A guy named Dan

I’m going to take a break from my story for a little bit, to journal quickly.

Let’s say there’s a guy named Dan. And a girl named Kelly. Dan is a little older than Kelly (about 4 years), but love knows no age, right? Dan starts talking to Kelly (kind of randomly). Kelly isn’t sure what to think about it, but she thinks there’s no harm in facebooking or texting him every now and then. She has known him for a little while before he started facebooking her, but they never really hung out much. Being the good, Christian girl she is, she talked to God about everything that was going on, and she even promised to Wait on His timing on this. Well, time passed….Christmas break was over and soon they were back at school together. They played volleyball together a lot. At first, Kelly refused to take any initiative in the ‘relationship’, because ‘he’s the guy, so he needs to be the leader!’ Before she knew it, though, Kelly was the one to ask him if he wanted to hang out with her and her friends. Sure, he would ask her out for coffee every now and then, but that doesn’t really count for much, does it. He got to know her best friends. Kelly wanted to make sure that her best friends approved of him and they said they did. So Kelly and Dan and her best friends hung out a lot of weekends…going to movies, stuff like that. Kelly didn’t really get to know ANY of Dan’s friends. But Dan was busy. Way too busy for Kelly, usually. She was lucky to get one or two texts from him during the day usually. This drove her nuts…she tried to give him grace because she knew that he really was busy and that he had a good excuse (I mean, he was about to graduate and he has a hard major) But he couldn’t have been so busy ALL the time that he couldn’t even send a quick text every now and then. She wasn’t used to having to wait for five hours for a reply to her last text…when she would have to go look at her previous message because she had long forgotten what she had even told him because it had been such a long time since she sent it. Dan said a lot of nice things, when he did find time for her. But Kelly finally realized that words don’t mean crap unless they’re backed up by actions. 

Well, again, time passed and before they knew it, it was time for Dan to graduate. Kelly went to the graduation since her brother was also graduating, but she never saw Dan that day because he was with other people and didn’t have time (even though she called him on the PHONE-which is really hard for her, btw). Dan had to stay for a little while after graduation to finish some things and, before he left to go home (hours and hours away from where Kelly lived), they wanted to hang out. So they went out to eat, hung out and walked around, etc, then he left. Without any word of what would happen next, even though in a way he had stepped up their relationship…and then he never talked about it. They said goodbye and she still hasn’t seen him since then. They talked for a while after that…mostly over Skype. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked. But Kelly was getting really tired of practically dating him and acting like a couple, but never being official. And it only got worse when he was hours away. She was actually almost ready to try the whole long-distance relationship thing, but she felt like she was stuck in a weird place in a relationship and had been that way for a LONG time. And she was tired of it. But he didn’t seem ready, which she suspected. One day, he again didn’t let her know what was going on (over text) and she got really angry at him and facebooked him a fairly long message, basically breaking up with him, even though they were never official to begin with. That was about three weeks ago. Kelly, again being the ‘good’ Christian girl that she is, took it all to God. She admitted that it was hard and she told him everything that she was going through. But she still seemed to have more questions than answers. More unanswered prayers than answered ones. She asked God to help her to completely get rid of this desire for a guy at all. Kelly stopped talking to Dan. Stopping Skyping him. But she couldn’t just magically remove him from her head. Every time she drives past a place where they had hung out, memories flash through her head. 

Kelly has tried everything imaginable to get Dan out of her head. She doesn’t even know for sure how she felt about him! Did I really like HIM? She often asks herself. Or did I just like the attention and idea of him… she still doesn’t know the answers to those questions. She often finds herself moody now, when before she started college and everything started being crazy, complicated, and confusing she is often that way. She randomly gets in bad moods for no apparent reason, but deep down she knows that it is probably linked to Dan somehow. Not that she blames him, or anything. She probably more often blames herself for anything that happened, than Dan. I tried to do everything right, God, so why is nothing working out? She cries out to God daily. 

She knows DEEP down, that there is hope for her. There is someone else. Someone better for her. God’s got a plan. But Kelly feels like she has failed her God yet again. She hasn’t completely trusted in that plan yet, even thought she has KNOWLEDGE that He has one, if that makes sense. She sometimes catches herself feeling a little jealous toward her friends who are dating. She hates this and takes it to God, but she doesn’t really know what to do about it. If I have been doing everything right (at least I think I have been…that’s what I’ve been trying to do!) why is nothing working out for me, which it seems so effortless to others? Others who aren’t necessarily even ‘doing it’ the ‘right’ way? Kelly still doesn’t have the answers. She trying her best to trust in God and His plan, but she honestly feels like the weakest person out there and daily asks for His strength to lift her up. She knows that she can’t continue on this difficult journey by herself. 

