Sheltered

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Keturah lives a very simple, old fashioned life in the community of Hartford. She often wishes she could experience life outside of the community though. She is tired of being sheltered and being homeschooled and doing farm and house chores. Ma says the real world will be cruel to her but Pa thinks it is a good idea for her to experience modern living. Of course, the lessons she learns are far greater than anyone ever expected.

Submitted: October 26, 2014

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Submitted: October 26, 2014

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Chapter 1

 

I woke up shivering this morning. I really did not want to leave my bed but I knew that if I did not, I would be in trouble with my parents. I reluctantly got out of my bed and pulled on my warmest dress and socks.

I went downstairs and pulled on my coat, mittens, hat, and boots and then went out to the barn to help Pa milk the cows.

“Good morning, Keturah,” Pa said cheerfully.

I stifled a yawn and then greeted him before going over to milk Missy and then Betsy.

As soon as the cows were milked, I helped Pa put down fresh hay and then we went inside for breakfast.

“Good morning,” Ma greeted us as she put bacon and eggs on the table.

The only nice thing about getting up extremely early on a cold winter morning was Ma’s breakfast. Correction; that was the only nice thing about my life.

Pa said grace and then we all started eating. Ma and Pa did not say much. I did not say anything either but that is because children are seen and not heard.

As soon as we finished eating, I helped Ma clean up the kitchen.

“You can go get your books now, Keturah,” she said when we got done.

“May I please study near the fire?” I begged.

“Absolutely not,” Ma said firmly. “You will do your lessons at the table.”

I reluctantly grabbed my books and then sat down at the kitchen table to do my lessons. I was envious of Ma who was sitting next to the fire working on a quilt. As much as I hated sewing, I would much rather be her right now.

My fingers went numb as I attempted to do my figuring.

“Why are you not working?” Ma asked at one point.

“I am just so cold,” I protested.

“Well, get going then. As soon as you are done with your lessons, you may come sew by the fire.”

There had to be more to life than this. I had heard stories of modern life. Despite what Ma said, I thought it sounded better than what I had right now.

Some time ago, a group of people decided that the modern world was too crazy and hectic. They also decided that it was a very sinful environment and that it would be better to live like they did in the olden times, where life was simpler.

At one point, the community was fairly large. There was a general store, a one room school, a church, and several other businesses. Lots of people made up the community. Slowly, people have been leaving to go to the modern world. Now, our community only consists of a general store and church as well as a few families that keep our community together.

I have never left our community that we call Hartford after our founder. I have heard Ma and Pa tell stories though that makes me very curious. How could someone not like a world where life was made easy and there was more to do?

I mean, my life gets pretty monotonous. I get up early to do chores, then school, then sewing, and then more chores. I do this five days a week. On Saturday, I do not have to do school but I do have to help around the house. And on Sunday, I go to church and read the Bible.

What I would really like is to be happy. And I do not think I will ever get that in Hartford. There are no girls my age and I do not enjoy sewing or chores. But I do not even know what the modern world has to offer so I cannot even imagine what I would want. I just know I want out of here.

 

Chapter 2

 

The next day, a local school came to Hartford for a field trip. I have always wanted to help out but Ma has never let me. Today was no exception. She told me to work on my lessons and sewing.

I gazed longingly out the window as a group of people my age walked by our cabin. They looked like they were having fun. A couple boys were throwing snow at each other and some girls were talking.

I could easily fit in with that group of girls. I would wear a pair of pants and a shirt instead of a dress. I would cut my hair so that it was short and stylish, just like those girls. Ma would probably faint but she would eventually get used to my new look. In fact, she would probably be pleased that I was happy and had some friends.

“Get back to your sewing, Keturah,” Ma said firmly. “What is going on outside is none of your concern.”

“But, Ma, don’t you ever wonder what the modern world is like?”

“I have heard stories, Keturah, and the modern world is a very cruel place. The people are rude and unpleasant. People are way too busy and they prioritize the wrong things. We have it much easier in Hartford.”

“But how do you really know? You have never actually experienced modern living.”

“There are some things you just know. And we are not going to take even one step into the modern world.”

