Many years ago, I began to write a book for my friends young daughter that was homeschooling. I wanted to entice her to read by writing for her a book of her own. It wasn’t long before the world distracted me and I did not get far. Fast forward to these days, the story for Jordan Grace is burning in me like never before. I believe there is a time and season for everything and while I have been hurting very much lately, God has placed something new within me. So I begin this journey by starting from scratch and writing Jordan’s book again, with an older girl in mind than the one that I had once thought of with this story. The REAL Jordan Grace is my inspiration, she is a girl that loves loves loves foxes and even had a moment that she met one in real life in the wild. She is a girl that has hummed from the time that she could make noise and graced my home with her songs from toddler days on. She is a young lady that will make her way in this world and be all that she was called to be.
SO with all that said, I am placing on this blog post, the first two unedited chapters to …..
Grace sat on the dirty ground behind the old oak tree, her hands covered her face as she cried. She did not understand why the others were so cruel. Today Lary stood behind her, she could not see what he was doing at first. She just noticed the others in the class began to snicker. Some had whispered behind their hands to one another. Alissa her old best friend from kindergarten, went so far as to point at Grace and then laughed so hard she even snorted. Nobody noticed how absurd she sounded, only that Lary was behind Grace and mocking her. Grace discovered that she could see Lary’s reflection in the glass of the window in class. He was standing there acting like an opera singer. Making grand gestures with his arms and ugly faces. Grace shrank further in her seat and crossed her arms, hugging herself, waiting for the bell to ring so she could run hard and fast away from them all.
While Grace cried, she thought about all the times the others had made fun of her this week alone. She knew that she was different. She didn’t wear the most recent trends in clothing that all the other girls wore. While she was sitting here in her t-shirt, jeans and bare feet, the tears fell. She didn’t giggle and bat her eyes at the boys, then run and act like she didn’t like them when they chased. Instead Grace spent her time during recess alone and singing the songs on her heart, she felt lesser than them, and the tears fell. The words of her songs would play in her head all day. She never shared her songs with the others, they were her treasures that she held dear. The others would never understand, they could only hear her from a distance singing something unfamiliar to them.
Grace sang all the time. In every situation that she faced a song would just burst from her lips. She could not help it. This was who she was. She would wake up with a new song on her lips every morning. Each situation that would arise, a new song would burst forth. Every school day, she could not wait to get away from the others so that she could just sing everything within her heart. She would stand in the middle of the football field and sing, while the songs pound forth she would dream. Her dreams were bigger than even she could understand at times, but they would come and the songs would flow.
Even now, she dried her eyes, and a smile crossed her lips. She began to hum and her heart felt lighter. She decided to not let the others get to her for a minute longer. She hurt when they made fun of her, or left her out, but it wasn’t long before she felt the lightness of her songs filling her and she would forget all the deeds done against her.
Grace stood and lifted her hands to the heavens. She sang with everything that was within her. She danced as the joy bubbled forth, stronger and stronger. The song that was rising up was like none other before. Soon unfamiliar words were rising to the sky from deep within her soul. Her hands felt hot as she brought them to her sides. Suddenly a peace like none other rushed over her and her song ended. She stood there silent for a moment and lifted her face. She opened her eyes and saw the sun twinkling through the leaves of the trees. It was as if they had been dancing along with her and they were calling her to finish. With a deep breath in, she realized there was more to be sung. As she hit her highest note of the song of her heart, Grace felt the earth beneath her feet rumble. She saw the earth in front of her cracking. She did not fear. She knew with great expectation, that this was her moment, the very reason that she sang.The earth crumbled and the crack widened as it wound around the tree. Grace heard a loud boom from the other side of the tree and the ground stopped its shaking. For a moment she stood there unsure what to do. Then she heard it. A tiny tinkling coming from the other side of the tree. It was music. Music to the song that she had just been singing. Grace carefully walked around the tree and was amazed at what was before her.
The ground had opened up and the roots of the trees served as a canopy over a long narrow staircase going deep into the ground. Grace did not hesitate, she began softly singing her song as she took her first step into the unknown. She did not fear, there was an excitement and expectation that was propelling her forward.
Grace’s bare feet grew colder as she descended deeper into the ground. The stairs were made of stone and the walls that surrounded her were dirt, it almost looked like an animal den of some kind, as there was a burrowed look to it all. The music to her song grew louder with each step. She felt like she had been taking the stairs forever, when she noticed a warm glow in the distance. The stairs came to an end and then she was just walking on a smooth stone pathway, towards the light.
