Volition: A Long & Controverisal Post

The  Volition film is about 10 minutes long but WELL worth the time .

This video has stirred up  my heart to burn about abortion, reminding me of my own history related to it:

It was a cold snowy day in the middle of winter. I could not have been older than 4 or 5, and the snow outside of the car was deep. Mom had just parked downtown near a large brick building. Car doors opened and my three siblings were climbing out, but I remember plopping straight into a snow drift. The four of us were layered up like mummies against the cold, (I’m talking joints that could not bend bundled!) and as I climbed out of the snow onto the sidewalk I remember asking what we were doing there.

Mom had been walking around the front of the car to the sidewalk, and at my question came and stood in front of me. Getting down on her knees in the snow and taking my tiny hands in hers,  she looked long, and deep into my eyes. “We are here to pray. Because mommy’s are going inside of that building to kill their babies, some of them don’t know that they have babies, and some of them don’t even know that the babies are dying. So we are going to pray that God would show them, and that God would save the babies.”

Abortion was never an issue that I was innocent about. For years of our lives, every Friday morning was spent outside of that clinic holding silent prayer meetings for the mercy of God, the salvation of souls, and the lives of the innocent. Oh the stories I could tell about the things that happened to us while making intercession on that sidewalk. The Lord taught us to be tender, to hear His heart, to love with Him, to grieve with Him. For years we stood whispering that prayer “oh God, would You save the babies”.

Flash forward to a beautiful,  summer morning. I was 18 standing with one close friend, forming a wall of prayer stronger than the walls of stone. This particular clinic only performed abortions during certain hours on certain days, and we had one hour of that time frame left to pray and were determined to not leave the building without an intercessor, when a car pulled into the lot driven by a young boy.

By young I mean 16-17, and in the passenger seat was a middle aged woman so closely resembling him she could only be his mother. She got out of the car and approached the front of the building never once glancing our way. We were less than 15 feet from him, and though we did not cry out, held no signs, and carried no malice, he was nervous at our presence. It was becoming a hot day and he waited in the car with the windows down as we stood and prayed. I could feel something happening, remember the air seemed charged with electricity and the question posed in my mind “what are You doing Jesus?” while at the same time noticing the security guard step inside the building.

Instantly I felt the spirit of God well up inside, filling me with boldness. For what? I had no idea, but knew I had to speak.

“Hey, Could…could you come here? I want to talk to you”

There was indecision on his face, questions I couldn’t identify, but he opened the car door and stepped across the parking lot, crossing the grassy line that had restrained us for years and onto our sidewalk. Legally as a “protester” we are not allowed to leave the public property, aka, sidewalk, and one foot on that lawn would have sent the security guard into a frenzy and brought the police. Once he was in front of me I had no idea where to start, how to begin, what was happening, but felt the intensity of a divine situation.

“What are you doing here, was that your mom who went inside?”

“Oh, yeah. She said she had a doctor’s appointment”

I’d noticed the tags of the car were from some obscure county out in the country.

“A doctor’s appointment? This is a long way to come for a doctor’s appointment”

“Well yeah, but…she said there was some specialist at this woman’s clinic and she had to come this morning. She doesn’t have a license so I had to drive her”

And that was how it began. I asked questions, and the Lord gave grace for this young man to begin to tell me about his life. Parents divorced some years before, mother had sunk into alcoholism and lost custody of both her children. She lived in a town near them but they seldom saw her due to her lifestyle.  And here he was, roughly 17, driving his mother about 2 hours for a “doctor’s appointment”. Where do I go from here? My heart broke inside as I spoke the words as tenderly as I could,

“This is an abortion clinic. Your mom is here having an abortion”

And what else can I say? How can I convey the emotions that were churning inside of me, and the burst of confusion swirling across his face.  He was insistent “No, she’s here to see a doctor. No, my parents are divorced” but the look on his face showed clearly that he knew. The next few minutes are hardly believable as we talked about abortion and the heart of God. He was not a believer, had hardly stepped foot in a church, but knew that he believed that killing a child in the womb was wrong and asked what he could do to get her to talk to me. Even as we stood talking I could feel the importance of the minutes ticking by and I explained to him that I could not step across the sidewalk, that I could never get inside of the building.

“But you can go in”

Again, raw emotions racing across his face, as I told him which door to use, what to say to the receptionist. How did I know? I didn’t, but Jesus told His disciples to not worry what to say, that Holy Spirit would speak through them, and all I know is that on that day, He did.

“They will take you into a room and she will be in a hospital gown, tell her that you know what’s going on, and that there are people outside who will adopt the baby, who will pay for every bill. And we will stay out here until you get back”

Crazy move? Maybe, I mean I was single and 18, the friend with me 17, but we were desperate, and there was a tiny person, who desperately needed for someone to do something crazy. He looked terrified, and we prayed for him to have boldness. Then he crossed that lawn and went inside. We both hit our knees on that old sidewalk, sobbing and crying out for the Lord to save this one, this one little baby. Some time passed and he came back outside in somewhat of an emotionless state of shock saying, “it was just like you said, it happened just like you said.”

