The edge of a blade

Last night I dreamt. I dreamt I was in the position of so many of our brothers and sisters, surrounded by those I love, with a knife to my throat.

I have so many times said I’m willing to die for Jesus, but last night was the closest I’ve ever come to it. I know it was only a dream, but it felt so, so real.

I was faced with choices: do I run and try my luck getting past guards, showing my cowardice? Or do I simply wait in line, hoping something will happen to save us before it’s my turn to pass on? Or do I chose the most surely fatal choice, and volunteer to go first, to save someone else for now, to be a testimony? I have no idea what I would chose in real life, but in my dream I chose the latter.

They shoved eight of us into an area-type area, and pushed us to our knees. The cold steel was drawing blood, a man shouting at us, demanding we deny Christ. Not one gave in. He stopped, “All right then. Why don’t you tell us why you so love this ‘God’ that would let you die? Huh?”

So one by one we stood, telling all just what God had done for us. All who were nearby heard clearly the gospel eight times over. I’m surprised they didn’t stop us. It was surely the hand of God.

When I spoke, I found that I really was ready to die for my Lord. I was scared, yes, but I was willing. He after all did tell us it would happen. Overwhelming love overflowed from my heart and into my words, surely placed there by my Father Himself.

They had heard enough, and the knives sunk into our skin. One by one my brothers and sister fell before me, and soon I too joined them in the Heavenly Kingdom.

~~~

I have never been hurt. Well, never seriously, not that I can remember. So it’s hard for me to predict or even imagine how it felt for my Lord to be whipped, beaten and crucified, or how it will feel for me to die for Him as He died for me. But I pray with all my heart He will give me the strength to die for Him.

I pray with all my heart He will give me the strength to live for Him.

Robot or Dreamer?

People skills. Is that all my family cares about these days?

I was having a perfectly wonderful day today: slept in, got a shower, sat out in the sun with a pen and paper, and basically figured out what I want to do with my life. Then I bounce into the house, ready to tell my favorite person on earth just what my wonderful plans are, and he says: “Well, first you’d need people skills.”
I don’t know why they think I don’t have people skills. When they aren’t around I can handle myself just fine. When I’m forced to be independent I can manage on my own. And when I’m following my dream, doing something I’m passionate about, I can do incredible things.
It’s only when I’m forced to get close to someone that things start falling apart. It’s then that I feel I have to put on a mask to protect the relationship in the long run, to make it last. I continuously hurt those closest to me.
I feel like Elsa today. My brother was only trying to help, to make things better, but while I was trying to save him from myself, I ended up hurting him even more. At first I just asked him to go away, told him that I needed to think for a bit. But as he persisted to knock, I soon found myself screaming at him to leave me alone. Then he did. And I do believe it hurt me more than it hurt him.

Alright, maybe I don’t have people skills. Maybe I stink at communication. But I don’t want to. I want to change, to show my real self to the people who have been watching my mask for so long. But it’s not that easy. I can’t be completely open to anyone. I can’t. People get hurt when there is nothing hidden. Then again, people get hurt when something is hidden, too. But who can I trust? Who will love me even when they know my most foolish fantasies? Who will support me in chasing those fantasies? No one. There is always some layer of criticism, always something they don’t agree with. And maybe they’re right. Maybe I should give up all my hopes and dreams, and simply be a stay-at-home missionary mom. But that seems so lame (no offense). If I surrender myself to that life, I’m afraid I will have nothing to work for, no challenge, no goal. Is that how life is supposed to be? Am I simply supposed to lay myself down and surrender to fate? Am I not encouraged to find something to be passionate about and to chase it? I guess some people find their complete passion in just day-to-day living, and ministering to those they come in contact with then. Some people are wholly satisfied by that. I cannot be. I need something else, something creative and unique, something beautiful to work towards. For me it is that castle, that party venue, that worldly dream. Am I not permitted to be human? Am I not permitted to have a secret joy? Then tell me: must I be a robot? A monotonous copy of a Christian? I think not.