The narrow hallway opened up into a massive dirt walled room. The floor was all stone, with some rugs here and there. There was a fire roaring in a stone fireplace with two arm chairs facing it. Between the chairs was a table with a very old book resting on it. Grace was drawn to the book. She had not noticed much else around the room, once she laid eyes on it. The music she had heard seemed to be coming from the book. Illuminated in gold lettering on the front of the book was the word HOPE.
Grace reached for the book and the palms of her hands grew hot, as they had when she was singing. She pulled her fingers back and without knowing why, tears began to stream down her cheeks. She did not weep loudly, it was a soft gentle cry, a yearning.
“You are called for such a time as this.” She heard the deep soothing voice come from the chair to her left. The occupant was hidden with the chairs positioning. All she could see was a soft fluff of fur hanging over the arm of the chair. It looked like a fox tail, but could it be?
“Come child, sit at the fire, let me share.” Came his voice again. His voice was so soothing, she longed at that moment to just sit and listen to him forever. She walked around the chair to her right and sat on the floor before the speaker. Only then did she let her eyes drift up to the one in the chair. Sure enough, there was a beautiful fox sitting before her. She could not believe her eyes. A fox! And he was speaking with her, plain old Grace.
He sat so regal with a velvet purple sash across his chest and a jeweled crown atop his head. His copper colored fur looked so soft, she almost forgot herself and reached out to pet him. However, this was no pet, Grace sensed that this was one to be honored with reverence. He gave her a gentle smile, while she scrutinized him. His golden eyes seemed to look right through her, as if he knew her thoughts. She knew with certainty that this fox, whatever he was, knew things beyond what her mind could ever imagine. Some of these things she was about to find out as she sat there, in awe.
The foxes eyes seemed to glow brighter when he spoke again.
“Grace, I know you feel different from the others, that is because you ARE different. But I don’t want you to see that as a bad thing. You were born to be different, you were born to answer a calling that is uniquely yours. Grace, It is I that created the songs that are within you. There is a work for you to do that only you can accomplish through your powerful songs. Only you can hear my songs so clearly on this earth.”
Grace was ready to ask him why she was able to hear him at all, when he spoke again to her unanswered question.
“You can hear me, because you have a pure heart. You have a heart that just like your name is full of grace. While the others hurt you and mock you, you do not get angry, you quickly turn your heart over to your songs. The songs are within many, but not all will hear them, and none hear their songs as well as you do.” He said.
Again, Grace had a question on her heart and the Fox answered it before she could say the words out loud.
“The work I have for you to do, will not be an easy one. You will have to travel far and seek your songs more than ever before. You are a great warrior that was created to take your songs into battle. You will not understand all right now. There is much to be done and I need you to continue listening and following the songs within you. I need you to sing them out and let the power behind them have it’s way.”
Everything within Grace seemed to shiver at that moment. She looked down and saw there were goosebumps on her arms. She knew for some reason, that all this Fox had to say was true, she trusted his words, but she didn’t understand where he had come from and why this very unusual thing happening before her seemed to be the most natural thing in the world she had ever experienced. This Fox, whoever he was seemed to understand her like no other, and yet, she just now met him. He could answer questions she did not even speak, and he says he places the songs within her.
She did speak this time, in a soft whisper, but her voice was there. “Who are you?” She asked in wonder.
“I am He, the one that is always with you. I will never leave you.” He answered. This times his eyes glowed as if there was a fire behind them and He reached for the book on the table. The words HOPE burned with the same intensity as his eyes. “Daughter Grace, hold out your hands.” He instructed.
Grace held out her hands and they burned again with the fire that she had felt when the ground opened and when she first reached for the book. This was not a fire that harmed or consumed but more of an energy she didn’t quite understand but that held great power. Grace had no fear in this moment, she felt stronger than she had ever felt before. The song she had sung, the one that she would begin to know as her song, began to rise within her belly and she opened her mouth to sing with such force that she had surprised herself. The music that matched her song broke forth from the book and grew with intensity as Grace sang.
When Grace finished her song, I am He, placed the book in Grace’s outstretched hands. Suddenly the word Hope dimmed, and Grace saw from behind it a picture of a young girl on her knees crying before a sea of people. The only word that could come to her mind in that moment was despair. Such a great despair she had never known. Hope closed her eyes at the despair.
While Grace held her eyes closed, I am He spoke in a clear strong voice. “You will go from me now, but I will still be with you. You have a work to do, read my book, you will begin to understand. When the time comes, you will go forth and sing your song to many.”
Grace nodded and when she opened her eyes, she was sitting in front of the oak tree, the ground had closed up and there was no canopy and stairs leading to I am He, but just a plain tree was before her.
For a moment Grace thought perhaps it was all a crazy dream, but when she looked down in her hands, there was the book with no picture at all, but now shimmering in gold letters the word HOPE.