June 24, 2015
by Jenny Pedersen
4 Comments

Father of Lights

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement
My husband and I have been leading a small group at his parents’ church for the past few months. It is a small little gang, curious and hungry for the voice of God to be heard in their lives. Last month we took them through a crash course in the Holy Spirit. This time around, we spent time focusing on prophecy, and learning to hear God’s voice.

Tonight we watched Father of Lights, a film that gives numerous examples of the way God is speaking to His children today. We thought it would illustrate the things we have gone over in our small group.

I watched this movie with Brian the summer we started dating, in his parent’s living room. I was so touched by the stories it told, and the way the Father pursues His children. When it was over, I just sat and cried as the credits rolled across the screen. Brian looked at me and smiled, and asked how I was doing. I didn’t have words. Only tears. He looked at me knowingly and said, “Yeah,” then he kissed my cheek and went to help his mom with dinner. I sat there, lost in a parade of thoughts. I was pondering the largeness of God, and His simultaneous smallness. Large in light of the fact that He created the world, and is aware of every person in it. Small in considering that He knows my name, and speaks it often. And each time He speaks, it is saturated with the purest and utmost love.

I so often miss Him say it. He calls to me daily, and sometimes I am just too busy to hear Him. In one respect, this may be a good thing — I think it would be my undoing if I heard that name spoken with such utter tenderness, so regularly.

But then again, maybe undoing is exactly what I need.

Tonight the story that impacted me the most was the ending, when a son who had been separated from his family for seven years, was reunited with his family in the airport. He hugged his mom, and his sister, in a long and beautiful embrace. But then he hugged his father. And their tears flowed freely, united in love that had been distanced for far too long.

It was the look in the father’s eyes that did me in. How do I explain it? The longing. The relief. The compassion. The healing of a broken heart that was being made whole.

For endless days this man agonized over the separation from his son, and in this very moment, his son was restored to him.

As I watched this beautiful scene unfold, I found myself thinking, “Could God really love me that much? The way this man loves his son?” A silly question, for one who has been walking closely with God for almost 10 years, and yet I was asking it. I heard, ever so softly, “Yes.” And then He said my name. But He didn’t say Jen,” or “Jenny,” or “Jennifer.” He said a name that meant even more to me. He called me “Beloved,” because that is my true identity: One who is loved of God.

Tonight, I was undone. I was reminded of the kindness of our Father. That He is familiar. Intimate. Aware. Tonight I heard Him calling.

He is saying your name, too. Can you hear Him?

 

 

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June 3, 2015
by Jenny Pedersen
1 Comment

Catholic Praise and Prayer Night

This weekend my husband and I went to his cousins’ house in Orange County for a worship night. This is no unordinary occurrence in our lives; we love to worship and are always down to go to a night focused on doing just that.

But last night was special. Everyone who came, besides us, was Catholic.

I have stepped into many Catholic churches in various countries and thoroughly appreciated the architecture. I have been to a Catholic funeral and a Catholic wedding, but that is the extent of my exposure to Catholicism. I am fascinated by their customs, even though I don’t understand them. I noticed they stand up and sit down multiple times throughout the service, have a selection of readings they follow, and numerous sayings in which the whole congregation participates. I did not even know that Catholics were Spirit-filled. Boy, was I wrong.

A few weeks ago we had dinner with Emma and David, (Brian’s cousins) who recently got married and moved back to Southern California from Ohio. We caught up on life over a fantastic selection of craft beer at Toronado. They told us the story of how they met at Franciscan University, a charismatic Catholic college in a small town called Steubenville, Ohio. Emma told us about her first time encountering the tangible power of the Holy Spirit, and the amazing experiences of His Spirit thereafter.

Despite the typical differences between Protestants and Catholics, we quickly discovered that even though we come from different backgrounds, the four of us have the most important thing in common – the indwelling Spirit of Jesus. Born again. Spirit filled. Self-denied.  We have the same desires to see His Kingdom manifest in our lives, our families, our cities and the nations. It was a great evening of fellowship.

