Out of the Wilderness: My Journey to The Land Called Heaven Book 1
My dearest friends and family, I am very excited to share with you my third book, installment at a time, in hope that you enjoy this dear story in a circle of family or friends. This story is excellent for almost anyone at any age. During these difficult times, I find comfort in routine and tradition. Most Sundays, my family enjoys reading out loud as we come together after church. Perhaps this story will give you a reason to do so as well! I hope to have an installment ready for each coming Sunday! If you cannot wait to find out what happens next, you can quickly grab a copy here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1718087292/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3.
About a year or so ago, I have submitted a logline for this book and it won a logline of the month title. Perhaps one day, this story will be part of a movie series as I have started working on the sequel!
Here is the logline:
Out of the Wilderness is a Christian fantasy in which
Hopeless is renamed Hopeful during a spiritual journey of tests and adventures,
where she overcomes monsters and
sinister beings while leading her team to victory and her own self-discovery of
who she truly is in Christ Jesus; a Queen with royal blood.
I pray that this adventure blesses you and inspires you to be all who God created you to be!
Out of the Wilderness
My Journey to the Land Called Heaven
By Olga Pyshnyak-Lawrence
Text Copyright © 2018 Olga
All Rights Reserved
Published by P-L Publishing
To my dearest and
nearest, especially my sweet little warriors,
Maya and Michael.
May you always be victorious.
I struggled to see through the brush. It was dark and
lonely. I could barely hear anything around me, just my own scared breath. I
thought I saw shadows surround me, but I couldn’t be sure. I’ve been stuck here
for so long that I couldn’t trust my own judgment anymore, so used to being
lonely and terrified.
That’s when I saw the Light.
It was lovely. Airy, refreshing… with a shimmering breeze. As
I decided to head into the direction of the Light, I turned around to look for
my friends in the darkness, but they couldn’t be found. There was no one around
me to whom I could’ve extended the invitation to come along.
I was scared to follow my curiosity and this deep longing to
investigate, but I knew I must. I felt
the call so deeply, so genuinely. My bones ached to move along, to get out from
that defensive, crouching position.
I crawled towards it. It was more beautiful than anything
I’ve ever seen.
The closer I got, the warmer it felt. It was a gentle
warmth… calming and soothing to my distressed nervous system. As I inched
myself towards that Light, I felt calmer and more emboldened. With each
movement closer, I started to see what surrounded me. It’s been months since
I’ve seen something. I’ve become adjusted with living in the darkness. I looked
at my clothes and was shocked to find how dirty I’ve become. Layers of mud covered my body. In places
where I thought I had clothing, I had none. It was just a false sense of
security created by the dry mud.
I was embarrassed at what I’ve become. Shame overcame me,
and I wanted to hide and retreat into the shadows. I didn’t want anyone to see
me like this.
The Light seemed to get even brighter during that second of
contemplation, and emboldened and strengthened, I crawled even closer.
It was strange… the closer I got near to the Light, the more
I started to feel. Numbness and fear, shame and loneliness were overcome by an
onslaught of other emotions. I started to feel pain, hurt, abandonment. Waves
of negative energy went through me and I started to cry.
I don’t know how long I cried but when I finally stopped and
raised my eyes… the Light was no longer there. It left me with a trail of shimmer
that pulsated with a live energy. The colors were a gentle pastel.
What was that Light and why did I see it?
Why did it leave that trail for me?
Should I follow it?
I’ve lived in the darkness and seen the shadows,but learned
to be comfortable and to feel safe in my corner.
What is this new experience?
I had to go forward to see where the trail led.
I’ve left my village to find Truth and Wisdom but got stuck
in the Woods of Shadows. Perhaps this was my time to move forward. Perhaps my
prayers were heard after all.
I stood up from my crouching position, gingerly testing out
my limbs. An influx of strength flew swiftly through my veins as I stepped onto
the lit path.
Walking for what seemed like ages, I almost gave up hoping to
encounter something extraordinary, until I came up to a big, wide tree. Its
limbs were sprawling across the forest for as far as I could see. All that was lit up was this tree.
What is the meaning of this tree?
Underneath it, I saw purple and fuchsia flowers and
butterflies. Not feeling threatened, I moved to sit under its cover. Its trunk
was as wide as a room. I felt grounded sitting against this tree.
