Monday, March 1, 2010

Will You Follow? Pt. 2

Here it is, the rest of this two-part story. There is one more part to this series of posts, though; there will be one more post in the context of this Will You Follow concept. I make no promises on when it will be up, but as soon as I can.


Will You Follow?
Part Two

I stayed for time uncounted, cowering in my corner, hiding ashamedly, burying my face from my burning shame and my burning conscience. I cried until my tears ran out, and still I sat, miserable, wishing for more tears to match those that fell from my heart.

As I sat with head buried in my arms, wallowing in the shame of what I had done, I was startled by a hand on my shoulder. Hesitantly lifting my head, I wanted to groan at who was before me.

Couldn’t it have been any but Him?

My shame was great and obvious as I pulled away from His touch and cowered further into my cubby, trying to pull away from the one person that knew me best and the worse to have to face at this moment. I wanted to run far away, but had no where to go.

He touched my face and I reluctantly let Him lift my chin, reluctantly let my eyes meet His, afraid of what I would see there. I had failed so utterly, I had disobeyed and undoubtedly brought shame and disappointment to the One I cared about the most. How could I face Him? Yet face Him I must, so I let my eyes meet His.

What I saw there struck me deeply, shattering me.

In His eyes, there was not what I expected. Yes, He was disappointed, but this was not disappointment in me, this was disappointment along with me—as in, sympathy, empathy—He felt with and for me. Somehow, He did. It was different and unexplainable, yet that it was there. He felt along with me. His sorrow was great, but overwhelming love was greater in His tender gaze.

And that was all somehow worse…and yet I drank in its tender, healing light.

‘I am sorry,’ I spoke, dropping my gaze. ‘I was wrong,’ I confessed. ‘Forgive me,’ the plea was soft and desperate. I was beyond sorry; I felt devastated. Worthless and horrible.

‘Why do you hide? Why should you feel the need to shy away from Me? Do you doubt My love, that it is not overcoming and all-encompassing, to cover even this? My Grace is sufficient for you.’ I was shocked when He spoke and ever so slowly raised my gaze at the prompting of His fingers beneath my chin.

‘I have failed you.’ I tried to shy away, but something in that open, kind gaze held me fast. I felt the need to face Him head on, but even so there was also something purely captivating about Him. And He would not be denied. Yet, wasn’t that what I had done? ‘I denied You.’

‘None fail unless they fail to rise again.’ He answered softly. ‘How do you conclude that you have denied Me?’

‘You told me to follow, I did not.’

His gaze was sad, watching me for a moment until I felt somewhere between absolutely wretched and healing. ‘You have kept my commandments in your heart, and you have not denied My Name. My Grace is sufficient for even this.’

I nodded—for who was I to argue with the Almighty? His voice was soft, serious, and struck right into the heart of me as He spoke. I could not deny what He said, I could not fight the grace He offered to me, unworthy as I was. However, what excuse was that? He had died to make me worthy, therefore I was worthy through Him.

‘May I ask something, Lord?’ I finally managed. A nod to the affirmative met my hesitant, shy question. ‘Where were You taking me? If I had followed, what was Your plan?’

He gave a small, nigh-sad smile. ‘None are ever told what might have happened, child. What would have happened is never imparted to you.’

I nodded, dropping my gaze. What had I ruined? The question plagued me.

‘What you can find out is this: what will happen.’ He pointed out.

Hope blossomed in me and I raised my gaze. Did that mean what I thought it did? ‘You…You will still use me? I have not ruined the plans You have for me?’

‘It is to your arrogance that such a notion plays, to think that something you could do would overcome the plans I have made. No, if you are willing to follow, if you are willing to accept the plans I have for you, you will receive them.’

My head was nodding quickly before the last syllable had faded. Another chance? Truly? They—we—I do not call Him the God of Second Chances for nothing—He is the God of Second Chances.

He stood and offered me a hand up, and He easily pulled me to my feet. ‘Will you follow?’ He asked seriously, looking me straight in the eye and I dare not look away even as He looked right into my soul.


‘Then follow Me,’ He instructed, turning to lead the way.

I followed. I wanted to do no other thing. I would never know what would have happened if I had followed Him the first time, but I learned to trust Him and I learned what would happen. We did return to those I had run from, we did walk right in amongst the crowd and passed through without any harm. I would never know if that is what He intended the first time we came or not.

