Finish Your Story

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I read through the pages of your book

I get to know you and your every look

I’ve stumbled upon a terrible chapter

One that’s full of hurt and disasters

Some have chosen not to continue to read

They closed the book in your time of need

But I read each and every word

My eyes teared up and the pages blurred

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With each page I prayed you would make it through

Even at your darkest I knew there was a light in you

Another word, another sentence, another paragraph, another page

I couldn’t stop reading because I knew you would find your faith

I was at the end of the chapter and started the next

You made it through the worst but still weren’t at your best

But as I promised I continued to read

I will hold your hand when you are in need

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You are not alone and the next chapter could be amazing

Thanking God for the trials, his name we will be praising

Right now, I need you to keep writing

This world needs you to keep fighting

Don’t give up, don’t let the dark win

Through the wounds, let the light in

Because I know when I close your book after I read the last page

That after all the ups and downs you didn’t give up and you found your way

I know at the end of your story

We will give God all the glory

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Carry You by Ruelle – 

Beautifully Broken by Plumb – 

Turn It Around by Lincoln Brewster- 

Deep Down (Walk Through The Fire)  by Lincoln Brewster – 

Fighting For You by Tenth Avenue North – 

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In Four Minutes Or Less

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In less than four minutes

I share my life and everything in it

I’ve got one shot to get it right

So you better hold on tight

I’ve got demons bouncing around in my head

Trying to fight the ones telling me I’d be better off dead

I’ve got scars on top of scars

Been to Venus, should’ve stayed on Mars

Fell into holes so deep I couldn’t claw my way out

My voice has been silenced when I would scream or shout

Buried alive beneath my pain

The sun would shine but I felt only rain

That’s my story so far when I went to hell

That’s only the beginning, so much more to tell

Days when  I didn’t think I could stand

He was always there holding out his hand

When I could see in the darkest of nights

It was because he was always there shining a light

When I gave up and hope and joy were nowhere to be found

The seas would part, the mountains would move and shake the ground

When I chose to believe in what I couldn’t see

I could see he was there fighting right beside me

I can’t say I have walked in your shoes

Maybe I don’t know what you are going through

You can’t say you have walked in mine

But I know we have crossed paths from time to time

So there’s my story and I pray it can help you

Life is better when you realize it’s not about you

It’s not about what’s wrong and what’s right

It’s about God’s mercy and grace and living Christ-like

So in less than four minutes I told you how I rose and how I fell

But there is so much more, way too much more to tell

I used to live in the dark

Until one day He changed my heart

Yes, I still worry from time to time

But I let God have my life

Whatever problems come, let them come

Let God’s will be done

It doesn’t matter what the circumstance

It doesn’t change who I am

The peace I found when I fell to my knees and started to pray

It changed my life, not just that day

The peace I found when from my knees I chose to rise

In four minutes or less you know how God has changed my life

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Changed by Sanctus Real –  

You Can by Building 429 – 

Inside Out by Bonray – 

I Got Saved by Corey Voss –  

From The Top Of The World

From the bottom of hell and on my knees

My rotting soul in the air I breathe

I hold my breath, want my lungs to explode

Fighting my mind from mistakes made a long time ago

I claw at my chest, want to rip out my heart

From this world I want to depart

I poke at my eyes, I no longer want to see

I’m sorry for things I’ve done but I can’t forgive me

I’ve become cold, heartless, and callous

Nothing but empty rooms in this palace

In this palace the demons say the lies are truth, they insist

From the darkness of hell they tell me the light does not exist

From the bottom of hell and on my knees

I find the strength to whisper please God, please

From the bottom of hell I give you my sins, my shame

From the top of the world you whisper my name

From the top of the world you shout my name

This Is Going To Hurt

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I ran.

As soon as he took a step towards me, I ran.

I can’t tell you how far or how long I ran.  I am willing to bet my last dollar it was farther and longer than I thought was possible.

I stopped to catch my breath and two questions popped into my head. What did I do for him to be here? Why was he following me?

I started to run again. In between my breaths, I heard the roar of rushing water below. It was in that moment I knew I took the wrong path.

I had three choices. Two of them would surely end in death. I could jump off the cliff into the cold rushing water. Death. I could stand there and do nothing and let him catch me. Death.

Since the first two choices would end in death, I had one choice left.

I had to escape.

Come on, come on.  THINK!! I looked around, evaluating my options. Looking for another way. Time was running out. I could hear him coming.

