I See You, But You Can’t See Me!

It all started innocently enough. Just messages back and forth between me and one of the popular young men. I was impressed that such a man would even pay attention to little old me who didn’t quite fit in with the others. However, the messages quickly went downhill. They slid straight down the cliff right into the territory of sexual harassment and even leading into threats of bodily harm. And what was my reaction? I hid. I hid the messages. I hid my reactions. I hid my fear. I thought I would be fine. I put up a false front of bravado and toughness, even towards him.

Then came the night, a couple, that I knew quite well, sat me down and asked me straight out about this young man. When they first asked me, I was stunned. I stopped and stared at them in utter shock. How did they know? Who told them?! That’s when  I found out that it had been happening to more girls. Then they asked if I had any evidence. Yes, I did. Somewhere around 48 pages of typed out messages that I had saved! We ended up going to the local police and making a report. That’s when I found out that they couldn’t legally do anything because we were both consenting adults, and I had not said “no” in any of those thousands of messages. I was devastated!

I’ll quickly answer some questions you’re probably wondering right now. One, why did I save all those messages? Because somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that this was all wrong, and I had an inkling that I might need them in the future if anything he threatened would actually happen. Two, how did he sucker me into this? Well, I have a history of childhood sexual abuse that was not dealt with at that point. I was a prime target for a master manipulator.

The police officer I spoke with did give me hope when he said that he would personally call the young man and speak to him man to man. I had hope that that would be the end of it, but it wasn’t. Not by a long shot!

Now, in addition to previous trauma not dealt with, I also had this trauma to process and deal with. I soon moved to a place where I could receive counselling and start attempting to heal. However, the place I moved to was very close to where the young man lived. Every time I went out in public, I was worried. I was hyper-vigilant and anxious. Every time I saw a face or profile that looked vaguely like him, I panicked and hid myself. I didn’t know what he would do if he found me alone, and I didn’t want to find out. I worked with different counselors in the meantime and did find a certain level of freedom.

Finally, I was ready to move home. I thought I was good. I still dealt with lingering effects from the trauma, but  I thought I could handle it. I started a new job and went to college. I didn’t worry about ever hearing from this guy again. All of a sudden, early one Saturday morning, I got a mysterious text, and then more and more of them. I quickly recognized the tone of them. The mystery person refused to identify themselves until I called them out, and it was the same man, after being silent for three years! My whole day was suddenly derailed!

I went to fire academy that day and tried hard to concentrate on the ropes and knots we were learning. Instead, I was extremely jumpy and almost punched my lieutenant when he unexpectedly came around the corner of the fire engine toward me. Meanwhile, I kept getting calls from this man. I didn’t answer, but would try to call him back. He would never answer me. I blocked his number, and five minutes later he would have a new number. After the day of training, I asked the lieutenant if I could use the station phone to try to call him. I was granted permission, and I tried to call him, but he refused to answer.

I confided in one of my close friends what was happening, and he told me that he would watch out for me. I tried so hard to not let it affect me. I did my normal every day things, but I realized, after the man began messaging me my location and what I was wearing, that I would need to take further precautions. I alerted the security team at the college where I worked. I told my supervisor, who then always walked me out to my car. I told my ambulance partners. I told my fire lieutenants.  I told my friends at church. I was escorted by one or two men whenever I was out with friends or walked to my car after dark at work. I blocked numbers, changed phone numbers, locked everything up tight on all social media, made numerous police reports, but nothing worked to deter him. It became a way of life for me.

Once again I was on high alert at all times. I was always scanning my environment. I sat with my back to the wall. I knew my exits and always had a clear path to them. I knew which of my friends had concealed carry permits. I got on a first name basis with a local deputy and the college security officers. Meanwhile, I tried different strategies with the man. I ignored him, blocked him, told him no, answered his calls, screenshot everything, and even appeared before a judge to attempt to get a stalking order against him. This man sent emails with pornographic pictures to one of my friends and tried to say that the pictures were of me; they weren’t. My dad, brothers, former boyfriend, and the deputy all tried to get him to leave me alone. I was resigned to just having him in my life forever.

He literally knew where I was at all times. When I took a cross country trip, he knew where I was. When I stayed at my cousin’s house, he told me what clothes I was wearing. When I changed jobs, he knew before I told many people. When I changed numbers, he had my new one within twenty-four hours. After awhile, I kind of got used to it. I got used to the hyper-vigilance. I got used to being escorted. I got used to scanning faces. I got used to planning my actions if he ever suddenly physically appeared in my life. I got used to saving screenshots and telling him “no” repeatedly. I got used to talking to judges and officers and other legal people. I got used to the constant fear. I almost became calloused to it. (Even typing this out now, my heart rate is increasing slightly.)

