United States

as in Presbyterian Church in America
Ambivert or something
Band nerd + Drum Major
Planet Earth nerd
etc, etc
Joined September 10, 2019

Message from Writer

Sometimes I tell stories. Most of the time I rattle my soul until I break and my heart spills out onto the page.

"I cannot jump the distance. You'll have to toss me!"--Gimli, LOTR

I am a complete nerd. I got the Ring of Power for my birthday.

Book recommendations:
The Oath--Frank E. Peretti
Lord of the Rings--J.R.R. Tolkien

Song recommendation: "Awake" by Beckah Shae

I'm going to meet the King someday!
And I'm super pumped!

Two Months

July 20, 2020

7 July, 2020

Dear J,
It's been two months since you dropped that dream on my heart's doorstep and changed my life. When it first happened, I thought perhaps my subconscious had devised it for me, realizing I was in peril and thrusting the dream in front of me in hopes of chasing my conscious self into fear. Maybe my subconscious understood what my conscious did not: that my eternity was at risk.

But I've changed my mind. I think you were at work there, that night, placing the scene in my head as a warning to my wayward soul: Wake up. It was truly different from every other dream I've ever had. Instead of just existing in some fictional place without sense or feeling, here I was vividly aware, and fear weighed heavy on my soul.

As you already know, there were two things I was certain of that night: one, I was dead, and two, I was awaiting some sort of judgement. And let me tell you, nothing throws more fear into my heart than the thought of judgement, because my soul knows it is guilty whether my pride admits it or not, and the idea of standing before a just judge shakes me to my very core. What will I hear from you on judgement day? Will you say, "Depart from me"?

Waking up afterwards, the familiar question came to mind: Who can stand? I buried myself in Revelation, seeking answers, searching for certainty, and wondering if, perhaps, Sardis was my best interpretation of myself: the dead church, called to wake up from its slumber. Am I self-deceived? Am I really a Christian, or am I still dead?

I look on this dream as a definitive turning point in our relationship. No longer were you the once-a-week best friend. Instead you were a hope, a safety net, a parachute I needed to cling onto as if my life depended on it, because, in a very real way, it did. Beneath me is fire and brimstone, weeping and gnashing of teeth. My ladder of works is less valuable than a rope of sand, and there is no way I can reach heaven without you.

A few days later, I heard Third Day's song "Trust in Jesus" on my Pandora for the first time. The lyrics to one of the verses go like this:

What are you going to do when your time has come
And your life is done and there's nothing you can stand on
What will you have to say at the judgment throne
I already know the only thing that I can say

And it goes on to say that trusting in you as the perfect sacrifice for sinners is the only way to gain reconciliation with the God who is going to judge each of us in the end. And this is what my dream helped me to realize: while in that moment, someone asked me if I was afraid. I told them I wasn't, but that was a lie. When confronted with death itself, I was very much afraid, and this illuminated a part of me that had been sulking in my own self-deception for years: a part of me that did not believe, did not repent, and instead took the gospel for granted, thinking it was just a get-out-of-Hell-free pass. In reality, eternal life is just a side benefit. I want to spend my eternity with you.

Thank you, Savior, for patiently chasing after me, even in the years when I ignored your words and exalted myself above you, forgetting all that you've done, wallowing in my own sin. And I suppose this is at the very heart of the gospel, that you loved humanity even though we hated you.

The good news, the gospel, is that we don't have to do anything to earn our salvation, that you have already done all the work for us by living a perfect, sinless life when we couldn't, dying on the cross in our place, and rising again to intercede for us before God. And all we must do to gain a relationship with the God that loved us enough to die for us is to repent and trust in you. It is so simple, so easy, so beautiful. I am a Christian now. I am alive, not dead. You have snatched me from the flames.

Two months after the dream that opened my eyes to the reality of death, I can only think about you. My writing overflows with allegories and images that I hope can be used to point someone to you, but I can never express the depth of your love and your sacrifice. My writing can only scratch the surface, and your love is deeper than any ocean. I now comment on all my Google Docs with a disclaimer telling my readers to go read the Bible instead, because it is more masterful, more wonderful, and more spectacular than my writing ever will be.

Now, I can only wait expectantly for the day when I will finally see you face to face. I think about death a lot more now, but instead of fearing judgement, I smile, knowing that when the day comes all pain will end and I will find myself in your presence at last. I like the song "I Can Only Imagine". It sums up my thoughts better than I can.

See you soon,

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  • Anne Blackwood

    Oh, and if you can. I'd really appreciate feedback on my submission. :)

    8 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Hey, this is just stylistic choice, but perhaps you could change the format to have no space between paragraphs and simply indent. This can make the transitions less jarring, but it can also make the whole thing run together, so I'd suggest you look at it both ways and see which one you like better. Also, I think there may be a way to introduce the lyrics of the song in a more thoughtful, introspective way to make it flow better. That's all I can really think of to improve; I love this piece and its message. Best of luck in the competition!

    8 months ago
  • Stone of Jade

    this is amazing. i love your line: My writing overflows with allegories and images that I hope can be used to point someone to you, but I can never express the depth of your love and your sacrifice.
    ^^^ that right there is amazing and I know how you feel. thank you for writing this! you glorify Him with your words.

    8 months ago
  • kealoha

    This is absolutely beautiful, thank you for sharing :)

    8 months ago