Category Archives: Inner Thoughts

Embracing my Struggles and Running Toward Him


Today I found out about an amazing missions opportunity and began the application. For those of you who don’t know, my heart is deeply rooted in serving Christ overseas when I graduate and this opportunity is something I am seriously considering and praying about. (Side Note: If you wouldn’t mind, I would appreciate all of you praying for me as I seek God’s council in this. It could be a life altering experience and I just need to know if it’s what He has planned for me. Thanks!)

Anyway, I started filling out the application because I know I am going to get pretty busy here in the next few months and it would just be a good idea to at least have some of it done just in case He says yes. Now, most applications for mission trips ask you about your relationship with Christ and maybe a little bit about you. They never truly seem to get down to the very specific parts of your life journey though. This application, however; did. And let me tell you, it was brutal and extremely hard to answer those questions. I had to continually stop typing because I literally couldn’t see the screen I was crying so hard. And now you are all proably wondering why I would ever want to fill out an application that made me bawl my eyes out right?! Well here is the beauty in it- As I was literally writing about some of the struggles and painful experiences in  my life, a thought came to my mind. It was another one of those thoughts that came directly from God because no way would I ever think of this myself. He told me “This is why I died for you. Even though you’ve sinned and messed up countless times and experienced things that no one should ever have to go though, I still love you. I LOVE you and I will carry you in my arms all the days of your life. You are mine and no one can take you away from me.” Wow. Powerful words. This is exactly what I needed to hear.

I go through so many days of life pushing those experiences and struggles as deep down as I can because they hurt, I am ashamed of them, and I don’t like having to remember. So many people who “know” me would never know most of what I had to write on that application because I have done a pretty solid job of stuffing it all away. Only a few very close friends and family members know a good deal of it, and even then, if I was completely honest, only God knows all of it.

We all have things in our lives that we keep hidden- out of shame, regret, or maybe simply because we don’t like to share everything with everyone. I have recognized in myself the same characteristics that Adam and Eve dealt with after they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I am ashamed of a lot of things in my past, whether I actually commited the acts or if they were done against me. And I find myself behaving the same way Adam and Eve did- by hiding from God and believing he can’t see it all. But he can- and he does. I cannot hide my struggles and problems from Him any more than a two year old can hide the fact that he has been in the cookie jar when his face has chocolate smudged all over it. He knows. He knows it all and he cares for me and loves me just the same.

I have got to stop trying to hide all my pain from Him. The only way I will ever fully be able to stand up proud and confident is if I allow Him to take all those burdens away- if I allow Him to carry them for me. God’s going to hold my heart. He’s going to be there when I fall and when I struggle. I only need to trust Him and allow Him to be there. We all have things in our past that we are not proud of, but that is what can give us such a great testimony! God puts us in tough situations for a reason and although we often don’t understand why, it all works into his plan perfectly. All I need to do is give up my hurt and pain to him and let him carry my burdens. He can handle it!

You Are More!


Let me start out by saying this: I love Tenth Avenue North. You know those songs or artists that just seem to get you? The ones that somehow come up with the words you’ve been feeling for so long, but cannot seem to intelligently get out? Well, Tenth Avenue North is one of those artists for me. I  swear that they must be tapping into my brain.

Anyway, tonight a thought just came to me. It was simply this….you are more.

“What?”, I thought. “I’m more than…..than what exactly?”

Then it came again. “You are more.”

“Well, alright…glad to know that.” I started going on with my night. But then I thought back to the strange thought. And the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if it was God trying to tell me something.