I wish I could tell you that his mother relented, that we saved a life on that day. But she didn’t. We spoke with him for sometime introducing him to Jesus, the God/Man who is King and longing for friends. Who loves to reveal Himself to the sons of men, and the power of the words backed up by what he himself had experienced that day convinced him and a soul was brought into the kingdom. It was noon, and we left.

Every time I stand in front of an abortion clinic with red tape on my mouths, and a red band on my wrist, petitioning the courts of Heaven on behalf of life in the womb, and for mercy on this nation, I see that little clinic, and remember the life that was almost saved.  Revival only comes after great sacrifice, not of violent actions or political overthrow, but of men and women willing to lay down their lives in the secret place of prayer and fasting. It’s that simple, and that difficult. To die to our flesh and our worldly desires that souls might be saved, that lives might be saved. Oh that You would find faith on the earth at Your return Jesus, oh that You would find a friend in my heart.

“Jesus, I plead Your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation. God end abortion, and send revival to America”

The Beauty of Tenderness

It’s the blossom, just a breathe before bursting open, when you can almost peer inside and see the beauty about to unfold still in a state of delicacy, that could so easily be destroyed. And it’s the flower, arrayed in full bloom, displaying all of it’s glory. Upon second glance you see that it is day’s past it’s prime, and just a breath before collapsing, and in an instant, shedding it’s beauty in a shower of color.

That’s the beauty of Tenderness. It’s the delicacy, a heart that beats to emotion barely kept beneath the surface, a soul that feels sensitive as a bruise, eyes that well with tears if a glance is too kind, a touch to gentle, a word spoken to intentionally. It’s when the hand of God weighs heavy upon you , until you feel the deep breathing of your own soul. It’s when He breathes gently, stirring the waters that had grown still, so that the slightest memory of a dream or a passion, cause you to long with every fiber of your being to see it be fulfilled.

On January 7th, the Lord put me on crutches, and I was hit with a major sinus infection. The crutches intensify the problems in my neck causing consistent headaches, and I’ve been living on medication: a mandated season of weakness and depending on the strength of others, of long nights spent waiting, hoping, praying, crying out for healing, longing for a friend to sit beside me. Night after night have found me lying in the darkness, sleep stolen due to the combination of medications, or the questions in my soul. Proud, stubborn, tired of asking or simply determined to make it, I’ve fought to get through the days and to do as much as possible on my own. At times the Lord allows me, at times He doesn’t, and I feel His love the most in those time, when my weakness shines above my determination, and He delights in me when I can quite literally do nothing. There is a complete lack of understanding; simply a fighting with everything in me to cling to the One who has ALWAYS proven Himself faithful, and hold to His words of truth. Resisting having to ask for help, afraid to admit when I am afraid, hating to sit in the chair when I want to pace.

But He has not left me alone. Like never before I have felt the hand of Grace holding mine, drawing me in, filling my heart with joy when all of my muscles have ached and getting from my chair in the prayer room to the car seems to sap all of the strength left within me. And there have been friends, the few who have stepped up beside me, allowing for me to borrow their strength, and determined to see me through this time. Surprisingly most of those were not the comrades that I have known and run with the last few years, but new faces that the Lord has sent me, just for this time I think. Papa You have never let me down.

And my heart’s been breathing, stirring, whispering words that I clung to, dreams that I dreamt. Surly You are a good good Shepherd, and You know just how to lead me.

Heck yes I did

I  caved to the Facebook 25 list: it’s true, and I am not ashamed! Now feast your eyes on random facts about C. Styles

1. I love the sky: Sunrise, Sunset, clouds, rain, snow, and especially Stars.

2. Easily Amused does not begin to describe it! The little things MAKE MY DAY: a piece of chocolate, a dum dum sucker (remember emilie?) a little note under my windshield wipers or sitting on my seat, a dumb toy, silly surprises, buttons….ok so basically I’m like a 5 yr old.

3. If my brother would let me I’d live in a cave with no electricity or means of communication and do everything by the light of a candle. Of course I’d have to shave my head because I’m too vain to not have the ability to style my hair….

4. We once had a miniature pony, his name was Melba Dale.

5. Around the 4th of July I buy BOXES of Sparklers and stash them in my garage. When I am sad I grab a box(or 6), sit on the porch and burn them one….at…a…time.

6. When I need to think, I go for walks. In the rain, in the middle of the night, (shrugs shoulders) it doesn’t really matter

7. Some of my best friends are made of paper and live on a wooden shelf in my bedroom. And yes, sometimes I will choose to be with them over hanging out with you.

8. Old things make me feel alive, historical places, classical music, records, dried flowers, antique furniture, faded photographs, wrinkled paper, museums…

9. Always wanted to drive a pickup truck, at 6 my papa told me I was “Too little of a girl” for a pick up truck but “don’t worry, they make some JUST for little people like you! They are called El Camino’s” and for YEARS i wanted one.