“The school kids come to our world for a field trip. Maybe I could go to the modern world for a field trip. It would be very educational.”

“The modern world does not understand our way of living. They would be very cruel to you, Keturah. You are better off staying in Hartford. I do not want you to mention the modern world again.”

“Yes, m’am.” I knew Ma meant business and that was that.

Someday soon, I would be old enough to leave Hartford. My future was supposedly all planned out but I was not going to go through with other peoples’ plans. Ma and Pa think that I will teach in the one room schoolhouse they are thinking about starting up again. And then someday, I will marry Charles Harper, a boy a few years older than me.

But I was not going to let Ma and Pa make the decisions for me. I would go to the modern world and decide for myself whether it was good or bad.

Pa came in from his trip to the general store for supplies and Ma jumped up to help him.

“I heard that Lewis Gibson died,” Pa said. “Doc thinks it was a heart attack.”

“If he had been in the modern world, he might have lived,” I said.

“Keturah!” Ma said firmly.

“Children should be seen and not heard,” Pa reminded me.

“Keturah suddenly has an interest in the modern world,” Ma told Pa.

“It is natural to have a little curiosity,” Pa said. “Maybe we should let her see for herself what the modern world is like.”

“Oh, Pa, could I?” I said excitedly.

“Oh, Paul, how could you suggest something like that?” Ma asked.

“It will be good for her, Caroline. Trust me. She just needs to get it out of her system. We cannot shelter her forever.”

I knew Ma would go along with Pa even though she did not like it.

“Tomorrow, we will take you to public school,” Pa said.

“Can I wear pants and a shirt like the other girls?” I asked.

“Absolutely not,” Ma said. “You will look like a young lady when you are in the modern world.”

Oh, well, at least I was going to see the modern world!

 

Chapter 3

 

Before Pa and I left for school in the morning, Ma reminded me to remember my Christian values. I was too excited though to care what she had to say.

Pa and I took the horse and wagon to school. It was kind of slow compared to the cars that were passing us but it got us there.

Pa and I got a lot of stares once we parked and headed inside. I think it had to do with the horse as well as our clothes.

“Hey, look, it is Laura Ingalls Wilder!” some guy called loudly.

“Would you tell us where we need to go to get her signed up for school?” Pa asked the guy.

The guy laughed but then pointed us in the direction of the office.

“Hello,” Pa said as he entered the office. “I would like to sign up my daughter for school.”

“Are you from Hartford?” one of the women asked.

“Yes. Keturah was eager to see what the modern world is like so she will probably be here for a week.”

Or longer, I thought as Pa was handed some papers.

“Keturah, I am going to set you up with a mentor,” a lady said to me. “Your mentor will help you find your way around the school and help you meet people.”

“Ok,” I said excitedly.

The woman called for Rachel Greene and I could hear her voice echoing throughout the school. I wondered how she did that. A few minutes later, Rachel came to the office.

“Rachel,” the office lady said, “this is Keturah. She is from Hartford and is new to the school. I thought you could help her out while she is here.”

“Sure, Keturah. Let’s talk while they get your paperwork done.”

Rachel led me out of the office and started leading me around the school. I was surprised that I could see no students.

“Where is everybody?” I asked as the kids around me laughed.

“They are in class right now. You will take seven different classes that last for about fifty minutes.”

“What classes will I take?”

“The office is working on your schedule right now,” Rachel said.

“What are those things?” I asked, pointing to what looked like metal doors lining the halls.

“Lockers. You are given a special code and then the door will open. You will keep your stuff in there and nobody else can get it.”

I was excited to get a locker.

Rachel pointed out all the classrooms but assured me that she would help me get to all my classes. Once we finished with the tour, we went back to the office and got my schedule and locker information.

After Rachel helped me open my locker, it was time to go to English.

 

Chapter 4

 

I was nervous as Rachel led me into English.

“Good morning,” a young woman who must be the teacher said. “I am Mrs. Hathaway.”

“I am Keturah,” I said.

“You can have the empty seat next to Rachel,” Mrs. Hathaway said. “We are reading Romeo and Juliet. Have you read it before?”

