“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
The sky is dark. The wind blows past me with the fierceness of time moving too quickly for me to stop. Images are carried in the wind. Familiar scenes from days long gone run by me in a flash. I stand alone in the middle of nowhere, wondering how I arrived here in the amount of time it takes to pass from the last moments of wakefulness into the land of slumber. Still pictures of my life thunder on beyond me at a screaming pace. Confusion floods my thoughts. What brought me here? Or better yet, who brought me here? And why? The questions fade as I make the effort to decipher what each glimpse rolling before me holds.
My wedding day. My first day of Kindergarten. Learning to ride my bike. Swimming at the lake. Running away from home. The day I was born. Hanging out with my brother. The first time I saw my one true love. The night I accepted Jesus. The day my Grandma died. High school graduation. Long talks with my sister. Saying goodbye to my family. Moving away from home. So many memories flooding past me.
And then, they’re gone. Nothing but total darkness surrounding me. What am I supposed to do now? Do I stand here in this spot forever? Should I start walking or am I waiting for something more?
So, I wait. I’m in the middle of nowhere and obviously been brought here for a reason. What else can I do but be patient? Am I dead and this is really what it’s like between life and death? Maybe I’ll be seeing Jesus face to face any minute now.
Without warning, a blinding light shines down in front of me. I shield my eyes from the intensity of the light in the total darkness surrounding me. Then I hear a voice. Strong and powerful, sending me to my knees.
“I have shown you who you are and where you’ve come from. Now you will see who you are becoming and where you will go. May you then depart from this place and return to where you’ve come from knowing I have always had a special plan for any who are willing to seek My kingdom first. For any who are willing to lay themselves down and walk in the confidence of My abilities, not their own. The future holds many plans for those who are willing to let go of simple dreams & choose to embrace the passions of the One who put the stars in orbit. This is My desire. This is My plan for you.”
Then total darkness envelopes me as more images flash before my eyes. These pictures do more than just roll by me. They surround me. Faces of people I don’t recognize. Too many to count. I turn in circles trying desperately to see all of them at once. The closer I look, I see each image has a caption. I move closer, frantic to see what is written in the air. As my mind registers the words, my heart begins to break. What I first thought were just names, are actually words describing who these people think they are. Words they would use to describe themselves if they were honest enough. Words that make them vulnerable. Almost in disbelief, I begin to read these words out loud:
Lonely. Addicted. Suicidal. Confused. Desperate. Unlovable. Ugly. Hopeless. Lost. Ashamed. Scarred. Used. Broken.
Silence fills the night air as my tears fall. I drop to the ground. Overcome with emotion at seeing the heart of total strangers. So much hurt and struggle that I can also see in my own heart. On my hands & knees, I watch the images fade. Total darkness returns and engulfs me. No pictures. No blinding light. Just me & the night air.
I close my eyes & take a deep breath. I ask myself where do I go from here? What is the point of all this? Am I just dreaming or is this for real? I open my eyes and see a small piece of paper on the ground in front of me. I slowly pick it up & see the words before me seem to be illuminated on their own. I read them aloud:
“My plans. My passion. My love. Give yourself to Me & all I have is yours. If you are willing, I will glorify Myself in you & transform lives through you. The choice is yours.”
As the magnitude of those words sink in, the light slowly fades and a blank page stares back at me. I stand to my feet and I begin to walk. I don’t know what direction I’m headed or what lies ahead. I realize now every day is like that blank page. A fresh start. A renewed chance to be used by God.
I know who I am. I know where I have come from. Only God knows who I will become. Where I’m going. The plans He has in store for me or who He will place in my path. One thing is for sure…life will never be the same again.
Originally written 1/25/2005