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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)

TITLE: In Strictest Confidence
By Shari Armstrong
04/30/09


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As I stretched out, I heard his calm voice say, “As usual, everything you share with me today will be kept in strictest confidence. Nothing will be shared with anyone outside this room.”

Knowing that always helped me to be able to share what was on my heart and get it all out. Today was no exception. “I just feel like an out and out failure lately. Seems like nothing turns out right. Everything is upside down and inside out. Like someone's out to get me, no matter which way I turn.”

“I see. Can you give me an example?”

I let out a slow breath, “Sure. Just yesterday, I was cooking dinner, and I got distracted by the kids and let the pasta boil dry. We ended up having to order take out from the Chinese place.”

“How was that a bad thing? You still had food, didn't you? The kids always enjoy using chop sticks.”

“Well, yes, but I felt stupid for not paying better attention in the kitchen.”

“But, wasn't it more important to be there for your children?”

“Yes, but it still doesn't change the fact that the smoke alarm went off and scared us all half to death.”

He chuckled, “It could have been worse. It'll make a fun family memory down the road. Trust me.”

I tipped my head toward each shoulder, trying to work a kink out. “Yeah, I suppose you're right.”

“What else is bothering you today? Go ahead, let it all out.”

“I need to be a better wife and mother.”

“How so?”

“I've been a bad example to my kids. I'm always telling them to be nicer to each other, and to cut out the yelling, and I turn around and yell at them.”

“But, you always apologize and ask for forgiveness, don't you?”

“Yes, but...”

“But, you are teaching them to forgive each other, too. We discussed it the last time. You've been losing your temper a little less each week. You've shown some real progress.”

“Thanks.”

“You're welcome. Now, about this business of needing to be a better wife? You love your husband, right?”

“With all my heart.”

“So what need for improvement is there?”

“Well, there are times that I have doubts.”

“About his love for you?”

“Oh, no. Doubts about myself and why he loves me. He tells me I'm beautiful and I just don't see what he sees when I look in the mirror. I wonder why he chose me, out of all the other women in the world. Why me? I just feel inferior... I know... before you say it, he sees my inner beauty, but there are times I don't see that either.”

“Instead of worrying about what he sees in you, why don't you just remind yourself what you see in him? Focus on the life you've built together in your home. You're not competing with those other women out there are you?”

“No. I know I'm the only one in his heart, but sometimes I just don't feel worthy of him. I know that I've come a long way in kicking out those old feelings of not being good enough. There are just days when the struggle is harder than others. That's why I'm so glad I can come here.”

“Me, too. I'm glad we have this time where you can share what's in your heart.”

“Thanks. I suppose our time is up for today. It always seems to go by in such a rush.” I sat up in bed, gave my still sleeping husband a kiss on the forehead. “In Jesus' name, Amen.” I got out of bed, ready to start my day.


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This article has been read 636 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lollie Hofer 05/07/09
How in the world did you manage to write this wonderful story so quickly (being the first to submit in Advance)? It takes me days of thinking of an idea before I can even begin writing and then it's not nearly this clever or well-written. Good use of the topic as well. Wow, I'm impressed!
Anita van der Elst05/07/09
Love it. I was wondering if the "therapist" might be Jesus. Nice work.
Glenda Lagerstedt05/07/09
What a great way to show first-hand how simple and real prayer is. Sometimes we make it so difficult ourselves. It's nice when someone shows us the way.
Bryan Ridenour05/10/09
Very good...I was glad to see your very real approach to real prayer. Nicely done!
Eliza Evans 05/13/09
The BEST therapy there is! How wonderfully creative. :)
Great title, too.

Thanks for the encouragement!
Jan Ackerson 06/03/10
Shari, this is great, and I'm going to feature it in the Front Page Showcase for the week of June 21. (Why don't you submit more often?) Look for it on the FaithWriters home page--and congratulations!