The next day, we got a text from Emma suggesting we have a worship night, bringing our Protestant friends and her Catholic friends together in unity. We agreed that it would be awesome, and set a date. None of us knew what to expect, and we did not know how many would show up.

I have been to many different churches of all sorts of denominations. When it comes to worship, it can be a mixed bag. I am not so much referring to the quality or type of music, rather the openness to the Holy Spirit and a sincere hunger to seek Him and praise Him. Just one song in, it felt like home. There were some noticeable differences, but I thought they were great. The Catholics have some amazing attributes that we can learn from. The first thing I noticed was no one faced the worship leader. Fifteen people packed into the cozy living room, all faced forward to the mantle where a crucified Jesus lay nailed to his cross. Below him were a few different saints on display. A protestant could easily go to a place of “idol worship,” but that is not what it was about. You could tell by the spirit in which they worshiped. It was not legalism, nor was it religiosity. The first thing that came to mind was Hebrews 11 – it was honoring to the heroes of our faith, those who walked with God and lived as models of a life surrendered to Him.

Various people were singing their own songs to God, some were singing in tongues, some knelt down, some read scripture, and some stood in silence. The presence of the Holy Spirit was resting in the room and the focus was on Jesus.

It was a beautiful night. I believe it was pleasing to the Father, as He looked at His children, coming together in unity, and worshiping Him.

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April 7, 2015
by Jenny Pedersen
5 Comments

Becoming Mrs. Pedersen

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement
I love my wedding. I think of it often and my heart fills with delight. It was the perfect day and I could not have been happier with how it turned out. I have never experienced so much peace and joy.

Everyone, of course, has asked about our wedding and how it went. I thought my readers would be interested to hear about some details of that day as well. After all, you have waited faithfully with me for many years for this day to come. And it came perfectly. Here are my top 10 favorite memories of the day:

Wedding Top 10

  • Letters. My absolute favorite moment of that day was meeting Brian around a corner right before the ceremony started. My morning had actually started pretty stressful, as I woke up feeling sick and exhausted, which is not how a bride wants to feel on her wedding day. By the time we had arrived at the park  I was feeling nervous and overwhelmed at the idea of being the center of attention in front of so many people. Nervous, that is, until I held his hand. (We were specifically positioned so we could talk and hold hands, but still not see each other.) The instant I felt his touch, everything in me settled. My headache went away. Nerves disappeared. Peace settled, and the Spirit of Jesus descended. I was completely lost in love as he read me his letter. The sweetest, most treasured words flowed from his mouth and heart just moments before I walked down the aisle. I was filled with excitement and giddiness. This was not just the best part of the day; it may very well be one of the best few moments of my life. I felt God’s presence so thick, and stood in awe of God’s faithfulness to me. At that moment, I knew I was meant to be Brian’s wife. I was so ready to walk down the aisle and make him my husband.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

  • Walking down the aisle. I was overcome with the depth of emotion I felt in each one of those footsteps. Several people warned me that it was a very strong emotional and spiritual experience, but I was not prepared for the wave that hit me. I could not hold back the tears – I cried the whole way down! It was like the Holy Spirit pulled me down the aisle Himself. My Dad was on one side, and I knew Jesus was on the other. I will never forget the look on my husband’s face as I walked toward him. The tenderness. The love. The tears. A cherished segment in time that is forever etched in my mind. Walking toward him took seconds but it felt much slower. Once he took my hand, he grinned from ear to ear. It was so precious. We switched demeanors that day. His disposition is normally calm and peaceful, and mine is normally joyful and animated. That day, I had a peace that surpassed all understanding, and he had the joy of the Lord.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

  • Worship. Never before had I felt so in tune with my Jesus. My heart was singing to my Savior and my hand was holding Brian’s. I felt complete.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

  • After the pronouncement, we walked back down the aisle and at the end fell into each other’s arms, crying. Neither of us really knew why. The Spirit of God was very prominent in our wedding and I think we were just overcome with joy and gratitude. I felt like we were already one. It was beautiful.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