“No,” I answered. I took the seat next to Rachel and accepted the book that Mrs. Hathaway had handed me.

Mrs. Hathaway was talking about something but I was finding it difficult to concentrate. The classroom was just so interesting.

On the back wall was a beautiful painting. Along one of the walls was a large shelf filled with books. I had never seen so many books in my life. There were also posters all over the walls.

The students were interesting too. I saw a student with pink hair. A guy had spiky hair. There was a girl wearing a very short dress and another guy wearing a pair of pants with a bunch of holes. Ma would have been shocked by this classroom.

I was interrupted from my observations when Rachel handed me paper and a pencil.

“What is this for?” I whispered. I did not want to interrupt Mrs. Hathaway.

“We are going to take notes about Romeo and Juliet,” she answered.

“I thought we were going to read the book,” I protested.

“We do read some times. But we will understand the play more if we discuss it as well as take notes.”

I guess this was just something about the modern world I would have to accept. I guess people must take a lot of notes because by the end of class, I had a page full of notes and I was very bored. I thought modern school would be more fun.

Suddenly, there was a loud noise and I jumped.

“What was that?” I asked.

“That was the bell telling us that this class is over,” Rachel said with a laugh. “Now, it is time to go to history. We only have a couple minutes to get there before the next bell rings. If we are late, we will get in trouble.”

So this must be what Ma meant when she said the modern world is very fast paced.

 

Chapter 5

 

By lunch time, I was exhausted. I was not used to working on school this long. At home, I was able to finish my lessons fairly quickly.

Most of my lessons were interesting. My textbooks were full of wonderful pictures and maps. In one class, we got to watch short movie clips. I had never watched a TV before and I really liked it. And in math, I used a calculator. It made algebra so much easier.

“Follow me,” Rachel said at lunch time. We put our books on a table and then got into line.

“Hello, Laura,” the girl behind me said to me.

“I do not know why everyone keeps calling me Laura,” I said to her. “My name is Keturah.”

“I prefer Laura,” the girl said.

“Oh, be quiet, Sidney!” Rachel said.

“Nice dress,” Sidney said before turning to talk to one of her friends.

“Why does everyone keep calling me Laura?” I asked.

“Laura Ingalls Wilder was a pioneer woman that wrote many famous books about living on the prairie.”

“Ma did warn me that people in the modern world could be cruel.”

“I can bring you some clothes tomorrow if you like.”

“Would you?” I asked excitedly. “I have always wanted to wear modern clothes. And as long as Ma does not see me, it will be ok.”

We arrived at the lunch counter and I was handed a tray. I was not exactly sure what was on it though.

Rachel and I went back to our table, where we were joined by two other girls.

“This is Keturah,” Rachel said. “Keturah, this is Hayden and Tammy.”

“Nice to meet you, Keturah,” Hayden said.

“Was Keturah Abraham’s wife after Sarah?” Tammy asked.

“Yes.” I was surprised that she knew that. According to Ma, the modern world was very sinful. Tammy clearly knew the Bible. She could not be all that bad. “How did you know that?”

“We have a Bible study at church every week and we have studied Genesis.”

“So where do you stand with your faith, Keturah?” Rachel asked.

“Well, my family and I go to church every Sunday but I do not like it. It is very boring. I struggle to stay awake. Then, when we get home, we spend the rest of the day reading the Bible. I guess I really do not enjoy that either.”

“Does God hold much importance in your life outside of Sunday?” Tammy asked.

“I know He should but except for an occasional prayer, I do not give Him much thought.”

“You know, Christianity should not be boring,” Hayden said. “You should come to our church. It might be a culture shock but you might enjoy it.”

“I will talk to Pa. I am sure he will let me go one time.”

“Keturah,” Rachel said seriously, “I know you are here to experience the modern world but if there is one thing I want you to take away from this experience, it would be a relationship with Jesus.”

If that was going to be the focus of my time in the modern world, I was not sure I was going to enjoy it. But I did not want to lose the few people in the modern world that had respect for me.

“Ok,” I responded as a bell rang, ending lunch.

“Time for gym,” Rachel said.

“What, that was not much time at all for lunch!” I protested.