Does that story sound familiar to you? It sounds a little too familiar to me…

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Etched and Sketched on my mind

Here is the next part of my “Short Story” (I’m not really sure if that’s the right genre, which is why I put it in quotations lol). Sorry I took so long to write more of this, but if you missed any of the parts go back and read those first! 

Etched and Sketched on my mind:

I crept along the hallway and, before I knew it, I found myself at another door on the right side of the hallway. I looked back at the King, who stood right behind me. He nodded, so I touched the door handle and turned it before walking into the room. This room was dark and had the same eerie lighting as the hallway. It felt big and empty. My footsteps echoed on the cold stone floor. When the King shut the door behind us, the door sounded loud in the unbearable silence.

“What does this room do?” I whispered in the silence. The King didn’t say anything, but instead He stared straight ahead. All of the creepy lights went out. It was pitch black. My body tensed.

Suddenly there was a light so blinding in a corner of the room, that I had to shield my eyes from it. I finally mustered up the courage to take my hands away from my eyes and squinted at the bright light. It seemed to be a sort of spotlight. Eventually my eyes adjusted to the bright light and I could see what was happening. One by one, more spotlights turned on, all over the room. I spun around, trying to look at them all…wondering what was happening. During all of this, the King was silent. He looked around at the spotlights, but I knew that He already knew what would happen. Then he looked at me as if to encourage me to look closer at each individual spotlight. I crept towards the first bright light. As I got closer, my vision got clearer, like a camera focusing in on something. I could see a room. It looked exactly like one of my best friends’ rooms. It had the tan carpet, the clean desk, and the tangled and Hunger Games posters on the wall. Kara’s room. Then three girls walked into the room, laughing and talking all at the same time. They sprawled on the floor and grabbed a couple books. I watched the three girls (they looked quite like Kara, my other best friend, Katie, and I) open the books and read for a while, then they would talk for a long time. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but I remembered that time quite well. We called them Jesus Dates.

I turned to talk to the King, but I couldn’t find him anywhere. So I looked at the next spotlight. I didn’t want to look at this one. As soon as I saw what was starting to happen, I wanted to back away or at least look away. But I couldn’t. It seemed to have entranced me so that I couldn’t move until I had seen what I needed to. So I was forced to watch. In this spotlight, I was crying and hugging someone goodbye. I didn’t need to see his face. I knew who it was. I remembered that time well. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment. I knew that it was very possible that I would never see him again. Or, worse, he would quickly move on and forget about me as soon as he drove away. He held me tightly and at least acted like he didn’t want to leave me. But he had too. Eventually we backed away and I got in my car. He got in his, and he drove away.

I could feel tears starting to form in my eyes, so I tried to turn away. I could move this time, so I walked away from that spotlight. At all of the other spotlights I caught other glimpses of my past…some were happy, some sad, some exciting, some fun, some depressing. My life was literally flashing before my eyes. I felt so many emotions in that small space of time that I didn’t know what to do with myself. Suddenly all of the spotlights clicked off at the same time. Before I could get nervous about how dark it was, soft lights lit up the room and the King was the only other person that I could see. He stood a few feet from me and I ran to Him.

He smiled at me.

“What was all of that? Why did you show me that?” I asked, almost afraid of the answer.

He gently placed his hand on my shoulder. “You recognized those events?”

I nodded slowly.

“You have been holding onto your past too tightly, Dear Child.”

“I have?”

The King nodded, his eyes still captured a smile. “You need to learn to completely let go of your past. Give it all to me. You have said that you have let go of your past and given it over to me, and I know that you truly have tried to do so. But you haven’t completely surrendered everything to me yet. You still cherish those memories that you should let go. Believe me, it is only holding you back. If you would trust me enough to give them over to me, I have so much better plans for you!”

Tears slid down my face. “I-I’ve really been trying, my King. Why is it so hard to just let go of things?”

The King had a small, almost sad smile on His face when he gently placed his hand under my chin and lifted my head so that I could see His face. I knew that He understood. His eyes spoke what His mouth did not. “I know that it is not easy for you, Child. It is not easy for most people. But it is necessary.” After a pause, He whispered, “Trust me.” He wiped my tears from my face and put his arm around me. “The next room will be hard for you. It is connected to parts of this room, so much so that we don’t go back out to the hallway like before. There is a door in this room that connects us to the next place. Just remember that I am always here for you and, even though you will not enjoy this, you will learn much about yourself and about how to completely let go and trust me. Are you ready?”

I breathed a long, shaky breath and wiped the rest of my tears away. I was almost afraid of what awaited us in the next room but, when He offered his hand to me, I slid my small hand into His rough, capable hand and knew that He would truly be there with me. With the King beside me, I took a step toward the door which led to another room. 

