Getting Back to Church

When I moved back home from college one of my main goals was to find a church. I wanted a church where I could grow in my faith, but also get involved with a young adult group. I went to a church I had attended before college for a long time. I got involved with their young adult ministry and got into some small groups. Yet, I didn’t click with the people my age, so I stopped going to the church all together.

I spent a long time after that trying to find churches with young adult groups and then I would check out the group and when I ultimately ended up not liking the group I would look for another church. I didn’t even try the churches themselves like I should have been. I kept trying to find a church to make friends, instead of focusing on growing in my faith.

I kept at this trend until I landed at my home church. Its sad but, I attended Bible studies and other church events for a year before consistently going to services. Now, I finally am going consistently and its been fantastic. By giving God the chance, He has spoken to me greatly in only a few months of services.

If you were like me and got out of going to church, I encourage you to get back to church or try it. Church is a weekly way to connect and potentially hear from God. It also will help you grow your relationship with Him because just by going you are showing God that a relationship with Him is something you want to invest in. That makes God super happy because he wants a relationship with us! And as I said in my last post, if we want to hear from God we have to make the effort to connect with Him.

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Moving Forward

In three months, I will have graduated from college three years ago, but my life feels like it’s been on hold for nearly three years. Not all that time was wasted. I tried twice to do YouTube and it didn’t work for me, yet I don’t regret any of it. I got to go on cruises to new places and traveled solo for the first time. I made new friends and enjoyed adventures with old ones. So, even though all that time wasn’t wasted, I can’t help but feel angry at myself for the time I did waste.

I can’t blame anyone else for my life not moving forward in the directions I want. I chose to be lazy with my time and I chose to dwell on past and current events and let me sink into a deeper depression that started in college. It might sound like I am being hard on myself, but sometimes we need to be brutally honest with ourselves.

I am tired of being stuck and I can pray to my God all I want to get me out of it, but if I am not willing to make the first step I can’t expect to get out of it. Having a relationship with God is like any relationship, you need to pour into it for God to respond, guide, and bless you. God is not just here to give us what we want without offering our love and time back to Him.

I can write here that this is my way of saying that from now on that I am going to work hard to get my life in the direction I want, but I can’t be certain that I will. I know myself and I am unmotivated currently in this season of my life. But, I really hope to change and if I commit myself more to God he will help me to and lead me to amazing things beyond what I dream up.

In a few months, I hope to write another post sharing with you the progress I have made like improving my mental health, building this blog, and growing closer to God. It will be a hard road, but I already know God is helping me. I wanted to get a blog post out today, but didn’t have any motivation until God led me to write this.

If you’re willing to open yourself up to God and pour into Him, He will meet you where you are and help get you to a better path that he designed just for you. So, at this point in my life I am incapable of moving forward on my own, but with my God I will be able to because He will carry me forward.

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Uncharted Fates -2

He actually wanted a to be together . After three years, now Fletcher wanted me. My fingernails dragged across my mate scar, unfortunately leaving it intact. This scar had been more trouble than good and it would probably continue.

Sighing, I secured my gold, jewel encrusted cuff over it. It felt cold and heavy against my fair skin. At least I wouldn’t have to look at it now. But, I get paraded around as a pawn for this stupid noble competition again. Though my ‘father’ claimed he would release my brothers and me if we won, I didn’t believe him. I had to free Wylie and Lyle before that.

“Why do you keep covering it up?”

My eyes widened slightly as I looked over my shoulder. Fletcher leaned against one of the velvet covered walls. Arms crossed over his chest, his eyes bore into mine. How had he gotten in here? All the massive, gold trimmed windows couldn’t be opened and the gold finished door was guarded by three soldiers. However, he had. It was impressive.

“How did you get it?” I twisted in my cushioned, velvet seat to face him partially

.
“I slipped in during the time you were gone. Now answer my question,” He narrowed his eyes and pushed off the wall.

“I know burning it off or anything will not work, so covering it is the only way not to see it,” I turned back towards the vanity and mirror. Everything was in place, time to get this part of the nightmare done.