Then one summer I met some people who taught me that the things we fear have permission to happen. Well, I was afraid of this man. I was afraid of what he would do. I was afraid of where he would appear next. I was afraid of looking at my phone or seeing a number that I didn’t know. Then I decided that I didn’t want to be afraid anymore. I was tired of it. I was tired of fighting back with no positive results. I wanted something different. I wanted him to disappear from my life. So, I prayed. I released him to God. I released the whole situation and decided that from now, I would not be afraid of him. No longer was he gonna be able to ruin my life and steal my joy in living life.

Instead, I was going to use wisdom. Having no fear, did not mean that now, I went fully public with every detail of my life or that now I didn’t take precautions when I was by myself. It just meant that I didn’t have to hide in a corner anymore. I didn’t have to fight panic attacks every single time I was in public. I was still cautious and careful, just not afraid. And you know what? That was almost two years ago.

Since then I have not heard from him again. I have been able to live my life. Sure, sometimes I still wonder what I would do if I met him unexpectedly, if he suddenly showed up in church or I met him in the grocery store. I wonder if he’s really gone forever or if he’s just waiting for the three year mark again. My heart still skips a beat if I suddenly see someone who looks like him out of the corner of my eye. I don’t know if I will ever fully get over those kind of things, but I’m not afraid of him anymore. He no longer controls my life. And now, I have even a bigger support system, even more men in my life who would do their utmost to protect me. The number one man is my husband, Aaron. I know that I would not have to face it alone, if it did happen again. So I’m not worried.

For way to long, this man controlled my life. He was protected by his parents and church members. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing. However, I refuse to be his victim any longer! I am a free woman. I am protected. I am safe. I am clean. I do not have to fear his threats of rape and bodily harm. And that makes me confident enough to share this story on such a public platform.

Just know that no matter what has happened in your past, you can make the choice to no longer be a victim. You don’t have to let those people, that trauma, affect your every day life any longer. All it takes is a simple choice to start the healing process! And if you need some support, let me know. I’ve been there! I love you and want you to know it can get better! Just keep going!


A Paramilitary Church?

After reading this article (click here) about vets and what they miss most about being in the military, it struck me that this is also one of the things I love the most about the fire service. The sense of someone always having your back, watching out for your safety, and leaving no man behind. I have thought for awhile that the church could learn a thing or two from the military and other paramilitary organizations.

First let’s look at what makes a paramilitary organization work. I am familiar with the fire service so I will use that. (Disclaimer: I am basing this writing on my experience. That is not to say that all fire departments are the same. I had a very positive experience.)

The first thing you learn when joining an organization like this is the clear rank of people. Bottom to top are probationary (probies), firefighters, engineers, lieutenants, captains, battalion chiefs, assistant chiefs, and then the chief. You know what your rank is and what your job is. It is made very clear from the first day. If you are a probie, you follow orders from just about anyone and give orders to no one. You may question an order, but ONLY if it involves a potential safety hazard. However, after voicing your concern, you are still expected to follow orders that are given. You will be paired with a more seasoned firefighter and placed on a squad led by a lieutenant. They are your partners, and you are expected to listen to them and follow their directions while learning from them. Questions are encouraged, but it’s usually best to wait til after the fire scene or a training.

Your superiors are there to help you succeed. They will push you beyond what you think you are capable of. Drills become a way of life. You may even get told, “Don’t train until you get it right; train until you can’t get it wrong.” And through all of this, somehow, there is a feeling of safety and empowerment. You know where you fit and how to act. There are times when you might not understand or might become frustrated with the way your instructors push you and make you do things over and over. But in the end, they are there. Your friends. Your family. Your biggest supporters.

Strong support. That is what I think the church, as a whole, could learn from them. What if in the church we had one on one mentoring? What if the pastors’ and bishops’ and ministers’ goal was to see their congregation succeed, not just as a whole, but on a deep personal level? What if every person felt like they belonged to a great big close knit family? What if everyone learned to work together, not only during crisis moments, but during every day situations?