Reminiscing

Check out the first three sections of this Short Story titled “The Choice”, “Reflections”, and “Rest” before you read this one! Here’s the next section:

Reminiscing

Birds sang and hopped from branch to branch, then followed each other from tree to tree as I continued my journey. High overhead, large fluffy white clouds danced on the light breeze. This isn’t so bad. I told myself. It’s a long walk, but it’s not that hard or anything…I closed my eyes to enjoy the warmth of the sun on my skin as I kept walking forward. I sensed that it had suddenly gotten colder and a shadow crossed my face. I looked up to the sky and, to my surprise saw dark clouds rolling overhead. It was sunny just seconds ago. I thought, confused. Large droplets of water dripped on me and moistened the dirt path. Great, I thought as a plodded along. In the distance, I could see something blocking the path. I could only hope that it was a refuge from the rain that was starting to pour harder. I quickened my steps. The building looked large and cold and dark. The whole structure was brown and it scared me a little. But there was no way around it, and the storm was getting fierce. Lightening cracked and thunder roared as I timidly cracked open the door. I walked inside and carefully shut the door behind me. I soon regretted that decision, though, because it was quite dark and creepy inside. I turned to open the door again. I twisted the door handle, but it didn’t turn and open like it was supposed to. It just kept turning! There was no way back, so I was forced to face whatever lay in this building. Again, I found myself in a hallway. The carpet in this building was not beautiful like it was in the hall of Mirrors. This carpet was stained and dirty. It was brown. I could see every footprint that I left behind. There were no lights except for the torches that lined the hallway. It gave off an eerie sort of light and cast shadows on the cold, stone walls. Fear gripped my heart and my legs started to shake as I walked down this hallway. I wasn’t sure what to expect in this place, but I had a feeling it would be quite different than the previous building that I had gone through.

“Emily,” His voice was a welcome sound to my ears. The way he said my name almost made the fear disappear. Almost.

I looked around, expecting to see the King standing beside me or behind me or in front of me. I couldn’t see anyone.

“Keep walking, child.” The voice prodded me onwards. I obeyed. The hallway seemed to take forever, but I eventually came to another small wooden door. “Open the door.” This time the voice came from my right. I jerked my head to the side and saw the King standing there. He motioned to the door.

Taking a deep breath, I reached out my hand and touched the door handle. I was afraid of what I would find there, but the King’s presence gave me enough confidence to push the door open. As I entered, I breathed a sigh of relief. I smiled. This room looked very cheery and happy. Sunlight streamed in through large bay windows. A girl who looked very much like me sat on the floor surrounded by notebooks and colorful pens in the sun from the windows with a guitar in her lap, a pick in her left hand, and a pen in her right. She was fiercely scribbling in a notebook. Then, she picked up her guitar again and strummed for a while, trying to figure out the next words. I recognized that song. It was one of mine. I couldn’t explain what was happening next. Suddenly the room whirled around and, when I could finally see everything again, the scenery had completely changed! The King and I, for he was still standing beside me, found ourselves in the woods next to a waterfall. I saw the same girl again. I was sure that it was me. This time there was a guy next to her. He looked familiar as well. They were laughing and talking next to the waterfall. The boy sat down on the cool rocks. The girl joined him and he gently placed his arm around her. I could see the girl’s smile from where I stood. They both looked happy as they talked about their childhood. I glanced at the King.

“What does this mean?” I whispered, hoping the couple wouldn’t hear me.

“They can’t hear you,” The King spoke to what I hadn’t said. “These are your happy memories from the past.”

“That’s why everything looks so familiar…” I said quietly. “Why are you showing me this?”

“You will know why when the time is right, Dear One.”

I pouted. All of these secrets were getting annoying! Why can’t he just tell me now?! I turned my attention back to the boy and girl sitting by the waterfall. Before long, the guy wrapped the girl in his strong arms and hugged her for a few moments. The girl seemed to relax in his arms and she rested her head on his shoulder. The place whirled around again and I grabbed the King’s hand to steady myself as the setting changed again.

This time I found myself staring a girl who was sitting in a lounge surrounding by people that I recognized. That was me. Surrounded by my friends that I had made in college. People that loved me. I remember that day. We were having a birthday party. We had the best pillow fight I had ever been a part of! I smiled and laughed at the memory of it. I watched the pillow fight happening, then the silly pictures, then everyone interacting and talking and laughing and having fun. I grinned as I glanced at the King. He looked at me and smiled and nodded as if to say, take one last look because this won’t last much longer… I glanced around and my friends and I sitting around eating cake and laughing before everything disappeared. All I saw was blackness and darkness. Slowly, everything began appearing again. I saw that we were in a restaurant. The girl that looked like me was sitting in a chair across from two girls who looked like my best friends. I could not catch everything that they were saying, but I knew that they were sharing everything that was on their hearts. The girl who represented me looked sad, but when they had finished eating, she smiled and thanked her friends for letting her vent to them and for talking with her. The other girls smiled and, when they all stood up, they both gave her a hug. The King and I followed them out of the door. As soon as we stepped outside, I found myself with the three girls who were in the restaurant at someone’s house. The girls were sitting on the tan carpet in one of the girls’ bedrooms, propped up with pillows. Each of the girls had a Bible, another book, a notebook, and highlighters and colored pens surrounding her. I smiled, remembering our Bible studies together and spilling my heart out to them.