  • Kevin’s Prophecy. Our dear friend, Kevin took that moment to prophecy to us about our marriage and future. It was very powerful.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

  • The party bus. Balboa Park gets very busy on the weekends so we knew parking would be an issue. We rented a party bus to transport us, and our Bridal Party from Balboa Park to Moniker Warehouse, where we had our reception. This was definitely the most fun part of the day! It was like a party with our best friends

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

  • The Bystanders. We prayed consistently during our engagement that God would bless us with His presence at our wedding, and that our covenant would be a witness to others, especially those who do not know Him. Well it just so happens that there was a huge concert at Balboa Park on the day of our wedding. We got married in a stone square that had open archways surrounding it, giving people a great view. There were over 100 hundred onlookers surrounding our square, watching us worship, listening to our vows, and witnessing our covenant. I was being filmed and photographed by strangers, and I did not even care. In fact it made me really happy. I loved the way God answered our prayer, and I hope that hearts were touched as they witnessed our ceremony. The Holy Spirit was there in a powerful way. At our reception there were even some people who got inner healing and deliverance. Yay God.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

  • Walking through the park with my husband, getting our pictures taken.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

  • Our First Dance. This was definitely a highlight for me. We held each other tight and sang the words of our song to one another. It was so fitting, so special. I always thought I would feel self-conscious with so many people watching such an intimate moment. But I didn’t care. I was dancing with my husband, and that is all I knew.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

  • Photo Booth. Taking a picture at the photo booth with all of Brian’s friends from Chicago was just fun and happy.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement
It sounds so cliché, but it really was the best day of my life. It was more than I dreamed and everything I hoped it would be. Even the weather was perfect at 74 degrees. A lot of people were worried that it would rain and said it was risky to have an outside wedding in February. Not in San Diego. :) As much as I loved my wedding day, I love being married even more. Marriage is awesome, although it is challenging. It can be raw and vulnerable, but Covenant is equally beautiful and binding. God has richly blessed me with a wonderful husband. All those years, all those blog posts, and all those tears spent on worry that I would never get married. And here I am, a married woman to the best, kindest, handsomest man I have ever met. God is faithful. My cup overflows.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

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November 20, 2014
by Jenny Pedersen
5 Comments

Writing Award

 

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement
I recently went to the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild conference. To my delightful surprise I got an award! My humble little blog got recognized.

I remember going to that conference for the first time four years ago. I watched as people got called up for awards and wondered what it would be like to be that person. I never really felt like I had anything to say that anyone would ever care to read, let alone get an award for it.

To be honest I was quite surprised to get an award, especially since everyone who had gotten one before me were published authors who wrote important things like books and articles. I was also surprised because I have not blogged very frequently in the past year. For so long I wrote predominantly about being single, and how I found God in that season. I had a topic about which I was so passionate. It was on my mind all of the time, and I could write about it with a fare amount of ease. Then I got a boyfriend, and now I am engaged, and somehow through it all I felt like I had lost my subject for writing. I did not know what to write about any longer so I just stopped writing. I got discouraged, and started thinking that maybe writing was just a phase…Maybe I was not that good at it…Maybe I did not really have something to say… Maybe my ideas for books were stupid…Maybe I only had something to say when I was single, and now that I am not single, my life has lost its message…Do you see the trail of lies I was believing?

I have searched, begged, and cried out to God for many years to tell me what my calling is. I watch so many people around me pursue their passion and calling and I often wonder what mine is. I tend to always want God to tell me exactly what to do. I am a really great rule follower, and if He would just tell me the exact path to walk, with explicit instructions, I would obey Him wholeheartedly. What I have found is that God guides, but He does so in His own way and His own timing.

