As the sun began to set, dusk rolled in on the crushing, raising waves below making the temperature descend quickly and in turn caused Paige to shiver. Strength quickly faded provoking her to close now heavy eyelids as she surrendered herself to the engulfing darkness.
Rain started to fall in sheets feeling like sharp knives across her sun burnt face. Thunder clapped loudly and shocked the weakened girl back into consciousness permitting reality to return to her mind, body and soul.
Today she would die. And she would do so alone.
Damn her stubborn independent nature. Paige knew she should never have gone rock climbing by herself. Her mind pondered what her coach had said, “Rule number one: never, ever, go out on your own.”
“Why didn’t I listen.” She yelled into the darkness. And opaque it was. There were no stars shinning and no moon light. She couldn’t even see her own bruised hand in front of her face.
Had she grown crazy out here all alone on the side of a rock? She could’ve sworn she heard her name whispered somewhere out in the blackness.
“Paige, I’m here.”
It sounded like the voice was rolling in on the waves, fading in and out. She tried to clear her mind and push the voice out but to no avail. Again the voice said, “I’m here Paige, trust me. I can help.” She grabbed onto the jagged wall behind her as fear squeezed at her heart revealing she had indeed gone crazy. However, she thought she’d answer the voice. It was so calm, so soothing to her ears. After all, what did she have to loose?
Before she could respond the voice came back, “Reach up, I’ll grab hold of you and pull you up.”
“But I can’t see you. How do I know which direction?”
“Simply raise your arms like that of a babe to her mother wanting up.”
She tried with all of her might but fell back, discouraged, empty of all will. “I can’t. It’s no use. I’ve no strength left.”
“Use your inner strength. Reach deep down in your heart. Find the place you tucked me away so many years ago. Draw on your knowledge and love for me. I am your inner strength.”
A wave of calm serenity surrounded her very being. She came alive with the knowledge of whom the voice belonged to. She reached and grabbed onto her inner strength. The strength He gave her. “Father, you’re here. You’ve come to help me in my deepest, darkest hour.”
She felt herself being embraced and lifted gingerly from the dangerous ledge. Ever so gently she was laid upon the hard damp earth far away from the edge of the cliff. The warm embrace which encompassed her vanished into the night sky. The moon light and stars that weren’t visible moments earlier now appeared brightly in the night sky. They eliminated enough light to show her she was now on solid ground. The cool temperature on her wet clothes made her shiver all over again. Exhaustion took over. Paige allowed her body to descend into peaceful sleep.
As dawn began to brighten the morning it brought warm rays of sunshine, chirping birds along with the eerie, familiar sound of crashing waves below. Paige slowly opened her eyes praying she had not dreamt last nights encounter. As she focused on her surroundings she knew it wasn’t a dream. But who would believe her? It all sounded so unreal. And then the warm embrace she’d felt hours earlier swept over her and she knew.
She knew, deep down inside where her inner strength had come from. All her life she’d been looking, asking, searching for Him to give her the strength, except for when she needed Him the most. She knew He never gave up on her and so He came to her, to show her He was and always will be her rock, inner strength and solid foundation.
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