“Get used to it, Keturah. We only get twenty three minutes to eat.”

I guess I was not really in the mood to eat the mysterious meat on my tray anyway.

 

Chapter 6

 

After school, I had a pile of books to go home with me for homework. I was actually excited to have homework. In fact, I wanted to have additional homework so that I could learn more.

“How was school today, Keturah?” Pa asked me after school when he met me with the horse and wagon. Kids were laughing and pointing all around me but I did not care.

“Oh, it was interesting!” I said as I climbed up on the seat.

“So was it everything you expected?”

“I did not have many expectations because I did not know what the modern world had to offer at all.”

“So are you going back tomorrow?”

“Of course.”

As soon as I got home, Ma handed me a cookie and milk and then asked me about my day.

“It was so interesting,” I said.

“How were you treated?”

“Well, a couple people kept calling me Laura. My friend Rachel said that there was a pioneer author named Laura. But I did meet some really nice Christian girls that are my friends. They invited me to go to church with them on Sunday. Can I go, Pa?”

“What is wrong with our church?” Ma asked. I could tell that she was rather hurt.

“She just wants to try a modern church once, Caroline,” Pa said. “It will be good for her.”

“As long as you do not come home with any fancy ideas. Those people are not real Christians.”

I ignored what Ma said. I did think my friends were more Christian than I was. But since I did not know much about what they believed, I did not say anything.

“So I suppose you will be going back tomorrow?” Ma asked.

“Of course. There is more that I need to learn. Now, may I be excused? I have homework to do.”

“Go ahead, Keturah,” Pa said.

I sat down by the fire and pulled out my algebra book and calculator. Ma did not say anything about me needing to do my work at the table.

“Now what is that fancy device used for?” Pa asked with curiosity.

“It is a calculator,” I answered. “You can use it to solve math problems.”

“You used to know how to do your figuring just fine in your head without using some fancy machine,” Ma said as she came to investigate.

“I still can, Ma. This calculator just makes it easier.”

Ma could not stop herself from looking at the rest of my school stuff. She frowned at the glossy pictures in my history book and laughed at Romeo and Juliet and said that it was probably one of those awful romance books that modern women liked to read.

I wished Ma could be supportive of my decision to experience the modern world. I really enjoyed going to school today, despite being called Laura. And I looked forward to going again tomorrow.

And after the day I had today, Hartford was more disappointing than ever.

 

Chapter 7

 

Rachel met me the next morning and gave me a pair of jeans and an orange t-shirt that advertized some university. Once I had changed, she pulled my hair back.

“Wow, I like the way I look,” I said as I admired myself in the mirror. “I look so normal.”

“There is no definition of normal, Ket,” Rachel said with a laugh.

“Ket. I really like that.”

“You have never had a nickname before?” Rachel asked in astonishment.

“No. My parents feel that since my name comes from the Bible, it should always be said in full. They have very strict beliefs.”

“Ket,” Rachel said again, “I know you are really enjoying the modern world and I know you are feeling like you are being deprived by living in Hartford, but you have things that we do not have either.”

I laughed. “What could you possibly like about my life? You know, milking a cow and sewing are not enjoyable activities.”

“But you have a fairly simplistic and stress free life.”

“I will trade you anytime.”

“Oh, I am not saying I want to trade. I do not know any other way of life and I think it would be very difficult for me to leave behind all these modern conveniences. I am just saying that you should take some time to reflect on the good and bad of both worlds.”

“I guess I have really only been focusing on the good of this world and the bad of my world,” I said.

“Come on, we had better get to class. We have more to learn about Romeo and Juliet.”

“Do we have another new student, Rachel? Mrs. Hathaway asked when we walked into the classroom.

Rachel laughed. “This is Keturah, Mrs. Hathaway.”

“I am so sorry, Keturah,” Mrs. Hathaway apologized. “I did not recognize you. You are dressed very differently than yesterday.”

“That is ok, Mrs. Hathaway,” I said before I took my seat.

The morning was a lot better than yesterday. Nobody called me Laura or laughed because of the way I was dressed. They did laugh a lot at the things I did not know though. For example, in history, we went to the library to do research on the Civil War and I did not know how to use the computer. Hayden ended up asking Mr. Henry if it would be all right if we were partners.