The woman who presented my award is a published author whom I met at that first conference. I was able to have a fifteen minute meeting with her, during which I could pick her brain, and ask her questions about writing. Her love for God was evident, as was her knowledge and skill of the written word. I look up to her, respect her, and pretty much want to be her when I grow up. I gave her the address to my blog, hoping she would take the time to read it, but also knowing she was probably too busy writing novels. Well, she read my blog, and it turns out she really liked it. Before she called my name, she said some incredibly wonderful and edifying things about my writing. I walked on to that stage with tears in my eyes. The rest of the night I was congratulated by strangers and met many people who said they read my blog and found it very encouraging. None of them were single.

God is so incredibly thoughtful, and I am intimately known by Him. He thinks of the most thoughtful ways to bless His kids. Getting this award was like getting a pep talk from God.

It confirmed what I already knew: I was meant to write.

P.S. Look at the verse on the award!

 

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The Proposal

October 7, 2014 by Jenny Pedersen | 4 Comments

I’m getting married! My heart is singing, and I am so full of peace and joy. My amazing fiancé put so much time, thought, and effort into planning a proposal that I would love.

It was perfect.

I woke up that morning knowing it was going to be a big day: he was going to ask my parents for their blessing to propose to me! All week long he told me he was really nervous, and that he wanted to spend the whole day with me before he went to their house. He picked me up at my apartment for church, and said he had a whole date planned for us. There was definitely a little extra tenderness in his eyes, and he could not go five minutes in church without kissing my hand or whispering something sweet in my ear. He was so kind and loving all day, but so mellow, calm, and normal that I did not think anything was happening. Little did I know that it was the day I was going to say yes to forever with Brian.

He put together a day full of special memories from our dating journey.

For lunch, he made us the same exact meal that he made on our second date: chicken, asparagus, and eggplant. It was delectable. (He is a great cook!) We sat on his porch (the same place we did on that original date) as we enjoyed the sun and breeze of the ocean. We playfully talked about how nervous and giddy we were back in those “early days.” We rested for a little bit, and then gathered our things for the next surprise of the date: reading on the bay. Mission Bay is a very special place for us, because it is where we fell in love last summer. Reading by the bay is another activity we did all of the time last summer. It had always been a dream of mine to hold the hand of the man I love one hand, and a book in the other. I never really thought it would happen because most people think reading with another person is strange. I find it incredibly endearing. I feel so blessed and special to have found someone who will sit quietly and lovingly by my side as I get lost in a book, and enjoy it simply because I do.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement
We were sitting in our little beach chairs with our books and enjoying the view of the sparkling water when he told me he had yet another surprise for our date! He said the books were not for us to enjoy on the sand; they were for a boat! This is yet another “memory.” He promised me back on that second date that he would take me on a little boat so I could read on the water. Since he was moving from the beach shortly, I had been secretly bummed that we never did it, thinking my chances of this incredibly romantic date were over. You can imagine my delight when he told me my boat-reading dreams were coming true.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement
LOOK AT THAT FACE! 
The boat was very small, and also lacking oars. We had to use our own makeshift “paddles,” which were a tennis racket and a broken plastic paddle..

We paddled our way out in the water only to discover that this ancient dingy boat did not have a rudder and we were being driven by the current! I was completely oblivious to this because I was simply thrilled to be on a boat with my love. Brian began to get really stressed out, and kept saying he had to make this work. Our meager tennis racket and toy paddle were no match for the current, but Bri was determined. So what did my sweet fiancé-to-be do? He jumped in the water, literally swam our boat to a buoy, and tied us to it with a rope so we could relax and not fight the current.

I was beginning to get suspicious that something might be happening, so while he was swimming our boat to safety, I inspected our bag of goodies for anything that might resemble a ring box. (I know! I am terrible.) To my dismay, I didn’t find one. I remember thinking to myself, “Dang it! This would have been the perfect proposal!” I had to consciously fight the feeling of disappointment.