Now, we all struggle with dealing with failure daily. Yes, even failure to stop at a stop sign counts! For me, failure is hard to deal with. I want to do well. I want everything to go the way I plan and imagine it will go. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. Sometimes I get so frustrated with failure. The biggest failure I face every day is my sin. I cannot for the world get around it. It happens daily, hourly, probably every minute and that drives me nuts. After all, I am supposed to be refining myself to be more like Christ right? True, but I’m not perfect and I am going to sin again. I feel so ashamed and guilty like I should be doing so much better than I am. And sometimes I feel like God is just one day going to decide I am not worth it. Now in my heart, I know he won’t ever give up on me. He loves me unconditionally. It doesn’t matter how much I fail to obey him , He will always be there to shower me with his love. It’s a hard concept for me to grasp at times because regular people don’t do that. We are so quick to find fault with each other (and I am completely guilty of this), yet we are much more reluctant to simply forgive each other for those faults and failures. Sometimes I find myself putting God in the same category as people, forgetting that He isn’t a person. God is God. He commits no wrong. He loves despite our wrongs. But I am so ashamed of my faults sometimes that I am afraid to let my secrets come out in front of him- which is silly because he already knows. I have even found myself pretending that I have done nothing wrong. And that is when God sends me a thought bubble saying, “You are more.” It’s then that I start recalling Tenth Avenue North lyrics. It’s like God just knows I need to remember his promise. He loves me. His love reaches over and underneath, inside and in-between. It reaches toward me when I doubt Him or myself and when I am so broken that I cannot fathom ever healing again. And most of all, it’s there in my sorrow and under the weight of my shame. God knows I am going to disobey Him. He knows it. And yet, His love for me never changes. He will never forsake me.

Again he says “You are more” once I have come to realize he isn’t going anywhere. Now I start to understand what He means. I am more than my faults and failures. People often say that what you do makes you who you are and I can understand how they think that. I don’t disagree with them on a level that they are simply trying to make people understand that there are consequences to their choices. But here is the gospel: Where you end up is not who you are. What you do is not who you are. If you are in Christ, who you are is what has been done for you. We are going to screw up ALL the time, but how else do you think God can call us said screw ups a “new creation?” I AM MORE than my faults and failures because I have been made new in Christ. I am still going to mess up, and mess up often, but when Christ died on the cross for me, things changed. I am his child now and I am what has been done for me. It’s like Pope John Paul III said, “We are not made from the sum of our weakness. We are the sum of our Father’s love for us.” I am a child of God in spite of myself and nothing can ever break me from that.

“you are more than the choices that you’ve made
you are more than the sum of your past mistakes
you are more than the problems you create
you’ve been remade

cause this is not about what you’ve done
but what’s been done for you
this is not about where you’ve been
but where your brokenness brings you to
this is not about what you feel
but what He felt to forgive you
and what He felt to make you new.”

-Tenth Ave North “You Are More”

Talking With Jesus- Trusting Him With My Life


One thing I have been trying to work on this year is prayer. I have a bad habit of only really talking to Christ when I feel I need his help and I want to change that. They say it takes 30 days to make a habit. I am on day two and it feels great. My 15-20 minute drives to and from my Practicum school are the perfect time for me to make sure I am talking to him on a daily basis. With the beautiful, snow-covered mountains out one window and the wide open plains out the other, it is hard not to want to praise Him. I’ve literally been talking out loud to him the entire way there and back for the past few days and sometimes I get there and don’t even realize I am there. Guess that is a good thing right? I’m sure I look a little funny to those who are speeding past me on their way to work. O well!

One thing that has really been on my heart lately is finding the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. Every girl dreams of it, and unfortunately logging onto Pinterest doesn’t help. Sure, I’ve dated, but I haven’t found that person who was made to be my partner in life yet. I have a lot of friends who are dating or engaged and more who have gotten married in the past few years than I can count. It leaves a girl wondering, struggling with when that perfect man is gonna show up for her. 

So I had a chat with God about it. It was really more me spouting off what was in my head/ heart. I am a pretty independent young woman partly from genetics and partly because that is just me and how I grew up. Nevertheless, it’s always nice to 1) be loved and 2) have the knowledge of your future in your hands. Unfortunately, that second part isn’t going to happen. Only God knows what is truly in my future…and sometimes it is very hard to deal with not knowing. I’ll be the first to admit I struggle with that.  

If any of you have read Elizabeth Elliot’s “Passion and Purity” then you know that even she struggled with the same thing, but ultimately found peace in God’s answer. His answer was simple. Trust him. She was at peace with the thought that she could be single for her entire life or that she could eventually marry Jim. She trusted God in that area of life. Every time I start to struggle with this aspect of life, I always think back to her…and go read the book again. It’s pretty well-worn now.