Butterflies flitted around me and I leaned down to smell a
purple flower. As I did so, I was startled by a slight noise to my right. I was about to crouch down to make myself as
small as I could be, hoping to seem invisible, as I encountered myself staring
into the face of a little girl. She was peeking out from one side of the tree,
hesitant, but with very eager eyes.
The little girl was about five years old and of slight
stature, with blond, flowing hair and blue intelligent eyes. Her dress was all white lace with a
pearlescent ribbon around her tiny waist.
I called out to her softly, “Little girl, what is your
She smiled and replied, “Joy.”
“Joy,” I repeated. “What a lovely name for such a lovely
little girl. What are you doing here?”
“I live here.” And she flitted away behind the grand tree.
I ran circles around the tree but couldn’t see her. She
Seeing no reason to move forward, I decided to rest
underneath the lush foliage.
I fell into a restless sleep.
I dreamt of dark monsters and translucent shadows chasing
me… as I ran towards the Light. They were at my heels, nipping at my back,
whispering loudly all around me, but I kept pressing forward, racing against
all odds, praying to reach the Light. I knew that the Light held the answers
and my safety would be found at its feet. I became fully aware, in my broken
and raw state, that the only sure future would be found there. In my dream I
decided that I would rather die than give up on reaching my destination. The
familiar darkness had lost its hold on me. I no longer felt chained to remain
in the shadows.
I woke up suddenly at someone’s tapping of my face. Poking,
really. Jumping to my feet, I almost knocked out the purple cup from the little
girl’s hands. She looked at me, amused, but not surprised at my reaction.
“Joy! You’re back!”
“Drink this,” she said, “you will feel better.”
I dropped down to the ground as the exhaustion overtook me.
My limbs felt like lead. Very heavy, cumbersome… misused.
I took the offered purple cup and swallowed that first taste
of liquid gold. It tasted like honey and wine and bread and all the simple but
good flavors that I’ve acquired over my lifetime. This drink was perfect for
me. I eagerly drained the cup of its contents.
An injection of strength and happiness overcame me, and I
felt inspired to dance and shout but as of yet, I was still very locked up
within myself and felt embarrassed to give freedom to these strange desires.
“What is this drink?” I asked her.
“Life,” she said and smiled, collected the cup and prepared
to walk away.
I grabbed her hand to stop her and pressed her to stay with
me, but she escaped my grasp and with elusive ease flitted away. I walked
around that tree but couldn’t find her.
I called out her name
over and over but finally had to give up.
The tree provided welcome shade and protection from the
elements. I could stay there a bit longer, I thought. Even though the branches
extended as far as I could see, it wasn’t dark. I could see far out.
Soon, I was brave enough to explore the perimeter of this
fantastic tree. How far did it extend? I made a few steps and suddenly, I found
myself all alone, in the dark woods… back in that same oppressive environment
that I came from. Fear overcame me. I wanted to scream in frustration! What or
who was playing with me? I thought that this was a dirty trick… to give me
hope… but leave me hopeless.
I stood there motionless for a few minutes. My heart was
It was then that I heard a coded message… a whisper, really…
A gentle, kind whisper. “Take my instruction and not silver, and knowledge
rather than choice gold! For wisdom is better than pearls, and all the things
that may be desired are not to be compared to it” (Proverbs 8:10-11).
I looked around to see where the message was coming from and
at that moment I saw the path again… that gently lit up, pulsating path. I had
no choice but to follow, as to remain where I stood I found to be the ultimate
I walked quietly, my mind only focused on that message. I
tried to understand where it came from and who was the source.
I realized I had much to find out and that I knew nothing at
all. I felt foolish because it was clear to me that what I held as truth
before… or as the rule of life and nature, was meaningless within the context
of my current experience.
I needed to know more. I must know more!
And so, I walked on until we came to a huge rock. It was
then that the path paused.
I looked at the boulder in front of me. So big, so dark and
dangerous. There were no footholds and nothing that could help me with this
task. Apparently, I had to get over this rock. I thought that maybe I could
walk around it but as soon as I moved to pursue that option, both sides of the
rock were illuminated, and huge, deep gashes in the land were revealed. To
follow this choice would be suicide. To return where I came from was akin to
death to me as well. I had to find a way to get over the rock.
I carefully whispered, “Anyone there to help me?”
I then spoke up more loudly, “Anyone there to help me?”
But no reply was there to break the silence after my words.
I shouted more desperately, over and over, convinced that
someone would hear me, that I couldn’t be left here standing. What’s the point?