The chair screeched across the marble floor as I rose to my feet. I walked to the middle of the room before Fletcher cut me off. His eyes took in my appearance, his mouth slightly agape like he couldn’t remember what he wanted to say. “You…you really look like a noble,”

I cocked an eyebrow at him. “Really, that’s what your reaction was over?”
A faint flush came over his face. He shut his mouth. I started to go around him, but he grabbed my arm and pulled me in front of him. Well, wasn’t this whole situation a role reversal. “You need to let me explain,”

“I don’t need to do anything for you,” I yanked my arm free of his harsh grasp. The only ones I needed to do anything for was my brothers.

“Evelyn, stop being unreasonable,” His nostrils flared as he scowled.

“No, you need to leave me alone. I have more pressing problems to deal with then rectifying your guilt,” My enclosed fists shook. The nerve that this man had.

“Then let me help you,” His face relaxed.

He wasn’t my first choice, but I had no other potential allies. I could probably trust him more than anyone else here. He was a good fighter and more sneaky than I though, so maybe he could help? “You know about the noble competition taking place on this isle correct?” The nobles from all twelve countries would hold competitions to prove their prestige and power. They were started to prevent future wars between the countries.

“So you’re taking part in it,”

“Yes, but not by choice,” I frowned.

“Is your family blackmailing you or something?” Fletcher tilted his head slightly as he clenched his jaw.

“My brothers are being held hostage. If I don’t get us out before this competition is over we will all be dead,” My lips pressed into a firm line as my balled fists started to tremble again.

“Wait, if you have brother’s then why aren’t they taking part?”

“Because we aren’t related by blood, but it doesn’t make them any less my brothers,”

_____

 

I raced down the pier towards my brothers. It had been six years since I had seen them. I grinned as my feet thumped against the wood planks. The fresh smelling ocean air-filled my lungs as I panted. They didn’t even know I was here, they sure would be surprised.

Wylie was still tall, but was a bit pudgier then the last time I had seen him. His blonde locks were still a mess, hanging into his mismatched eyes. Lyle had cut his blonde hair close to his scalp making his bright green eyes more prominent. He had gained more height and muscle as well.

“Wylie! Lyle!” I threw an arm around each of their shoulders and neck, letting myself hang between their sturdy frames. I withdrew from them and took in their huge smiles and alight eyes.

“Evelyn,” Wylie scooped me up into a bear hug which I returned with the same vigor. “You’ve gotten a lot stronger,” We released each other while he set me down. He patted me on the head.

“Of course,” I rested my hands on my hips and smirked.

“Its been far too long Evelyn,” Lyle gave me a lopsided smile, scratching the back of his head. I gave him a proper hug, which he awkwardly returned. When I pulled back there was a light blush on his cheeks. Why did he seem so nervous around me all of a sudden? He had never been like that before.

“Well, this is a heck of a coincidence,” Wylie said.

“No, it isn’t at all. I tracked you guys down,” I winked. Becoming physical stronger wasn’t the only skilled I had improved over my six year absence.

“Makes sense, your master is known for being one of the top informants in Avoyilla,” Lyle said.

For the past six years I had trained with Master Orson. He was a wanderer by choice, but highly skilled in combat and extremely knowledgeable about all of Avoyilla. He had gained many contacts throughout his thirty years of traveling, so obtaining any desired information was a cinch for him. “Hence why I wanted to train with him,”

“Was he able to help you find your soulmate?” Lyle face was blank. His whole body rigid.

“We are working on it. We met a bar keep in Tessilia that recalled seeing a member of the Honor in Arms company with a mate scar similar to mine a few years ago,” My fingers traced over my scar while I smiled.

“Then why did you track us down? You should be going after that mercenary company,” Wylie grinned with an eyebrow wiggle.

I chuckled. He was at least the same after all these years. “I caught wind that you guys were in a port town of Grzinel, and since the Honor in Arms is currently at a more inlet town here, it seemed like a good chance to see you guys again,”

“Well, let’s use the rest of today to catch up and you can head off to your soulmate tomorrow,” Wylie threw an arm around my shoulders, leading me down the pier.