I threw a rock over the cliff into the water. Hoping he thought I jumped. Then I looked at my only option left. The thickest thorn bush I had ever seen.

This is going to hurt.

I jumped in.

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I tried quieting my breathing. I tried curling up into a small ball. I tried wishing that the moon wasn’t full. But it was.

I heard his footsteps. Getting closer. And closer. How did I get here?

I remember the day it happened. One year ago. One year ago today to be exact. I was in one of my “seasons,” as I like to call them. Nothing was going right. I was sinking into the quicksand I called depression. I was spiraling out of control. Failure was coming and I couldn’t stop it. Shame and guilt knocked on my door and I not only answered, I let them in.

Have you ever done something and one second after you did it you said what did I just do? I am so stupid. Why did I do that? I just let everyone I know down and I know they could never forgive me. I couldn’t even forgive myself so how could they?

I had to keep what I had done a secret. NO MATTER WHAT!! The truth would kill them, therefore killing me. Since I was already dead, there was no need to kill them. So I kept it to myself.

I sank further into my guilt and shame. I withdrew from everyone. Oh, I still had a killer smile and was wittingly charming. I could get by. I faked a lot of happiness. Inside, I cried a lot of tears. I was rotting inside and I knew they could smell it. I knew they knew I was a fake. But they never said anything.

Maybe I was better at hiding it than I thought. Then I started thinking, I am such a good liar. Which led to more guilt and shame. Which led to him.

At first, I didn’t pay much attention. I would see him at the gas station or maybe at the store. You know the feeling you get when you think someone is watching you. I would get that and look up and he would be looking at me. He wouldn’t look away. I got chills down my spine. What a creep, I thought.

Through the first few months, I would seem him every couple of weeks. As the year progressed, I would see him more and more. Recently, as I was falling apart and my lies were catching up to me, as my guilt and shame were eating at me, I was seeing him every day.

EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

ALWAYS LOOKING AT ME.

NEVER LOOKING AWAY.

I finally was getting the courage to approach him and ask him what his deal is. That’s when he took the first step to me. I froze. Then, I ran.

I ran and here I am. In this thorn bush. Scratched and bleeding. Dying inside. Hiding from a man who wouldn’t quit following me.

As smart as I thought I was by throwing the rock into the water, he was smarter. As quiet as I thought I was being, he could still hear me. As dark as I thought my hiding place was, he still found me.

I, for the first time, took a good look at him. I mean, a really good look. I wanted to know who was going to end my days. That’s when I saw the crown of thorns around his head. He didn’t say a word. He just reached his hand down and by the light of the moon, I saw the scars on his. A sudden peace came over me and for some unknown reason, I reached out and took his hand.

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The thorns parted as he pulled me up. My bleeding wounds stopped bleeding. It was like a giant boulder was taken off my shoulders.

“I forgive you.” In those three words that he said my heart changed. It was like clean air was poured into my dirty lungs. Tears of guilt were replaced with tears of joy.

I walked back home, with him by my side. I knew it may be a long road to recovery, but I knew I had to tell them. I knew they had to know the truth. I could not keep living with this.

I also knew with him there was no condemnation, no guilt, no shame. I had to believe that they would forgive me also. I had to hope and pray for a better future. No matter what happens, I knew I had to continue to walk with him, not run away from him.

I took a deep breath and walked into the house. I knew we would be okay. I knew that I would be a better man. I knew they would forgive me. I knew we would survive the lies. Even so, I knew this was going to hurt.

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Never Stopped Loving by Jeremy Camp- 

Grace Will Lead Me Home by David Dunn – 

Fear Is A Liar by Zach Williams – 

He Still Does Miracles by Hawk Nelson – 

Worth It by Lecrae- 

You Waited by Travis Greene- 

Always Faithful by Ashes Remain – 

Thunder In My Heart

 

There is thunder in my heart

This is gonna leave a scar

There is lightning in my veins

Your lies drive me insane


 

My heart is turning to stone

I shake my head, I should’ve known

My blood is turning to ice

No more playing nice

You thought I would never leave

Your words I no longer believe

You thought you could use me and abuse

You ask me how can I accuse?

