Assaulted by Joy: The Redemption of a Cynic by Stephen W. Simpson

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By Stephen W. Simpson

Like many Christians, Stephen gave his lifestyles to Jesus at a tender age. yet for many of his grownup lifestyles, Stephen wrestled with God, ticked off that issues were not as effortless as he proposal they need to be. He married the lady of his desires, but he nonetheless wasn't chuffed. while God introduced quadruplets into the struggle, he had no selection yet to shout, 'Uncle!' and publish. that is while Stephen stumbled on anything far better than happiness. He found pleasure.

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Despite the nice ego boost, I entered high school in the fall with my head down. I looked different, but I still didn’t have many friends. The first day of high school is hard for anyone, but going through it alone is anxious drudgery. I zipped through the hallways avoiding eye contact with everyone. On my way to second period, someone grabbed my shoulder and spun me around. “Lookin’ good, Simpson. Looks like you’ll be ready to wrestle this year,” said Mac Wood, a senior on the wrestling team with me.

Indd 36 7/7/08 9:42:29 AM Rock and Roll Rebel City, Missouri. The place was filled with novelty shops, theme restaurants, and other attractions that teenagers live for. They also happened to have a palm reader, which piqued my interest. At a Cub Scout Halloween party in second grade, somebody’s mom had dressed up like a gypsy and read our palms. The whole thing was a joke, but the palm reader said something that stuck with me. She said I was going to marry a girl named Jenny. It just so happened that I’d had a crush on a girl named Jenny since seventh grade.

Cynics can tell you all about the painful cost of religion, but they no longer know the joy of depending on God and others. After I became a cynic, I still longed for the passion I once felt, but I refused to be fooled again. I refused to be hurt again. The story about Brother Jeff is one-sided. I told the truth, but it was the cynical truth. I didn’t lie, but I didn’t tell you the whole story. I left out something really important, because it’s painful to think about: Brother Jeff loved me. For years I imagined that our former leader, Brother Rob, was the one who really cared for me.

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