“She can stay with us longer if she wants,” Lyle said.

We stopped. Wylie looked back at his younger brother. “Come on Ly, we can’t hold her up more than a day. You know how badly she wants to find her soulmate,”

He faintly growled. He marched on past us. What was up with him? Wylie squeezed my arm and we started walking in sync after Lyle.

We spent the rest of the day at a local tavern trading stories of our adventures over the past years. Eventually it got too late for Wylie and he retired to their shared room on the second floor of the tavern.

Lyle and I sat around a circular, oak table in the dimly lit tavern. We were in a back corner, so we were away from the rowdy, loud crowd drinking and dancing around the front of the bar. The stench of sale ale hung in the air. Lyle swirled around the water in his mug, hunching over it. How could spinning water be that interesting?

“What’s wrong?” I propped my chin into my hand with my elbow resting on the table.

He jumped, knocking some of the water out of his mug onto the nicked table. “Nothing,” He averted his gaze as he rested his hands in his lap.

I kicked him in one of his shins. “Come on Lyle, we’re family, you can tell me what’s wrong,”

He hissed. His eyes met mine. That always worked to get his attention. “You considering us family is part of the problem,” His eyes trailed down to my exposed mate scar and he grimaced.

“How is that a problem?”

“You’re smart Evelyn, but your obsession with your soulmate makes you oblivious to some things,”

I narrowed my eyes at him, my left fingernails digging into my palm. “What is your problem with me?” Why couldn’t he just spit out what he wanted to say?

“I love you Evelyn, but not in the way you do me. You love me like a brother even though I ain’t your brother. The way I love you is how you want your stupid soulmate to love you,” He glared at my mate scar, his face burning red.

My left hand went limb on the table. I blinked at him multiple times. Lyle loved me romantically? When had this happened? “How long have you felt this way?”
“I don’t know, but I think since I met you. Even when we were kids I could never see you as my sister like Wylie,”

“You’re right, you would never call me sister or refer to me as it. I was always just Evelyn to you.” My eyes cast down to my mate scar. I had always been so focused on finding my soulmate I never considered that someone else could love me in that way, especially Lyle.

“Do you think there could ever be chance for us to be together?”

“No, I have never seen you as anything aside from my brother and I never can. I have a soulmate I am meant to be with, I could never be with anyone else,”

_____

 

How naïve I had been three years ago to think it would instantly workout with my soulmate once I found him. Now Fletcher was here, trying to make it work, but saving my adopted brothers was far more important.

“I know what you mean. I am related to no one in my company, but they feel more like my true family then my real one,”

“Can you gather information on where they are being held and how heavily guarded they are?”

I met his gaze.

“Sure, what are their names?”

“Wylie and Lyle Woles,”

He nodded his head to confirm. “I will get on it,” He turned to leave the room, but stopped only after a few steps. “Evelyn, once we all get out of here, will you hear me out?”

“Maybe,”

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Uncharted Fates-1

I yanked my slipping hood up as I shouldered my way through the crowded market. People cried out, swore, and one even tried to lunge at me, but I moved too quickly through the cobblestone square to catch any of it. My eyes glanced about for the biggest openings between the bodies that reeked of sweat. Couldn’t blame them for that though, the Mraga Isle was unbearable hot. I wanted to rid myself of this cloak for that reason, but it was the only means of concealment I had. I was sure he had spotted me though anyway. At least the cloak would ensure that no one I angered in this crowd would recognize me.

Upon escaping the masses, I broke out into a sprint towards the columned passageways. They were a network of inner channels and bridges in the city that allowed only nobility to move swiftly through the capital city, while letting them admire its sights from on high. One of the many marble, arched entrances came into my line of sight. I slowed myself to a brisk walk. I lowered my hood, making the delicate, jeweled head piece I wore visible.