I’ve got proof I read your texts

You ask me to stay, there won’t be a next

I  read all  your email

You’ve already lost, you fail


 

Thunder rolled, a voice rumbled

A step back. I started to stumble

Electricity in the air

His words were there

“LET HER GO, GIVE HER TO ME”

The voice rumbled,  “JUST BELIEVE”

“I’m done,” said my heart of stone

I yelled back, “I’m better being alone”

“You are never alone,” the voice said

“I was  on the cross, For this I bled”

The thunder in my heart started to slow

The lightning in my veins  stopped its flow


 

God worked a miracle

The invisible became visible

He did something I couldn’t do

He can do the same for you

If there is thunder in your heart

You know where to start

If there is lightning in your veins

Through it all God’s love remains

 

 

 

Storm In My Heart by Colin Hay – 

My Darkest Hour by Thunder – 

Thunder Rolls by Garth Brooks – 

Fall Apart by Every Avenue – 

I Don’t Care by Apocalyptica – 

Breaking Me Down by Escape The Fate – 

Breakin Free by Tesla – 

In It For Life by Sick Puppies – 

Prophet Song/ God Speaks by Martin Smith – 

Fall On Your Knees by David Crowder Band – 

Need You Now by Plumb – 

Head In The Fight by Sanctus Real – 

Don’t Cry Forever by Pillar – 

Broken Together by Casting Crowns – 

Thunder Road by NewSong – 

Hermie The Hermit Crab

“Come on in friend. I was just reminiscing on my younger days. Looking at all these old pictures brings back memories.”

“Take a look at this one. I was just a baby. My first shell.”

“I still relied on my parents a lot. They taught me what was going to happen as I got older. They taught me how to be polite and how to treat my friends, as well as strangers. One of my favorite things my parents taught me was to be kind to everyone. Treat others as you would want them to treat you. You never know when you are going to need someone to help you and they won’t if you are mean all the time.”

“Oops. You weren’t supposed to see that one. My mom took it in between shells. She embarrassed me so many times by showing that one to my friends.  Moooommmmm!!!!!!”

 

“Here is me as a teenager. That shell was a little too small for me. I thought I knew it all then. I forgot how my parents told me how important it was to get the right shell. Too small and I will have to move again soon.  Too big and I would have to carry that weight around until I could fill it.”

“That didn’t keep me from getting this shell as a young adult. Look how big it is.”

” I got it shortly after I left the care of my parents. I was going to take on the world. I didn’t need anything or anyone except me. I was growing so fast I was constantly changing shells. I was invincible.  I ran over anyone who stood in my way.”

“Then I needed someone. Everyone just walked around me. That’s when I remembered what my parents had taught me.  I was being terribly mean to everyone around me. It’s no excuse but it wasn’t easy for me to change shells. Every time I got comfortable and things were going my way I would grow a little more and have to leave my comfortable home. ”

“All I wanted was to have things stay the same. I liked many a shell and had to leave them. Some of my friends didn’t grow like I did and were able to settle into their shells for far longer times. Some even stayed in the same shell their entire lives.  They were too scared to leave and to grow into a new shell. Can you believe that? ”

“I, however, changed each time I changed my shell. Not all of those changes were good but, looking back, I can see how they all helped me become who I am today. I have become wiser , kinder, and more giving. You see , as I moved out of a shell that left a shell for someone else to move into. A younger version of me if you think about it. I could mentor them and teach them what I have been taught.”

“Life isn’t always sunshine on a beach. Sometimes you get these big waves, and sometimes the small ones too, that knock you on your back.  You have to fight to get back on your feet. Fight for what you believe in. Become a stronger, better crab.”

“Have you ever had someone be there for you every time you needed them? I didn’t think I did either but I did. And I do.”

“You see, one day I was just getting into a new shell when some humans were walking by. I heard them talking about God. How he made the sunrises and the sunsets I see every day. They were telling their children about how much he loved them. How he is always with them. When they are tired he can carry them. When they struggle he can help them overcome. They told them about his grace and how he forgives them for their mistakes. They even told them about who they are in him. That no matter what happens in this world, they are his children and they are loved and cherished by him. He even gave his one and only son to them and let him die on a cross  to show how much he loved them. ”

“I wish I would’ve heard about God a lot sooner in my life. Maybe I wouldn’t have made a lot of the mistakes I did. I would’ve known that I didn’t have to live with those mistakes. I could live guilt and shame free and be forgiven.”

“I will also tell you God has a plan for me, and for you. Even in times of struggle, stay true to Him and His promises. Some of the hardest times in my life turned out to be blessings. I learned so much about who I am when I had to leave one shell for another. The moments when I was vulnerable and felt unprotected. The times when the shell didn’t fit just right but I had to hold on and wait for a better day. Those are the the times I remember the most.”