Ranks. Could we implement “ranks” of a sort where people were given specific roles based on their maturity, ability to pass tests, and ability to lead effectively?  What if we trained the leaders to lead squads who also had specific tasks to accomplish? We could teach and train people toward that goal. Chiefs aren’t afraid to train up new leaders, nor should the church be. When squad leaders are strong and can work in unity, more work can get done quickly. People get more of a chance to feel heard and important when they are part of a squad with a specific job. I feel the need to point out that there is no difference of importance on the fire-ground, but without the ranks there would be no flow, no efficiency, less teamwork.

Teamwork. The church as a whole, from my observations, could do with more teamwork. Teams work best with a clear leader who delegates tasks out to specific team members. They also work best when each team member knows how to complete their given task. Each team member is vital to getting the job done efficiently and well. It doesn’t matter if you’re the one controlling the nozzle to put out the fire, or if you’re the one behind them helping to move the hose, without each other the task would not get done! Some churches have this teamwork thing down really good for certain situations. Need a barn built? Call the church! Need disaster clean up? Call the church. But what about in other situations? Sketchy, messy, nitty gritty situations? Someone has mental health challenges? Abuse situations? Young woman wavering between abortion and adoption? What about those situations that don’t fit neatly into any little rule book? Where’s the teamwork then?

As firefighters, we trained for the messy situations. We trained to rescue each other and civilians from various types of entrapment. We trained for those situations that we hoped never happened, where one of our own was in crisis. We tried to imagine the worse scenario possible and train for that. Once the scenario happens, it’s too late to train then. It’s too late to come up with a proactive plan then. All that’s left at that moment is reaction, and reaction isn’t always the best option.

Being proactive. I believe the church would benefit from being more proactive. Look around you. Observe what’s happening. Imagine the worst scenario possible. Sit down with your team and come up with a plan of action should that scenario ever happen. Then practice.  Check in with people. Make sure they know the plan. Make sure both old and  young ones know what to do, both mature and immature.

Be involved. Get involved with your community. Know your at risk populations. Know the streets. Get to know the homeless and the lonely. Be known in your community as someone that people can turn to in case of emergency. I believe the church should be just as known for this as firefighters are. Feeling lonely? Call the church. Need a hot meal? Call the church. Have a family emergency and need some assistance? Call the church.

Will you be the one willing to look outside the norm and learn some lessons from a paramilitary organization? There are good lessons, if you only look! Mentoring, support, family, teamwork, and helping each other and the community succeed.


Respect. This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently, because I’ve been attempting to get it across to my school students that if they respect each other, there is little need for other rules. Today I went a little deeper and looked at what the Bible has to say about this subject. Here’s some of what I found and my current thoughts on the subject.

First let’s define respect. According to the dictionary, it means “due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others; politeness, courtesy, civility, deference; honor, esteem, feel or show honour or esteem for, care, consideration, to care for, show consideration for.” Basically, be nice to others even if they aren’t exactly like you in every area. Is that so hard?

Now, the Bible doesn’t say much about “respect” but it does talk a lot about honour. Honor according to the dictionary, means “nobleness of mind, a nice sense of what is right or proper; great respect, high regard; respect highly, think highly of; show respect to; be an honor too.” In this blog post, I am using the Bible word honour in place of the more familiar word respect. I believe they have a lot of the same connotations. 

According to the Bible dictionary, honour means “of the price paid or received for a person or thing bought or sold; of the honour which belongs or is shown to one, of the honour which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he holds.” Think about this for a bit, “the price paid or received for a person bought.” What was the price paid for us? Jesus died on the cross for every single one of us!! How valuable does that make us? And if we view every other person as having that same value how could we do anything else but show them respect?

Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” The Golden Rule. This is a basic rule of human rights and expectations. Everyone wishes to be treated with respect and kindness. If everyone treated everyone around them as they themselves wish to be treated, our world would be a much better place.

Romans 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour.” This is how we as Christians should act. Outdo in this verse carries the idea of being a leader. It means “to go before and show the way; to go before as a leader.” We should attempt to be the leaders in showing value to others, everyone. Every human being has the same value as the next one, from the worst criminal in prison to the most influential king. All humans were paid for by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. That price gives them value. When they accept Jesus as their personal Saviour, they become sons of God. This puts them in an honourable position, which is just another reason to show them honour.

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” 

Titus 2:7 “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show, integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Wow! That is a high standard! In ALL respects we are too be a model of good conduct. Part of this good conduct is to show honour. If you always show honour and respect, who could condemn you for that?

