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:
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.