What test is this?
At the point of desperation, when my voice was about to fail
me, I saw a rope ladder being dropped down. It didn’t reach all the way to the
bottom. It was a rough rope, made of some type of roughhewn canvass and grass.
I tried to reach the bottom of it, but I ended up being too short for this
endeavor. What a joke, I thought. Pity settled into my core. Some kind of help!
I tried to jump up but to no avail. I couldn’t grab hold of the ladder.
I started to weep and feel sorry for myself, sure that I was
left all alone to my own failed devices.
“Why are you weeping, Hopeless?” I heard someone ask me. How
did he know my name?
I stammered out that I was all alone and couldn’t get over
this rock, which I must do as whoever brought me here has left me here.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t get here quickly enough, but I am an
old man and I no longer have the speed and strength of my youth,” said the man.
“I was sent here to help you. Let me climb down and you grab
my hand when I reach down.”
He carefully climbed down, holding tightly to the rope
ladder, and reached out his old hand. “Jump up,” he said.
“You will not be able to hold me,” I angrily replied. “You
are an old man and you have lost your strength. How can you help me?”
“Have a little faith,” he said. “Jump up and grab my hand. I
will catch you.”
I laughed a nervous laugh and then, I jumped! He grabbed me
first, before I had the chance to even clasp a finger over his hand. In
disbelief, I almost let go but he held me tightly and pulled me up.
“Follow me,” he said as he climbed up the ladder and over
the massive rock.
“Let me bring you to my village where you can rest, and I
will be able to shed some light onto your situation. You have a long journey
ahead of you and there is much to be done.”
Little boys and girls ran around the campground with
untainted joy and laughter. They caroused and spilled out into the spaces of
the village. There were a lot of children with every shape, shade and
temperament imaginable. Most of them were up to the age of ten. They seemed
very happy to be just that - children.
“Hopeless, please come back inside the tent as we have much
“For starters,” I asked, “why are all of you people living
“We intended to stay here temporarily, make camp, but we
ended up living here for a very long time. The people had forgotten their
mission and are content to just stay where they are. There is enough light
around the village and the shadows don’t come frequently inside. Fear of moving
forward and being uncomfortable has prevented most of the group from venturing
onwards,” replied the old man.
“Where were you headed?”
“To the land of the promise. A land, that if reached, makes
all the troubles of life seem absolutely small and inconsequential. Where fear
is no longer the answer to every question. Where people are filled with joy and
no good thing is withheld from them.”
“I want to go to that land!” I shouted out.
“I must prepare you to go on your way, but it is not yet
time for you to move on. You need to learn a thing or two.” He smiled at my
“Tell me more about this great place,” I begged him, but he
kindly pulled me up to my feet and beckoned me to follow him outside.
It was getting dark and the night was coming quickly. The
man, whose name was the Prophet, gathered the little children and sat them down
in the center of the campground. I stood to the side and watched the
The Prophet let them settle in and then with a flick of his
wrist he hushed all the chatter.
“Little children, it is time to remember and reflect, time
to store away this sacred knowledge that one day you will have the choice to
use. Let us start by remembering the good things that have happened to us today
or things we’ve done that made someone’s life even a little bit better. Does
anyone want to share?”
A boy of about six years of age stood up proudly and shouted
out with glee, “I refrained from pulling on my sister’s pigtails!” All the children laughed, and the wise old
After the boy sat down, a little girl of about seven jumped
up to her feet and with gentle grace twirled three times. “I heard the birds
sing this morning and I ran outside and I twirled and twirled until I could
twirl no more and I fell down!”
A boy of about eight was poked in the arm by his younger
sister. “Get up and tell them what you did,” she lisped through a quirky grin
that was missing a few of its occupants.
The boy was shy, and after a few pokes he was noticed by the
“Helper, what is it that your sister so desperately wants
you to share with us?”
Helper stood up carefully and I noticed that one of his legs
was a bit shorter than the other. He was missing his shoes as well.
“I saw a foreign little girl walk through our campsite. She
seemed very tired and had no shoes. She stumbled over a ditch and fell down
into the dust. I walked over there as quickly as I could and pulled her up. I
asked her to stay for dinner, but she said she couldn’t stay long in this place
and begged me to release her. I gave her my shoes, although they were very big
for her, but at least they would protect her from the thorns in the darkness of
He sat down, embarrassed to be the focus of attention.