The room whirled around again. I steadied myself this time. When the fog cleared, I could see that we were in the first room again. The girl was still sitting on the floor, playing her guitar and breaking in every now and then to fix what she had written in her notebook.

“Come,” The King spoke into my ear. “There is more to see.”

“I like this place, though.” I looked at him.

“All things, my dear, even the good ones, have to come to an end.” He spoke, and then walked toward the door that we had entered not long before. He stopped short of the door and waited for me to open it. He followed me through the door and firmly shut it behind us. We were again in the long, dark, eerie hallway. I couldn’t remember which way we had come from.

“Which way?” I whispered.

“Right,” The King spoke. I bravely turned to the right and marched down the hallway.

 

Rest

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my last two blog posts where I start off my “short story” called- “The Choice”, then go ahead and check that out first! https://emathews2012.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/the-choice/ You can find the second part here: https://emathews2012.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/reflections/

Here is the third part:

Rest:

The sunlight was blinding, but I welcomed it on my pale skin. I let the warmth sink into my skin as I left the mirror hallway and continued on my journey. It was the same dirt path that I had left when I entered the Mirror room. I continued walking in silence. There was no one to talk too. I had a lot of time to think about anything and everything as I walked. I stopped every now and then to sit down and rest for a short period of time, but I was soon on my way again. After a few hours of almost non-stop walking, I approached a building that was set off to the left. It was huge! It seemed plain, but welcoming enough. I was tired and, hoping that this was the next leg of my journey (or where it perhaps ended for the night), I left the path. Before I made it to the door, a woman yanked open the door and stumbled outside. She keeled over. She was obviously very drunk. And wearing barely any clothes. I looked away. Maybe this wasn’t a good place to stop after all.

“Hello, miss.” She slurred, sticking her hand out for me to shake it. She stuck it out in the wrong direction.

“H-hi,” I stuttered. “I-I think I’ll be on my way now.”

“No wait, miss! We’re having fun inside! Come on, have some rest and some fun!”

I fiercely shook my head. He would not approve of this place. I thought, then backed away from the woman. She clumsily waved and laughed before attempting to open the door. She missed the handle and slammed into the door. Eventually she found the handle and disappeared inside.

What was that all about? I wondered, confused. The King must not know about this place…He would certainly not approve of this place! I found my way back to the path that I had left and continued on my journey. Just as the sun was setting, I happened upon a small cottage that was nestled right up against the path. It looked small and I was sure that the people who lived there would not have room and food for me. But I was tired and the sun was fast disappearing behind the horizon. I knocked on the weak wooden door. Before long the door opened and an old, white-haired man appeared.

His wrinkled face turned into a smile. “Well, hello, honey. Are you hungry?” He motioned my inside.

I nodded. “Yes, sir. Starving! But are you sure it’s okay for me to eat something? Maybe I can work for you to help repay you.” I glanced around at their obviously poor state.

He laughed and shook his head. “No need to repay us.” He motioned to a woman with snow-white hair and wrinkled face. “While you eat, you’ll need to tell us what you have learned so far, though.” He winked at me.

“Margaret, can you make this young lady some food, please?”

The old woman nodded. “I sure will!” She smiled and moved much faster than I expected. Her hands looked very capable in the kitchen. She knew what she was doing in there.

“Why don’t you sit down at the table, honey?” The woman, apparently named Margaret spoke as she moved about the kitchen. I moved toward the table. “Here’s some bread, if you would like. I will heat up the soup that we had for dinner. We had two guests for dinner, but we still have a little left!”

“Are there many who travel this road?”

The man nodded slowly and pulled up another chair close to mine. “There are many who start on this journey.” His eyes looked sad. “But sadly, there are not many who finish it.”

“Why is that?” I asked curiously. My stomach growled.

“Phil, give that poor girl a piece of bread and butter to satisfy her stomach until the soup is ready!” The man grabbed a container with a few slices of bread in it and his wife handed her a container with butter. I eagerly spread butter on the bread and took a bite. It was delicious.

Phil continued his story. “Many lose heart. They give up when the going gets hard. Because it will get hard. It’s not an easy path to follow, but it is so worth it!”

“Did you both walk on this path?” I asked after swallowing a bite of bread.

Phil and Margaret exchanged a look that spoke of memories and love. I smiled just looking at their expressions. Margaret still busied herself in the kitchen.

Phil smiled and looked at me. “Yes, we both walked on this path. We met at the beginning of the journey. I am glad we had each other because both of us were in danger of turning off this path many times. But we kept each other strong and reminded each other of the King’s promises.”