Again, like yesterday, I was relieved when it was lunch time because I had not really had much of an opportunity to talk to my friends while lessons were going on.

“So did you ask about church?” Tammy asked once we had sat down.

“Pa says I can go!” I said.

“That is great, Keturah!”

I knew from yesterday that I needed to spend more time eating than talking. “What is this?” I asked with a look at my tray.

“It is a taco,” Hayden said. “It is Mexican. It is really good.”

I decided to take my friend’s word and try it. Surprisingly, it was good.

“This looks really simple to make,” I said. “But I bet Ma would be very against it.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, why do you live in Hartford, Ket?”

“Ma and Pa say that it is a very cruel and sinful world. But I wanted to see what it was like for myself.”

“And what is your opinion?”

“There are some cruelties as well as sin, but it is not all that bad. There are good things and bad things about this world as well as my own.” I had taken Rachel’s word and thought about the good and bad of both worlds.

“There is sin everywhere, Ket,” Rachel said. “It does not matter what world you live in. We are all sinners and are condemned to death.”

“I may not be an extremely religious person,” I said, “but I try to be good. And I have never murdered anyone. I think I am going to Heaven.”

“It does not work that way, Keturah,” Rachel said.

“What do you mean? It is common sense. Good people go to Heaven.”

Rachel pulled out her Bible. “Let me show you some verses known as the Roman Roads.”

“Ok.”

Romans Road

 

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

We have all done things that are disappointing to God. There is no one that is perfect and innocent.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The consequence of sin is eternal death (in other words, we are not going to Heaven; we are going to the devil).

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for all sins.

Romans 10:9 That is you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

If you believe in Jesus and make Him Lord of your life, you will be saved.

Romans 10:13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Jesus died to forgive our sins and save us from eternal death. Anyone can have this forgiveness if they trust in Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Jesus died for us so we will never be condemned for our sins.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“How come they do not ever talk about this at church?” I asked. “This sounds like it is very important.”

“We believe at our church that you must surrender your life to Jesus. That means that you need to admit you are a sinner and accept the forgiveness given for all sins through the death of God’s Son, Jesus. Then, you live the rest of your life for Jesus.”

“What does living your life for Jesus look like?” I asked curiously.

“It is different for everyone, Ket, but basically, you give your all to Jesus. Everything you should do should be for the Lord. For example, by living my life for Jesus, I try to tell everyone about Him, including you.”

“You have given me a lot to think about. But this is something I do not want to rush.”

“I would not want you to rush this either. But I implore you not to wait too long. There can be serious consequences by waiting too long.”

 

Chapter 8

 

Since it was Friday, I did not do my homework when I got home. Instead, I got out my Bible and started reading through the Romans Road verses.

“Why are you reading the Bible?” Pa asked curiously. “You do not even like reading it on Sunday.”

“My friends say that I am not going to Heaven unless I bring Jesus into my life.”

“You do have Jesus in your life,” Ma said. “You go to church every Sunday and you read the Bible. You are also a pretty good person, despite wanting to experience the modern world.”

“Rachel says that being a good person will not get you into Heaven,” I said. “She says that every person is a sinner. In order to go Heaven, you must admit that you are a sinner and accept Jesus’ forgiveness. Then, you must give your life for Him.”

“I knew the modern world was no good!” Ma said. “Now they are trying to get you to believe the same way as them. I do not want you to go to that church on Sunday or school on Monday. Those friends are a bad influence.”

“Ma, I already got permission to go to church and I told my friends that I would go. Besides, they are very strong Christians, even though they believe differently than us.”

“I did tell her that she could go, Caroline,” Pa said. “Besides, I think it is good for Keturah to come to her own beliefs. And she is only going to do that by talking to people and attending other churches.”

“She could come back and tell us that she is not a Christian anymore too!” Ma cried and walked away.

“I did not mean for my interest in the modern world to upset Ma,” I told Pa. I was really sorry but I did not want to give up on going to modern church and school.