I Peter 2:17 “Honour everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the emperor.” Honour in this verse carries the additional meaning of “to fix the value of something belonging to one’s self.” If something belongs to you, you are more likely to treat it with respect. Christians are a family, your family. Treat them with respect due to family members! 

John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” Love is part of honour as well. We cannot honor others if we have no love for them. Like the song says “They will know we are Christians by our love.” I think sometimes we don’t do such a good job at demonstrating our love for each other.

Romans 13:10 “Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law.” 

I Thessalonians 5:12-13 “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labour among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” Honor those in positions with authority.

I Corinthians 12:24b-26 “But God has composed the body, giving greater honour to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all members rejoice together.” I believe these verses hold some very valuable keys for us as we learn to always honor others. We might be tempted to look down on someone because they are different from us or less honorable in our estimation. But who are we to say who is less? All humans are created equal; therefore all equally worthy of our honor and respect. 

This is something we’ve been working on in my classroom. Currently, if they are all respectful and do not earn any consequences for a whole week as a class, they will all be honored. If, however, one person is disrespectful, the whole class will suffer with them by not being able to attain to the honor in store for them. This way they learn that their disrespect does not only negatively affect them but it also affects the whole team. This builds an atmosphere of positive peer pressure to do the right thing. 

Girls side of my classroom

Boys and younger grades side

Respect others and they will be more likely to respect you. Annoyed with rules and guidelines that seem unnecessary? If everyone walked in respect to each other, most rules and guidelines would become moot points. If a first grader can understand and know what is respectful and what isn’t, so can you as an adult. 

When you are respectful of others opinions and beliefs, they are more willing to respect yours. You do not have to agree with someone to be respectful to them. Example: I am a Mennonite who tends to the more liberal side of the spectrum, but most of the students in my school are Amish. Their parents are Amish. We dress differently and probably believe differently on some things, but that does not stop us from working together just fine. We have mutual respect for each other. And our outward appearances have never been an issue. We worship the same Jesus and side by side we work together towards the same goal of advancing the kingdom of God. Respect works! (And baffles those who receive it from the unexpected places like someone completely different from them.)

Go out and be respectful!!

*All verses taken from ESV Bible.

“Wherever You Are, Be All There.”

“Wherever you are, be all there.” -Jim Elliott. This is one of my all time favorite quotes and it’s how I try to live my life. Live in the moment with your whole heart. (Yes, this post is a result of being posted for hours at work.) 😂 So I thought, “Why not share some of my adventures over the last few years?” I’ve certainly had a lot of them.

I’ve lived in two countries, three states, and visited two provinces. I’ve been on bus trips, road trips, and had many interactions with lots of awesome people. Here’s a glimpse, in no particular order of happening.

Playing with children on Kingfisher Lake First Nation in northern Ontario. I lived there six weeks

Loved these kids! Eddie and Rain

Saturlene and Yolanda. Sisters with Tikinagan that we spent hours with during evacuations for forest fires

Me and my school students from Canada

Birchwood Christian School in Dryden, Ontario. I taught first and second grade

BCS students in costume for their Christmas musical

Joys of teaching in northwestern Ontario. Bundling up in layers and layers of clothes in order to play outside in below zero temps

My co-teacher Michelle and I were best of friends

Before I left BCS we did a bff winter photo shoot

Family time is super fun!

Swimming at the river with the littles

Youth dress up night

Redoing our kitchen floor

Siblings at Fort Stevens in 2011

Camo face paint…best kind of makeup 😂

With my dad while he was still a volunteer firefighter

Work and volunteer times

Nancy and I doing medical standby in tactical kilts on July 4

Fire Academy live burn

Ropes training for search and rescue

Chayne and I. Went to EMT class together and then were co-workers for awhile

Mock search mission for training

Wearing a TB mask for a very long transport

Throwback to when I still worked as a nurse’s aide

Work Christmas party 2015

Lab Assisting at the college with my creepy manikin

EMT class!!

And other various happenings and adventures…

Playing coed softball with Accident Prone

Holding a cow heart in Manitoba

Helping chore at the neighbor’s

Snowmobile riding in Manitoba!!

Jumping at the beach

With my unofficial niece Eliana

Rowboat on Beaver Lake in Dryden, Ontario

Yes I’m a hunter and a country girl at heart.

Playing games at LBS with my student Knaqweyza in 2013

Yes, I love life! And today I’ve been thinking about how blessed I am to have had all these wonderful adventures and times with friends and family. Go out and live in the moment!! 