“How will I make it without someone to do that for me?”

Margaret turned from the stove and answered me. “The King will give you strength, child. Just like He gave us strength. He must think that you’re awful strong to send you out on this journey by yourself. Believe me, you have everything that you need to make it to the end of this journey.”

“How did you end up here if you went on the journey and made it to the end?”

“Yes, we made it to the end. At the end of the journey, the King hugged us and gave us rest for a few days. After that, He called us to something new…giving rest to those who are weary on this journey of His.”

“So He called you to do this?”

They both nodded.

“How do you know for sure what He’s calling you to do?” I questioned.

Margaret set a bowl of soup down in front of me before answering. “Oh, you’ll know, honey.” She glanced at her husband. “Right now, I should think it’s obvious what He wants you to do.”

I ate some soup, then looked up at her. “It is?”

“You’re on this path, child. He wants you here. He’ll show you exactly what He wants you to learn. And at the end of this journey, He has something else for you later. I can’t tell you what that is. No one knows except Him himself. You just need to trust Him and He’ll show you when the time is right.”

I pondered this while I ate my soup.

“What is your name, child?” The woman asked.

“Emily,” I answered between bites.

“What is your story and what has the King shown you so far?”

“You mean it’s different for everyone?”

Phil nodded. “Yes, Emily. This journey often looks different for different people. Sometimes some of the experiences are similar, but they are rarely identical.”

“I lived where it was Safe. I built walls around my life so that I wouldn’t get hurt.” Margaret and Phil nodded, encouraging me to continue. “I almost didn’t leave that life.” I stared at my now empty bowl.

“What did He show you before you found us?” Margaret prodded, sitting on a chair on the other side of me.

“He brought me to the hall of Mirrors. Have you been there?”

They shook their head. “I’ve heard about it, though.” Margaret said. “What did you learn there?”

“The King told me to tell him what I saw when I looked in the mirror, so I did. I thought that he would know if I was lying or not telling the complete truth, so I told him everything.”

Margaret nodded. “He would have known that, you’re a smart girl. What happened next?”

I grinned. “He told me what He saw when He sees me. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. And coming from him, everything meant so much more.”

Margaret smiled and nodded. “I went through something similar, though not quite as grand as all of that. Unfortunately I don’t have time to tell you much of my story. I’m sure you’re tired. You can stay the night here and then be on your way early tomorrow. You have much left to do!”

As if on queue, I yawned. I laughed. “Yes, I guess I’m tired.” Margaret led me to a place where I could sleep. It wasn’t anything spectacular. A thin mattress lay on the floor covered by a thin, rough-looking blanket. Still, I was tired. I fell asleep faster than I ever had before. It was much more comfortable than I thought it would be.

In the morning, I awoke to the smell of sizzling bacon. I yawned and stretched. I could tell that it was still very early because the sun was barely up yet. I felt more rested than I ever had in my whole life, somehow. I stood up and walked to the kitchen where Margaret stood in the kitchen, moving the bacon around on a metal pan and Phil sat at the kitchen table with a newspaper. When I walked in, Phil set down his newspaper and Margaret turned from the stove.

“Good morning, dear!” Margaret spoke.

“Good morning,” I grinned. I have never felt like a morning person before, but this morning I imagined that this must be what it felt like.

“Breakfast is almost ready, and then I’m afraid that you should be on your way. As much as I wish you could stay here for a while, the King has bigger and better plans for you, my dear!” Margaret said.

I sat down at the kitchen table. “Thank you for everything, Margaret-and Phil.” I said.

“You are most welcome.” Margaret smiled as she brought the bacon and oatmeal to the table. “I only hope that we will one day see you again.” As we ate breakfast, Margaret and Phil seemed bent on giving me all sorts of advice for the upcoming leg of my journey.

“Keep strong, Emily.” Phil spoke up. “Do not turn off the path. If anything seems to contradict what you know to be true of the King, pass it up. It is better to be tired and hungry than to turn off the path. Remember that.”

I nodded as I ate, trying to remember everything that they both said. They both chatted for a while about what to do and what not to do and, after we finished eating, I said goodbye to the elderly couple and walked toward the humble door. I looked back and them and waved sadly. I would miss them. I said goodbye, then walked outside and continued down the path to my destiny. 

Reflections

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my last blog post where I start off my “short story” called- “The Choice”, then go ahead and check that out first! https://emathews2012.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/the-choice/

Here’s part two:

Reflections:

I would have fallen if He had not been there to steady me. His body seemed to give off strength. I felt so weak as I gathered every ounce of strength and resolve that I could as I stumbled away from everything that I had ever known. I was scared to death as I stepped out into the unknown. This was not safe. I felt vulnerable and helpless. I would not be able to stand on my own. I leaned on His ever-steady hand as he led me another step away from where I felt Safe. With every step I took, I felt more confident. I was still terrified of what the future might hold, but I actually started to believe that it was better than what I was settling for. Eventually he released my hand. At first, I felt unbalanced and unsteady. I waved my arms in the air, trying to regain balance. He smiled at me.

