God Chasers In the Heart Of A Storm

blooms in hospital

This is a picture of an old abandoned hospital.

I wrote this poem after visiting loved ones in the ICU unit,and after saying goodbye to a wonderful brother-in-law this last month.

I know I am not alone in sorrows, and would bet my new Dr. Who coffee mug,

that you have walked through some doors of pain as well.

I’m also betting my other cherished Christmas gifts, that you are also looking around for a light switch of hope to brighten the dismal room.

If so, I dedicate this poem to you 🙂

The God Chasers

I see your reflection in every life I touch.
Your beautiful bruised and scarred flesh,
speaks encyclopedias of knowledge,
I couldn’t hold up a candle to posses.

We are the God chasers,
rushing to every voice that carries your name.
Every miracle that rises out of lazy boy chairs.
like a hound dog on the hunt,
we breath in the weighty Glory of your presence.

I found you again in the hospital room,
crying out for a better way.
I discovered you once more,
filling in the shadowy void of loving husband,
faithful father, and vibrant friend.

We keep experiencing your Glory up on the mountain tops,
but really finding your soul buried deep in the hearts of
the broken.

We touch you,
when we touch your beloved.
We see your reflection of compassion
looking back at us.
“Did you bring back my Glory with you
when you encountered Me up on the mountain?
Bring it here.
Touch me here.
Heal me here.
Because when you do it to my child,
you do it to me.”

Pamela J. Peterson
11-22-13See More

 

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The Heart Of A Child

bat kid

As I woke up the other day, I heard God as He leaned over to various angelic beings and pulled back a curtain that hid our world from His, “Watch and marvel, as mere men, with the heart of Christ, do extraordinary things.”

What kind of things can we do with an immortal heart of the God who stole the keys of hell and rose from the dead?  Probably more than we can even hope or imagine! I believe we are heaven’s marvel comic book heroes when we trust not in our own strength, but the superhuman power of the Creator inside of us; helping us to leap over adversity with a single bound.The world screams help like a bat signal in Gotham city. The broken and hurting victims need help, and the crazy part is we were all created to want to make a difference in this world and to be part of something bigger than ourselves. There is a heart of a child living inside of you that wants to imagine great things for a greater humanity and have the innocence restored to believe we can make that change.

We all secretly want to be the superheroes, and the great news is every act of kindness and compassion we bestow on others is a “marvel” to God.This reminds me of the story of Bat Kid in San Francisco back in November. The Make a Wish foundation asked a 5 year old boy named Miles, who had struggled with leukemia since he was 22 months old (and is now in remission) what was his wish. “To be Batman!” was his unwavering response.

The entire city of San Francisco came together to make this wish come true. If you haven’t seen this you should watch it on you tube.  While watching what 12,000 people lining a city street looked like holding signs of support for this adorable pint size Batman as he ran past them to apprehend the Riddler, I realized (besides the fact I just wrote the longest run on sentence known to mankind;), the powerful good we can do when we all come together.

Yes, this world has villains. But do you realize the power we posses with global communications and the right structure to overtake evil with good? When I looked out over the river of compassionate human beings, I saw a lot more than just one superhero out there. Now it’s our turn.

What can we do?

How do we unite?

What kinds of specific structures are already set up out there that we can participate in?

Miles could have never been bat kid if people did not rally around the cause. I am so sick and tired of hearing about another shooting in our schools, or loosing another teen to suicide.

Yes, I will agree hatred is a powerful force, but the power of Love and Compassion supersedes it!

I would like to know if you are willing to link together and save the day!

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Busy, Bustling, Busily

The definition  is  full of or characterized by hurried and energetic activity.

The reason for not posting is a pathetic excuse of this defining moment in my life.Last year was filled to the brim with book publishing  excitement, catastrophes, and finally completion.Then there was the book signing voyages and a trickling of speaking engagements, with waves of emotions that had me soaring with pleasure, and then hurling over the side from nerves.And of course I might as well throw in the family dynamics of  2 engagements which means  2 weddings to prepare for this summer from 2 of my 3 kiddos, and a whole slurry of transformations and changes bustling around (or rather bursting in) on us.The last straw was more uncharted waters of blogging and not knowing what the heck I’m doing. Thanks to my illustrator setting up a new website, I am hoping it will put an end to all the glitches I went through last year before I gave up.