God bless!!

The Prince and His Bride, Part 1 & 2

Imagine with me for a moment, that you are on your way to the throne room of the King with an important-to-you request. You know that since it’s important to you, it will be important to Him. You heart is thrilled to know that you can enter His throne room at any time no matter what, and you will be welcomed with open arms and given the King’s full attention.

As you near the door to the throne room, you spot a pitiful figure crouched to one side of the door. When you get closer, you can see that it’s a girl. Her clothes are ragged. Her hair is unkempt, hanging loosely in her face. She’s crouching there, rocking back and forth slightly, sobbing.

Your heart fills with compassion, but just when you start over to her, the door to the throne room opens and a figure steps out. You gasp in surprise when you recognize the figure as that of the Prince! It’s the Prince who always sits on the right hand of the King!

He walks over to the girl and crouches down to look into her dirty, tear-stained face. As you watch, He reaches out and smooths her hair back from her face. She recoils instantly in terror from His touch. She cries out, “Don’t hurt me! Don’t hurt me!”

You wonder if she realizes who she’s talking to. The Prince is gentle, especially to those who are scared and scarred. You know from experience; you used to be the same way.

Then the girl starts talking, weeping, “What if the King hates me? What if the Prince kicks me out? I’m not good enough! My troubles are too small to bother the King with! Just look at all those other people entering the throne room. None of them have noticed me, so surely the King wouldn’t notice me either. I should just leave.” She starts to stand, but the Prince stops her.

“Child, the King loves you just as you are. He loves to transform those who think they are no good into beautiful princesses of His. It would thrill our hearts to have you enter the throne room, just as you are.”

The girl seems to take not notice of the Prince’s words. You decide to walk over and ask her if she heard Him. “Yes,” she says, “but I thought that He was talking to someone else. You mean to say He was actually talking to me?” Her surprise is so great that she actually lifts her head and stares at you in amazement. Then she turns to the prince, “Sir, do You think that maybe the King would allow me to be the most invisible servant in Your palace?”

The prince smiles gently. “No,” He replies, “I think that would not satisfy Him.”

The girl’s face falls. “You mean, I’m not even good enough to do that?”

“No,” replies the Prince, “I mean, that I want you to be My bride! My Father, the King, would love that!”

“But…but…I’m not good enough to do that! Look at me! I could never be a suitable bride in this outfit!”

The Prince’s face breaks into a broad smile. “That’s my specialty! I will prepare you and then present you to My Father!”

“Oh! Well…okay, but I’m scared to enter that door by myself. Will You come with me?” She reaches up both hands towards Him.

“Of course, My love, I’ll carry you through that door.” With that, the Prince stoops down, picks up the girl, and enters the throne room.


You decide to follow the Prince and the girl into the throne room. As you enter, you see the girl be suddenly transformed! Her clothes change from rags to the beautiful gown of a bride. Her face is clean and beautiful. Her hair is beautifully done.

You expect the girl to notice her dramatic transformation and sit up in awe or something. You’re amazed when she seems to take no notice of what has just happened. Instead, she just keeps her face hidden against the Prince. She still seems to be terrified and ashamed. She’s trembling in fear.

You expect the Prince to do something, say something to wake the girl to her new reality. Instead, the Prince just quietly holds her, gently stroking her back. He walks forward and sits next to His Father, the King. You want to walk forward and shake the girl to her senses! You don’t understand why the Prince doesn’t say anything! His gift, the beautiful transformation, has gone completely unnoticed! You’ve never known Him to be wrong before, but surely this time…

After just quietly holding the girl for awhile, the Prince hands her to the King. The King continues to quietly hold the girl, while the Prince gets up and begins to dance!

For the first time since entering the throne room, you take a good look around you and realize that everyone around you is dancing in worship to the King. Some are dancing slowly, methodically, with measured steps. Others are dancing, whirling wildly, with reckless abandonment.

The Prince seems to be dancing especially for the girl. He keeps watching her. When you turn to look at her, you notice that she seems to be watching the Prince out of the corner of her eye. Her face still mostly hidden, though, against the King. After a little, she shifts her position to watch the Prince more closely.

The Prince approaches her and asks her to join Him. Instantly, she shakes her head “no” and says quietly, “I’d just make us look like fools.” With that she hides her face again. The Prince and the King just smile.

