Monday, January 9, 2012

Stepping Heavenward {guest post}

Today AnnaKate is back to share her thoughts on her favorite book - one I purchased last summer and intend to read soon.

“How dreadfully old I am getting!  Sixteen!”

So writes Katherine Mortimer in her brand new journal that will chronicle the journey of her life, her spiritual struggles and joys, her loves and hopes and dreams.

Stepping Heavenward is a wonderful story by Elizabeth Prentiss, taken from her own life and journals.  My mom initially introduced me to it on the way home from a vacation when I was ten years old, and I devoured it over the five-hour journey.  A good portion of it must have gone over my head; it’s written in a style mimicking the classics and I was accustomed to Beverly Cleary and just venturing into the world of Newberry Awards.  But something in the story latched on to me—maybe the insight that came later, the fact that I am very much like Kate Mortimer!  Her struggles are my struggles; the battle over self-will, the never-ending toil to hold my tongue, and the constant labor to clothe myself with the love and patience of Christ.  Her testimony is so much my testimony. She delayed for so long the inevitable thing her conscience longed to do—surrender itself to Christ.  Even when she laid down her life in the shadow of the cross, she viciously fought submission to the lordship of Christ and trust in His will.

Her relationships were almost unanimously wrecked by her selfishness and she fought the authority of her parents so ferociously that it took a bitter blow to open her eyes.  Even then, she freely gave her heart to a man whose charm and allure existed chiefly in the fact that her mother forbade it.

How could a girl like Kate be saved?  She could be saved by a love so deep that it surpassed all human understanding and filled her barren heart.  The Lord used the hated authorities in her life—her mother and her pastor—to open her eyes to the Gospel and humble her contrite heart.  She continued to make mistakes—some humorous, some bitter—throughout her journal, but the forgiveness of Christ healed where despair used to plague.

I love this book beyond all others because Mrs. Prentiss so skillfully portrays the life of a young girl whose heart has been changed by the Gospel.  A young girl like me, who makes so many mistakes it’s really pathetic, but whose God is bigger than her mistakes.  In the end, she writes exultantly,

“Thanks be to Him who has given me that victory that life will be Love. Not the love that rests in the contemplation and adoration of its object: but the love that gladdens, sweetens, solaces other lives.”

AnnaKate is a preacher's kid with a desire to serve her Lord and reach out to other God Girls through her blog, Just Us Girlz.  She's a fan of Jane Austen, Starbucks, and red shoes - among other things.

4 comments:

  1. very interesting article! I will follow your themes.
    Can I subscribe to your posts on Twitter or on your Facebook profile?

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  2. Hey there! For my blog, the Twitter and Facebook options no longer exist. Sorry! However, I'll see if AnnaKate's blog (she wrote this guest post) has those options available.

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  3. I'm back! :) It appears to me that AnnaKate's blog, http://godlygirlz.blogspot.com/ , has a Pinterest, RSS feed, and Google Friend Connect, but no Facebook or Twitter.

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  4. That's right. I don't have either of those, but you can subscribe to my blog via RSS Feed or email. =)

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