Hire
Writers
Editors
Home Tour About Read What's New Help Forums Join
My Account Login
Shop
Save
Support
E
Book
Store
Learn
About
Jesus
  

Win A Publishing Package HERE            

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge

BACK TO
CHALLENGE
MAIN

INSTRUCTIONS

how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level

ENTRIES

submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners



Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.





TRUST JESUS TODAY

TRY THE TEST



Share
how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Inner Person (09/09/10)

TITLE: Abandoned?
By Holly Westefeld
09/16/10


 LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
 SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
 ADD TO MY FAVORITES

I slip in to a rear pew at the last minute, searching the rows ahead for Tina, without success. Ironic that, for the first time in years, church is not merely camouflage for me, and Tina is not by my side.

"Lord the light of Your love is shining" (Once I thought I knew what love was.)
"In the midst of the darkness, shining;" (Yeah, darkness is about all I know now.)
"Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us," (Light--ouch!)
Set us free by the truth You now bring us..." (Set free by truth?)

As I watched Tina glide down the isle on her father's arm, I had been so certain that marriage would vanquish, once and for all, the monster within. And it did--for a while.

"Search me, try me, consume all my darkness." (Is it possible for it to be consumed?)

Everything was wonderful until some time after Dana was born. Tina was busy with her, and I was striving to prove myself at work by putting in extra hours. As I was away more, Tina grew increasingly frustrated at my absence. Without conscious thought, I began coping with the stress the way I had for years. Before long, being in church was most uncomfortable, but I needed the protective coloration to maintain some vestige of respect in Tina's eyes.

My attention shifts back to the screen as the song changes.

"How deep the Father's love for us," (A father's love--not something I know much about... Ugh, Father's Day, on top of everything else.)
"To make a wretch His treasure." (The wretch part is easy... It's the treasure part that I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around.)

We had gone to church when I was young, but we hadn't been for years before my father left. Mom insisted that we return after that, and I was just about to assert my independence from youth group during my senior year, when Tina showed up. In four years I had never cleaned my act up enough to consider myself Christian material, knowing that God was not fooled by my outer propriety. But Tina was worth going through the motions for.

I sit automatically, and pass the offering plate.

In the months after we married, I had started to believe that it wasn't just motions anymore--that I was actually getting a handle on the "walking the talk" thing. But it was just a delusion borne on the euphoria of a new groom.

"Please open your Bibles to Luke chapter fifteen, starting at verse eleven. 'Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons."'"

Yeah, prodigal, that's me...

"Some of you have never done the kinds of things that the younger son did, but that doesn't exempt you from the need for grace. Some of you are all too keenly aware of being coated in the swine's muck." (He got that right.)

"Some of you had great earthly examples of a loving father, but some of you did not grow up with your father in your life, or you could only hope to do enough, some day, to earn his approval, never feeling his love for simply being his son or daughter."

The lump in my throat makes it hard to breathe. Crying is not an option... Did I cry that day when I came in from my first day in eighth grade and found his note? "I have found a woman and her son who are actually worth my time. You will never see me again." I remember lying to Mom and telling her that I tore it up and flushed it, only saying that he said he was leaving and not coming back. Why I kept it and tormented myself with it, I'll never know.

"God will NEVER abandon you, or stop loving you, no matter what you do."

Has Tina abandoned me? She has good cause. By the time I heard her gasp behind me late Friday night, it was too late to close the window on the computer. The look of utter betrayal before she turned without another word and bundled Dana and Eva in to the car sent razor blades through my heart. It was no longer only God who knew.

"Change my heart, O God..." My feet are taking me toward the altar... The dam can no longer hold... The pastor prays with me, then I look up to see Tina, dressed in white, on her father's arm, gliding toward me...


The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.


This article has been read 328 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/16/10
You really showed me the inner person of this MC. My heart Hirt for him. Good job.
Karen Pourbabaee 09/18/10
You did a great job showing the inner turmoil of the MC and his transformation, how abandonment destroys and God's faithfulness when the heart turns...this very relevant story could be a great witness to many in this or similar situations.
Amanda Brogan09/18/10
Excellent story of redemption here! We may think we are beyond saving, but no one is out of reach for God.
Genia Gilbert09/19/10
Touch subject but done with dignity. No one is out of the reach of God's grace or beyond change except those who won't accept it.
Christina Banks 09/22/10
You did a great job with this piece.