“Remember, even when I am not physically visible to you, I am always here with you and for you.” He spoke to me with such love that I felt tears coming to my eyes. I refused to let my emotions overtake me, though, so I swallowed my tears and bravely looked forward…somewhere where I had not dared to look before. The man continued walking. I followed him down the dirt path, filled with pot holes that threatened to stop me and slow me down. He walked much faster and before I knew it, he was out of sight. I walked on for some time. The sun beat down upon me, but I didn’t mind. I loved the feel of the sun on my skin.

Up ahead I could see another girl walking toward me…or was it? It looked strangely like myself. As I walked toward the other girl, I realized that it actually was myself! There was a giant mirror blocking the path. I looked around for a while, but there was no way to avoid the mirror. I sat down on a rock in the path to contemplate what to do next. I heard yelling and laughing to my right. I quickly glanced over there. Several people were running along a path that looked much easier and smoother. It was made of asphalt and they looked like they were having fun. It would be more fun to travel with other people instead of by myself. I told myself. Somehow I could sense that He would not approve of me leaving this path. I knew that there had to be someway around this gigantic mirror. It was making me uncomfortable, staring at my reflection with no way out of it. I stood up from the rock and walked towards the mirror. I gently pushed on the right side of it. To my surprise, it opened easily, allowing me to enter. It closed behind me. Whatever this hallway led too, I would have to follow it now. Taking a deep breath, I commanded my shaking legs to take a step forward. Then another one. When I finally began to feel less afraid (nothing horrible has happened yet…), I began to notice my surroundings for the first time. I was in a long, straight hallway. It was dimly lit with a crimson red carpet leading me down the hallway. After walking for a few minutes in the narrow hallway, I could see brighter lights in the distance. My footsteps began to echo, as if I was about to walk into a large, empty room. I approached the lights. The brightness of them made me blink a few times before I got used to it. The hallway gave way to a huge room, completely covered with mirrors! All of the walls were made of mirrors as well as the floor and ceiling. I stared at my reflection in disgust. I had seen this face far too often. All I could see were all the flaws that were so evident to me. I felt uncomfortable and immediately looked for an escape.

“Emily,” He had returned. I spun around.

“Please show me the way out of here,” I begged.

He smiled and walked closer to me. He beckoned to the mirrors surrounding us. “I told you before we started on this journey that there was much that you needed to learn about yourself. This is where that starts.”

I shook my head. “What do you mean?” I asked suspiciously.

He gently took my hand and led me closer to one of the mirror-paneled walls. “What do you see?”

He prodded. I was hesitant to answer, but I knew that He would not let me leave without giving me an answer. I also knew that He would know if I was not telling the complete truth. So I took a deep breath before I began. “I hate my eyebrows and my skin. I can never keep my skin clear and my eyebrows always look horrible, but I never really spend much time on them. My hair is thin and fine, and I would rather it be much thicker. I would also rather it be naturally lighter blonde…beach blonde. My body’s not ideal, either.”

I cannot explain the way He looked at me. He looked sad, but I don’t think it was directly because of me. He looked at me like he loved me very much. I have never seen anyone look at me like that before. I don’t think mere humans are capable of feeling love so strong. He took a good long while to reply. In the silence, I stared at my reflection in the mirrors. When he finally spoke, I turned to look at him.

He shook His head. “Your vision of beauty is so distorted, but it’s not your fault. This is why your journey to discover who you are starts with the room of mirrors.” He looked in the mirror so that he could see the reflection of my face. I turned my gaze so that I could see his reflection in the mirror as well.

“You told me everything that you don’t like about your appearance.” He told me. Then he gently said, “Now tell me what you like about your appearance.”

I shifted my weight uncomfortably. He expected me to say something. I stared at my reflection. All I could see were my flaws glaring back at me. I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out. I closed my mouth, knowing that I would not be able to come up with anything satisfactory. He put his arm around me for a moment and smiled gently at my reflection in the mirror.

“If you could only see yourself through my eyes,” again, his eyes looked sad and held so much character. “You would see how beautiful you are. You are drop dead gorgeous, my daughter. Why can’t you see that? You are so perfect because this is how I made you. I did not make you like anyone else, and you should be proud about that! Embrace the fact that you are unique and beautiful in your own way…beautiful in ways that no one else is.” He paused as I soaked in his words. I wanted so badly to believe them. “I made every part of you…don’t you see? I made your body type. I personally made your hair and your face and every feature that you admitted to hating. I love you. You are so much prettier than you can even imagine. If you could see yourself through my eyes, you would be able to see that and really believe that!” Tears misted my eyes as I took in what he was saying. He turned to me. I looked from our reflections, and looked at his beautiful face. 