So in one of these chats with God on my way to the school, I talked about my fears and my struggle with that aspect of life. I got all my thoughts out and then it was like all of a sudden, a complete peace concerning it came over me. I can’t even describe it. I just knew that God was in control and he has a wonderful plan for my life. If that includes marrying a man after Christ’s heart, great. I am definitely all for it. On the other hand, if that isn’t something he has planned for me, then I accept it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized just how much he has already blessed me with. I have a full life already. I have a career path that I know he has designed just for me and students that love me and I love back. I have a family who supports me in my decisions and love me no matter what. And above all else, I have him. He is ultimately all I need. I’m ready to trust him completely with this area of my life and stop doubting my future. He has it under control.

Nevertheless, I still pray for the man I will (hopefully) marry if he is out there…and logging into Pinterest adding things to the “wedding ideas” board that every girl admits to having. , I hope that he is praying for me as well, but maybe not adding to a Pinterest board haha.

Can’t wait to have more thought-provoking talks with God on the way to school! Just so you know, I do talk to him more than that…that time is just very special in a way that I can’t explain.

God

My Little Buddy, Nathan


I was born to two wonderful parents in 1990 and since I was the firstborn, I had them all to myself….at least for a little while. A full 13 months after I was born, my brother Jonathan made his entrance into our family. I, of course, was a great big sister and while I’m sure I missed getting ALL the attention, it was fun having another kid in the family to play with. We were two peas in a pod and we did everything together. We were the picture perfect American family and we were happy for sure…but something was missing. It was you.

You were born 4lbs 3oz in 2003, 12 years younger than me.  You were so tiny and cute. The first time I held you if felt like a dream come true. It was hard to believe I had another little brother. Little did I know just how much you would change my life.

We all had our own unique bond with you and you were never wanting in the attention area. How could anyone resist such a cute baby like you anyway? Dad loved to tease you and make you laugh and mom of course took you hiking as soon as she could. Even Jonathan helped out and changed plenty of diapers when you were younger. Me, it didn’t matter what we did together. I just loved having the chance to spend time with you any way I could.  You were our pride and joy. Your sweet smile and contagious laugh left us wondering how we ever lived without you in our lives.

At five years old it was time for you to go to school. I still remember your first day like it was yesterday. You were so excited and ready to go. I’m pretty sure we all cried as we walked away from your classroom that day. It was that year I fully came to understand what I wanted to do with my life.

You see, I had always been a tomboy. I caught with frogs and toads with Jonathan and played baseball in our cul-de-sac…and I was one feisty soccer player. So when it came time to teach you about some of the sweeter things in life, I had some pretty good experience.

I remember our whole family loved to take you sledding and we tried to teach you to do some pretty cool tricks. I helped you develop a love for cooking….or at least experimenting in the kitchen. You turned out to be the best kid in our family to take hiking too. Mom was pretty happy with that. I still remember teaching you how to roast the perfect marshmallow (even if you liked to burn them) and showing you what plants you can eat in the wild. We spent hours together trying to perfect your bowling game and had fun on the Frisbee golf course. But the one thing I know I taught you well…. was baseball. I always wanted you to play and enjoy the sport, but I never thought you would love it as much as me. My favorite times with you have been teaching you about the sport at Rockies games. That’s where most of our memories come from lately. Through teaching you about different things as you have grown up, I realized I have a passion for kids and for teaching. You are the one who inspired me to make the trip to Guatemala to work with a school down there. Without you in my life, I never would have realized how much I love kids. You also inspired me to help out kids who struggle more than the average middle class children do which is why I worked so hard at the daycare. So when it was time to graduate, I already knew what I was supposed to do. And you helped me realize my dream. But it wasn’t just teaching you about life that caused me to love teaching kids. It was your passion for life too. It was the goofy expressions you made and the fun times we spent together. It was the hugs you gave me when I came home and the look I got when you wanted something. Now here I am about to graduate and become a teacher. Our family has become who we are today greatly because of you. It’s been a mix of your encouragement and plenty of prayer and guidance from God that has led me to the idea of reaching the destitute children in this world. Because just like you, they have their own dreams and passion for life and I am ready to help guide them in their journey to finding them. All because of you.  

