The Heartland Journals, A Fictional Account of the Journey of Sanctification

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Entry #1:  Oppressive Darkness

I keep having these dreams where I’m being hunted down by an unseen force of darkness. Arrows are notched and released in rapid succession while I run through forests, across mountain ranges, alongside deserts, and beside the sea trying to desperately lose the enemy, all the while failing miserably. Most dreams end in my death.

When I awake, my heart pounds and I’m sweating and shaking something fierce. I often wonder if I am going crazy, for I swear I can sense the eyes of the unseen enemy watching me on days following the dreams. And on those days I can’t help but wonder if something is also physically wrong with my heart because it feels dark and heavy and oppressive in there. And even if it isn’t, then I tend to think my mind is off somehow, shifted sideways or turned upside down.

Unfortunately, this really screws with my reality. At times, strangely enough, the dreams seem more real, more important to me than the present. I have to keep it together though, for life requires much of us whether we are students, housewives, mothers, employees or even simply living on the streets struggling for survival.

I spend a lot of time contemplating my dream world. I’ve been there so much that I actually have a pretty good mental map of the place. From the highest southern peak I can see it all, the mountains to the far north, the massive forest to the east, the coastlands to the west and the large dried up riverbed winding its way through the land. I can even catch a glimpse of bogs, bayous and desert; that is when visibility is good enough.

Most of the time, the dreamscape is cloudy, foggy, and even smoky. The sun never shines, even though I can see faint shadows. Occasionally I have dreams about the place when I’m not being chased down by an invisible darkness. In those dreams sometimes a breeze blows gently across me and makes me think that the land in ancient days, or in future days, was or could be a peaceful place of rest and joy. And the future days strangely seems more ancient than the days before when I think about it. Yet even as I wake from the dreams where I’m not being pursued, my heart still drips with weightiness and gloom.

What is this strange place? Moreover, who is the invisible enemy, hunting me down nightly? And why does my physical heart feel the after effects of the hunter’s pursuit? And finally, is there any end in sight?

 

Have you felt the oppressive darkness and weight of sin before? Does this life ever seem like a dream to you? What does the current atmosphere of your own Heartland look/feel like?

My Blog is Starting Over. Again.

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In 2008 I wrote my very first novel. In 2008 I self-edited. In 2009 a friend edited (thank you once again, friend). In 2010 I self-edited. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 the same. In 2014 I hired a writing coach on the recommendation of a publisher. In 2014/2015 I started said novel over.

In 2015 I lost interest, but still recognized that the novel content was very important. In 2015 I stopped writing altogether. In 2016 I wanted to burn it. In 2016 I decided to re-write it a different way. In 2016 the thought of finishing it again, only to have it rejected, discouraged me.

I asked God to show me what He would have me do with it because the story is still compelling. Last week He gave me an answer.

My blog is starting over. Again.

This time, I am writing and posting my novel here. It is about the journey of sanctification, AKA, how God changes us inside as we allow Him freedom to. This time around it will be called:

THE HEARTLAND JOURNALS

A Fictional Account of the Journey of Sanctification

Maybe you won’t like it. At all. That’s okay. There’s plenty I come across that I don’t like either. Maybe the urge to edit my work will be strong in you. That’s okay too. Simply print it out and mark it up. Maybe it’ll be something you read every now and then. That’s okay. I’m not looking to gain a following of like-minded individuals so we can form a cult together. Maybe you’ll love it. That’s okay. I’m still not wanting to form a cult.

And finally, maybe, just maybe, you’ll identify or at least recognize universal human challenges and be inclined to think about your own journey in a brand new light.

No matter which category you fall under, I’m going to do this. I’ve given this topic a lot of imaginative thought over the years and I’m still getting new ideas. So I’m placing them here in fiction form. And the nameless, main character, if you feel the need to give her a name, is me. Or maybe it’s you. Either way, I am still a girl on a journey with Christ.