“Do you believe what I’m telling you?”

“I want to so badly.” I answered, shifting my gaze to stare at my feet. He gently lifted my face to look at His.

“You can believe this, Emily.” He smiled. “You don’t have to believe what everyone else is telling you about your beauty. My opinion is the only one that matters. Don’t let others define you. You must learn to define yourself based on the truths that I tell you.” I nodded slowly. I wanted to hold onto what he was saying so badly. Years and years of listening to what others had to say about my appearance struggled to overpower what He was telling me.

After a short moment of complete silence, He looked at me again with a look of love. “It will take you a while to fully begin to see what I see. But you can do it. Every time you are tempted to dislike what I created in You, think about the words that I have told you. You don’t have to settle for what others are settling for. You don’t have to strive to be ‘normal’. Who wants to be normal anyway? Be who you were created to be, daughter. And always, always remember that I will always love and cherish you and that you are always beautiful in my eyes.”

I broke his gaze and glanced at myself in the mirror again. I still saw my flaws, but somehow they seemed slightly less pronounced than they did moments earlier. I smiled at His reflection next to mine. It would be a while before I could comfortably smile at my own reflection, but I knew He would give me strength.

“Are you ready for the next part of your journey?” He asked.

I nodded. “Where does it lead?”

He just smiled and walked to the left, where he pressed a precise part of a mirror that revealed another hallway, which seemed to lead out of this room of mirrors. I would never have found the way out if I had not let Him lead me out. I could see the natural sunlight at the end of the hallway. As I walked towards the light, I could sense that I was again seemingly alone. I glanced around, and could not find Him anywhere. I walked the remainder of the hallway alone. 

The Choice

I haven’t posted in what seems like forever. I was inspired a little while ago to write this short story that I am writing currently. I do not as of yet have a title for the whole thing yet, but this is the first part that I just finished:

The Choice:

I am frozen by fear and regret. Fear of what lies ahead. Regret from what I leave behind. My feet can only take me forward, but my head is ever glancing over my shoulder at who I used to be. I have been living in a room that seems very safe. This room is very comfortable and large. Enjoyable. It is not perfect, however, and I often find myself slipping just out of the door of this “safe” room to stare into the distance and dream of what could be if I could let go of my comfort zone….of where I feel safe. The path looks difficult. I follow the path with my eyes until it takes a sharp turn and disappears from my view from the Safe doorway. Part of me, the adventurous part, no longer feels like this Safe room gives me everything that I need. I need something more! I need adventure. I need love. I need to take some risks.

I am holding onto the door handle of my Safe room so tightly that my knuckles start to turn white. Somehow I can’t bring myself to let go. Let go of my own comfort and my own dreams to pursue something better…something higher! Just before I turn back to the Safe room, I faintly see a man standing in the distance on the path leading away from my Safe place. He’s just standing there. Tall and proud. His figure suggests authority, but also humility and love. Although he is far away, I can sense that He is calling me to follow Him. I am mesmerized by him and cannot seem to look away. Eventually, I break my gaze. Deep down, I still feel that the man was calling me to leave my place of Safety. You will find something much better if you follow Me, the voice whispered to me. I glance back into the room where my favorite books and my guitar lay out. I can’t do it. I like it here. It’s safe. These walls that I have built around my life are to protect me from getting hurt. They’re necessary. I’m Safe in here. I do not need anything else.

I look back to where the man was standing some distance away. He was no longer there. I turn away and firmly shut the door behind me. I have made my choice. I will forever be shackled in this place that I have convinced myself was freedom. At least I was safe.

Every day I open the door that leads away from “The Safe Zone”. Something still seems to call me out of there. I look around at the people who live with me. We are happy. At least we seem happy. I have already made these friends and I try to convince myself that if I were ever to leave this room, I would never make any other friends. I wouldn’t belong. I wasn’t brave enough. I wasn’t good enough to find another way through life. My life within these walls was where I belonged.

I opened the door again to look outside. The sun almost blinded me as I cracked the door open. The sky was blue and the warm breeze gently blew back my hair from my face. I again stared down that long, single road leading away from being “Safe”. The same man that I had seen a few days earlier was standing on the road again. This time he was closer. I could see his defined jaw and dark brown eyes. His middle eastern features were becoming clear to me. When he smiled at me, it was like he knew me better than I knew myself. His eyes help promise and hope, but also sadness. I somehow felt that the sadness in this eyes  were because of me. It was like he wanted something more of me than I was willing to offer. He stood tall, his posture demanding and authoritative. His eyes seemed to beckon me to take that first step. That horrifying first step that I was so afraid of. I have made mistakes in the past. Things that I regret. I was not yet ready to begin to tear down those walls that I have been building up around myself. I was not ready to be vulnerable. He knew that I would not follow Him that day. He was the first one to walk away that day. Before he turned, I saw disappointment replace the sadness. I hated that look that He gave me. I don’t know if I could even describe what it was. It was a mix of love, hope, passion, promise, and disappointment. I wanted to stop Him from walking away. I wanted to call out to Him. For a split second, I wanted to run after Him. I wanted Him to help me learn to live again…learn to love again. But then he was gone. I was left standing in the doorway all alone, staring at the shadows cast by the disappearing sun.