“What did she look like?” I asked.
He described the little girl that I’ve met earlier on my
“That’s Joy!” I screamed out and jumped up to my feet.
“Where did she go?”
He pointed to the north side of the camp. “That way. She
went that way.”
I wanted to run, to follow her. What was she doing here?
The old man grabbed me to stop me, but I didn’t care. I ran
out to the edge of the camp, and past the lit-up section around it. I ventured
into the dark territory, calling out her name, but she wasn’t there or just choosing
not to reply.
Defeated, I came back to the old man’s side and sat down
next to him, plucking at the dry grass.
“What is it, my child?” he asked. “Why do you look defeated?
Do you not know that Joy was sent here to check up on you? You are not ready to
follow her. Tomorrow, we will start preparing you.”
I woke up, threw the patchwork blanket off me and sat up
like an eager soldier, ready for anything and everything. I needed answers and
I was excited for any action. The old man was still sleeping, so I deliberated
waking him then and there, but respect prevailed. I rose up from the bed,
gingerly, and walked out through the tent door. Fresh air and the quiet’s
solitude met me. It looked like I was the only one awake at this hour, so I
decided to explore the area further.
I walked by what looked like a farm. It certainly seemed to
have barns set up and enclosures, which looked funny right next to a tent. Why
did they not build houses, I thought? Their barns sure looked as if they were created
for permanent use. Perhaps, deep in their subconscious, they still believed
they were going to move on?
But why did they stop here? Why did they forget about their
mission? I still had so many major questions unanswered.
The animals in the enclosures were the usual types: cows,
pigs, chickens, horses, etc. I walked on, some tents were unkept, others were
very well looked after. They even had gardens around some of these places! How
funny it looked to me!
Thirst came upon me out of the blue and I looked to see if I
could find a source of water. I saw a spigot atop a metal pipe, at the dead end
of a path. It seemed to be what I was looking for.
I followed that path and was about to drink from that source
when little Helper stopped me mid-action.
“Hopeless, I don’t think you should drink from there,” said
Helper. “If you do, you may, too, forget about your mission and decide to stay
“How do you know this?” I stopped, terrified of what I was
about to do.
“The Prophet has been training me for some time now. They
didn’t listen, but I trust the man. From a very early age he keeps telling the
children about this source. Some listen, some don’t. Their parents sway their
beliefs. I just felt it was right for me to abstain and to keep myself pure. I
want to finish the mission my parents never completed, as well as their parents
“But what water was I drinking up to this point?” I asked,
“Come, let me show you.”
Helper took me to the right side of the camp. There was a
big tree standing there, ancient and powerful. Its branches reached out far and
wide. There was a tap placed into the trunk from which the syrup of the tree
poured out. Cups were placed underneath.
He handed me a cup and we both drank. The drink was so
refreshing and light, crisp and rejuvenating! It tasted just like the liquid
that Joy made me drink.
“Who set up this tap and how did they know where to do it?”
“The Prophet tells me that he brought this tree along with
him on the people’s journey but before he had the time to plant the sapling,
the people didn’t want to wait, so they drank from the faucet that was already
there. He planted the tree, hoping that the children would be able to make a
different choice. This water is untainted and pure. The more you drink of it,
the stronger and wiser you become. I come here and collect the liquid each day,
preferring to drink it fresh. You know, the Prophet could’ve left this place a
long time ago, but he didn’t. He believes it’s his call to stay and cultivate
the children and remind them of their purpose and source. He will stay here
until he dies. I hope that one day I will be the one to bring his bones to the
promise land. He keeps telling me that this is a noble thought and all, but
that the bones will be of no use in that place. No dead thing crosses the
I wanted him to tell me more about this magical place but
then we were interrupted by a young woman who shouted out, “Helper, I need you
“Sorry, that’s my mother.” He shrugged, and without looking
back, ran towards her.
I don’t know how long I was out exploring but I decided it
would be prudent of me to go back and catch up with the old man. I didn’t want
him to think that I wasn’t taking all of this seriously.
I hoped that I could slide back into the tent without him noticing my absence, but this was not to be. He was awake, washed up, and cooking breakfast on the fire pit outside his tent.
“Eat up. You will be needing something substantial today as we will not only be working on your mental capacities but also your physical ability to withstand hardship. You will need to be trained in the art of the race.”
Chapter 3 will be shared next week! Come back to see what happens next:)