One of the fun experiences, besides meeting so many amazing and fun people along the way, was getting a few book reports e-mailed to me  from junior high students who had bought Tunneling through a book signing or a benefit dinner for at risk youth.  I thought I would post a couple because I think they did a better job explaining my book than I did. The first one came from a 12 year old girl at a Catholic school, who I was impressed with some of her observations. The next one is from a 14 year old boy that lives at an at risk boys home, that I have been able to meet with on a regular basis.

(1st book report. Part of her report was to write a letter to the author) 

Set in Flagstaff, AZ this story is about a mother, Katie and her two teenage kids, Hallie and Collin. Deserted by their father, they pick up their lives and move to Oregon. The whole situation is horribly painful for Collin and he sinks into a deep depression. Hallie relying on her incredible faith in God goes on a journey into her brother’s eerie and horrifying nightmare. Find out how Katie and her children survive the challenges of loss and despair.

Dear Pamela,

I really liked your book, Tunneling. While I was reading your book it made me wonder if we were thinking of the same things. Was the serpent a reference to Satan? Was Hallie’s experience at the waterfall her “baptism”? I liked how there were a lot of butterflies in the book and was wondering if they have special meaning to you? I liked all your references to Flagstaff. Your character Charisma reminded me of Gloria in Because of Winn-Dixie. Your book was very descriptive and the illustrations were very unique. Are you working on a new book?

———————————————————————————————————————————————(2nd book report)

This book applies to me a lot because I have done the same exact things that Collin did. He got all of his anger and resentment and sadness out in all of his pictures that he drew, which is exactly what I used to do. All the hurt in life that I said to other people “I don’t care what you do, it won’t affect me.” I actually thought that it was true, but what I didn’t know was it was all going deep down inside and tore me up and most of it came out in my dark, demented pictures. Soon, the pictures began to rule my life, not as literal like in the book, but more it my attitude about life. I soon after started to hate myself, everyone and everything around me suicide was always on my mind, and my pictures became darker and darker as life went on worse and worse. Skulls, druids, grim reapers, you name the evil thing, it was there. As he had to be saved from his own evil world, I did too.

 

I went spiraling down as Collin went through the floor under the piano. I no longer cared about school, damaged all relationships close to me and pushed the people that were trying to help me away and beat up myself in the process, ruining everything. I didn’t care if someone jumped me, or I got hit by a bus, or, heck, if the world ended suddenly. I actually wanted disaster to strike, so I would be free, and there would be no rules, and I would be free of hurts of people attacking me. It was sick, but it made me feel better in those fabrications that I wanted in my mind. Many times I thought about suicide, my mom or dad would walk in and hindered the action, otherwise, I wouldn’t be here writing this paper. I hated myself and regretted being born into the world. These things came out into my pictures that I drew.

Often people say “you are what you eat.” But now I say, “you are what you draw,” because when I drew evil things, it became a part in me, and I became a part in it. I began to act exactly the way my pictures did and exhibited, being hateful and atramentous ALL the time without ceasing. What I didn’t know, was that God hadn’t left me, as it says in Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Too many people doubt this verse, so they never get anywhere; they just go with themselves when they don’t have to. They think that they are all alone in the fight that they are in, and they think that they are screwed. When they actually hit bottom, they get mad at God and get further away from him. But He doesn’t give up on them. He is always there, even if we don’t see him. He is always watching us, wanting us to come back to him. By me drawing pictures like that, I was inviting spirits to come chill at my place and ruin my life. It’s almost like answering the door for Godzilla, and offering him tea. It’s not a good idea to let them in. Your life will get ruined you will try to ruin other lives too, if you don’t stop it while it’s small. It will spread through your life like wildfire and burn everything in its path… if you don’t stop it while you can. The worst part is when self hatred comes in. For me, I didn’t want to ruin people’s lives, so I took everything out on myself and tore myself up inside. I still have problems with the hatred of myself, feeling not good enough for my real parents and blaming myself for everything that happened in my past. To avoid that, I give Him anything that could have hurt me. When I can’t give it to him, I ask him to take it instead… and it hurts, but he does.

 

 

 

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Crawling Out

How do you crawl out of your troubles?

In chapter 22 Hallie and Collin have to crawl out of the tunnels with their nemesis the great and terrible serpent constricting their every move. The interesting thing is the less they focus on their problems and the more they focus on what’s good, what pure, and what’s helpful, the closer they get to freedom and the smaller their enemy becomes.

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Chapter 22  “Crawling Out”

Hallie towed Collin behind her, and they fled through the enormous double doors. 