Whether it was passing through the crowd, or going in amongst them to spread His light, I would never know what that first time held, but there were many variations accomplished other times. I never knew what was coming, but I had to be willing to trust. When I went in amongst them, I was protected, the same as I was when just passing by on my way in following Him.

I wanted to be right where He was, wherever that was, no matter what. I want to be right where He is, whether He was with the kind-of-sick or the extremely-sick.

I want to be right where He is—even when He walks in amongst the thieves, the thugs, the rapists, and murderers. If that is where He has called me to be with Him, I will follow. I want to be where He is.

The End


In an upcoming post, we will evaluate this story, pick it apart and understand everything about it. I make no claims to be someone who has it all figured out; this is as much of a learning process for me as it is for you. I have no doubts that I have some extremes that need to be tempered. I am still figuring things out, too. Are we not all?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Journal Entry

February 13, 2010
My heart is feeling crummy -- I know I do not pay taxes yet, but I will - all too soon. I feel guilty by association, even though I do not know the battles You will call me to. It is too heavy a burden to carry alone, knowing part of what I work hard for pays for murder. My efforts breed death. It bothers me, as You know, Lord, and the burden is one I do not know how to bear alone - so I am going to lay it down at Your feet, because it is too much for me alone -- I need Your sufficient grace.

My Lament

How do I reconcile this atrocity?
I trust You are big enough to know my feelings
Lord, You know my heart and where it is
I pray for pardon for my dilemma, my guiltiness
Have mercy on me!
I know I am guilty
Pardon us, we are blind and misguided
My heart is heavy, my hands are tainted
I need Your grace to cover me
My hands are tied and I am guilty

Forgive us, Lord, our evil is great
We say the crooked line is straight
Hear my plea for Your mercy
But if You must, let Your wrath fall upon me
The stains of sin are on my hands
Blood covers them, I understand
My only plea for me is be swift
I am unworthy, this I admit
I confess, I hold the guilt
Forgive me, Lord, if You will
But let me take the blame for what’s been done
I am so guilty, great is my association
I plea for mercy for our evil

Lord, You know my heart and where it is
But I have been so evil, guilty of this
How do I reconcile this atrocity?
I trust You are big enough to know my feelings
I fall to my knees
Have mercy!
Pardon us, we are blind and misguided
My heart is heavy, my hands are tainted
I need Your grace to cover me
My hands are tied and I am guilty

I do not expect understanding or mercy
I understand we are so guilty
I readily take the mantle of this guilt
To all of my evil, I will admit
For us all, I repent
I will take the punishment
Pardon them if it behoves You
They know not fully what they do
Let me plea our case before You
Let me take the blame for what we do
There is blood upon my hands
Deaths on my head, I understand
My heart burns, what can I do?
I plea for them before You

Lord, You know my heart and where it is
But I have been evil, at fault for this
I pray for pardon for my dilemma, my guiltiness
How do I reconcile this atrocity?
I trust You are big enough to know my feelings
Have mercy on me!
I know I am guilty
I fall to my knees
Have mercy!
Pardon us, we are blind and misguided
My heart is heavy, my hands are tainted
I need Your grace to cover me
My hands are tied and I am guilty

I trust in Your complete knowledge of my heart
I do not even know where to start
I repeat my confession of guilt
To every wrong committed, I admit
The blood is on my tied hands
See my heart, I plea, and understand
Father, I take full responsibility
Upon them, have mercy
The deaths from our evil are great
We say a crooked line is straight
Turn black and white to grey
And lie more than our words say
I am guilty, I admit to my wrong-doing
Lord, let Your wrath fall upon me
For all of us, I take the blame
Forgive me for the oceans of shame
Pardon us for our evil, we know not fully what we do
Oh but please know, in spite of all my evil
I still love You
It is what brings me here, have mercy still
Pardon and forgive them, I will take the punishment
On my knees, for us all, I repent

Lord, You know my heart and where it is
But I have been evil, at fault for this
I pray for pardon for my dilemma, my guiltiness
How do I reconcile this atrocity?
I trust You are big enough to know my feelings
Have mercy on me!
I know I am guilty
I fall to my knees
Have mercy!
Pardon us, we are blind and misguided
My heart is heavy, my hands are tainted
I need Your grace to cover me
My hands are tied and I am guilty