Stopping before the armored guards, my panting filled the quiet area. The two of them studied my head piece for too many moments before raising their pole-arm axes. They wore identical scowls as I nodded my head while rushing into the passage. I coughed on the fumes of lavender that wafted through the arch. It was more toxic then the market.

I passed the spiraled, marble columns, enjoying the shade the passage brought from the sun. My steps echoed throughout the corridor without anyone else present to counteract the noise. The intense smell still in the corridor and the almost glowing tiles told me the cleaners had already been through. So, I would be alone for awhile then, good. This city, competition, and him were suffocating.

My body tensed as my ears picked up quick, yet light footsteps. My left hand instinctively went to my waist to grab my mace, but only grasped air. I gritted my teeth as I kept my pace steady. I forgot it got taken away when I was captured. No matter, I could do it the common way.

My cloak was grabbed from behind and I went back swinging my left elbow in the gut of my perpetrator. He groaned. I wound up to hit him again. He grabbed my elbow before I connected and spun me around. Now face to face, I snarled while moving away. As I thought, Fletcher.

He smirked as he lunged for my left wrist. I side stepped and landed a kick to his right side. He lowly hissed, regaining his footing. “Come on Evelyn. I am not looking to fight you,”

“Well, I don’t want to fight either, but you haven’t taken the hint to leave me be. So, knocking some sense into you is my only option,” I slowly walked backwards, watching him.

He frowned and bolted straight for me. I shuffled to the side and ran back the way I came. If the guards saw that he was an intruder it would give me a chance to break away. However, his arm hooked around my waist and threw me into one of the marble columns. I gasped as my head and back connected. Both areas throbbed with pain. My head lulled forward. My body began to slip down the column

His strong, left forearm pushed into my stomach and held me in place. His left shoulder supported my right one with are foreheads nearly touching. I breathed in his scent of steel and grimaced. Long ago I had pondered what he would smell like, but that question and many others were destroyed long ago.

With his free hand he ripped the decorative cuff from my left wrist and twisted it so the inside shown up. He slid his callus fingers over the scar on my skin. And gripped my wrist higher up and displayed his matching scar next to mine.

Both were two diamonds joined together by two points to form a straight line. The other six points became narrower the further they were from the fat core. The tips of the points curled so they resembled a curved blade. The initial for the first and last name were in the center of one of the diamonds while the middle was where the two points conjoined. The only differences were his scar contained the letters “EVH” in gray and mine “FAZ” in brown.

____

My fingers traced the shape of my mate scar on my left wrist as I watched him. My heart rapidly pounded in my chest as my lips spread into a wide grin. I bounced on my feet. My fingers clasped over my wrist. My soulmate. That man could be him.

The man swept his messy, dark hair out of his pale face. He swung his double bladed naginata in a full circle with one hand before charging at his sparring partner. The lean muscles of his arms bulged out with each forceful swing he made. He nimbly avoided every jab and thrust from his partner before unarming him using his free hand. The fight was now over. His partner clapped him on the shoulder before taking his leave.

Most people were familiar with the mercenary Fletcher Zuric. He was the youngest Chief Fighter in the Honor In Arms, a reputable mercenary company that lived up to the name of their organization. I had been told from a bar keep that he had seen Fletcher marked with a mate scar similar to mine when they had passed through years back.

It wasn’t a fresh lead, but it’s the best lead I ever had. People who had soulmates weren’t in the majority, so when people saw the occasional mate scar they tended to be right in their recollection of them. And he swore one of the letters it bore was an ‘E’. No one else had ever given me a correct letter from my name.

Fletcher dissembled his naginata as I strode up behind him. The clashing of steel rang out throughout the clearing that smelled of pine. He applied more force onto the blade of my guard glove. Smirking, I matched his strength. I bet he wasn’t expecting that. He narrowed his brown eyes at me and withdrew his blade.

“If you want to join the company you need to prove yourself to the Chief Leader. Trying to impress a Chief Fighter will get you nowhere,” He sheathed his blades and turned to leave.

“I think your my soulmate,” There was no point in dancing around the question.