The tunnels began shifting and twisting, like a dirty rag wringing out muddy water and splintering rocks across their clenched faces. It was then Hallie knew the serpent wouldn’t let them go that easily. Flecks of red scales slithered between cracks in the collapsing rocks. The serpent encompassed the exact channel Hallie and her brother were escaping through and began to do what snakes do best: constrict. The siblings braced themselves against the dirt wall, but the wringing and twisting seemed to transfer inside their bodies and leave them helpless to make it stop.

They crawled through on their bellies, clawing at rocks to pull themselves onward toward an end. But no end was in sight. Hallie kept putting one torn-up arm in front of the other as she let her mind escape back to Charisma’s home as the red scales seemed to shrink.

She was in the backyard under the canopy that housed all those species of butterflies, from elaborate, blue shimmering ones to the common orange monarchs. As she watched all the flowers in bloom around her, two very tiny and delicate yellow butterflies tumbled around each other while fluttering through bouquets. Charisma smiled while pointing to them. “A flutterby is just like wisdom, dropping in on your life so gracefully, compelling you to follow in its path. One minute it enters into view, and another moment it flies away. When we study it and remember how remarkable it is, not forgetting its magnificent presence, it metamorphoses our lives, and we can never go back to the ignorance of crawling when wisdom has given us a much higher vantage point.”

The walls only trembled now. Had the serpent tired?

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Crawling Out

How do you crawl out of a situation that you have gotten yourself into? What if the situation is in your mind, and your responsible for the dangers you’ve placed there?

This is what has happened to our protagonist, Collin. His anger has built an elaborate banquet hall of feasting on the hateful and bitter emotions he thinks are actually helping him. Collin is blinded to the understanding that he is bringing shear chaos to his life instead of order.

When this happens to us there is nothing else we can do but follow what Collin does in the rest of this chapter. If you find this interesting and would like to purchase the whole book Tunneling, you can order it on this blogs page or go directly to amazon and type in Tunneling Pamela J. Peterson. 

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Chapter 21   “Crawling Out”

 

She entered a banquet-size room, carved from a single mountainous rock and fit for a castle. The banquet hall was so elaborate, ornate, and grand, her presence was swallowed up by the epic overtures already set in motion. The ceiling was breathtaking. It was buffed smooth with brilliant paintings covering every square inch, like Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel.

She took a closer look and found a rather twisted representation. In the center, where Michelangelo might have painted the finger of God, a huge, crimson-colored serpent lay. Lightning encircled its lifted head.

A chill ran down Hallie’s spine. The serpent’s eyes appeared to be staring with pure fury right at her. Of all the creatures above ground, the snake was the one she feared the most.

Instead of orderly pictures, divided and framed, of well-known biblical characters posing in stories, mass chaos reigned. Darkness encompassed the massive serpent, and a blocked sun looked more like a black hole behind its prideful and arrogant stance. Hallie sensed the ominous presence of danger and slipped around the granite walls as opposed to walking boldly down the massive center.

Then, for the first time in what seemed like months, she locked eyes on Collin. Though his back was toward her and a ways off, she knew it was him. Despite her wanting to bound out and grab him to safety, her legs locked up. Go on, go on. What are you waiting for? Don’t be such a wuss.

 Hallie gazed across the room once more to Collin. This time she took in the whole scene. Collin was seated at an enormous banquet table, and at the head was the most hideous, slimy creature Hallie could have ever imagined. She shuddered from head to toe.

An albino slug, with mucusy, yellowish-white arms and legs and at least seven feet tall, sniffed the air for food, or people maybe. It appeared to be blind, for a milky film enveloped its eyes. Its jelly-like body and bloodstained talons tapping the table terrified Hallie as did its gluttonous and oppressive appetite. The monstrous albino snorted out some kind of orders to mutated gnomes, who obliged by handing it plates of delicacies.

She inched away from the wall to get a better look at what was being served and was astonished to see her brother being treated as a much-honored guest. Hallie inched closer, clueless how to rescue her brother.

The gnomes announced the food on the trays as if in a trance and placed them before Collin to consume. They listed the most mouthwatering dishes, like roasted rack of lamb and garlic mashed potatoes covered in a rich sour-cream-and-chive sauce, four-layer chocolate mousse cake, and raspberry crumble tarts covered in French-vanilla ice cream. Hallie could almost taste the dishes as the amazing aromas entranced her and made her unable to think about anything but joining in their feast.

Then she got a good look at what was really being served.

The spellbinding words not only conjured up tastes and smells, but also sight. The delicacies Hallie had thought she saw were actually nothing more than dirt, grubs, maggots, and other such bugs. She watched in horror as the gnomes went right to the dirt walls themselves and scooped up platefuls, announcing it as real food.