A New Blog Title


So, for those of you who actually read this crazy blog of mine, you might notice the name has changed. Well, I decided to change it for a couple of reasons. One, although I love horses and always will, they have been moved to the back burner of my life. I also don’t write much about my love for horses so I didn’t think horse hair would work any longer. I tried really hard to keep angel kisses because if you read about why I chose that phrase, it is a big part of my life….but nothing I could think of would go with it very well. I tried baseball phrases with it and books and other passions of mine…but nothing worked. So I then decided to change it completely. Glenn Beck mentioned my blog title (ok…I kinda stole it from him) in his speech at the Restoring Courage event. Adonai li, v’lo ira comes from a Hebrew prayer meaning God is with me, I fear not. I think a lot of what I have been posting lately has dealt with some issues that have really been on my heart to share about. And the best part is, I’m not afraid to talk about them anymore. I’ve overcome my fear because I KNOW with all my heart that God is with me. So, in light of that, I decided to name my blog after my newly found/ restored courage. Hope you all continue to read what I write and let me know what you think! 

It’s Been 10 Years


Here I am, the week before the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and I am watching a documentary called 9/11 Heroes of the 88th floor. For most Americans, the memory of that day still brings great deal of emotion and heart ache. We all remember where we were and what we were doing when we first learned of the news. I was soon to be 11 years old at the time and I was getting ready for school when my parents learned what was happening after the first tower was hit. They called us down and we all sat there staring at the tv not making a sound as we listened to the news. We watched live as the second tower was hit and continued to watch in awe and terror as both towers collapsed. I remember being upset that my brother and I had to go to school. I didn’t want to be away from my parents because I was scared out of my wits, understandable for an 11-year-old. I cannot remember what happened in the hours and days that followed that, but like for many others that day was one I will never forget.

So anyway, to get back to the documentary I am watching….. this is incredible. We all know about the heroic deeds that the firefighters, policemen, and many others who made their way into the towers performed.  But do we remember the people whose bravery and heroic conduct kept them IN the towers freeing those who were on the higher levels of the buildings where ground help would never be able to reach? Construction manager Frank De Martini and building inspector Pablo Ortiz were two such men. They cleared the 88- 91st floor and rescued over 77 people that day.They were willing to risk their safety and give up their own lives in order to save as many people as they could. They were the kind of men whose consciences would not allow them to leave others behind in order to save their own lives. In the midst of the tragedy, their actions make me smile. But more than that, they inspire me as they did other people. Not only did Frank and Pablo save 77 people, their actions led many of those they saved to also help rescue people on their way down the stairs. I think that is a defining characterization of heroes. They not only act themselves, but they inspire others to act as well.

And this is what I love about Americans, that in the wake of extreme and terrorizing events we pull together and work to help each other. We don’t just think of ourselves. (yes some do, but I think)  Americans are a compassionate and courageous people. Just like when other disasters have hit our country like Katrina and the Joplin tornado, Americans have come together to help each other in any way they possibly can. The documentary talks about how as Americans we are often distant from each other during an average day. We have our personal bubbles and don’t initiate conversations with people we randomly meet on the street normally. But put us through a scary event and all that changes. People hold each other as they cry even though they don’t even know their names. They try their best to help people out of rubble even though it puts their own lives in danger. They gently talk to people to calm them down when  they might otherwise just pass on a regular day. Now, some people might say that only being able to do this when tragedy hits is wrong. But we aren’t perfect and in my mind being a part of a nation that IS able to pull together in the midst of a tragedy is a wonderful thing. The older I get and the more I recognize the great deeds of my fellow Americans, the more I am inspired to do the same. It still hurts to think about 9/11 and it makes me cry every time I watch those two towers fall, but it can also bring a smile to my face when I remember the courage of the men and women in our country that day (including those on United 93, 175, AA 11, and those in the Pentagon as well).

Everyone remembers the pictures of the towers that look like satan is visible in the smoke. Every time I see those, I can’t help but think that although Satan did have a huge impact on our country and the lives of the people who live here, he didn’t win the battle. God used the tragic event to bring our citizens closer together. Now since then I think we have grown apart again and that breaks my heart. I wish we could be more unified like we were the few following years after 9/11, but I hope it doesn’t take another event like that to do it. I am on a mission to bring back unity to our nation. It is going to be hard and I can’t do it on a massive level like others could, but I can do it through my influence on those I see on a day-to-day basis. I can do it by just smiling at someone as I walk by or by asking, really asking, how someone’s day was. And I am willing and ready to greet my challenge. I’m prepared to give back. I may not have personally been impacted by 9/11 as much as those immediately involved, but that day changed my life and I will not let it just be a memory. Will you? I’m committed to making a difference in someone else’s life as often as I can and it starts today.

