"Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves--regret for the past and fear of the future." Fulton Oursler

I am a believer in Jesus Christ. He called me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow Him. Somewhere along the way, though, I realized that following Him would lead straight to Golgotha. Following Him not only meant sharing in all His glory and strength, but also sharing in His suffering. That cross He told me to take up would cause me to follow Him all the way to my own crucifixion!

So here I hang...being ridiculed by the very people I helped in the past; being spit at and having my identity challenged by individuals who never truly knew the REAL me. All some wanted were the fish and loaves, but this cross was designed to kill within me the need to impress others with my prowess.

I look to my left, and there hangs the past, spitting and hurling insults at me. Throwing in my face every mistake, regret, sin and sorrow I ever encountered. I look to my right, and there hangs my future...it ain't looking good for the home team.

There's nothing I can do about the past, but the future looks at me and begins to tell me who I am. I'm no better than either of them, but for some reason, the future begins to tell me how much she believes in me. She tells me, through gasps of excruciating pain, that I HAVE trusted the Lord, and the desires He planted within my heart WILL come to pass!

"But I'm hanging here DYING!" I say to the future.

"Shut up and put us out of our misery," shouts my past through bitter agony and shameful defeat.

"Whether we live or die, girl, don't forget who you are!" shouts the future with all her might and all the energy she has left to spare.

I begin to understand that this cross, this crucifixion is not designed to put an end to me. Only the past is hanging up to die without ever coming back. But I see now that this cross was designed to introduce me to my future.

So I'm looking at her, and in spite of the blood, sweat and tears, in spite of the ridicule and misunderstandings, in spite of the betrayal, she looks BRIGHT! And I now know I'm not forsaken.

I'm about to die...it's all part of the divine plan. The past successes, failures, heartbreaks and mistakes cannot come with me on this trip. But I'm about to breathe my last before breaking forth into a new dawn and a new day.

The most profound last words utter from my lips, as I put death on pause to communicate with my future:

"TODAY, you shall be with me in paradise!"