Thursday, January 7, 2010


At every decision life comes to a crossroad. Each decision will change your life forever. I’ve made a lot of wrong decisions in my life but this is what my life would have been like if one decision had been different.

“Hey, Rachel! So you comin’ tonight?” Ben yelled in a slightly breathy voice as he ran to catch me in the hall. His arm came around my waist and the smooth smile slid across his face.

“Yeah, if I can get a ride.” … Do I even want to go…probably not but what are the other options. Hmm, youth group, what a joke. Why would I hang with those people they don’t even pretend to be my friend, not there anyway.

“You know I’ll be there, baby. Always.” The roughness of his voice portrayed the emotion, no the longing, held there. His lips pressed against my face, so warm and firm, almost hard. Wonderful.

“Pick me up at the church at 6:30.”

“I’ll be there!” and he’s off again. Am I not enough to hold him down. When he looks in my eyes I know he wants me, bad, but then he runs.

“Hi Rachel.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Mr. Goody Toe Shoes, The White Knight in shining armor. I don’t even know how to react. I mean what does he even want me to say. Probably just like Eric, a loser user. He wanted a chick who could fit in his church life and still give some. I was to stupid to know.

“Hey.” Do you need anything or do you just want to preach. I’m not giving any right now besides Ben would probably punch your face in… if he stuck around long enough.

“Will you be there tonight? I haven’t seen you the past few weeks. Well, I thought I saw you once or twice but it must have been someone else because once we sat down I couldn’t find you and then afterward nobody had seen you…”his voice kind of faded. He probably didn’t mean to say that much. I mean seriously… he was looking for me. That says something about him for sure.

“Yes, I’ll be there but you probably won’t see me again. Why.” Ok, maybe I didn’t mean to sound so mean. … Fine, I’ll try again.

“Well, no I won’t exactly be there. But who cares it’s just church, not even Sunday morning. I come to all of those… mostly.” Why do I feel the need to tell him everything. Hmmm, who knows, maybe God, prolly not.

“Ummm, uh, weelll. We’ve just missed you the past couple weeks that’s all.” Now he sounded sheepish.

“Who’s been missing me? You been talking to Eric? Has he been missing me? You can tell him to keep on missing because I’m not coming back and he can just suffer. I’m not looking for anyone else either so you can just go on to your little church service now and leave the big people to there play. Work all day, play all night. Didn’t ya know.” Sassin’ off can be fun but not when they look at you with caring, pitiful, hurt faces. OH, don’t forget to toss a good measure of shock into that mix. My mouth has been running to much recently. The bruises still haven’t completely gone away from that little episode and I’m not sure all the hair has grown back either. The pride sure hasn’t sprouted even little tufts. Never again… Oh, snap, he’s talking.

“No, no, Eric? I didn’t talk to Eric. He didn’t say… I just…Why would he… I mean… ahhhmmm. No I have not talked to Eric. I missed you. I think, well, God has been placing you on my heart and mind and so I just wanted to see how you are…”yep, my glare killed that stumbling, tripping speech.

“Fine, you miss me! Well, no need. I’m not coming. I’m going to a party with Ben and we’re gonna have fun and maybe do some lovin’ and we’ll be together and not worry. We’ll laugh and enjoy ourselves. If you want to come your welcome to, we don’t go around excluding everyone, just don’t try to hold back the party because at that point your welcome will have expired. Goodbye! Don’t expect to see me. Just forget me. It’ll be healthier for your pretty heart anyway!” With that I marched off with my learned quickness, all those years darting past people to get to classes on time… or more recently away from classes. How did that church boy, the pretty saint, get me all riled like this. No one messes with my emotions! Not the outside ones anyway. I pride myself on my amazing acting skills… ne day maybe I’ll try Hollywood. Ha!

My little car sped through the known route to my home. Here’s where another part of my acting comes into play. Act semi sweet to the parentals and siblings until I can get to my room to “do my homework.” Waste time there until it’s time for youth group and then the party. Cool down, get the party clothes on under the plain clothes. I hope I don’t run into S.C., Saint Charming, before Ben’s there to get me.

Oh, crap! No such luck. Errrr. Why me? This is so stupid. I’m going to wait outside and no matter what he says I will ignore him and not say a word. I will stay in control and if he does not get bored and leave then Ben will be here and I will leave.

“You’re here! I’m so glad to see you!”

