Saturday, March 21, 2015

Battle Scars

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

 Part 2 to On Heavenly Wings

copied photo from

Ariana hugged herself in a soft moment of weeping as she recalled those moments in her dream where she had ended up on the battle field. She moved her hands upon her shoulders and realized the soreness from her dream was also real upon her flesh, here in life that was not her dream. Ignoring her husband's voice, she carefully made her way off her bed and towards the mirror. 

Her face was covered in bruises and she saw bruises and scratches upon her legs and her arms. "How?" she whispered. "How is this possible?" She began her walk towards the living room, wanting to sit for a few minutes before getting into the shower. Ariana's head ached and she couldn't understand what had happened. How can someone have a dream, so real, so vivid, so painful, and wake up to the proof of every second in her nightmare?

Questions raced through her mind. "Am I going crazy?" "Is someone playing mind games with me?" "Is this part of my dream?" "What do I do now?"

Rising and heading towards the shower, Ariana turned on the hot water, as hot as her aching body could handle. As the steam circled around her and the heat massaged her back, she turned to let the hot water fall upon the top of her head. As the warmth fell upon her, moving it's way down her face, a well of emotion broke from deep within her and she was unable to stop the cries that came through. Tears disappeared with the soap and water, and her heart cried out in ways she couldn't stop or understand. 

Her cry became a prayer and she remembered to call out to the One who had come just in time, carried her away, and allowed her to fall upon the wings of the beast, the gigantic eagle, whose feathers had become her momentary sanctuary, taking her away, to that unknown place. The place she could only remember as mountains, mountains with clouds all around the top, somehow beckoning her and offering a refuge from the battle.

Turning off the water and drying herself, she thought of making a good, hot cup of coffee. Her husband knocked at the bathroom door and she answered, "I'm coming out now." "I just wanted to know if you're ok?" he asked. "Yes. I will be." She opened the door and placed her head on his chest. He held her for a moment and said, "I'm here, honey. No matter what is going on, we will get through this." "You don't understand, honey." She interrupted. She looked up at him and wanted to tell him just how badly she felt, how confused, how much soreness was upon her body, and just how confused she was feeling.

"I can't explain to you what has happened. It's like I wasn't here all last night, but then when I look at myself, it's like whatever took place in my dreams was so real that I am feeling all the after effects of it all. I sound crazy, I know, but..."
Ariana's husband, Saul, placed his arms on her shoulder, then lifted one arm towards his face, bringing his hand to his mouth and saying, "Shhhh." As she allowed Saul to direct her to the sofa to sit, he said, "It's okay, honey." 

"No! How can you say that! You don't get it! Look at me!" Ariana pointed at her scars and bruises, allowing once more, tears to fall down her cheeks, "I just started to remember how I got these. You don't understand!"

Ariana's husband walked away from her, and stood in front of her. His began to remove his white T-shirt, lifting it up, "Oh, not now, Saul. You got to be kidding me!" Ariana voiced and suddenly was hushed as she began to continue speaking. Saul stood before her, chest and back full of burned like lines, as if he'd been whipped and beaten, bloody marks upon his chest and bruises upon his waist. 

"See honey, " Saul said, "I understand."

He walked away, heading towards the shower, and just as he walked inside, he turned towards Ariana, with tears in his own eyes, "It's not over, honey, but we will win!"

Ariana decided to pray right there in her living room as Saul entered the shower. Images of her dream became alive again in her mind and she could hear the voices, the clanging and hitting of swords. She heard the shouts, the curses, and the insults. 

She got on her knees, trying to call upon the name of the Lord. "I need you to help me understand, Lord. I need your wisdom, your strength, and your guidance. Flood my mind with understanding and help me to understand what you are allowing Lord. Remove all my fears and doubts and fill me with courage."

Ariana saw herself in some sort of arena, an empty arena with no audience. She was surrounded by men and women dressed in some kind of battle garments, black and grey, metal pieces, spikes, chains, and all kinds of instruments used for punishing inmates in their hands and on the ground. She couldn't run.

They came at her in waves and she realized all she had was a sword and a shield. Somehow she knew how to use the shield and used it to protect herself from the onslaught that came upon her from the front, but the thing behind her was quick, and used his whip upon her back, causing her to painfully fall  forward on her knees. She forced herself to get up quickly, ignore the pain, as she saw two others, something not even human, racing towards her to finish her off. She shielded herself on one side and rose up, steadying herself to use her sword against the two that came towards her.

They ran quickly and insulted her, cursed her and spoke against everything she held dear to her heart. Words began to flash all around her, "Fear- Intimidation-Confusion-Sadness-Abuse-Depression-Hatred-Violence-Scandal-Lies-Slander-Gossip-Bitterness-Anger-Disappointment-Abandoned-Lust-Fornication" On and on around her, she saw the words and realized that each word represented one of those human like creatures attacking her.

She used her sword swiftly, left to right, aiming, blocking, cutting through. There were so many. She was so tired. Then she saw to her side, three of those ghastly looking beings brought someone who had been severely beaten. They laughed and cursed, throwing him on the ground, kicking him and spitting on him. He tried to get up but couldn't. Blood stained the ground he laid on and covered his face so she could barely see who it was.

Something hard, violently crashed upon her head, knocking her off her balance, as another cursing being, kicked at her back and her ribs. The impact was so powerful, she lost grip of her sword, letting it fall to her side. She tried to get up and only felt the pain in her head. 

