So sorry I meant to post this much earlier. For my inadequacy, the deadline for voting will be changed to Thursday, February 27 10:00 PM EST, If no one has any objections to this.
Miss IrishTiger's entry:
Irish Tiger wrote:SpoilerShowThe Beginning.
Dust and breath.
Fulfilling the plan.
Yet, still forgiveness.
Helper till the end.
Learning to trust.
Learning to follow.
Learning to love.
Learning to wait.
Learning to walk in His footsteps.
The end. The beginning.
Christ and His perfect Bride.
Miss Renae's entry:
Renae wrote:SpoilerShowO Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O light that foll’west all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
Miss Stella C.'s entry:
Stella C wrote:SpoilerShow
Basically, to me, God's love knows no boundaries. Though we may struggle, God's love it always there, and He is us with every step of the way. His love surrounds us. And what can we do but glorify Him for His unending love.
Master Jason's entry:
Jason wrote:SpoilerShowThe Love-filled Journey
I took a step down a long path. The path behind me disappeared as I went forward. I couldn’t see much of the path ahead, but a tiny light passed in front of me guiding the way. The path continued until it came to a “T” in the road. I veered to the right. Soon someone joined me on this path. It wasn’t clear where she came from, but she was gorgeous. The wind played with her hair ever so slightly, and I was captivated by her eyes, as blue as the purest pool of water. We talked for what seemed like ages. She laughed at something I said and then held my hand. We entered a dark section of the path, where the only thing we could see was the path at our feet, and the tiny light that led the way. We continued forward squeezing each other’s hands to let each know the other was still there. She spoke, but I couldn’t believe her words. She wanted to turn to the path to the left. I tried to persuade her to keep going straight with me, that we had to follow the light, but she said she had to go. We parted ways and it felt like a piece of my heart left with her. It was soon after that the darkness seemed to disappear. More of the things around were visible but as before I could only see so far ahead, the light as guide, and the path behind me fading. As I continued the memories of the girl lingered and overwhelmed me. I paused as a tear jerked down my cheek.
“God why did you have to send her on a different path? We were perfect for each other. Why couldn’t we have been together forever?”
A small quiet voice responded. “I love you.”
I continued slightly comforted but distressed all the same. Why would God send us separate ways? Time and time again people intersected my path sometimes staying longer than others, and sometimes disappearing on paths I couldn’t see. Memories of the path behind lingered as the new path continued forward. I then came to a more complex decision of paths. There were four paths in front of me. Three of the four were smooth, while the one that ran straight looked rocky and uncomfortable. I tried to see ahead of them. I could see farther than before, but there was a fog that made objects in the distance almost unrecognizable. Like a magnet, the light seemed to be directing me towards the path that ran straight. I really wanted to continue straight, but my gut told me the easiest path would be to the left. It seemed smoother, and looked less rocky than the path that ran straight. I veered to the left ignoring the path that longed for my presence. The light split and became dimmer, part of it staying with the path I had left behind. A part of me felt restless, like I made a mistake. The smoothness of this path felt so much nicer than the path I would have been on. I heard a noise that caused me to groan. The sound was followed by a flash of light and it wasn’t long before it began to rain. I continued slowly as the wind began to pick up. It seemed impossible to continue. As I continued I noticed the area around me was no longer there. The light that I had followed for so long now seemed so dim that I could barely recognize that it was still there. The ground surrounding the path, that had been there before, was replaced by a large void and it seemed as if the path I was on now, served as a bridge. It would be so easy to just fall in and not have to continue through the storm. I pushed the thought quickly out of my mind as the words from earlier echoed through my head.
“I love you.”
It was then that the journey forward seemed easier somehow. The light shone just a little brighter, but still very dim. I looked up and the storm was slowly moving on. After only a few more minutes it was as if it had never been. I was relieved yet discouraged all the same. I raised my voice to the clouds.
“God, why did you let me go into the storm? Couldn’t you have stopped it? Why did I have to go through that? Why did you let the storm form?”
A still quiet voice, much like the one that was heard earlier, responded.
“I love you.”
The words sent a feeling of guilt down my spine this time. How could I blame God for the storm? Those three words somehow assured me that the storm hadn’t come from God at all, how could love inflict suffering? I continued on the path, following the light.
Then a batch of mixed emotions rose in the pit of my stomach as I couldn’t believe the sight that was in front of me. It was the same paths from earlier. Only this time, there were three. The rocky path that led straight before, was now on the far right and two other smooth paths accompanied it. The one on the far right still contained the part of the light that had stayed behind. Again the light seemed to pull me toward the path on the right. The thought that it wasn’t the right path presented itself again. I turned to the path on the far left.
Before long a new girl joined me on this path. She had many of the qualities of the first, and she had the greatest smile. We talked as we walked. Before long I kept seeing the same rocky path veer to the right off of the smooth path every couple hundred yards or so. Each time it felt like it was the right thing to do, but the fact that it would be hard, and my new friend encouraged me that this was the right path. After a couple more minutes, the path that continued straight was suddenly filled with glass, and junk cut our feet as we walked. Tears clouded my vision as pain pierced my feet. She grabbed my hand, and thanked me for being there with her. Up ahead the road divided, but it wasn’t an easy decision. It was either stay on the junky road or choose the rocky road. Once again the rocky road terrified me, but this time the calling of the road, and the pain in my feet was enough to persuade me to choose the rocky road. I stopped, but she urged me to continue. I pointed to the rocky road, but she wasn’t able to see it. She insisted this was the only route. I tried to show her my light, but she just couldn’t see it. I explained I had to leave her, but that I was grateful for the time that our paths crossed. I veered to the right, and noticed a tear slip down her cheek. This time was different than the first though. There was a peace that came with the decision. The part of the light that had been left behind now joined the one that remained with me and shined brighter than ever before. I looked up to the clouds and let my mouth speak from the heart.
“God, I don’t understand. You never gave up on me. I rejected the rocky path over and over only to wind up sore, bloody, and worn out. Can’t you see that I’m not worthy of following this path?”
Once again the still quiet voice responded.
“I love you.”
“And I love you.” I replied. I continued on the rocky path, rejuvenated. It suddenly occurred to me that I had forgotten how much God really loved me. I blamed him for taking my friend away, for the storm, and doubted the path he had for me. I never once thanked him for the time I was able to spend with both girls, or for helping me make it out of the storm alive, or for believing in me when I doubted myself. On the other hand, it was those things that shaped me, changed me from the traveler I was, closer to the traveler of light God wants me to be.
“Lord, thank you for loving me.”
As I walked the rocky path, the wounds healed quicker than I expected leaving my feet stronger than before. The rocks probing my feet as I walked, didn’t bother my feet near as much as I thought they would. As I continued there seemed to be a figure in the distance, barely visible through the fog. I could make out that this fellow traveler was a girl, but I couldn’t see who she was. I could see that she was following a light exactly like mine. I continued on the path into the setting sun, hoping that someday we would meet.
The end (sort of)
In many ways the traveler portrayed in this story is myself. However, we are all travelers on similar paths. We desire love, we wonder why we must suffer, we blame God, come and go in and out of people’s lives, and sometimes even ignore what he finds best in our lives. Despite this, God still loves us and will always be there for us if we ask him to be. While it’s hard to understand why things happen in the order that they do, it’s the pieces placed in that specific order that shaped you into the person you’ve become and the person you are becoming. Yes, there may be storms, and struggles but whenever things seem hopeless, there’s one thing that you can listen for that might be heard above everything else.
“I love you.”
A great big thank you to all of the participants! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing each of your posts, and I'm sure others did as well.