10. Was once told that Spiders were sent from Hell, I believe it to this day. And if one catches me off guard, I will quite possibly scream or jump onto the nearest anything, and if you are standing too close when that happens….well….

11. Can get so happy that I literally cry, usually at homey things: the dusty smell of a horse, watching clouds while lying in fresh cut grass, blossoming roses, sunset over water, burning candles….

12. I once had a love for apple juice that could easily be compared to a cigarette addiction.

13. As a child I was prone to dreaming big and say things like “Someday when I grow up and I’M a boy….” or “oh yeah, well when I am older than you…”

14. I am named after my great grandfather Christian, my grandfather Carol, and my aunt, Karen.

15. My brother Nathan told me at the age of 8 that Gullible was spelled wrong in the dictionary. I adored him, and had no idea what that word meant, and believed it until 14. That was when I got into a fight with my English teacher about it and he proved me wrong.

16. Can not be convinced to play a part in any practical jokes (right Hannah?) This is because once involved…..i can not be convinced to stop and usually go WAY over the line!

17. Like to drive with no shoes on. Or with one foot propped up on the seat next to me. Or with one foot hanging out the window.

18. Will cry in just about any movie, love stories (for sure), cartoons (if someone dies), feel good films (because they are happy) it goes on and on. Fortunately this is conditional, I can USUALLY hold back my tears if there is a boy in the room…(was trained through the ridicule of my brothers)

19. Love riding in cars: when hanging out with friends I usually enjoy the drive time more than the activity.

20. Small things delight me to NO end: miniature soda bottles,individually wrapped candy, tiny animals, babies, wild strawberries, you name it. If it’s little, i LOVE it!

21. I revel in the emotions hidden inside of words. Some favorites: Intentionality, whisper, fidelity, blossom, endear, captivate

22. Hard exterior: yes I play tough, but can probably be suckered into doing just about anything, especially if you bribe me with sweet things.

23. Once owned the same car twice: a Pontiac Bonneville SE that was Hunter Green with tan interior. When it died my Dad got me a salvage car that just happened to be…the same car.BUT this one had leather interior and a sunroof and was murdered by a demon deer, and the second time was un-salvageable.

24. My best friend/older Sister used to be my mortal enemy. Jeremy had a boys club called JAM (Jeremy, Adam and Matthew) and I was their spy and would tell them weird things that she did and they would write about it in their monthly news letter.

25. My first pet was a cricket named: Cricket. Jeremy caught him for me and we put him in a little tin container after punching holes in the top and making a soft bed of grass. I would take him out and sing to him and put him back in and 3 days later he died. We buried him under a giant bush of Babies Breath, Jeremy performed the ceremony and I cried. I hate crickets.

Repost of September 11,2007

Today I awoke with a hunger knawing at my soul, clutching at my heart strings. It was familiar and I dug back through my blog to remember the wisdom that was given to me some time ago. The remembering was soothing, and I decided to simply repost:

“Let me ask you a question that might be offensive to you, but don’t be offended”
“ok”
“How old are you?”
“21″
“Do what you are doing until you are 25. That’s the only answer I can give you”

And I have to admit that I don’t like that answer much. Clearly I’m asking the questions because I like to feel things, I prefer to pray when something is pushing on my heart like a tender bruise and I can’t escape the pain over it; abortion, human trafficking, lost souls, abused children, sickness and pain, the persecution of the saints, the immorality of those totally given to darkness…. It’s much harder to remember that millions of children are being slaughtered daily and my weak prayers move the heart of God when I’m not broken and weeping. Not impossible to pray, just harder. It’s much harder to pray when there is no burden, much harder to remember at all that something is desperately wrong and that the world is in need of a Savior, this nation in need of a Judge, and desperately in need of His mercy. It’s much harder to remember that life is about more than my little world and the situations that involve me, the things that distract my heart and my mind. Much harder to remember why I fell in love with the Son of God, why I have to give myself to His love and scrutiny daily, submitting to His refining and perfecting.

It would be much easier to remember that the need, the only answer, is for lives to be given; men and women who would pour themselves out, who would lay down their hopes for a life just like everyone else, who would set aside their plans for the future without considering taking them back up again, for consecrated ones who would minister before the Lord, become His friends, and stand in the gap for a world who is bent on giving themselves to the desires of darkness and building their own kingdoms. How are we to sustain the urgency that so rarely touches our souls and causes us to cry out, to fast, to give of ourselves? How are we to actually have fiery hearts; madly in love with the God/Man Jesus, and unrelenting in our longing for many to turn and be saved, to throw themselves at the mercy of the King and find kindness and a Father, for wrong things to be made right, to groan and long until there is justice on the earth, until the Son has a bride, until darkness has been driven out with the light of His coming? How are we to actually have a single gaze, “dove’s eyes”, an undivided heart, one focus?

“Do what you are doing until you are 25. That’s the only answer I can give you. And even then you probably won’t feel it all the time, but I can guarantee that you won’t hate people and God, and that your spirit will be alive and you will have a fiery heart. That’s it.”

Oh to BE 25.