"God, I'm holding on to Your Word. I have nothing left..."
Allowing the rest of her body to fall unto the ground, she tried to reach for her sword but her body would not obey her mind.


Whispering a prayer in her mind, and unable to open her eyes, as he saw the dark beings encircle her and the other person, she saw them look upward, and she saw the light breaking through that dark arena as if the sun was rising right in front of her eyes. She felt the warmth of the fire coming down. The Light pushed back the dark ones and they began to walk away in confusion, in anger, cursing and lifting their weapons towards the Image that walked towards the man on the floor. Fire danced in waves of joy around the Light. As the Majestic One, in the midst of the fire moved to lift up the beaten warrior on the ground, a dozen gigantic winged creatures began descending on the arena's floor. Witnessing the descent of these amazing Eagles, her body gave out, and the last thing she remembered was soaring in the heavens on the back of one of the Giant Eagles, trying to get up, and seeing only the mountains ahead, calling out to her.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

On Heavenly Wings

Written by Angeline M Duran Santiago

Ariana's eyes opened as her body responded to the strong winds swirling around her. Something wasn't right. The weight and ache on her flesh proved she had gone through some physical confrontation, but this? Where was she and how did she get here?

Painfully forcing herself upward, Ariana discovered she was on top of a massive creature, soaring through the heavens in it's final stages of daylight. She searched her memory to try and recall what had happened, and nothing, absolutely nothing. But here, here on this giant feathered creature, her mind stung from trying to understand how she ended up on top of what seemed a mythical eagle like beast, soaring higher and higher towards mountains that were hidden behind sparkling clouds. Giant wings gracefully and slowly moved up and down, beckoning her to rest, to trust, and to wait. 

The mountains were far away, but they were visible. She tried to remember. She tried to cast her cares upon the back of this beast, but the bruises she now ran her fingers through as she found one, then another, were reminders, that the physical nightmare she could not remember was far from over.

She closed her eyes as tears flowed without reason. The wind somehow seemed to comfort her and she lifted her pain filled arms up to embrace the heavens that carried her to her unknown destination. "Perhaps I'll remember what happened when I get to those mountains ahead." She spoke in her thoughts and then did the only thing natural for lifted arms.

She cried. 

And then,
She prayed.

"Wake up, Ariana!!" her husband said, moving her gently, "Wake up! You're having a nightmare."

Ariana realized the Giant Eagle was quickly spiraling downward and she couldn't hold on, she couldn't hold on.

As she yelled out, getting ready to be thrown off on to the ground, she placed her hands out to meet the floor. Instead, her husband's hands caressed her shoulders and the moment she opened her eyes to realize it was just a dream, she remembered....

She remembered.
Once more her body reminded screamed out and reminded her the battle had just begun. Her head ached something fierce and her heart raced without question.
And so, not knowing what else to do,
Knowing and understanding the storm was getting ready to hit her once more, but in never ending waves, like never before, she did the one thing she had been reminded to do.

She cried.
And then,
She prayed.

I don't know if you're getting ready to face the firing squad of another battle in your life. Physically or emotionally, they drain us and leave us scarred and wounded. Even when we believe we have been victorious in the trial, we look around us and see casualties of war reaching out to us.

Our families bare the pain of so many difficulties, and just as we believe we have it altogether, just as our families are walking together as one, seeking the Lord, and it seems everything has gotten better, our jobs are good, our health is better, just as it all seems to be falling in place, we get up, wipe off the dust and face the loud reminder that our fight is never over.

The enemy of our souls is always seeking to destroy, discourage and separate us from our faith and our families.
I urge you to pray. I urge you to hold on. I urge you to trust on the Lord for those who trust on the Lord will rise up with wings as eagles and well, you know the rest of the verse. God will sustain us through each difficulty. God will keep us through the news that come to assault and shake us up. God will walk us through every hard moment because we trust in Him and faint not.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lord, I Am Asking For A New Day

Poem By Angeline M Duran Santiago

My prayer to the Lord in the form of poetry. Sometimes I just take my guitar and write out a song to the Lord. It is usually either my prayer or my praise. When my heart is heavy, I pray, I wait on Him, and I write, for I know that God will provide the words we need if we trust in Him.

When I feel broken
Shattered inside
Lost in my thoughts
Choosing to hide
Will you please come and pull me out
Take me away from fear and doubt?

When I feel helpless
Lost, alone,
Silenced in darkness
That it my home
Will you please come and pull me out
Take me away from all this pain.

Lord, if you take me
Hold me strong
For in your arms
Nothing will go wrong.
Lord, if you pull me
Out of this place
You can erase all
My mistakes.
Lord, if you lift me
Up, out and away,
I'm sure it will be
A new day.

A new day

A new day to take a new step
A new day to feel the sun upon my face
A new day to open my heart, anew
A new day to trust with abandonment to You.

Lord, if you take me
Please don't let go
I am afraid
Don't know where to go.
Lord, if you choose me
Be a Light for my path,
Restore peace
Remove all this wrath.

Lord, if you take me
Lord, hold me tight
If my days are dark,
Worse are my nights.
Lord, if you hear me,
And choose to change me,
Give me a new day
A day where I'm free!

A new day

A new day to run and never get tired
A new day to leap out in faith without fear
A new day to wait and listen to you,
Where I won't regret the choices I've made
Where I'm confident you've made a way
Where I'm never doubting for you plan is so clear
All that I need
All that I want
A new day.



By Angeline M Duran Santiago  The storm rages on and the winds buffet the lands in violent twirls. Some say it is the season for hur...