The Prince does not seem to be at all worried by her first rejection. In fact, He keeps coming back to her, keeps asking her to join Him. You start wondering why the Prince even bothers. Can’t He see that the girl seems to be scared and uninterested?

When the Prince asks her for the fourth time, however, the girl says shyly, quietly, “I’d really, really love to! Honest! But I don’t know how, and I’m kind of scared.”

The Prince smiles broadly. “I have transformed you, and I can teach you to dance. Come! Join me!” He holds out His arms towards the girl. When the girl hesitantly reaches out to Him, He swoops her up and whirls her around.

For the first time since you’ve been observing them, the girl’s face breaks into a wide smile. She throws back her head and laughs joyously.

For a little while, the Prince just dances while holding her. Her arms are wrapped around His neck. She’s laughing and enjoying it to the fullest. Then He sets the girl down and lets her take a few hesitant steps on her own, before swooping her back up into His arms. He does this several times, and the girl gains confidence.

You’re amazed at the complete transformation of the girl! She no longer looks anything like the street waif outside, plus, she’s starting to act completely different. Her head is up. She’s laughing. She has confidence.

The Prince sets the girl down again, and they begin to dance together. The girl is smiling, head thrown back, eyes closed. She’s perfectly content to be dancing with the Prince.

Their joy is so contagious that you catch yourself smiling, nodding your head in time to the music. The King is smiling, reveling in His son’s glory and the transformation of His Son’s chosen bride. The Prince and the girl are smiling, joyous to be together, reveling in their new found relationship.

You are content, happy to have been allowed once again, to watch the transformation from pauper to royalty, from street waif to Prince’s bride. It is enough. You smile and join in the worship.

My Life Story (If You Care to Understand It)

Note: Please don’t be offended by the wording. I wrote it exactly as I pictured it in my head. It’s something that I wrote on Easter Sunday of 2012. I didn’t know or understand everything then, nor do I now, but more of it is making sense as I continue on this crazy journey of mine, following my Jesus.

blog post

How I pictured myself during captivity

I was broken in a million pieces. My hair was matted; my face streaked with dirt and tears. My clothes were that of a homeless street waif. I was covered in sores and cuts; some of my own making; some inflicted by others. I was not beautiful by any means. I lived in the streets, in the drainage ditches, in the filthy muck.

Along came Jesus looking for a bride. I’m not sure how or why He found and chose me, but He did. He saw me sitting in the ditch in my pitiful state and said, “There, that’s the one I want for My bride.”

I was so scarred and covered in filth. I was scared of the kingly figure who knelt quietly beside me in the filth. I recoiled in terror from His gentle touch and cowered in fear before His searching gaze.

“Child, would you like to go with Me to live in the palace as My bride?”

I wouldn’t say anything, but my heart leaped in hope, before I squelched it. I knew from experience that any man who offered me anything really only wanted to take advantage of me. Why would this be any different? Still it would be nice to have a roof over my head for a few days. I decided to accept His offer.

“Sure, I’ll go with You.” I nodded and began to get up, but with one smooth motion, He picked me up. I panicked! “What are You doing? Let me down!” He just quietly held me and began to walk back toward the palace.

After awhile I got tired of struggling and so fell asleep. I actually slept quite well in His arms, which really surprised me, and after I woke up, I was quite content to just quietly ride in His arms for awhile.

Then I noticed on of my old bosses beckoning me from one of my old haunts. I at once became discontent with where I was at. “Sir, will You let me go talk to that fellow? He’s one of my old friends.”

The Man didn’t say anything, but a look of extreme sadness, mixed with intense love came over His face as He released me. I ran over to my old boss who welcomed me back, then pulled me inside, where I was ridiculed for having gone with the Man in the first place.

One particularly ugly character rasped in my ear, “You know you’d never be good enough for the likes of Him anyways. You belong here, in the whorehouse, just like you always have. You know the saying ‘Once a whore, always a whore’. There’s nobody gonna be changing that.”

Even as I nodded in agreement with the man, who was also my boss, I felt something die inside of me. I realized then that I had changed inside when the Man had picked me up. Saddened, I crossed over to the front window and looked out. There, across the street, stood the Man. His all-knowing gaze met mine, and I quickly dropped my eyes and the window shade.

I walked back to my boss, my head hanging. “Hey! Girl! Get your head up and a smile on your face! Our customers don’t like a sad disposition! This is where you belong, and this is where you’ll stay! Hear?”

“Yes, sir.” I meekly nodded my head and plastered a smile on my face. He was right, as usual. This was where I belonged.