                                                                         ****

I knew that I should stop playing on the edge of keeping it Safe. I knew that I should stop opening that door every day. Truth is, I’ve always been curious of what might lay ahead if I could let go of what lies behind me. But I’ve never been strong enough to move into action. I slowly opened the door again and peered out.

The man that I have now seen twice was standing on the path, mere feet from where I stood, holding onto the door frame. His eyes were so expressive! They were kind and loving. Again, they offered hope and promise and love.

“Emily,” The way he said my name almost made me break down in tears. His voice was deep and I had never heard anyone speak my name like that before. He said it with such love that no mere human on this earth could ever experience. He said my name, but his tone said so much more. I almost couldn’t bring myself to meet his gaze. I finally lifted my head and looked into His amazing eyes.

“Leave that room, Emily. It will only hold you back. You are capable, with my help, of so much more! You could have an amazing future, if you would only let go of your own life and give it all to me.” His voice was soothing. I knew deep down that what he was saying was true. But something in me still held onto what I have come to know as comfortable and Safe. I was used to this life. I could make a life out of this.

He took a step towards me. He didn’t say anything. He just looked at me with those piercing eyes. Memories flashed in my mind of times before when I had let my walls down. Times when I let myself be vulnerable. Every time I had gotten hurt. I did not want that to happen again. He stretched out his hand towards me. I looked from the outstretched arm to the room that I was still holding onto.

“What are you afraid of?” He lifted an eyebrow. He already knew the answer. But I told Him anyway.

“A lot of things,” I say. “I’m afraid of being vulnerable. I’m afraid of being hurt again. I’m afraid of the future because I do not know where it will take me. I’m afraid of love. I’m afraid of the mistakes that I have made in the past because I know that it is possible to make the same mistakes again.”

He took another step toward me. He was almost within arms reach now. His eyes were kind and forgiving. He smiled. “Don’t be afraid.” He paused. Something stirred within me. I’m not sure what happened. “Let go of everything, my dear daughter. You have lived in your past far too long. It’s time to let go. Learn from your mistakes. But it’s time to move on. Everything about life is not safe and comfortable. I can’t promise you that the road ahead will be easy…I can only promise you that it will be worth it and that I will never leave your side. You may not see me sometimes, but I will be there.”

I needed answers. I felt like I could trust Him. “Where will you take me?”

He smiled before answering. “That, I cannot tell you, child. But it will be good. You may not see how some parts are good, but it will be good because I am there with you. It will be an adventure. If you have the right attitude, you can have fun on this journey.”

My heart sank in my chest. Inwardly, I wanted easy. I wanted comfortable. I wanted safe. But as I looked back into the room where the people that I have come to love sat around, locked in the walls that they have built themselves, it felt less and less like home. I turned to ask him another question. “Why would I leave this place of safety for a dangerous road of which I do not know where it leads?”

He smiled again and patted my shoulder gently. His deep brown eyes seemed to stare into my soul. “You have much to learn about yourself, Emily, as well as others around you. You have to learn to trust me. You have to learn to have faith that I know what I’m doing. I have a plan for you that is so much bigger than the plans and dreams that you have for yourself! And it starts with that first step away from your shelter where you have lived for too long.

Again, He stretched his hand out toward me. Do I dare accept it? I asked myself. I heard voices whispering in my head to take a risk. Step away from the comfortable. From the Safe. From my past. He patiently stood in front of me with his arm outstretched, waiting for my answer. I remembered what it was like before I found this place of refuge. I had made mistakes that I now regretted. It had taken me years to build up the walls that I had become so accustomed too. What would happen if I let this man slowly tear them down for me? I knew that I would not be able to tear them down myself. They were far too thick and tough. I had built these walls up for a reason. But as I looked in His eyes, I felt like He has a better life for me if I would only let Him tear down those walls. Tears streamed unchecked down my face. I contemplated taking that first step. The thought of that first step from my comfort zone terrified me. I had lived here for so long that I didn’t even know if I could do it. That’s why He offered His arm to me. To steady me. To strengthen me. He was well built and I knew that he could easily catch me if I would fall. I glanced one more time over my shoulder into the room where I have called home for such a long time. I wiped tears from my eyes as I took a deep breath and locked eyes with the man standing in front of me. Slowly easing my fingers from the doorframe, I accepted his open hand. His hand closed around mine and firmly welcomed me on this new adventure.