Beauty


What usually comes to mind when someone mentions the word beauty? For many, the image they first identify in their mind is usually something pertaining to physical beauty. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just the way we relate it in our world. In my opinion, it is only harmful if it stops there.

I just recently returned to school this fall and one of the classes I have to take this semester is Arts in Society. Now, I am NOT by any means that artistic of a person, but I can really appreciate the different genres of art that others can produce so I was actually looking forward to the class….plus it’s required so I might as well have a positive attitude about it right? Not 10 minutes into the first class, our professor announces our first assignment: to give a five minute presentation to the class on something you find beautiful. My mind immediately began to turn. I really didn’t want to be in the normal pool of kids who will find a picture of a beach or a pretty girl (we have had a few present on that). I wanted to go beyond the physical surface to something that really shows more internal beauty. I went through several different choices in my head during the rest of the class (I promise I was paying attention though). J.R.R Tolken’s quote “All that glitters is not gold.” then came to mind. I suppose you could interpret that in several different ways and I have actually done so on occasion. This time though I thought of it as the following:

Gold a precious metal that glitters beautifully. But all that glitters is not gold. Thus,outwardly a man may look innocent but he may he cruel at heart. Face is no more the index of the mind. Appearances are generally deceptive. Beauty is the essence of life but inner beauty is the essence of the soul. Who knows that a person with a beautiful face may have an ugly heart? Sometimes it so happens that a gentle hearted person appears to be rogue but in fact he is not. The face does not speak often anything about mind.

The person who is beautiful from within is blessed with an aura and fullness that external beautification will never find. Your thoughts, your values make up your inner beauty and if they are pure they give life a better meaning. External beauty fades with time, but internal beauty is with you forever. Real beauty is not the physical beauty all the time. It lies in human character and human heart. Handsome is he who handsome does. Physical beauty is short-lived. It fades away too soon. But the beauty of heart is eternal joy giving and ever-growing gentility of heart and nobility of character are the hallmarks of one’s personality.

With my mind on that idea of beauty, I narrowed my topic down to two. I could either talk about working with low-income kids over this past summer, or I could talk about Israel and the Restoring Courage event a few weeks ago. My heart was torn. I really want to share with others my passion for kids in need…but Israel has been on my mind and my heart a lot lately as well. At first I thought that I could do both, but knowing me…I  could spend a whole class period talking about either one and I only have 5 minutes. In the end, I decided I will present about Israel for two main reasons. I could almost feel God tugging on my sleeve to share with my class why Israel displays inner beauty and because everyone else is in the same major as I am, I figured they would either all present on kids too or get bored hearing about why someone wants to teach again. I had selected my topic….now to explain my reasoning behind it.

I won’t lie, this part was really difficult for me. Now I know why I find Israel and the support behind the country beautiful. It was just trying to put that into words that would make people understand my reasoning that was hard. I also had so much I wanted to point out to them probably because it is something I have a strong opinion about and to be honest, not many really, and I mean REALLY know what the situation in Israel is all about. It finally began to come together for me though and all other points aside (you probably don’t want to hear me go on another Israel rant do you?) here’s why I think Israel is beautiful.

1. Like in my last post, the people of Israel are God’s chosen people. That in itself makes Israel beautiful in my mind. To go even further than that, God chose a young Hebrew woman to be the vessel his son, Jesus Christ, would enter the world through. He didn’t send him into the world through Rome, where Christ could grow up with all the riches the world possessed. No, instead he chose a humble beginning through Israel so that Christ could be more relatable and reachable for all people.

2. Even in these days, I still see the beauty in Israel. If you read the news stories about the conflict in the country between the Israelis and the Palestinians, you know that a lot is going on. Unfortunately, much of what the media has produced has been in defense of the Palestinians and against the Israelis. To be honest, I believe completely that they are wrong in their opinion and that they, along with our President have taken the wrong side in the mess for many reasons. One is that if you read or listen to first hand accounts of what actually happens over there, you realize that the Israelis are acting in defense for the most part. If the United States were to switch places with Israel, no one would be taking the side of Palestine. Two: like in my last post, God is going to take care of his people. Now, they do go through hard times and tragedy does strike, but overall God does watch over them. In my opinion, if you are standing against Israel then you are standing against God as well….and that is NOT somewhere you want to be. Genesis 12:1-3 says that if we bless God’s people, we will be blessed. But if we curse them, he will curse us. I don’t know about you, but I would like to be on the right side of this.