Her stomach lurched, and she gagged as Collin raised a wriggling worm to his mouth and slurped it down like spaghetti. Collin and the slime-secreting albino gulped up all kinds of ground pieces of earthy muck served on silver platters and pawned off as delicacies.

 

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Soul-tied

In this chapter, Collin and Hallie experience what is feels like to have their souls (emotions) wrapped tightly in knots. In Collin’s situation it is the relationship between his father he is trying to break away from emotionally, since his father broke away from him physically. Hallie is fighting off all the emotional insecurities she holds onto. They are lost in two separate tunnels underneath their creepy old house. Collin’s drawings, that have come to life,  torment both him and his sister, Hallie. They are symbolic of the emotions we put into our drawings and how much control we give them. After all they are only ink on paper, but just like our emotions they can grow to enormous proportions and torture us.

I chose this portion of the chapter to share with you, because it shows what the battle over our emotions look like, and how to overcome them. The song that Hallie hears was actually spoken to me word for word when I asked the Creator what do you want to say personally to everyone who is battling with their own insecurities.  Honestly I was hoping for a cool one-lined quote, but I was quite overwhelmed at how much the One who created all of us had to say to us, and what He really thinks and feels about us.

Chapter 20 “Soul-tied”

How could this be happening? The bigger-than-life pen-and-ink drawings were actually moving! Hallie recognized the owls right away. The twin freakish sketches from Collin’s room. She remembered the first time she had seen them and felt like they were mocking her.

But they were just drawings—right? Pure fear wrapped its tight fist around Hallie’s courage as the very lifelike creatures came against her. 

“This little waif of a thing is what we were sent to destroy,” the crude owl spoke. His words sliced notches into her mud-caked sweatshirt. The one with his mouth wired shut looked down at her with such mockery and arrogance, she felt as if she were standing in the school assembly completely naked.

Crude released an onslaught of insults. “You, child, are the most repulsive, ugly, and awkward-looking piece of crap I have ever had to lay eyes on. Are you sure you’re a girl? I mean have you ever actually checked? Cuz I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but all I see is a mutated, hairy monkey.” Mouth Trap snorted and cackled.

Every time Hallie studied her form in the mirror, that was exactly what she thought about herself. Closing her eyes tight, not wanting to give these creatures the satisfaction of her tears, she saw her reflection plastered on the back of her eyelids. It mocked her with her flat chest, thick hairy eyebrows, and dark fuzz parading over her upper lip. The repugnant sight held her down like a bully’s knee pinning her to the ground, and she couldn’t think of how to fight back. Shoulders slumped over and head drooped down, she allowed her hair to shroud her face in shame.

As the grotesque owls kept pointing at her and hurling insults, a demonic guard dog crawled closer, growling and snapping at her. No chain held it back so all she could do was cover her trembling arms over her face and cry repeatedly for it to stop.

Then her greedy uncle appeared—in the form of a spider. With his crooked fangs, he spoke more tangled-up words of self loathing and rejection than she thought she could bear. He hissed close to her ear, “You never were much to look at. Is this what you’ve made of yourself?” He took a long, painstaking pause to peer down his nose at her with disapproving eyes. “Nothing? No wonder your father left you. He deserves so much better than the likes of you. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Hallie quivered, speechless.

“You know, a graceful and elegant daughter. One who understands fashion and can dress herself in something other than smelly boy’s clothes. If only he could have had a daughter who knows how to carry herself in all situations. I bet he would have taken you on his business trips and showed you off. He could have been so proud of you. Shame, really. Instead he got a clumsy, gangly half breed that can’t seem to do anything right.”

Hallie could take no more. She sobbed as every word he hurled at her pierced her soul.

Then the spider creature aimed his next fiery arrow straight at her heart. “You know that’s why your father bought you all those beautiful dolls from all over the world, don’t you? Surely you didn’t think it was because he cared?” Uncle Grimm chortled. “He had hoped it would teach you how he wished you to look. But unfortunately you never got the hint, and now it’s too late. He’s gone. You poor, fatherless thing.”

The growling guard beast inched closer with every word spoken. Fear of the words really being true, of people really viewing her this way, of wanting to tear at herself almost as much as the gargoyle did overwhelmed Hallie. She wanted a release from the pent-up pain, to cut out the hurts and let them pour out like blood from a gaping wound.