“Do not worry about Ma. Don’t tell her I told you this, but she once had an interest in the modern world too. She did not like how people teased her for the way she was dressed so she came right back here. I think she is most upset about all of this because she is afraid she will lose you.”

“I am just not sure what to believe about anything, Pa,” I admitted. “I do not know what to believe about Jesus or the world.”

“That is ok, Keturah. That is why you are going to go to this church and you will continue going to modern school until you figure out your place in the world.”

“Thanks, Pa,” I said as I gave him a hug.

 

Chapter 9

 

I did not have much to do on Saturday so once I finished my homework, I read the entire Romeo and Juliet play and then part of my history book.

For once, I was actually excited to go to church on Sunday. Pa dropped me off at the edge of Hartford and then Rachel picked me up in her car and took me to church.

“I have never been in a car before,” I said. “It is kind of fun.”

“I imagine a horse and wagon seem slow compared to a car.”

“You have got that right.”

Today, I was wearing one of my good dresses. It still looked old fashioned but I figured I should look nice to go to church. I was actually surprised that Rachel was wearing jeans and a nice shirt.

“Here we are,” Rachel said as we pulled up in front of a large building.

“Wow, a ton of people must go here,” I said incredulously.

We went inside and took seats with Hayden and Tammy. I was surprised that there were comfortable chairs instead of hard wooden benches.

The church filled up quickly with people in all sorts of clothing. Some were dressed better than others.
A few minutes later, a group of people came forward. After a quick prayer, they began playing a piano and guitars and everyone in the church began singing with them. I was surprised that instead of hymnals, the lyrics were on the screen in front of us. I was also surprised by the upbeat music but I really liked it.

After a couple songs, everyone sat down to hear the pastor’s message.

“’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 a hope and a future.’ We all know this famous verse from Jeremiah 29:11, but how many of us actually live by it?” the pastor asked.

“Often, we think we know more than God. We beg Him for the things we want and get mad if things do not go our way.”

The pastor went on to talk about Ester and how God had planned for her to become queen and to save her people.

“God’s plans to not always make sense,” the pastor continued. “But God can see the whole puzzle picture when we only see one little piece. We need to trust God’s plans, not our own. If you are ready to trust God with your life, I invite you to come forward now.”

“What is going on?” I whispered to Rachel. I could not help it. I was curious why two teenagers were going up front.

“They have a decision to make,” Rachel whispered back.

“Today, Kinley and Alex are ready for the final step in establishing a relationship with God,” the pastor told us. “They are ready to have all their sins washed away through baptism. I just have one question for you girls though. Do you believe that Jesus is the Lord and Savior of your life?”

“Yes,” they answered together.

The pastor and the girls left but returned a few minutes later wearing shorts and t-shirts. The girls stepped into a tub of water up front and the pastor dunked them both. It was very interesting to watch.

Once I got home, Ma and Pa had a lot of questions for me. I told them everything about what the church looked like and the music and then the sermon and the baptism. They were both interested in what I had to say but I do not think Ma was pleased.

“I really enjoyed church,” I told them before I went to read my Bible for the rest of the day. I was going to read about Ester and the big plans God had for her.

 

Chapter 10

 

“You need to eat, Keturah,” Ma said Monday morning.

“I guess I am not really hungry,” I said. I was also not feeling that great but I did not want to stay home from school or Ma might not ever let me go back.

I ate a couple more bites and then Pa and I got into the wagon.

“Is everything all right, Keturah?” Pa asked in concern.

“I am fine,” I lied before getting out of the wagon.

“We have an assembly this morning,” Rachel said to me as I was changing into her clothes.

After we checked into English, we went to the large auditorium and took seats in the cushioned chairs so that we could listen to some guy talk about bullying.

Even though the speaker was kind of boring, I was relieved that I go to miss class. There was no way I would do very well in class right now because of the way I was feeling. I had pain in my stomach and I felt feverish. I also felt like I was going to be sick.

Suddenly, I knew I was going to be sick. I ran to the auditorium doors and grabbed the trash can on my way out.

“Are you all right?” Rachel asked when I got done. She had followed me out of the auditorium.

I shook my head. I felt horrible.