(Side note : Last year we went to a coffee shop and wrote letters to each other. We sealed them in envelopes and promised not to read them until a year had passed…)

After Brian secured our trusty boat, we were just relexing in the sunshine when he pulled out the letters that we had written to each other a year ago. His letter to me was wonderful, deep, thoughtful, full of love, and strangely prophetic. We had not even been dating four months at the time, and both of our letters expressed a desire and hope that someday we would be married.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement
(Reading the Letters)
After he finished reading his letter to me, he set it down and explained that he was not meeting with my parents that day because he met with them two weeks ago. (At that moment, I knew.) He told me everything he wrote in that letter was still true today and then he got down on one knee, on our old, rocking, tiny, dingy boat…

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement
(Down on one knee)

He pulled out a plastic bag from the pocket of his board shorts (Remember he had just been in the ocean, swimming our boat out to the buoy! The poor guy was nearly in a panic as he pulled the boat with one hand, and grasped the ring in his pocket with the other, and kicked our boat through the current.) Then he showed me the most beautiful ring I had even seen and asked me to be his wife. I cried like a baby… and eventually, after the shock wore off I remembered to say “yes!”

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

Crying

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

 Joy

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement

The Perfect Ring

We got cleaned up and we went out to celebrate at the sushi place we went to on our 4th date (to continue his day of planned memories).

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement 
After dinner, he told me we had to go to my sisters so she could “see the ring,” which actually turned out to be a surprise engagement party! It was the best night of my life. The people. The joy. The beer. The decorations. He even arranged for my best friend to come down from Sacramento. My sister’s back yard was decorated like a wedding, and we celebrated our engagement with our friends and family. He pulled off an INCREDIBLE surprise.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement 

  I cannot put into words how happy I was that night.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement 
Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement 
My close friends and family knew how much this day meant to me. They waited with me, cried with me, and prayed in faith with me for years that this day would come. And then it came, and they rejoiced with me.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement
I looooove my ring!
Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement 

We love our nieces! I am so blessed to be welcomed into such a loving family.  My dad gave an incredible toast, honoring Brian as his new son.

Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement 
Jenny LaBahn and Brian Pedersen Engagement 
We told the story of our proposal, and the rest of the evening, I fluttered around on a cloud.

Brian Lee, you are the one I waited for you. And you were worth it. Thank you for the perfect proposal, and the best night of my life. I love you.

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June 25, 2014
by Jenny Pedersen
6 Comments

The Way He Sees Me

The other day I was working at my favorite coffee shop. I was doing some editing, and I had worship music playing in the background. A song called Heavenly Places came on. It is a beautiful song about identity and I had heard it a hundred times. This time, however, Holy Spirit showed up. I sat there as the tenderness of God invaded my heart like a hurricane. It was as if the words to the song were scripted specifically for me, in the intensity of that moment. I saw Jesus standing behind me, resting His hands on my shoulders. It was as if He were whispering the words into my ears. I listened to the Truth about how God sees me and how much He loves me, and I was just undone. I started bawling, right there in the middle of the coffee shop. It must have been an interesting sight to behold, and I am surprised someone did not come check on me to see if I was okay. When I lifted my head from my folded arms to take a breath, I realized there was a puddle of tears. Literally. A puddle.

IMG_4401

Here is why I was so affected by what He was speaking over me. I am really hard on myself. I never let up. I constantly want to grow, change, and improve. This may sound noble, but it simply comes down to perfectionism. I see how I am. I see who I want to be. The discrepancy between the two seems unchangeable. I get so frustrated with myself when I see all of the ways I need to change. So much of my disappointment is stemmed in what I assume God thinks about me and my shortcomings. If I am so frustrated, I simply assumed that God must be frustrated as well. How could He not be? I have been a Christian for eight years now. Shouldn’t I have a stronger understanding of my identity? Shouldn’t I be less selfish? Shouldn’t I be more free from anxiety and fear?  Shouldn’t I have stopped worrying and obsessing about my future by now? Yeah, I probably should. But it doesn’t change the way He sees me. He sees someone so different when He looks at me.

If what really matters is what He sees, then everything else does not really matter.

The pressure I put on myself to perform or reach some level of spirituality melts away when the reality of who I am to Him sinks in.

There is not room for both inferiority and perfect love. One outweighs the other. I want love to win. His love.