This went on for quiet awhile. Every once in awhile, I’d catch a glimpse of the Man who had carried me still standing across the street as if He was waiting for me. Once I saw my boss talking to Him. My boss was talking very excitedly and seemed to be gloating, while the other Man just stood there and quietly shook His head. Whenever I’d happen to catch His gaze, I’d turn quickly away. I was ashamed of myself and what I had done, but I was too prideful to go and ask Him to take me back, cuz even the lowest in society still have pride.

Then one day I happened to meet a couple of girls who invited me to go with them to their church. I went and was soon living two lifestyles. On Sundays and my days off, I was the perfect kid who knew all the right answers to all the right questions. The one who never rocked the boat and followed all the rules, never pushing the line. During the week however, I was the lowest in society. I was a complete rebel who disregarded everything. I sold myself for a few moments of pleasure. I was used again and again.

One day I’d had enough. I decided this was it. I was tired of living a double lifestyle. The only one who knew it was my boss. My friends at church had no idea what my other life was like. I decided to end it all. Once and for all, I’d stop lying to everyone and myself. I’d fess up in a letter to those closest to me, and then take my life and disappear forever out of the lives of everyone that I troubled.

I wrote the letter, left it in a strategic place, then slipped out early one morning. I slipped down to the canal that ran behind my workplace. I sat down on the edge of the dock and was just about ready to jump when I felt strong hands grasp my shoulders.

I gasped in surprise and turned around to see who had dared interfere with my plans. To my shock, it was the Man! The One who had carried me. The One who was always waiting for me across the street.

He had on His face such a look of fierce, pure love that my heart almost stopped. I was so ashamed of what I had done and had been about to do, that I buried my face in my hands and began to sob. I knew that now would be the time. Would He pick me up and carry me towards the palace again? Or would He toss me in the river like I deserved?

Instead, He just knelt down beside me, wrapped His strong arms around me, and let me cry. When I had caught my breath, He picked me up and again started walking in the direction of the palace.

After a little while, we came to a little store that I had never seen before. We entered it, and the Man at once had me outfitted in the most beautiful set of clothing I had ever seen in my life! When we got to the checkout, I was worried about paying for it. It looked pretty expensive, and I hated to put the Man thru so much trouble, but when we got to the counter, the cashier smiled and said that the Man had already paid for everything a long time before.

In amazement, I stared at the Man. He just smiled and said, “I love you.” We walked out of the store, hand in hand.

We walked like that for awhile, but then I started noticing that to the side of the road were people following us. When I looked carefully, I recognized them as my old boss’s bodyguards. When they saw that I was paying more attention to them than to the Man beside me, they started yelling at me.

“Once a whore, always a whore!”

“Traitor! Goody-goody!”

“You think that just cuz you have fancy new clothes that you’re better and all holy now, but you ain’t. You’re still the same inside. You haven’t really changed, and you know it!”

My steps got slower and slower. My hand slipped from the Man’s. Finally, I stopped altogether. Instantly, the bodyguards surrounded me. They pummeled me back and forth, all the while taunting me. I cried out, “Sir! Help me! They’re winning! I don’t want to believe them, but if this keeps on, I feel that I must!”

“He can’t hear you, bitch!” roared the biggest one.

“No, He CAN hear me!”

“You’re a worthless piece of crap!”

“No! He told me I’m His princess!”

“You can’t tell us anything!”

“No, she can’t, but I can!” My Rescuer, the Man, stood there, sword in hand, fury in His eyes! “Be gone, fiends! This girl is Mine! She is My precious daughter, My princess, soon-to-be bride! If you want to mess with her, you’ll have to deal with Me first!”

“But she’s nothing but a loser and an ugly one at that!” yelled one of them.

The Man turned towards him with such a look of fury that I saw the bodyguard actually wilt and start to tremble.

“Now in the name of My Father the King and in My name, be gone! You no longer have any right to this girl! She has broken her agreement with you and has transferred it to Me! Now GO!” With that, the Man gave a violent slash with His sword, and the bodyguards turned tail and ran!

I had stayed face down on the ground throughout the entire exchange. I heard the Man put His sword away. Then I heard the gentle swish of His robe as He knelt down beside me.

I trembled from fear and pain, fear of the Man and pain from the blows of the bodyguards. I shook harder when I felt the Man put His hand on my back. He just sat beside me and quietly rubbed my back. As He did so, my fear melted away and so did the pain. He picked me up and placed me in His lap. I rested against Him, as He continued to ease my pain and fear.