Then, barely audible, a song bubbled up from somewhere deep inside, like water from a gentle brook.

You are more than enough, My perfect one.

I love you.

I made you.

You deserve so much more than this.

Let My love be perfected in who you are.

Allow Me to chase away all of your fears.

Nothing you do or don’t do can change who you are.

You are beautiful, intricately made by My perfect design.

Do not let fear define who you are or are not.

I made YOU to BE feared.

My DNA runs through your blood, I am yours and you are Mine.

Believe in who I am. In all I am.

I am life.

I am about overcoming.

I am about victory.

I am about rising out of the center of the earth, death, and the grave.

I am to be feared, and I am jealous,

 I am coming after your enemies like a raging inferno, unstoppable.

No one messes with My beloved. No one can tear Me away from you. Only you.

I don’t need you. I want you, so desperately.

I define you. I make you. I restore and redeem you.

You are Mine and I am yours.

My love for you is as constant as the flow of water.

It was, it is, and it will always be.

I will never stop loving you.

I embrace you, I blanket you, I forgive you.

My love never fails, so you can never fail.

When the song subsided, she looked around at her enemies that still set upon her in a biting and feasting frenzy of words, but this time it was as if she held an imaginary mute button and could silence their painful and poisonous words. It was almost funny, like turning the sound off a horror movie to find it no longer held her captive to her fears. Now the only creature she took notice of was an iridescent blue butterfly that fluttered off her shoulder onto the box in front of her.

(I am sorry to say I am having technical difficulties and cannot get my chapters to post)

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September 21, 2013 · 3:50 pm

Caverns Of The Mind

In Chapter 19 ‘Caverns of the Mind,’ Hallie and her brother are deep in the tunnels under their house. The only difference is Hallie has experienced the Creator’s love and is no longer dragged through life by her fears and doubts. Collin on the other hand is totally controlled by his fears and anger by dwelling with the gnomes who have not only captured him, but he considers them his family.
Hope you enjoy this small part of Chapter 19 as much as I had writing it:ch3 FamilySecrets

Caverns Of The Mind

The insect’s back had a hard outer shell, like the hood of a car. Riding on Aunt J’s horses back at the ranch was completely different from this experience. The long, graceful strides of the insect’s arms and legs made Hallie’s body twist and sway, making it almost impossible to get into a fluid rhythm.
She wielded a lit torch like a sword, slicing into the ever-encroaching darkness and defying it to swallow her whole. Her experience in the Creator’s realm had given her a renewed mind, changing her thoughts of fear and doubt to that of hope and adventure. She was ready to take on any challenge in finding her brother.
Hallie inspected every chiseled-out piece of wall for clues but found none. Not until they turned a corner.
A faint light illuminated the end of the long corridor. Making their way down towards the light, she saw random carved-out prison cells with worn iron bars locked shut. Hallie stopped her ride to hop off and get a closer look. Shining the torch into the first cell, she found nothing but a few rats eating from a tin can.
When she examined the next cell, her light caught a glimmer of an intricately designed piece of jewelry. She stretched out her free arm as far as it would reach through the bars and just barely grabbed the object and pulled it to herself.
It was black and yellow, frosted in shimmering stripes of fine powdered diamonds. She twirled the elaborate rendition of a caterpillar in her hand. The elongated character spiraled around and curved slightly upward, like an earring clip that is made to wrap around the outside of the ear. It was one of the prettiest pieces of jewelry Hallie had ever seen. She tried it on and it fit perfectly.
Hallie placed her torch through the bars of the cell and examined the cell walls. Extreme textures of light and shadow everywhere illuminated carved-out writing. Words were written over and over throughout all three walls:
FORGIVE ME, FORGIVE ME, I’M SORRY, I’M SORRY, I’LL CHANGE, WHATEVER YOU WANT, TELL ME WHAT TO DO, TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, HOW CAN I MAKE YOU HAPPY, HOW CAN I MAKE YOU LOVE ME, PLEASE, JUST LOVE ME, I NEED YOU TO LOVE ME, DON’T LEAVE ME, DON’T HURT ME. PLEASE FORGIVE ME.
The mantra covered every inch of the walls. Some parts were smudged with a bloody finger- or handprint. This person must have quite literally worked his or her fingers to the bone.
Reading the words brought a sobering reality to Hallie of the depths of people’s wounds. Who would be so cruel as to lock someone away and never release them from their stigma, withholding love, until they became insane with guilt and shame?
During a conversation she had had with Charisma one day about forgiving her dad, Charisma had said, “Did you know the Hebrew word for ‘forgiveness’ means ‘to let go’?”
Wow, how ironic. Someone had literally kept this person locked up, and forgiveness would have been the key. Except when we forgive someone else, letting the hurts go and no longer being chained up with them really is the key.