Perfectionism loses its hold when I choose to walk in the acceptance of the Savior. He is not some harsh judge, keeping a list of all of the ways I do not measure up.

That is the law, not the gospel, and it is not what Jesus died for. He died to break the power of sin, and release grace over my life.

He is not a critic, He is a Father. A good one. I am seated next to Him in the Heavenly places. Right there, next to Jesus. And He has given me every spiritual blessing.

I am seeing that He does not see what I see. And I do not have to be ashamed of where I am, because I am exactly where He wants me to be. He has been preparing me for what is to come, and I am ready for all that Jesus wants to be for me. It is His thoughts toward me that matter. And He thinks I am pretty great.

p.s. You should really listen to that song :) Click here

 

 

 

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April 17, 2014
by Jenny Pedersen
7 Comments

The Faith of a Friend

I hung out a with a sweet friend recently. Let me tell you, she is an absolute treasure, whom I adore. She has been an incredibly faithful friend as I have transitioned from being single to having a boyfriend. This girl is probably the most selfless person I have ever met, and she even brought me soup and cough drops this week while I was sick.

I told her a while ago that I had complete faith that God was going to bring her a husband. It was not in the slightest bit a worry or concern for me – just a matter of time. I had no idea what it meant to her, until on the way home she told me:

“I just thought it was really cool that someone, anyone, could have a faith for me personally that has nothing to do with them or their life, but resting in complete confidence of God. It gave me a freedom to not worry about having a husband, because I was leaning on your faith for me. And since you told me that it has been different.”

It brought me back to the time I went to church alone, a little over a year ago. I could not get through worship without crying because I was just so broken. I found a woman who had prayed for me over the years and I went to her with tears streaming down my face. I told her I was just completely out of faith and belief that God had someone for me, or that He would ever bring someone into my life…

“I have nothing. I am empty. I do not even have the strength to believe it.”

Oh, I wish I could explain to you the shame I felt in admitting my lack of faith. However, I had come to the end of myself, and I was searching for anyone, anything, to hold on to.

I was clawing my way out of the pit of disbelief. The words and prayer of this woman pulled me out.

She said to me:

“It is time for you to lean on the faith of the ones around you. If you do not believe it for yourself, then I will believe it for you. I believe God’s man for you is coming, and so is your season of joy.”

(Side note, I met Brian a few months later.)

Something changed in me that night. I wish I had more faith at the time to believe what I hoped God had for me. The truth is I simply did not. So I began to take her advice, and lean into the faith of those who believed for me. I can think of five people who stood by me, prayed for me, and reminded me of God’s faithfulness. I could not have gotten through that season without them.

It was in that time of weakness and lack of hope that I discovered the power of having people in my life who were willing to stand in the gaps of my faith.

It hit me tonight that God is using me to do the same for my friend, and I am so honored.

God has a way of bringing things full circle.

I know many of you reading this are not struggling with being single, but you may still be struggling to believe God for something. Can I just encourage you to lean into the faith those around you? You know, the ones who are incessantly positive that God is going to come through for you, and no matter how much you try to talk them out of it, they will not back down? Those are the ones you need to call when you are experiencing doubt. If you do not have someone like that in your life, send me a message, and I will be that person for you. I am serious. I have experienced firsthand the power of the faith of a friend, and no one should go through seasons of doubt alone.

This is what it means to be a part of the body – to carry each other burdens and spur each other on to victory.

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April 3, 2014
by Jenny Pedersen
2 Comments

Little Giants

As some of you may know, I have been taking a Creative Writing class. I thought this class was going to be a breeze, full of delight and oozing with creative goodness. I have found it surprisingly challenging. Not in the sense of it being a lot of work, but rather from the struggle of opening up the wells of my imagination. I thought it would just flow out of me naturally, but I often find that is not the case. I am used to writing very literally, and creative writing is anything but that. The day my short fiction story was due, I was sitting in front of a blank laptop screen, with less than two hours before class started. I had written nothing. I told God, “Can You like, give me a vision or something? I have no idea what to write about.” I got distracted from writing, and ended up praying for some friends of mine. He did give me a vision, and I decided to write out what I saw and encourage them. I chose to use that as for inspiration for my story.