So much enthusiasm! Can’t you just shut up and leave me alone! I turned my back and glared toward the road. Ben could not get here soon enough!

“Rachel… Hey, Rachel… Rachel, listen I didn’t mean to offend you… it’s just that you said, well, I thought that, well, you weren’t going to come and then you came and… I don’t know what to say…Rachel?”

Wow! Shut up, freak! I don’t want to hear your voice and DO NOT say my name one more time! Ahhhhh! I don’t know if I can do this! Ben, why aren’t you here yet, not that you aren’t notorious for being late, but still, come on!

“Could you just talk to me, Rachel? Whatever is on your mind just let it all out. I’ll listen. I promise! And I’ll try my hardest not to offend you! I just want to know what’s wrong…”Another killing glare! Score 2 for Rachel!

“This is what I have to say! Shut UP! Leave me alone! Every time a word exits your lips it offends me! If you want to hear the rest of my mind we will have to go somewhere private so that I don’t destroy the precious of ears of all the darling little children running about!” This part came out in a deadly voice just above a whisper but he heard it loud and clear… And he still didn’t stop talking!

“Wow, I’m so sorry that you feel that way! Well, I’m sure we can find somewhere to sit that will protect all the little ears. Besides, they would probably understand since you’re having a rough day and all…hmmm, well maybe they wouldn’t understand so well but…”

“For the last time! Shut up! I’ll be leaving in the next few minutes so don’t go getting all excited over some big talk we are going to have! Did you not understand what I was saying! No matter what you say I have already decided that it is offensive so offensive it will be! You can do nothing to change that so just stop!” I think he finally got it because he closed his mouth and started to turn away. Then he turned back but didn’t say anything…yet. I turned desperately toward the road and there was my escape quickly approaching the curb. The bass was booming, the window rolled down and Ben was beckoning me to join them. I started to run to the car when Mr. S.C. grabbed my arm!

“What are you doing!” I just about yelled but managed to control my voice, even though I didn’t go to church or really care about them I didn’t want them to think I was a delinquent or something. I’m not. “Let go of me right now. Ben won’t get you now but just wait til tomorrow! You’ll wish you’d never laid eyes on me. Ben’s not so fond of other people touching his women!”

“Rachel, don’t go!” He was pleading with me!!! “Stay here come in and listen to Pastor Mike. Please! It’s going to be a good message tonight and there are people here who will be your friends if you let them!”

I jerked away from him, ran to the car and jumped in.

I hated trying to go to sleep after a party or a make out session or basically I just hated to go to sleep in general. I could only distract myself so much and that was so much easier to do during the day when I had school and the parties and Ben. Masturbation only works for so long and then the guilt comes pouring in and fills me to the brim. Every part of me aches. I remember all that I’ve done and what I’ve allowed others to do to me and then my nights become an endless nightmare. Trying to sleep is hopeless, a lot like feeling that is overtaking the rest of my life.

Days busy with school. Nights filled with nightmares. It felt like a lifetime had passed in the next two weeks. I couldn’t forget S.C., even though I didn’t know his real name. I saw only a couple glimpses of him but each time it was a burning reminder of everything! Something drew me to him in some strange, convoluted way even though another part of me hated him and was repelled by him. Ben had talked about finding him and teaching him some real life lessons but somehow I just couldn’t let him. Then, two weeks to the day later, basically the same thing happened. School just got out and Ben asked me to another party. I decided I would just call my parents and hang with him until it was time for the party. There was no way I was going to even pretend to go to youth group this week, not with the psycho stalker who apparently God has sent after me!

So, of course he caught up with me before Ben and I had even managed to leave school. Ben went out to the car and I went back to my locker to grab a few things and who would just happen to join my along my walk but S.C. the Psycho.

“Hi Rachel! I haven’t seen you around much and I just wanted to see how you’re doing and let you know that God will not give up on you. He’ll pursue you and He’s willing to give His life for you! Just accept the gift.”

“Get out of my life and don’t come back! If you don’t leave me alone I won’t stop Ben when he comes to find you this time!” That hurt. How could he say something like that! God!!! Whatever! What a joke! If that was true my life would be different!

“Rachel, God wants to change your life. Set you on a new path! There is so much more than the life you are living now!”

