The words “a new start” have been on my mind a lot over these past few weeks.
A new school year has started, and with that, I have started my new workout routine, a new study schedule, and here I am, re-starting this blog.
I read several great books over the summer, but I want to focus on Fin’s Revolution by A. S. Peterson. Fin’s Revolution is made up of two books: The Fiddler’s Gun and the Fiddler’s Green.
The story opens with Fin, a seventeen-year-old orphan girl with a wandering heart, living in colonial Georgia. She yearns for a new start, desperately wanting to escape the walls of the orphanage and marry her friend, Peter. As the Revolutionary War gains momentum, so do Fin’s troubles, and before she realizes it, she’s made too many mistakes.
Guilt corners her and she flees. We often run in the face of guilt too, fearing that no amount of grace could possibly redeem us. Fin runs to the sea, where she earns her keep as a stranger aboard a dangerous cargo ship.
“I’ll swim and sail on savage seas
with ne’er a fear of drowning.
And gladly ride the waves of life
if you will marry me.”
How to Train Your Dragon II
The oceans change her, force her into maturity. Everyone changes, but sometimes we worry that we have changed too much. We regret that we can’t be as innocent and care free as we once were. Fin worries that Peter will despise her, and she will never be able to lead a normal life again. She realizes that Ebenezer, her hometown in Georgia, was truly a good place where she and Peter could have led a happy life. She forsook it in her foolishness. We do this all the time. We seek after danger, thinking it looks appealing, and, too late, we realize that we were better off before. She thought the ocean could give her the freedom that she so strongly desired, but soon realizes that she wants to return home.
This story shows that we don’t have to crumble in the face of disappointment and guilt. Hardships will come, and they change us, but they don’t have to break us. As I was reading, there were a few parts where I realized that, had I been in Fin’s position, I would probably have just given up. But Fin refused to be broken. Rather than letting the harsh environment of mutiny twist her and her fellow sailors, she uses it to bind them together and make them stronger.
“Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I come;
And I hope by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be,
And let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.”