3. Israelis have a great amount of courage to live where they do. Not many people I know would be willing to live in a place where enemies literally surround you and you are the only beacon of freedom around. They are under constant threat by Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and especially President Ahmadinejad in Iran who has literally said he wants to wipe Israel off the map. If I were them, I’d be scared to death, but somehow even in the midst of a growing threat and an almost imminent attack, Israel stands strong. I am sure they waver a bit and wonder why as any human would, but still they stand strong. Israeli soldiers also show courage. There are stories of how at one time Palestinians were using mentally ill people in their terrorist attacks. One such story involved a young man who had some mental handicap who was seized and beaten by Palestinians and then strapped with a bomb and told to walk through a checkpoint with it and detonate it after getting through. The terrorists threatened to shoot him if he disobeyed.  The boy, scared out of his mind, did as he was told, but on his walk toward the checkpoint his jacket flew open and two Israeli soldiers saw the bomb. The yelled at him to put his hands up and then one of them calmly walked over to the boy and disarmed the bomb. After he had disarmed it, they embraced the boy who was now wailing realizing that he was both safe and probably in trouble for what he was going to do. Instead of treating him as hostile, the Israeli soldiers embraced him, calmed him down and then later took him to a hospital. Now if I had been one of those soldiers, I would not have wanted to walk toward that boy when he was strapped with the bomb. Not only did they display great courage in that, they also showed an extreme amount of compassion and love to the boy after they took the bomb off. Talk about good character qualities to exhibit.

4. During Glenn Beck’s Restoring Courage event, he showed a documentary during the second of three main events. This one was called the Courage to Remember which was all about the Holocaust. The documentary follows Rudy Wolff, a Jew who escaped from Germany to Jerusalem before he could be sent to a death camp. Unfortunately, the rest of his family perished in those death camps. At time of the documentary, Rudy was going back to his hometown in Germany for the first time since he fled. It was quite the experience to witness his reaction along the way. I’m not going to lie, I cried…a good amount. The best part about the documentary in my opinion was the part where Rudy seems to be at peace with what happened. He accepts that he cannot change what has already been done and he actually forgives the people who broke up his family and those who just sat by idly watching. He FORGIVES them. I often wonder how hard that must be. To forgive someone who has hurt you more deeply than can be expressed is probably one of the hardest things to do in life, and yet that is what he did. Amazing. This also reminds me of the story of the Fogel family  living in the West Bank whose lives were changed a few weeks ago when two Palestinian men broke into their home and murdered both the mother and father as well as three of the six children ages 11, 4, and 3 months old. Even after finding her family brutally murdered in their home, the 12-year-old daughter, Tamar, had a message for those who would destroy Israel. It wasn’t one of revenge or anger, but courage. Instead of wanting revenge, this sweet girl wants peace. She bravely made a statement not long after the incident saying ” This incident and everything that happens to the Jewish nation will not break us.” She as well as others in the community are looking for ways to bring about peace to the area again.

If you take to heart nothing else, at least store this: The real test of a man’s character, of his beauty, lies not in the how he acts in easy times. It lies in the actions, in the thoughts, and in the heart of each individual during the times where life is hard, where decisions must be made, and where taking a stand for what you believe in will be the difference. Israel has shown its true beauty, its true character. Are you ready to show yours? To stand up for what is right even when all others say you are wrong? Will you go as far to be on the front lines if it comes down to action? Glenn Beck said during his speech at the final Restoring Courage event, “Condemn me. Target me. I will stand with Israel. I will stand with the Jewish people. And if they want to round us up again, I will proudly raise my hand and say ‘Take me first.'” Do you have that kind of courage? Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather acting upon your convictions despite that fear. I will join Beck in his stand. If it comes down to life  and denouncing Israel, denouncing the U.S. and denouncing my faith or standing strong for Israel and my faith, I choose the latter. I will not be a coward when that time comes and if I perish, I perish. But I will not go without a fight. Will you do the same?