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I wrote about several prison cells; each one holding a different lesson about what imprisons us in our own lives. The first one that I posted here was a powerful revelation I had discovered about forgiveness. If forgiveness means to let go, then if we don’t, we are not only imprisoning the one who hurt us but we are locking ourselves up with that person as well. If you don’t believe me, try thinking of the person you have unforgiveness towards. I bet it is easy to picture them so closely that you can feel all the anger and hurts bubbling up inside of you. The only way to free yourself from them is to release them. In this particular prison cell the one writing was locked away with guilt and unforgiveness of herself. If your like me than your harder on yourself than anyone else. The key in opening the prison cell is to receive forgiveness and to believe the power in it. Once you have asked forgiveness it is like taking the key and opening the door. The problem we have many times is we either don’t believe the key worked or that we don’t deserve to be free, so we stay inside our cells and repeat the mantra, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please forgive me, I’ll do whatever you want, please don’t leave me hear,” and in all reality we have left ourselves their.
There is a favorite scripture verse for this scenario. It is, “He who the son sets free, is free indeed.”

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Soul Searching

Had my first book signing at Barnes and Nobles yesterday before my friend and illustrator, Nick moved away. It was so fun to see our book in their bookstore. I don’t know what was more exciting, hearing my name mentioned over the loudspeaker, or offered a free coffee from their in house Starbucks. Actually, their pumpkin spice latte was not in yet, so honestly seeing our book displayed next to the Dr. Who paraphernalia was pretty epic. We sold about 15 books or so, and signed for about 3 hours straight. Nick, like always was the rock star everyone flocks to. They are mesmerized by his art work, and rightfully so. He tries to tell them about the book but they would rather tell him how amazing he is. I roll my eyes at him, but secretly I hope it is sinking in this time, so he will finally believe he is as brilliant as they say.

There were great conversations stirring and many wonderful friends that came to support us making it feel like a mini party. The great response was partly do to God answering my plea for lots of rain so people would feel like going to a bookstore and reading instead of camping on Labor day weekend.  I started to feel a little guilty when as I was signing peoples books and they would tell me they were headed out to the lake or out of town but it just seemed like a reading day so they came here instead.

Chapter 18 is called Soul Searching because Hallie must search her soul to find her abducted brother. In this chapter every item has a symbolic meaning. From the crimson rose petal that symbolize our bleeding heart, to the tears of our magnificent Creator that rains down to wash away our hurts with his own compassion. When we realize He mourns over what we do and He has the strength to change the circumstances then we can dance over our adversity.

In the previous paragraphs Hallie’s spirit has been taken up to heavenly realms where she has seen the level of warring angels and demons over her brother and then finally to the Creator’s throne room to actually see the face of God in a celestial constellation.

Chapter 18 “Soul Searching”

 

Hallie looked down and saw pavement—her spirit inhabiting her body once more—but the earlier notes had fulfilled a masterpiece of completion inside her thoughts. Closing her eyes to drink in the amazing revelations she had just experienced, she felt the soft summer wind caressing her cheek in the fresh darkness, gently guiding her down the road towards the forest. She continued on the path until she waltzed by an inviting walkway with an elaborate arched trellis covered in red, climbing rose bushes. The rich fragrance called to her senses, and she continued the journey onward.

 

 In front of the two tall pillars on each side of the entrance were large bleeding-heart bushes, abundant in lavender heart-shaped flowers. A sign above the trellis read Crudus Amore, Latin for “bleeding love.” As Hallie passed through the archway of roses, the curling wind scattered red petals, which gently floated down, landing upon her. They melted like large snowflakes of blood, staining her white T-shirt. As the crimson droplets continued to seep into her clothing, an intense pain of brokenness stabbed her heart. At this moment the sign above made complete sense. Looking at the thorns twisted among the prize-winning blossoms brought thoughts of her brother, whom she deeply loved, twisted up in torment, lost and out of reach. The thorns pierced and tore at her haggard emotions, and Hallie grabbed her chest and stumbled through the tunnel of roses, doubling over in pain with a new understanding of what her brother was feeling at this moment.

 

When she finally reached the end, just above her head a supernatural rain cloud welcomed her. Static electric charges of lightning had built up inside, making it flash and glow, until the intense energy released in a loud thunderclap. A soft and refreshing rain poured down and drenched Hallie, washing away the stains. The rain soaked into her skin until it saturated her heart.