When I started crying because of the lingering ache of the wounds and at the thought of how I had hurt the Man, He hugged me to Himself and started weeping, sharing my pain. Somehow that eased my pain, just knowing that He felt my pain.

After we had rested a little, the Man, whose name I now knew was Jesus, stood up, and we continued walking down the road toward the palace.

I knew that the bodyguards and possibly even my old boss would come back, but for now I could rest. And so I did. I laid my head against Jesus and relaxed.

A Story of Christian Bootcamp

I wrote this on December 2, 2012, and just recently came across it again. It seems appropriate to share it again now, considering where I am at in my life and the things I have learned in the last couple weeks. Enjoy!

A girl enters an army camp. She is carrying a knapsack with supplies. She has armor draped over her arm, and a sword dangling from one hand. Her helmet is crooked. Her shoes are untied. She stares at the ground. Eventually she ends up at the tent door of her commander.

“Sir, I was told to report to you.”

Her commander looks her up and down. What he sees may not look like much, but he knows and trusts that his Commander-in-Chief has sent him what is best for his particular band.

“Welcome, princess.”

She just shuffles her feet and continues staring at the ground. He sees that he has a lot of work to do in readying, in teaching this new warrior how to fight. First thing, how to properly put on the armor.

The first while is spent in learning how to properly put on and wear her armor. She does many things in it, until it becomes second nature to her. Until she is completely comfortable in her armor, and in fact feels quite undressed if she does not have it on.

And she gets to observe skirmishes so as to learn what a soldier is supposed to do, how they are supposed to act in battle. Occasionally, her commander takes her with him and lets her join in. He helps her hold her sword straight, puts his hands over hers to show her how to swing it.

Weeks pass. She slowly grows more confident in her job as a warrior-princess. She still runs to her commander for back up when she is confronted with the enemy. She just isn’t quite confident enough to tackle them on her own yet, even tho’ she knows that her Commander-in-Chief would send backup for her at any given moment. In fact, He’d show up Himself with HIS band of warriors if she only cried out. But still…she finds herself turning and running back to her commander.

Then one day she gets caught in the crossfire. She finds herself alone. She can hear and see the enemy. She overhears their battle plan, overhears where their headquarters are. She races back to her commander, only to find that another commander has showed up! This commander is the one in charge of the band in the area where she was nearly caught by the enemy.

She learns how to give a report. She doesn’t understand what the big deal is. I mean, okay, so yeah, she heard their battle plans and their headquarters, but so? I mean, how’s that gonna help her commanders? But she trusts the word of her commanders and gives them a full report of what she heard and experienced.

As she talks to this new commander, she asks him, “Why can’t I fight by myself? Why does the enemy laugh at me?”

“Because, you have not taken a hold of the power, the authority that our Commander-in-Chief has given to us.”

As her and her commander go back to their band, she thinks and thinks on that.

Then comes the day. She is caught, outside of camp. Her commander is gone, attending to other business. She has one other warrior-princess with her. *panic* Her companion is a much more experienced soldier, so she lets her take charge in the defense and attack.

She feels that she barely even knows how to hold her sword! She’s barely learned how to keep her armor on straight!!

But the enemy refuses to listen to her companion. Now what?

Suddenly, an anger arises within her. How dare the enemy!! She does not need her commander there to defeat the enemy! She has been listening and learning for a little while now. She knows that the Commander-in-Chief has commissioned her as a warrior. He has given HER the resources she needs. He promised to give her backup. (And the enemy HAS to listen to the Commander-in-Chief!)

She charges in, sword up! She knows how to hold it now!! It just happened as she grabbed it from its sheath. But how to swing it? Ah, who cares? She dives in, full throttle, hacking and slashing in a very unschooled manner, poking and stabbing when she forgets how to swing it.

And whaddya know? It works!! Her Commander-in-Chief came in with His band for backup, and the enemy was made to flee!!

Aha! After the victory, she turns around and grins. “Thank You, Commander!”

He grins back at her, “Anytime, princess-warrior.”

When her commander returns from his business, she tells him of the attack and the ensuing defeat of the enemy.

“Aha! Soooo, you HAVE been listening and learning after all? That is great! I’m proud to have you in my band.”

She has discovered that being a warrior-princess in God’s army in this particular band is an AWESOME calling! (And it’s a whole lot of fun to send the enemy packing!) 😀