I was walking so fast I was nearly running and he was trotting to keep up. I got to my locker and blocked him with the door as I grabbed my stuff. Then I turned and sped back in the opposite direction. He kept following along but for now he was not saying anything. He didn’t need to say anything more. His words were already tearing holes inside me. All that life had trained me to be up to this point was rebelling against those words. I had all I needed… Didn’t I? I had Ben who kissed me and held me and made me feel loved and appreciated. I had friends and a life. I was invited to the parties. I sat at the cool table or at least very near it depending on who I was dating at the time but that was normal. …Wasn’t it? I’m not going to think about this more. I’ve chosen my path and right now I need to find Ben so he can take care of this jerk for me! Why does Ben always seem to be missing at the times when I most need him? Grrr!

“Rachel, nothing you have now can be there forever, it won’t fill the voids or replace the guilt. Only God can do that. He loves you soo…”

“Stop! I can’t take it. If you follow me one step further I’ll tell Ben and he will hurt you! He will break you to pieces and then you will leave me alone! Stop telling me about your precious God. I’m fine!”

“Rachel, I know you are going home with Ben and then going to the party but you can’t! You will regret it! I can’t let you. Rachel, this is God speaking! Don't go to that party! You can't walk blindly any further!”

“Oh, so your God now! Ha! That’s awesome! Go try it on someone else, not me! You can’t stop me. I’m getting Ben!” All of the sudden I hit a wall! A wall of grief overtook my mind and brought me to my knees! All of the terrible things I’ve ever done, all my sins and regrets flowed into my mind and tore me to pieces! The pain was unbearable but why! Why should I feel pain for what I had done to myself?! Who was I hurting!? I tried to be nice to people, but they weren’t very nice to me.

“Rachel, you are hurting me. My son died for you! For all of these sins that you’ve committed! Are you going to continue to hurt him after he’s done so much for you! I love you! It hurts me when you hurt yourself and those around you! You are my precious child and so are they. You can never fully know the depth of my love for you! Return to me, child. Oh, child I’ve always loved you and beautiful child, you’ve always been mine! Oh, precious child, I’m only asking you for your life!”

The tears poured down my face my heart was breaking and being put back together all at the same time. The pain was rolling over me in never ending waves. I thought back over the encounters with S.C. and the many other people in my life who had tried to tell me about Jesus and I realized that hidden in the varied tones of the many voices I heard one voice in all of them. It was His.

I knew then the answer to His question and the waves ceased to cover me. A peace began to replace the turmoil and hopelessness. This was my answer, “I’m Yours!”

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I must apologize for my last blog. I was having a down day and was discouraged. I don't exactly know if I can explain what I was feeling. I think I lost sight of God and allowed Satan a small foothold in my life. That was not a pleasant experience. When we lose sight of God we lose sight or love, goodness, forgiveness and hope. That is not a happy existence, living without God. I don't think I have ever truly been without God. I can't imagine what it is like to be a non-believer. What is it like to not know God, to not know where you are going for eternity or to not believe in eternity? How do you give yourself a purpose or who provides your purpose if there is nothing after this.
God be with those who do not believe. Heal their unbelief. Show them You and Your glory. God, I can not and do not want to imagine life without You. God, thank You for what You have done in my life. Continue to do a great, miraculous work in me. It has to be a miracle because if I was left to myself I would be sunk deep into sin. I have enough trouble even with You because of my nature as a human. Thank You.

Monday, March 2, 2009

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me stop doing that sin? I don't know.


Mistakes, mistakes. They keep happening. I am hung up on the same mistake. I keep making it over and over again. I tell myself to stop and sometimes I manage it for a while. Then it comes back. I've tried many things and I don't know what to do. I have tried praying and giving myself something if I don't fall prey to this sin and other things. There is only one more thing I can think of and I have convinced myself that this will not work any more than the other things I've tried. Am I lying to myself because I'm scared to try this option (telling someone what I am doing) or have I just reminded myself of the truth? Am I afraid of what will happen if someone finds out? And what happens if it doesn't work but now I've told someone and they look down on me because of it? I don't think I would take it and besides that who would I tell. God why haven't you stopped this? I asked You to stop it. I gave you permission. I withheld myself from it. I made a deal that if I didn't do that than I could do something else. Okay so that wasn't really a reasonable promise. Although I never said You had to do that if I stopped.
Just so readers know, I told myself that if I stopped I would allow myself to date if anyone asked. If I continued and someone asked then I would have to say no. The problem is no one asks. I'm nearly 18 and I've only been asked out 2 times. One technically didn't even ask me out on a date it just was an iffy situation. Besides I didn't like either of those guys. They were not right and the last one asked me when I was 14 I was to young. My view on dating is that it should be done with the intent of marriage. So there is no point in dating young because all your going to do is hurt yourself.
Any way so that little trick of promising myself a treat didn't work. But now I feel lost and unsure. I don't want to keep doing this but when it comes knocking at my door I can't seem to resist. It's not even that pleasurable and yet I can't stop! I don't know which way to turn. I don't know which voice belongs to me and which belongs to God and which belongs to the devil. I'm sure all three are there but I can't distinguish between them, I need help but who can help me. I don't want to place an unwanted burden on someone else but I have to tell someone. God, please help me!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Barb-wire Sunset