 

Then the rain called out to her, “We are tears that formed from the heart’s cry of the great Creator over your family’s brokenness.” The penetrating rain dripped into deep, torn crevices of her wounds and healed like a cool salve on a burning scrape.

 

She was not alone in her pain. The Creator wept and cared for Collin even more than she could understand, and His pain washed away her own. His compassion overshadowed and protected her passage.

 

The rain turned delightfully warm mixed with the night air. Her healed heart soared, and she danced with hands outstretched, full of joy. She could still feel her Creator twirling her spirit under the heaven’s skies.

 

A warm and gusty breeze blew, and her dancing subsided along with the rain as her once-soaked body quickly dried. Standing still against the powerful wind, Hallie was directed by the whispers carried on it to a dry and barren forest, full of bony, outstretched branches that covered a vast distance. She walked closer. The trees became a labyrinth of mazes, and she followed the dry wind through the path. The limbs glowed white as they reflected the moon’s mysterious sheen

 

 

 

 

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A Sketchy Situation

Journal 56In this chapter I am introducing Collin (The protagonist) to his creation. Depending on how you view this from a psychological viewpoint or supernatural perspective (It is entirely up to the reader’s to decide), his black and white drawings come alive. Even though they are only 2 dimensional, they still talk and strike fear into Collin and his sister. In earlier chapters Collin has been drawing his greedy uncle into a creature trying to work out his unresolved anger and hurt from this scary old man who has been the root of his own father’s coldness.

Chapter 17:

“A Sketchy Situation”

 

Deep-throated wheezing vibrated the twigs under Collin’s ears. His eyes flickered awake, and his heart began racing. Springing up and squinting his eyes past his brain fog, the teen tried to dial into what was making that hideous sound. He sat completely still, straining his ears. It sounded like a dying old man breathing through built-up mucus.

There it was! Collin’s eyes caught a glimpse of a beastly silhouette crawling in front of the torchlight, making it blink. A shiver trickled down his back as if ice had been dropped down his shirt. The shadowy, round form filled up the whole space inside the tunnel, blocking the cave’s entrance. Eight elongated black hooks tiptoed down into the pit toward where Collin had been sleeping.

Collin’s face contorted, and he flailed his head back and forth, with damp hair sticking to the side of his face. His bruised arms ached from being pulled and dragged the night before, and his legs quivered under his weight. He looked down at the twig bed for a better hiding place. Bile shot up his throat at what the torchlight exposed. His “bed” was held together by sticky white fibers that covered gangrenous and half-devoured, bloated carcasses. Human arms and limbs were strewn about, mixed with huge rubies and emeralds, gold and silver coins sticking out of the thick white webbing.

He had been sleeping in that creature’s nest. Collin cupped his hands too late as bile spewed out among the pungent odor of death that oozed from where he stood. He backed away. A rubbery hand reached up from a pile of bones on the edge of the nest and snatched his foot. Then the dying hand lost its strength and released Collin, but not before the boy tripped backwards, landing on his butt. Collin arched his body up on his hands and feet. The teen’s fingers had poked into decomposing flesh. He crawled in reverse like a madman until he reached the edge of the creature’s nest. His whole body trembled like a struck bell, but he strained and twisted until he pulled himself up.

Don’t think about it, don’t picture it, just get out!

Stepping over a decaying skill to hop over the edge, he crouched out of sight of the beast. The ominous creature continued its methodical descent. The disgusting, mucus-filled snorting of the monster’s breath accompanied its drool, which spattered even to where Collin hid. It stopped dead in its tracks, looming over the trembling teen. Collin let out  a barely audible gasp as he stared into the face of his own creation. The repulsive features on the creature’s face were undeniably those of his greed uncle, but the eyes where milky white. The body was in every intricate detail that of the black widow spider he had “trapped” his uncle in. His sadistic drawing had come to life.

What kind of hell have I gotten myself into? He searched his mind for some sort of reasonable explanation but found none. He was trapped in a nightmare his own imagination had provided. His uncle’s face drew a devilish smirk, showing a few of his mangled teeth, as the spider spoke. “Where are you, Collin?” You sniveling little puke. I can smell you’re close. . .fear puts off a great odor. I used to smell it on those poor businessmen just before I devoured their livelihoods. I also sucked the heart and soul out of your dad, leaving him as only a shell of a man.”