“Let’s go see the nurse,” she suggested.

Rachel led me down the hall to a small room with a bed. I collapsed on the bed while Rachel told the nurse that she thought I had the flu.

“It really hurts right here,” I told the nurse as I pointed to my stomach.

“I will be right back,” the nurse said before rushing out of the office.

“That was odd,” Rachel said. “I wonder what that was about.”

I really did not care. I just wanted to go home.

The nurse returned a few minutes later.

“I do not want you to be alarmed, but the principal and I are going to take you to the hospital and then we are going to try to find your parents.”

“What is going on?” Rachel asked.

“I do not know for sure, but I think it might be appendicitis,” the nurse replied.

“Can Rachel come too?” I asked. If I was going to go to a modern hospital for the first time, I wanted a familiar face that I could trust with me.

“Sure.”

After the doctor examined me, I was told that I had appendicitis and was going to need surgery. They were going to wait for my parents to get there though.

“Are you scared?” Rachel asked me.

“A little,” I admitted. “I am more scared about how Ma will respond to the situation.”

“Trust God,” Rachel said. “Remember what the pastor said in church yesterday? God knows what He is doing.”

God must have some crazy plan for a teenager who lived as in the olden times but was experiencing the modern world and then got appendicitis. I wondered what was next.

“There you are, Keturah!” Ma cried as she and Pa burst into the room.

“I will be fine,” I tried to assure my parents.

“We are going home right now,” Ma said.

“Why? I need surgery or I will die.”

“We will let Dr. Johnson do the surgery.”

It was not that I did not trust Dr. Johnson to be successful, but I knew that the modern doctors had a lot of medical experience. There is a reason people live longer today.

“I really want the surgery here,” I said.

“What? Why?”

I told Ma my reasoning.

“Maybe God brought Ket to the modern world for this very reason,” Rachel said timidly.

“Who are you?” Ma asked harshly.

“I am Rachel, Ket’s friend.”

“Who is Ket?”

“It is just a nickname, Ma. I like it.”

“I do not even recognize you anymore, Keturah,” Ma said with tears falling from her eyes. “I do not recognize your hair, clothes, or name. You are turning into one of those sinners.” Ma walked out of the room.

“I will handle Ma,” Pa said. “And you will have the surgery here.” Pa left the room.

“Do you want to pray?” Rachel asked.

I nodded. I knew what I needed to say.

“Lord,” I prayed out loud, “please be with me during the surgery so that it will be successful. I know I have work to do for You and I am ready to get started after the surgery. I am ready to do it with You at my side. I am sorry that it took so long, but I am ready to start over by accepting the forgiveness You gave for all sins through the death of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.”

“Oh, Ket, I am so happy for you,” Rachel cried. “You just made the most important decision of your life.”

“Well, I did realize I have a need for God in my life.”

 

Epilogue

 

“How are you feeling, Ket?” Rachel asked timidly as she entered my hospital room after school the next day. My parents were sitting beside my bed.

“Pretty good,” I said.

“We will leave you two to talk,” Pa said before he and Ma left the room.

“So I have been spending the morning praying and talking to my parents,” I told Rachel. “God has revealed His plans for me.”

“And what might they be?” Rachel asked eagerly.

“I am going to go back to Hartford so that I can tell the citizens about Jesus,” I said.

“Oh.” Rachel had a hard time hiding her disappointment. “I am happy for you, but I am sure going to miss you. I guess it is like what the pastor said on Sunday. God has plans and we just need to accept them and not be mad that we did not get what we wanted.”

“I hope you will come see me often. I will not be that far away.”

“And I guess it is my turn to come experience your life,” Rachel said with a laugh.

“That would be fun.”

“So are your parents supportive of this?”

“Ma is a little hesitant but I am sure she will come around. Pa agrees that a lot of people in Hartford are just going through the motions of being a Christian and do not really know Jesus.”

“So I take it you are done with the modern world?” Rachel asked.

“Unfortunately. But Hartford is where God wants me. I mean, how many other people would be willing to come to Hartford to live and spread the Good News?”


© Copyright 2018 Kimberly Adams. All rights reserved.

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