with something. I still found plenty to do but it didn’t feel the same. The Stahl kids took over driving the gator for corn picking, which was one of my favorite things do. But I got used to not being able to be around so much excitement, and I was still grateful we were at least living on a farm and not in some townhouse. I couldn’t imagine living somewhere else! Life would be so boring if I didn’t have all the farm work to help with. It is always a lot of hard work, but it is also very rewarding.
Early July, I had a sleepover at my second cousin Karissa’s house. The next morning when I came downstairs, still a little sleepy, Marlene, Karissa’s mom announced that Mom had given birth early that morning! My mind had a hard time processing it all early in the morning and my mind jumped from Wait what? to Am I hearing okay? I was totally not expecting that news and it woke me up quickly! Later that morning, they took me home and I got to see my new brother, Colton Joshua.
Over the next several years our farm continued to expand. So did our family! Garrett Andrew was born on February 4, 2016. I had been really hoping for a girl, because the boys now outnumbered the girls 5 to 3, but God decided we needed another boy. And I’m very thankful for that, cause Garrett is such a fun sibling! This kid has already had 3 visits to the emergency room in his first three years. His first visit was only 11 days after his birth. He was taken to the hospital with a diagnosis of RSV, which is a respiratory infection. Garrett had one lung that collapsed and needed an oxygen tube. It was a scary time and we prayed for him every day. We stayed at our grandparents’ houses for a whole week, waiting for him to get better. Wednesday night, his 3rd day at the hospital, Daddy took me to see him. It was so sad to see such a tiny baby hooked up to all these tubes! Thankfully, Garrett was able to come home Friday, and he recovered quickly.
Also, just a few months before Garrett was born, our church decided it was time for a church plant. Their building was too small for the size of the church. So they started a new church. Over half the families left and went with the new church, including ours. This also meant that my group of friends was split. 3 of the girls stayed with our old church while 5 of us went with the new church. It was sad to separate but we all promised to stay in touch and write letters.
When the days got shorter and the leaves began to fall I celebrated my 12th birthday! For our family, 12 is a milestone and we always celebrate it with a big party. I decided I wanted a barn party so Dad fixed up the barn floor and we invited all the grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and some friends from church. We played a bunch of games, ate grilled chicken, cake and ice cream and then we all took a swing at a pinata. I was excited to finally be growing up and receiving more privileges.
2017 was a year that brought a lot of fun, excitement, and emotion too. Around the time that May flowers begin to appear, our dog Lacie, had 12 puppies and 11 of them survived!! I spent every spare moment taking pictures of them and playing with them. The first two weeks were the longest because we had to wait till their eyes opened before we could play with them. But once their eyes opened and they started crawling around they were so much fun!! Unfortunately they grew up and left all too quickly.
Then on September 10, Deidra Hope, my 9th sibling, entered our lives. I was super thrilled to have another sister after having three brothers in six years. Deidra is the one who keeps me smiling on hard days.
Mid summer, I was working in the fields and came in for a break. I noticed some people were walking around the farm, looking things over. I asked Dad about it and he said the landlady had decided to sell the farm. Grandpa wasn’t sure if now was the right time for him to buy it but if someone else did we would most likely have to move out. This was really hard for me. The thought of having to leave the farm and move away from family was heartbreaking. Questions began to fill my mind. What happens if someone else buys the farm? Are they going to kick us out of our home? Where will we live? I don’t want to leave the farm! Tears started to fill my eyes as Dad gave me a hug and reminded me to trust God. For the next several months we prayed hard about this. I knew that if it was God’s will for us to be here He would provide a way. And if it wasn’t His will He would show us where He wanted us to be.
Grandpa decided he would make an offer on the farm. We knew the landlady was difficult to work with and were a little worried that she would decide to refuse Grandpa’s offer and take it to auction. After many long weeks of waiting, on January 16, 2018, Grandpa and James signed the papers and this 97-acre farm became officially theirs! This was the confirmation we needed. God wanted us here and He had just clearly showed us that His will for us was to stay on the farm.
The end of 2018 we were all looking forward to the arrival of my 10th sibling in June 2019! Then in November, Mom miscarried. She was only 10 weeks along. It was sad that I never got to meet such a precious life, but that baby is now with Jesus now and I will get to see her/him in heaven! We named the baby Shiloh. I will always remember this sweet sibling!
In summer 2019 I decided I wanted to join the baptism class at church. For eight weeks we met with the pastors and talked more about what it meant to be baptized and follow Jesus. Baptism is a public profession of faith. It’s basically me telling all the witnesses that I am committed to follow Jesus and that I will serve Him for the rest of my life. Stephen and I were baptized along with three others, under a bright September sky. The water in the pond was actually a perfect temperature and I seriously would have considered swimming if I had my suit along! It was a truly special day and one I will remember for the rest of my life. I was super nervous about speaking in front of the whole church, but God was with me through it all and He answered my prayers, and helped me to have a memorable day.
Late fall, I got sick with a fever and bad cough. For several days my fever would rise to 103F in the evenings. After a few days, I started to feel a little better! When I woke up in the morning I felt almost good enough to get up but then around lunch time the fever came back and I felt horrible. Because I was still sick I had to skip our Thanksgiving dinner at Mimi and Paw Paw’s. That was a hard day for me. I questioned God asking, “Why are you allowing me to be sick during this time? Why are you keeping me home from seeing my cousins and grandparents?” I think it was a test to trust God. Not everything in this life makes sense. But God works it all out for our good and He helped me to grow in my faith over that time. In the midst of it all I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get better! Finally, after having a fever for 11 days, I recovered! My cough hung on for awhile, but I was able to be up and about and live normally again.