“Afraid I don’t bare a mate scar,” He started to walk away.

“I met a bar keep in Tessilia who claims otherwise,” You had to have one, I needed to find him.

Fletcher continued on his way. I marched past him and cut him off. I stood tall while I held my inner left wrist up to his eye level. “Prove to me you that you don’t bare the match to my scar and I will leave,”

He tightly grasped my wrist, shoving it down. “I am no one’s soulmate,”

Well, you might be mine. “Then let me see your right wrist,” I locked eyes with him.

Letting go of my wrist, he growled. He yanked up the sleeve on his lower right arm to reveal bandages. Did he keep his scar hidden? The soiled bandages uncoiled to reveal a wrist covered in ruby blisters and skin. “My arm got burned on our last operation. And as you can see its just burnt skin,”

He went to sidestep around me, but I matched his movements. I bit the inside of my cheek. Sure, there was no skin to hold the scar, but it didn’t mean it hadn’t once been there. Mate scars always came back once an injury healed. “That doesn’t prove anything. If you have a mate scar it will reappear once that heals,”

He glared with flared nostrils, “Listen woman-”

“Evelyn, my name is Evelyn,” I grinned.

He glowered. “Listen Evelyn, I don’t have a mark, so I don’t have a soulmate. So, leave me be and continue your search elsewhere,” He shoved me aside with his shoulder and stormed past.

I watched his retreating figure. “Your wound will eventually heal and I will be back to get my answer,”

____

 

“I guess this is your answer…we’re soulmates,” He gazed up at me. The right corner of his mouth upturned slightly.

“You gave me my answer three years ago,” I focused my eyes on one of the intricate marble columns. The unique swirling lines of dark purple were the same as the ones at the noble parties I attended as a child. Parties where people spoke of the grandness of having a soulmate. I wondered if they would still have those naive thoughts if they experienced what I had.

“I never thought you would smell of spiced ginger,”

“One of the nobilities most sought after scents,”

“You’re a noble?”

“For the present moments yes,” I pursed my lips as my eyes flickered over to his. They were such a rich, chocolaty brown.

“Are you in trouble?” His lips pressed into a firm line. His rough fingers dug into my left arm. After all these years, now he decided to care?

“Like I want the help of someone else holding me captive,” I snapped. I tried to adjust my torso, but his arm kept me pinned to the cool pillar.

“I’m not holding you captive,”

“Then let me go,”

“You’ll just run again,”

“Well, if you won’t release me then I’m your captive,”

“Darn it Evelyn! I wouldn’t have done any of this if you just would have given me a chance to explain,” He stared in my gray eyes as he forcibly breathed through his nostrils.

“I did, three years ago. You made it clear you wanted to be alone, so you’re getting what you wanted,” My cheeks flushed while I inched forward with each word.

He sighed and released my left arm. His freed hand brushed some of my golden brown locks behind my left ear. His callus fingers tips glided down my face, cupping my chin. “I regret how I handled that day, but there was no other way to. If you just let me explain, I think you will understand,”

Our eyes remained locked, neither of us moving. I focused on my breathing, trying to keep it even. Each breath I let out fanned across his fan and vice versa. I used to dream of being this close to him, my soulmate. I dreamed of holding gazes right before I imagined the sweetest taste my lips would ever have. His eyes glanced several times at my lips before his face crept closer. But those dreams were gone, like so many others.

I spat in his face. He recoiled, yet kept his arm snug to my stomach. Shifting my torso, I managed to tuck my legs under me. I sprang off the marble tiles and threw myself into him. We toppled to the ground in a heap. He laid there dazed as I rolled off him.

I climbed to my feet, but stumbled backward. My head whipped down to see Fletcher yet again had a hold of my cloak. The stupid thing had been more trouble then help. He was on his stomach and slowly getting to his feet.

Taking the cloak’s clasp in both hands, I ripped it from my throat. I ran to nearest side of the passageway that provided a look out point. Fletcher’s movements filled my ears. I scrambled onto the thick, marble railing. He shouted my name as I leapt into the city below.

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