I took this photo once when I was out on a walk. I saw the barb-wire and had to find some way to make a picture of it, so I knelt down and took a couple shots and ended up with this one. It is one of my favorite pictures. Something about the contrast between the barb-wire and the sun and sky. I like how the barb-wire is in focus but you can see the sun in the background. As if it's saying, "You are trapped by the pain now, but look over there. The sun is out and there is something beyond what you are feeling now."

Eve, The First (Not Last) Mistake

Genesis 2:20b-23
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man.”

“Ahhhh. Another cheery, sunny morning. I wonder what God and Adam are talking about right now. The air tastes wonderful. God really has created such an amazing place for us. I need to go tell God this moment just how grateful I am.”
Eve thought all of this within the first minute of waking up. Now as she ran to find God and Adam she shouted out of pure joy. She felt no pain. She had no concept of what pain or fear or death were, none of those things existed for her. She reached God and threw her arms around Him. She looked up at Him like a young child who just saw her dad again after he had been away and she gave Him the most brilliant smile there ever could be.
“Thank You sooo much!” she proclaimed. At that point she laughed with pure joy. She gave God a humongous hug and grabbed His hand and the three were off for another stroll in Eden. They laughed and talked all day stopping when they were hungry to grab a fruit off one of the many trees and bushes surrounding them. During the afternoon they ran through a meadow. Enjoying the feel of their bodies working together in a perfect symphony of movement. In the evening the rested in the shade of the forest where they had been walking that morning. As the sun set, they sat in silence watching the dazzling array of colors echoing off the clouds. Once the sun went down God, Adam and Eve gazed at the starry sky until finally Adam and Eve drifted to sleep completely comfortable where ever their heads came to rest.
Day after day came and went. They did not feel the passage of time. They took pleasure in every moment as it came. Neither the future nor the past was an issue. Adam and Eve had no worries about what they would eat or wear or what condition their home was in. God had created for them a place of perfection and He created them perfectly, male and female. They lived in a timeless place with a timeless, wonderful God. God made them to love Him and He loved them. His crowning creation, made in His image.
But God did not want puppets on a string, who followed Him simply because they had no other option. God gave them free will and when Satan made his way to Eve that fateful day God was watching every moment. He watched His beauty, His portrait turn away from Him and distrust Him. He watched her make her decision and when the time came He dealt the punishment that was due. He has given us a second chance by dying on that cross about 2,000 years ago. I can’t even imagine and I don’t want to imagine all of the pain we’ve put Him through. I think about all of the things we get upset about and make fights about and stand up for or against. Why do we push God to the back burner? Why do we hesitate when we have the opportunity to about Him who has done so much for us?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Everyday Heros

Today I figured out why I love superhero and even just hero stories. It's because those people sacrifice themselves to help those who are hurting. They use their strengths to cover the weaknesses of others. I realize that is something I have always greatly desired to do. I want to help those who don't have help. I want to shield them and protect them. That is why superheros have such a great appeal to people because not only do we want to be rescued and taken care of by someone but we also want to be the rescuer and the caretaker.
Maybe not everyone feels this way, but I feel the desire to help other with my life. I don't care if I get noticed for it or anything, that would be nice but not why I would do it. I want to serve and help others. I can't explain how great the desire is. The hard part is to do that in normal, everyday situations. As in, not complaining when I have to do something I think my siblings or someone else should be doing or helping with the chores I hate the most even when I haven't been asked and when I have been asked, I should do it without grumbling or complaining or trying to get out of it. It may not feel like a big deal but what we often do not understand is that the best way to be a hero and serve others is to help them with the dirty, completely unfun work. That's what a hero is, even if that's not what the movies say. That's what my God says! He should know, He has had personal experience!