Taken.

This movie struck fear in my heart. I made my teenagers watch it so they could see the dangers of this world.

I envied the abilities of the dad, Bryan Mills, played by Liam Neeson. Thoughts plagued my mind of how I did not have the skills, connections, experience – or access to a private plane if anything happened to my children.

I then questioned my whole life and wished I could go back in time to join the military at 18, so maybe I could have some of those skills.

Could I take a class now? I’m not very athletic. Can you really hit someone that hard, or in a certain spot, and they just fall down, unconscious? Is there a Jason Bourne for Dummies course available?

As I pondered (a.k.a. worried) about what lengths I would take to retrieve my children from harm, God immediately reminded me that His children have been taken.

Many are still missing.

What agony He must feel, day after day, to watch the luring away of His flock… sheep that stray too close to the woods, where the wolves wait for prey.

Their innocence attacked.

Their purity devoured.

Their minds brainwashed by whatever drug the enemy uses to entice them away from reality, so they don’t even realize they are lost.

Who is looking for them? What skills does it take to find someone who has been taken – from God?

“I’m good,” murmurs the girl with heroin in her veins. “I’m good.” She doesn’t know how to say anything else. Her mind is clouded, confused and controlled.

Likewise, those without Christ are sometimes convinced, “I’m good.” They do not realize what they are missing, or that Someone is looking for them.

Our world, the one under Satan’s control, confuses millions into thinking they know God because they believe in Him, but the Bible says even the demons believe. What makes us different?

Look for the truth. You only have pieces of the story if you’ve never read the Bible completely. It is our training manual.

I am speaking from experience. I grew up with a preacher for a grandfather, my grandmother played the church organ and my dad led the singing. I was in church at least 3-4 times a week until I was 18.

My Bible, however, made that cracking sound, like when you open a book for the first time? I never read it. I could repeat a lot of sermon points I’d heard, even a few verses. Perhaps I considered that I was “in” because it was a family thing. Kind of like the mafia, but in a good way. The heaven connection.

Fast forward to age 27 and I had been married with two children, and then found myself divorced. I really hate divorce. I was furious at God for allowing it to happen to me, and to my children. I cursed Him, ignored Him, stomped my feet and ignored friends who tried to talk to me.  I figured what good was it to be a Christian if my life was destroyed?

I was taken. I even went willingly.

But, God… He waited. He let me have my tantrum for a few months (okay, almost a year), until I felt the nudging in my heart to start taking the girls to Hunter Street Baptist Church.

He was coming after me.

My five-year-old, Morgan Faith, was walking with me out of church one Sunday and gave me a picture she drew in Sunday School.  It was a large, black triangle with a stick figure on the side of the triangle.  The stick figure had brown hair and blue eyes (just like me), and I asked Morgan what it was.

She said, “It’s you, Mommy!  You’re going up a mountain.”

I asked, “Why am I going up a mountain?”

Morgan replied, “So you can see all the beautiful things at the top.”

I stopped in my tracks in the middle of the parking lot.  Tears filled my eyes as the Lord used her innocent words and drawing to speak directly to my soul.  Yes, I was going up a mountain.  It was hard.  But, there would be beautiful things at the top.

I then said to Morgan, “Jesus talks to you, doesn’t He?”

She giggled and said, “Yes, He tells me I am sweet.”

Yes, I was taken for a while, but God not only rescued me, He also saved my children. Two little girls, with middle names Faith and Hope, who were dragged around those mountains with me… I pray they picked up on some of the training, so they don’t have to travel as far as I did.

He brought us home and set my feet firmly upon a rock. I took Psalm 40 as a testimony of my rescue because I fell in love with the first few verses.

His Word became alive to me and I could not get enough! I did not realize at the time that I was in training.

The last 14 years have involved some treacherous missions. I have fallen so many times, always having to regroup, call for backup, learn from my mistakes, and have the Lord send me to even more training classes.

Psalm 40:1-2 was the place I had been. It was the place where I was taken.

But, there’s a third verse, and it represented the place where I was going, and I just recently figured that out.

“He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.”

That new song? It actually had to be writing, because the Lord forgot to gift me with a singing voice. At first, it was simple Bible study lessons for 5th graders that included some type of craft project.

Because my training has taken so long, the Lord had me practice with that group of girls for eight years. Bless their hearts. They saw me go through so many stages of life, but they did not give up on me, and I did not give up on them. The Lord had a plan.

I hope and pray they are part of that promise from Psalm 40:3… “many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.” I went up that first mountain for a purpose, and there have been many more climbs, so I could tell them, and you, about the view.

They graduated from high school last year and I started working on this blog. I didn’t take it seriously at first. It was just an idea of how I could keep writing to them, sharing my stories and encouraging them not to stray from the flock. It was also a starting point for the book I’ve always said I would write.

Now, I have 20 drafts that aren’t even published, and sticky notes all in my Bible. That new song of praise is pouring out faster than I can type…at age 43.

Please, do not think I have completed my training or that I am at the Bryan Mills/Jason Bourne level. The Kingdom training center probably uses videos of me as examples of what NOT to do as a Christian. There’s nothing good about me except for the changes Jesus made when He saved me.

Tonight, while I was working on this, one of those girls texted me, and she asked if I had any advice for a college student who felt alone and unloved.

Yes. I. Do.

She has been taken, and the Lord and I are going after her.

Matthew 18:12-14

What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?

If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.

taken 3

Trust In You – Lauren Daigle

Copyright © 2018 Keysha Thomaston®. All Rights Reserved.

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Copyright © 2018 Keysha Thomaston®. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2018 Keysha Simpson, Little Keysha LaNaye, and all that jazz; all rights reserved; thou shall not steal. Please don’t take my heartfelt, hard-earned memories, and remember Jesus is watching. 😂

But, for real though – He is.

No, please don’t steal or reproduce my heart and soul of writing. There are even higher powers than attorneys.