For All Mankind, I Repent

Lord, I don’t know what more to say
My interruption has stuffed the feelings away
Open up my heart, tear down the walls
And reveal the feelings, bring to the surface it all
Let my heart smote and burn
Let all that was there return
The burden lurks yet
I wish for tears to shed

For all mankind, I repent
Our evil is great and is never spent
Forgive us, we are eager in our wrong-doing
We do not tire of its accruing

Let it not be a far-off feeling
Let it be fresh in memory
I never want to be desensitized to what it feels like
Lord, keep it near, let it burn hotly inside
Never let me forget
Don’t let me be numb to it
Dead to apathy
Let me be
May I feel this burden deeply
I am so guilty
May I never forget this feeling

For all mankind, I repent
Our evil is great and is never spent
Forgive us, we are eager in our wrong-doing
We do not tire of its accruing

I take the blame
Even for those who curse Your name
I am at fault, I admit
I confess to all of it
I take the burden of our sin
I feel it burn deep within
I cry mercy
But not for me
For all mankind
For all of mankind

For all mankind, I repent
Our evil is great and is never spent
Forgive us, we are eager in our wrong-doing
We do not tire of its accruing

These Written Prayers

Father, hear my prayers even though they are written
Look to my heart, see I mean them
My sweet, caring Father, incline thine ear
Turn Your eyes upon me; come near

I may write my prayers, but I mean them
Look at my heart, may there it be written
Hear these prayers the same as the others
I am pouring out my soul with each letter

In a rhyme, they fall on the sheet
But they are for Your eyes to see, to read
Father, incline thine ear, may I have Your attention
Words fall short, but read what I’m managing

Let these pall words reach You
Please hear me - it’s all I can do
I believe You’re here as I talk to You
Lord, every word is meant for You

My sweet, caring Father, come near
What I want to tell You, please hear
My words may be written
But I mean them


I feel emptied of what I could say to You
Empty, though I still feel the need to pour my heart out to You
What more can I say? Words pale
In light of everything, they fail

So I shall try to quiet
Speak to me, Lord
I am listening

I am not ready to leave this place
Though I am emptied of words to say
My heart is still in desperate need
I am not ready to even start to leave

So I shall try to quiet
Speak to me, Lord
I am listening

You’re all that I am here for
It’s all that I have come here for
To hear Your voice that I adore
Unmoving, I am face down on the floor

Let my words be few
Let me quiet enough to hear You
All that I want, all that I need
My words are emptied

So I shall try to quiet
Speak to me, Lord
I am listening

Psalm 16:6 “… The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” (NIV)
Psalm 16:10 “…because You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will You let Your Holy One see decay.” (NIV)
(KJV) Psalm 16:10 “…For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.”

Job 6:8-10 “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose His hand and cut me off! Then I will have this consolation -my joy in unrelenting pain- that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.”

Hebrews 10:17 “Then He adds, ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.’”*

*See Jeremiah 31:34
(All emphasis mine)


All of this was taken directly from my journal. Yesterday, I had a many-hour session with the Lord. This is the account of my time spent with Him, of my prayers, my thoughts, and my reading. My journalling might seem a bit hard to understand to an outsider, perhaps specifically the Bible quotations.

In Him,
Against the Tide
Note: The second part of Will You Follow will be posted immediately upon its completion. It is coming soon. Stay on the lookout for it, as it will be up very soon.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Will You Follow? Pt. 1

As I was cleaning the dining room with my sisters, we were listening to the CD No Compromise by Carried Away. I was singing along with the last song, Right Where You Are, and when it came to the chorus and I was singing the words, ‘And I wanna do Your will. God, I wanna be right where You are, be right where You are,’ that is when it hit me.

I will explain later all about what hit me -the realisation, the understanding, the knowledge- but for now I will share the allegory, the story that came to me.

Will You Follow?
Part One

As per my usual arrangement, I knelt on both knees to speak to Him again, head to the floor, and said the words—told Him I desired to be right where He was and that I wanted to do His will. My words sincere, my heart of an according desire to the claims I made, I laid my life before Him with an honest wish to be used. I knew His will was perfect and good, and I wanted to do it.