“Now that I have told you about what I know about God will you go tell your friends.  Let’s learn more about Him together. Let’s go treat others like we want to be treated. It’ll be hard and some will reject what we have to say but we have to stay steadfast. Stay true my friend, stay true.”

Save Me by Jason Lancaster – 

Everything Comes Alive by We Are The Messengers – 

Say The Word by Hillsong United – 

Thy Will by Hillary Scott –  

Greater Is He by  Blanca –  

Diamonds by Hawk Nelson –  

The God I Know by Love and the Outcome –  

Live It Well by Switchfoot –  

Blessings by Laura Story – 

The Maze

I was shivering. Strange, since when I went to bed I put an extra blanket on and set the thermostat to heat up the house at 6:00. I then realized I was also wet. I startled awake only to realize I wasn’t in my warm bed. I was in some type of… give me a minute to look around. I was in some type of maze. Confused, bewildered, baffled, were some of the words that came to mind. I had to be dreaming, but I wasn’t.

I yelled out, but no one answered. I did the only thing I could and started to walk. Around this bend, turn left here, turn right there, dead end, start again. I then saw a note up ahead. I read it: If you have ever lied turn left at the next turn.  Well yeah I have lied, who hasn’t? I came to the turn and went left. After about 200 yards or so I found another note. If you have ever stolen anything, turn left again. Unfortunately, I had to turn left. I kept walking for another 200 yards and yet another note. If you have ever dishonored your mother or father turn left again.  Well, to be honest I am sure I have but if I did maybe it was just something little like talking back or missing curfew. Guess my answer was already made for me because the only way I could turn was left.

I know I just walked in a square but yet I was someplace new. Hanging up at the end of this walkway was a mirror. As soon as I looked into it I heard the voices. You are ugly. You aren’t good enough. No one likes you. Your kids don’t even like you. Look at your body, what have you done to it. You are a disgrace. Why are you even alive?

I covered my face with my hands and ran. I ran as fast and as far as I could but I could not get the voices out of my head. I came to another intersection.

Have you ever committed adultery? Well. Not physically. Then another voice: that doesn’t matter. Have you or haven’t you? Okay, yes I have! Correct. Go right.

Have you ever murdered someone? Of course not, I said. Are you sure about that? Yes, I am positive on that one. Then the images came to me like it was yesterday. The girl I talked into sleeping with me. She was so young and innocent. I wanted her. She said no but eventually I wore her down and she gave in. I murdered a piece of her that night. I murdered a piece of the boy I used to make fun of because he wasn’t like me. Oh God! Make this stop. Good try! God isn’t here and he isn’t coming. This is my world and you are just a pawn in it.  Go right.

Have you ever worshiped someone other than your so called God? Have you ever used your so called Gods name in vain?  Have you ever ….  GO RIGHT I SAID!

NO!! I screamed. I don’t have to listen to you. I don’t have to go where you want me to. I can break this. I can walk away. You are a liar.

No, you can’t. Remember you are a nobody. No one likes you, except me. You are what I need to change this world.  YOU can follow me, YOU can rule the world with me. YOU can turn stones into bread. YOU can jump off a building and angels will catch you. I can make you into the most powerful person in this world. TURN RIGHT!!

No, that’s where you are wrong. I don’t want to be the most powerful person in the world. I don’t need to be liked by everyone because I know God loves me. I don’t need your lies. I just need to follow the truth. With that last word I sprinted as fast as I could, to the left, and ran and ran for what seemed like days. I didn’t realize that the maze was disappearing as I ran. I was breaking free from the chains that bind me. By the time I stopped it was all gone.

I fell to the ground. Exhausted. Sweating. Breathing hard. I didn’t hear the footsteps come up beside me. Maybe there wasn’t any. I heard his voice. The one I have heard many times throughout my life but ignored. I felt him kneel beside me. I felt his hand on mine. I heard him say well done. I heard him say I love you. I heard him say I want you. I heard him say you belong with me.

He picked me up and walked me back home. He said trust in me. Have faith in me. Love me. And just like that he was gone. But was he really?

Breaking Inside by Shinedown – 

It’s A Maze from the Secret Garden – 

Lost by Red – 

Lost and Found by Rocket to the Moon – 

Come and Lead Me by Danielle and Mackenzie – 

You Set Me Free by Angie Miller – 

You’re Not Alone by Owl City – 

Lead Me To The Cross by Hillsong – 

Impossible by Sidewalk Prophets – 

Lost Get Found by Britt Nicole – 

Changed by The Katinas –