This year, 2020, has brought many unusual things our way. I am now 15, and my 11th sibling is arriving in August of this year! Dad’s vegetable production has increased greatly over the years. We now have 3 greenhouses and a high tunnel. One of the greenhouses is filled with beautiful fresh hydroponic lettuce! This lettuce is grown in trays, without dirt, which means the heads stay clean and we also have less rotting problems. We are now in our sixth year of strawberry production. Over the years we’ve dealt with worms, bugs, fungus, and one year we even had a crop failure in late summer. We started with only 4,500 strawberry plants the first year and grew to 23,000 this year!! Every spring, after most of the cold weather is over we get together with our cousins, the Groff’s and plant them all by hand! It’s a lot different than planting down at the main farm.
We also grow cucumbers, zucchini, peppers and roma tomatoes along with the heirloom tomatoes. For planting those we use the transplanter like we did with the strawberries at the farm. I think one of my favorite farm activities is planting on the transplanter with one of my siblings. We have a lot of fun talking and laughing with each other and sometimes we get into mud fights!
One of my favorite things to do with my siblings is have laughing fits; some days we completely loose it over the simplest things. And when Joseph, our goofy drama king, starts laughing everyone else does too! Many times I’ve laughed so hard because of something one of us says that I can’t breathe!!
We homeschool and I will be finishing up 10th grade in just a few weeks. I used to imagine what it would be like to have only a few years in school left, and now I’m there! The older I get, the faster time seems to go!
Some dreams we have for the future are adding sheep production to our farm projects. We have an area of meadow all set aside for them, but Dad and the boys need to pound the fence posts in. I am also starting to dabble in growing cut flowers. I’ve always loved having beautiful flowers around, but they do take work to grow! We now have 3 dogs, Lacie, Lillie and Lance, and right now our 5th litter of puppies are 6 weeks old.
Our church is growing speedily and my friendships with the girls there are also improving. Over the years we have become better friends and I hope that with time that continues. I’ve learned to be more outgoing, and speak up a little more. I want to be a good friend too and show others I care. I can’t do that by just standing with the group listening to them talk. I’m learning to join the conversation and be friendly. I’ve also discovered that my best friends are my siblings and cousins. I have so much fun with them and I’ve known them all my life. They are the people I can truly be myself with.
At the beginning of this year, I was looking forward to many exciting events, including helping at the Relief Sale for Mennonite Central Committee, camping, and my aunt’s wedding. Then in early March, we started hearing about a virus going around in China, called the coronavirus. I was thinking it’s just another foreign sickness that’s really no big deal. Then on March 13th schools all over the United States closed as President Trump declared a national state of emergency. The numbers of those sick started to rise. Then the Covid-19 lockdown was declared and we were officially stuck at home. All our events were canceled, including the Relief Sale. It was depressing and discouraging to not be able to do all those fun activities. But even in times of uncertainty God is still in control. I have learned that our lives shouldn’t revolve around excitement and fun. When all those things get stripped away, we still have God and that’s enough. I also realized how much I appreciate my family. If I didn’t have them around during this time I would probably go crazy!
Schools are shutdown for the year. Churches are abandoned. People are walking around wearing masks and staying six feet away from each other. All around the world, the media is being used by the enemy to spread lies. People are scared and fear is a powerful tool. There are people in the world who are using that fear to make people do what they want them to do. People are in conflict over who is right. Many believe strongly that this virus is extremely deadly and we need to stay home to stop the spread. Others believe it’s only bad for older people and those with underlying health conditions. Our family is coming to realize that this is a turning point for our nation. It seems like Governors are using this as an opportunity to restrict businesses they don’t like and to keep believers from going to church.
The church is in a tough place. Many Christians believe everything the media says and can’t see through the lies. We believe we need to go back to church. As Christians God calls us to obey God more than man. He also calls us to respect our authorities. Christians are confused about where to draw the line. Do we listen to our governors, wear masks, and stay away from fellow believers? Or do we stand up for our freedoms, go to church and show others we don’t live in fear, but we trust God? If we do the latter we may be viewed as uncaring. People look down on us for spreading the virus and killing hundreds. But if we do the former the world may think we are fearful. Our spiritual life may suffer. What would Jesus do?
As of now, most of our county is still under a stay at home order. These requirements are slowly being lifted and life is beginning to return to normal. But will it ever be completely normal again? It doesn’t seem likely. Now riots are beginning, cities are burning and police officers are being attacked. America seems to be taking a fast path downward.
Millions are out of jobs, the economy is suffering like never before. It’s now estimated that hundreds more are going to die of starvation and suicide than of Covid.
And with all this? God sees it all. He knows the future, and He knows what’s going to happen. We can only pray and trust and listen for His voice. He will show us how to live and be a light to those suffering around us.
In the meantime, I will continue to serve Him faithfully where I am, and try to follow His will for my life. This summer I will be working hard on the farm and helping take care of the new baby. That’s where He’s placed me and that’s where I will work with all my heart.