With a deep breath, I made to stand from my bow and return to my regular routine, my words spoken, my plea laid before Him. When a hand against my arm surprised me, I was drawn to my feet, eyes lifted to see Him standing before me. For a moment, I was frozen in place as He drew me into His embrace, and I, struck still, simply took it in. This was unexpected, but no less wonderful.

His aura of light surrounded me then; it flowed around me; I was reminded that He is always with me, every second of every day—and this not only when I am praying, but in the moments I never think about. Then He pulled back, His open gaze piercing straight through me, from core to soul, marrow to spirit. The instruction was clear: ‘Follow Me.’

‘Wherever You take me, Lord,’ I answered, ‘I want to do Your will, no matter what it is.’

He turned away then and I knew intuitively to follow in His wake, and follow Him I did. Down many paths, bridges, and streets, we went—many a place I recognised. We saw the middle-class man struggling to make ends meet; the poor suffering midst their needs; the rich in their schemes and plans; saw the church buildings with many a fine décor and well-kept structures; the business men; the pastors; the musicians; the young and the old.

We passed all by, and still He led me on; cracked pavement and rundown buildings we saw, and still we walked—past the graffiti, the trashy streets, the homeless, the broken, the hungry; walking deeper into the dirtiest of my society, where an oppressive atmosphere stilled my breath, we went, He without pause and I with inward, but as yet not controlling, hesitation . My skin felt as if it were crawling with the filth -like it was staining me- as we walked the littered and shoddy streets, and foreboding curled inside me as we past wall after wall stained with the scrawl of depravity and the writing of a blatant disregard—and this (disregard) a most common and usual type of our world’s lack of honour for the higher.

A creepy sense tingled on my spine, as always happened when I had to travel through these areas. The feeling of danger in the air, the oppressiveness, the whisper and promise of evil fluttering and leeching through the atmosphere and tickling my ears—these tingled in my perception, tickling my consciousness and bombarding the plain of my mind’s eye. Perhaps such appearances feel that way because I have been brainwashed and programmed to associate evil and danger with simply the outward appearance of a neighbourhood. Lock all locks, close all openings, and hurry through—huddle down and keep a low profile—try to be as unnoticed as possible to avoid the dangers of this area of my society. It all left me with a sense of horror, of foreboding; perhaps fear is the best word for it.

In deeper we walked, my eyes darting to and fro as I followed He who seemed not to notice the atmosphere we traversed farther into. I kept glancing all over, at all the dangers around us, yet He walked by unperturbed, as if He did not see and did not pay any mind or care to it, until at last all faded away into opaque black and my steps faltered and slowed while He strode ever onward without missing a beat or step.

Something inside of me balked as I watched Him go, as His confident stride took Him in among the darkness. Directly and without any meandering, into the dark swirling midst He walked, shining brightly in stark contrast to the black around Him. Indeed, unhindered, the pure white of His light was not dimmed as He walked brazenly into the midst of that sea, and I knew then where He had led me.

He had taken me to the thieves, the thugs, the murderers and rapists. Did He not know the danger He had brought me to? He could not be harmed, but did He not know it was not safe here for me?

He walked deeper in and yet I could not bear to follow any further. My feet had become leaden, my heart was a lump in my throat, fear making me tremble. He did not stop, did not turn back; He walked only forward to mingle with those that had no love for Him, those that held no qualms about dealing harm to someone like me. Some noticed me, which chilled my bones and stilled my heart. I remained at my distance, unmoving.

I would go no further, and yet on He walked.

Something inside of me reared back, bile rose in my throat, a heavy fog clouding my mind, and I knew I could not go this way He wanted me to. This could not be right. I felt fear like a giant seal my fate—the only way for me was back the way I had come. I could not take another step in this direction; it was not safe for me to walk in among those whom He moved easily right through.

As He began to disappear amongst that black, swirling sea of evil and darkness, the hesitance that stilled me broke and I found movement. My leaden feet turned quickly and fled up the street, speedy and light, as I returned back the way we had come. My skin was crawling, my heart was hammering, trembles shook my spirit as I rushed past all I had noticed before—the trashy streets, the graffiti, the broken needles, the cigarettes and dirty paraphernalia that one would expect in this place, the blackest of our society. Past dark alleys, I ran, where I knew the drug-dealers turned business, the whores and the streetwalkers, and every other danger that I knew lurked here.