Collin, crouching low to the ground, began convulsing uncontrollably.

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Sometimes the fears we must face are the very ones we created ourselves. You’ve probably heard the saying, “You’ve made your bed now sleep in it.” In Collin’s situation the ‘bed’ he made to sleep in was volatile. It is so hard at times to unearth what is buried beneath, in the depths of our hearts. We must discover what is there before we can clean it out. I have learned in life we can either grab a shovel and start trying to dig our way out, or ask for help.

Jesus knocked on my hearts door over 20 years ago and asked to come inside to do the work for me. When I asked Him for His credentials He shared with me how He created me, formed me in my mother’s womb, and then He gave His life willingly so I can experience true life and Joy to the fullness that He intended. Needless to say I gave Him the messy job. He not only cleaned out all of my hurts and addictions, He filled my heart with Joy, peace, and a confidence in who I am. Sometimes the two-dimensional monsters of fear and hurts come around but because I know who I am I can truly laugh at them and blow them away.

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Twists And Turns

tree emblemChapter 16 titled, “Twists And Turns,” is when the book really takes a turn into the darkest bowels of the story. Hallie is discovering dark and angry truths about her brother while also discovering bone chilling clues about his possible kidnappers. I had a lot of fun researching the history and genealogies of gnomes. I remember getting so excited after a whole day of discoveries that I told my friend all about the gnomes that night at dinner. She grabbed my hand with deep concern in her eyes and asked me, “You know gnomes aren’t real right?” We still laugh about that today.  Sometimes I do get so into my imagination I forget to crawl out to dwell in reality. Thank God for friends that help you out;)

Well I hope you enjoy excerpts from this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it:

Twists And Turns

Hallie lifted up the box and read the word BLOODLINES on the very front. Snug inside the box rested an ancient book. She dug her hands in and scooped out the innards. Turning the sepia-toned pages with respect, she understood that its contents were what the title on the box announced: bloodlines of the entire gnome genealogy.

The teen sat against the half wall and rested the book on her lap, examining the names by scrolling her finger down the pages. This book’s gotta explain more about these monstrous gnomes on that box—some kinda mixed race that probably has Collin in its clutches right now. From the disturbing pictures, this hybrid species seemed capable of just about anything.

She stood up, waiting a minute for the circulation to come back into her cramped legs, and then boosted herself up through the hole in the wall. On the other side, she straightened up, gawking at what she saw. Gaping back at her was a colored mural of a huge tree with its leaves withered, and dangling at the end of each bare branch were hanging children. Most of the dying children appeared to be ten or older. Even if this painting were placed in the most prestigious art studio, it would be morbid and sick. But displayed in a buried underground tunnel used to hunt and trap children was bone-chilling and terrifying. Staring in disbelief, Hallie noticed new paint, making one boy stand out brighter than the others. He looked exactly like her brother. Arms crossed, he scowled, blinded to the dangers that were choking him to death.

Deep sobs gushed from Hallie’s throat. How could this have happened? And what depths was she going to have to reach to find her brother? Was it too late? Was this demented mural Collin’s fate, sealed in this God-forsaken crypt like a foreboding prophecy? Swallowed up in the belly of Collin’s nightmare, Hallie fell on her knees, weeping. She found it hard to breathe, her head pounded, and then nausea overtook her.

“Where are you?” she moaned. “Where—are—you! WHERE! ARE! YOU! . . . FATHER!”

She trembled, her ears rang, and sweat poured down her back. “Were we merely playing a game of make-believe? Are You just an imaginary friend I’ve dreamed up to hide away the loneliness? Are You? I can’t do this on my own! When I believe in You I am fearless, powerful. Without You I am just a frail shell of what I wish I could be.” Hallie, empty, slumped down. Then she heard a soft whisper, “Look up.”

A chord of hope struck in her heart, and she lifted her eyes back to the mural. She caught a thin glimmer of sunlight supernaturally streaming down upon the highest branch of the blackened tree. At the very tip, instead of a withering leaf, hung a vibrant green chrysalis with a delicately painted girl emerging, face toward the sun.

The girl was Hallie.

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I have discovered that when I am searching for meaning in situations or reaching goals there are TWISTS AND TURNS as well.They are sometimes disturbing or often times hard places that make me feel like I want to give up. If you feel this way too, let me encourage you to keep going because the TWISTS AND TURNS in your life are usually the very important information that you can see God transform you to overcome those obstacles or can lead you to your destination. It is darkest before the dawn, and hope is the strength we need to turn the corner.

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