Dear Mrs. Arthur,
Are you surprised that you have received a letter from a ninth-grader in Alaska? I wrote this letter to tell you that you and your book, Walking with Frodo, have touched my life in an amazing way. Walking with Frodo was an incredible devotional that has changed my spiritual outlook and my life. It helped God to break my heart and then bind it up again, making me a better Christian.
I have had a hard time with my faith for almost three years. I struggle with questions like, "Is God actually there?" How can He love me when I am so sinful?" and, "Can He really hear me?" I still have trouble believing that He can hear me, but my faith in Him is getting stronger.
It feels like everyone thinks that I am so mature in my faith, but inside I feel like a fake. When I pray I am afraid that He isn't there to hear, and my prayers are just thoughts that never reach anyone. I told my mother about how scared I felt, and she said that if my faith was as small as I said and thought it was, I would have given up on it two years ago when it got hard.
Week 3 of your Bible study, "Choosing Corruption or Integrity" really stuck out. After reading that chapter, I have prayed a good deal for integrity. It made me realize how much integrity I lack in my daily life, and how I need to integrate all of my life "departments." Your book has caused quite a revelation for me. The character traits you chose for Walking with Frodo are all qualities I desperately pray for, want, and need.
Although the Integrity chapter was thought-provoking, the chapter about Grima Wormtongue has altered my life forever. While my brother read it aloud, my mom told me a horribly distressing truth about myself that I had not even comprehended. It was my fault that I was so weak and worried all the time. I was choosing darkness over light. I was slowly being made useless to God, one tiny step at a time. I cried extremely hard and called aloud for God to help me, and He has. It seems to be an incredibly slow, heartbreaking journey, but my faith is getting stronger, thanks be to God. This chapter changed me by forcing me to run to God for help and not to ignore important truths, even those that are sad and scary.
I cannot thank you enough for writing Walking with Frodo, albeit it was a terribly convicting book. My father says that he has noticed how I have matured, and my mother says that your book has been part of that maturing process. She also said that she has observed big changes in my behavior. I have always been prone to feel sorry for myself, but now I do not pout as much, and I help her out more around the house. I had not perceived these changes, and I do not know if anyone else has, but my parents' notice is just fine. Walking with Frodo has opened my eyes; it has caused me to accept unwanted truths about myself that I had never imagined. Thank you again for writing a book that has changed my life.
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