Why had He led me here? Did He not care about me?

I could not come here; it was surely harmful for me.

I ran, not stopping for a moment, all I passed a blur, fear spurring my feet on; I dodged people; I shied away from any I passed; I swallowed the fear that was closing off my throat, and I kept up the pace, praying I made it out of here safe and sound, alive and unharmed. I was alone; I was horrified; and I was scared witless. All I knew was that I needed to be anywhere but this place.

I barely noticed as I left some of the filth behind, as the world around me began to become a little cleaner. I passed the humble, sprawling structures of broken church buildings, where I doubted any ever met anymore or that any cared much about; I ran on with fear driving me until I came to a place I was familiar with, and knew that I could rest.

I did not stop when I left behind the dark alleyways, the graffiti-stricken walls, and ominous structures that filled me with foreboding. I ran until at last all trace of it had faded behind me and I found a well-kept, clean church structure, and I sought solace inside its walls. I rushed into the sanctuary, to find a dark corner to hide in from any and everyone.

It was not until I collapsed in a place that made me feel safe and secure that I allowed myself to acknowledge the shame I felt for running. My throat closed off, and my eyes pricked as I pondered what I had done. I warred within myself, between the betrayal I felt was dealt to me, that He had led me to such a place without so much as consulting me, and the betrayal I myself had indeed committed. My gaze roamed the sanctuary from my safe perch, hidden away where no one could find me and see me like this.

‘Wherever You take me, Lord. I want to do Your will, no matter what it is.’

My words rang in my mind as my eyes fell upon the altar; the declaration repeating again and again until I wanted to plug my ears to silence the voice of my conscience. The injustice I felt had faded away in the face of my words, and remorse burned hotly in me until I wanted to curl up and die, so ashamed was I.

The guilt was overbearing, the shame great, and I buried my face and gave into the tears, a broken vessel with nowhere left to run, hiding away in a dark corner of purely-selfish protection.

And I was ashamed.

I had told Him I would go wherever He led, I would do His will no matter what it was, and at the first sign of trouble, I ran.

I ran and hid.

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are -- Book Bomb!!

Hey Everyone, is hosting an Book Bomb for Alex and Brett's new book Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are. On February 23rd we're going to try and push it to the top of Amazon -- and I need your help!!!

This book has a message that teens need to hear. The book bomb is a great chance to get a copy for yourself (plus a few to give away) at a great price -- and help get the book in front of thousands of new people -- all at the same time!

Also, for every copy of the book that people buy on on February 23rd, Alex and Brett will be giving away copies to teens and ministries who can't afford them.

If you want to help out, go to ( and sign up with the number of books you plan to order on February 23rd. Then help spread the word by sharing this letter or spreading the word on Facebook. We don't have much time!

Your (Excited) Friend,
Against the Tide

P.S. One great idea some people have had is to see if you and some friends can order together. If you buy more than three, you get free shipping. You can also check and see if your church or youth group will buy some. Think outside the box! Let's make it happen!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The "About Me" Concept

I am a young woman of Christ with a variety of interests that tend to all lead back to that, for I strive to assure that everything my hands find to do I do so with all my might as to the glory of God.

At sixteen-years young, I find the knowledge (concept, idea) of my age to be somewhat...removed from my mind. When I pause to consider my age in connection to what I do or what I have done, it seems somehow that is an entirely different life than the one I live (age is but a number after all, yes?). But the details and the reference behind that are a story for another time...

Home-schooled from the beginning, I have never once bemoaned the decision my parents made in that choice. I rejoice in it, rather. I am ready to have school behind me, though, that I might have more time to turn to other activities, like working a job to help with the finances or volunteer-work for causes I believe in.

My faith is a very key, pivotal part of me. It is the foundation upon which the structure of who I am is built. Now, as soon as I figure out my identity (who I am), then maybe I will get a little more done on that building project, yes?

A Rebelutionary in action before I had learned of that title, I was overjoyed and greatly encouraged by the Harris’ twins’ book. The principles therein I hope to help instill in my younger siblings by the word and example of my testimony.

What more is there to say about myself? It is just me if you do not see Him in me.