I Will Follow
John Ray
Twenty one years old and fresh out of seminary, Jude has decided that his first calling from God is ... Show More
Genres:
Adventure, Spiritual
Tags:
Inspirational, christian, God, journey, religion

Chapter 1

    “There is nothing for me here. Not anymore.” With that, Jude quickly stood up from the kitchen table, nearly knocking over his chair in the process. As he went to grab his plate, Eliza calmly placed her hand on his, stopping him. 
    “Jude, honey, we need to talk about this,” she said softly. 
    Jude shook his head and backed away from the table. “Mom, there isn’t anything to talk about. I’ve made up my mind. Missionary work is what God has put in my heart, and I want to go.” 
    Eliza’s husband, Eric, was still seated at the table. She leaned in to whisper to him. 
    Jude crossed his arms and began to shake his head furiously. “Whispering to dad isn’t going to help. I’m twenty one, I’m a college graduate and after all of the praying I’ve done lately, this is what I want to do,” Jude said. He stomped over to the other side of the table and stood beside his father. 
    “Dad, you’re a pastor. I don’t expect mom to get this, and I know it’s only because she worries about me, but you of all people know about following the desires God gives you. Help me out here.”  Father and son stared at each for a moment before Eric responded.
    “Jude, I know you feel you are called for this, and I’m proud of you for wanting to do something so noble and selfless. But-” 
    Seeing that the situation wasn’t going where he wanted, Jude turned to stalk out of the room.
     Eric stood up and walked after him. “All I’m saying, son, is that maybe you give it a little. Just a few days and see if this really a call you feel or something else.” 
    Jude stopped cold in the hallway that led to the living room. Turning slowly to face his father, his face was a mask of defiance. Jude drew a deep breath before he spoke.
    “You have always told me to have immediate obedience; to do what God calls you to do right away; to not waver or spend time trying to talk yourself out of it. And now you’re second guessing me. Second guessing him.” Jude pointed a finger up as he spoke the last word and stared at his father. 
    Eric closed his eyes and nodded slowly.
    “You know what? You’re right. This isn’t a decision your mother and I should even try and influence,” Eric said. He placed his hands on his son’s shoulders. “If it’s what you want to do, then do it. You have our blessing.” Both Eric and Jude couldn’t help but notice Eliza glaring at them from the kitchen. “Better let me talk to her,” Eric said. 
    Jude smiled and hugged his father. As Jude headed one way towards his bedroom, Eric headed the opposite back to the kitchen. He stopped just short of entering and raised his eyes to meet his wife’s piercing stare. The frown that accompanied it was evidence enough. Eliza was not happy.
    Holding up a hand, Eric jumped feet first into an explanation. “Just hear me out, honey.”        “No,” Eliza retorted. She crossed her arms and tilted her head to the side; always a sure sign that it did not bode well for Eric. “I know we can’t stop him from going, but you encouraging him isn’t helping.”
    Eric went to place his hands upon his wife’s shoulders, just as he had done to his son moments ago. 
    Eliza backed away, however, and began to sob. Burying her face in her hands, Eric held his wife as she wept, stroking her hair. 
    “He can’t leave,” Eliza whispered between sobs. “I can’t risk losing him, too.”
    “Nothing is going to happen to him, honey,” Eric soothed. “He’ll be fine.”
    Eliza wiggled out of his embrace and began to wipe her eyes with the backs of her hands. 
    “How do you know that?” she asked. “We said the same things about Jessie when she first decided she wanted to leave.” Eliza began to well up again, and this time there was no consoling her.
    “We lost our daughter and you told me it was because God had planned it that way. You said he had a plan for everything and it was just her time. And even though it’s taken me three years, I have finally learned to start coming to terms with that.” 
    Eric moved closer to try to gently touch her arm. She pushed it away. “I am NOT losing my son, too. Not now.”
    Eric sighed and dropped both hands to his waist. After a moment of collecting his thoughts, he raised his head and gazed into his wife’s eyes.     
    “He’s a grown man, Eliza. And he feels that he has been called for this. We can’t shelter him for the rest of his life for the fear that we could lose him. It’s not living; for him or for us. You’ve got to see that.”
    “He looks up to you, Eric,” Eliza said. “You are his father, his friend and his pastor. And if you tell him that he should rethink this entire thing then he will listen to you.”
    Eric shook his head and spoke softly, his voice nearly a whisper. “I won’t do that.” Eliza shifted her eyes to the wall and stared at it. 
    “We have to let him live his life, Eliza,” Eric said. “We have to let him be a man. To experience what God has put on his heart to experience. To do the things he was designed to do. And if that means spending a year in Africa, then so be it.” He took Eliza’s face in his hands and gently wiped tears away with his thumbs. “He’s going to be fine. You’ll see.”
    Eliza shook her head furiously. She broke free of his grasp and ran down the hall to their bedroom. Eric chased after her as there was a knock on the door. Poking his head out of his room just as his parents sped past him, Jude muttered an “I’ll get it.” 
    Jude opened the door to find Leah standing there. Even after dating her for almost two years, she still took his breath away. He paused a moment and smiled before he said anything. She looked annoyed.
    “How many times are we going to have to talk about you staring at me,” she snapped. Leah
suffered from Scopophobia; a severe anxiety caused by being stared at. It didn’t help matters that she truly was beautiful and was constantly being gawked at by men. At five foot three and a hundred and twenty pounds, one wouldn’t have thought you could pack such feistiness into such a small package. But when Leah’s green eyes began to sparkle like they were doing now, it usually wasn’t a good sign. She flipped her blond hair and tilted her head to the side, smirking at Jude.
    “Well?” she asked.
    Jude blushed as he looked down at his feet. He grinned again and waved her inside. “So what brings you by?” He placed his hand on the small of her back as he guided her into the living room; a move that he did without even realizing and a gesture that she always loved. Jude was about to offer her something to drink as she sat down on the couch when Eliza came storming back down the hall. 
    Slinging her purse over her shoulder as she spun to face Eric who was jogging up behind her, Eliza paused at the front door, one hand on the knob.
    “I just need to leave, Eric. I need to not be in the same house with you right now,” she said. Her eyes red from crying, she looked over her husband’s shoulder into the living room and directly at Jude.
    “I’m not mad at you, honey. I want you to know that. I just need to collect my thoughts.” With a quick smile thrown to Leah, Eliza threw open the door and rushed out of the house. 
    Eric stood in the doorway, his arms hanging loosely at his side. Even as Eliza’s SUV reversed out into the street and then sped away, he continued to stare at the spot where she had stood not even thirty seconds ago. 
    Jude crossed the living room and stood directly behind his father. He had absolutely no idea what to say, so he placed a hand on Eric’s shoulder. Without looking back, Eric reached up and put his hand onto his son’s. 
    “I’m sorry, dad.” It was all Jude could think of in that moment.
    “Don’t be, son,” Eric said softly. “Don’t be.”
Message from Author:

I am doing my part to further the kingdom and do all I can to bring God's word to the world.

Care to help? :)

A small donation would be greatly appreciated as I move forward with Jude's story. Thank you.
Log in to add a comment or review for this chapter Chapter updated on: 2/27/2015 3:50:47 PM
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