At workshop the writer reads his/her story out loud in front of a group of students who then get to dissect and analyze the piece of writing, while the writer sits in tormented silence, unable to explain and defend his/her work. It can be very intimidating. I was totally nervous for how my “story” would be interpreted. Much to my surprise, they loved it and wanted to give copies to their significant others and children to teach them about kindness. I was exceptionally happy, but not because they liked my story. I was happy because what they were drawn to in the story was simply Jesus. He is the source of true and selfless love. They were being witnessed to, and they did not even know it.

Here is my short story, Little Giants

Ben and Lacey were miniature people living in a world that was created for giants. Everything was bigger than them. Their house was humongous. Even getting out of bed proposed dangers unbeknownst to most people. They had to use a ladder to prevent from breaking any bones from dismounting a bed at such a height. The people around them were much bigger as well. In order to be heard, Ben and Lacey had to scream at the top of their lungs, causing them to get soar throats almost daily. Whatever they attempted to do required so much labor and effort that by the time the task was finished they were completely exhausted and incapacitated. This caused them to have little emotional capacity for each other, and was causing severe problems in their marriage.

Today, Lacey was just mad. The daily grind of functioning in a world that was simply too big for her little body had taken its toll. She had gotten little sleep the night before due to the ridiculously loud neighbors, whose voices carried like megaphones into her eardrums. Earplugs were no match for the diaphragms of such giants. In her pathetic attempt to make coffee, she dropped the coffee grounds all over the floor. She grunted in frustration as Ben came into the room to see what was wrong. He was halfway done shaving, and blood trailed down his cheek since he was using a razor that was far too big for his face. He grabbed the broom to help her clean up and she pushed him away, saying, “Don’t bother! I can do it.” He rolled his eyes in frustration as he once again felt like she ignored his efforts to help her. “Fine. I wont,” he responded angrily, and stomped out of the room.

Both of them went about their day in complete despondency about their difficult little lives. Ben had a horrible day at work as he fought the humiliation of his insignificance in comparison to his coworkers. Even though he had so many ideas, he did not share them because he knew they would not be able to hear him. Who would take him seriously, anyway? Lacey had an equally discouraging day. Simply going to the grocery left her looking like she had run a marathon. Lifting boxes of cereal and cartons of milk over her head just so she could place them in the cart was absolutely exhausting. She gave up, and decided she was not going to make dinner tonight. Ben walked in the door and found her lying on the couch. He could not believe that dinner was not hot and ready on the table. Didn’t she know the kind of day he had? He knew he had a choice to make. He could get mad at her, and complain about all of the things she had done wrong, or he could love her.

He sat by her on couch, and reached for her hand. She was staring vacantly into the mirror that was on the wall across from them. He was frustrated that she ignored his loving gesture, but grabbed her hand anyway. “Strange,” he thought to himself. “Her hand feels bigger than normal.” He was hurting from the way she treated him this morning, and he was dejected from his inability to perform at work. He wanted to lash out at her, but he knew that would only make it worse. Instead, he decided he was going to encourage her. “Thank you for going grocery shopping today,” he said. “I know you hate it, and it is a lot of work, but I really appreciate it.” Her hand miraculously grew in his, and so did her arm. He was so amazed by what was happening that he did not even hear her say, “Thank you for saying that. I know you work so hard. I am really proud of you.” She saw him grow taller as she looked at him in the mirror. They were both in awe of what was happening, and as they continued to speak kindly to one another, they realized it was the kindness of their words that was making them grow.

From that point on, they made a conscious effort to speak words of encouragement to each other, instead of acting on the frustration they had felt about their lives. Every time they wanted to act out of their negative emotions, they chose instead, to speak positively. As they did so, they grew bigger. They are no longer too small for their environment. They are bigger, taller, stronger, louder, than ever before. The secret to their growth was kindness, and they held the key to solving their problem all along.

 

 

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