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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Conversation (face to face) (10/07/10)

TITLE: Let's Talk
By Jan Christiansen


The day had started off well enough, except for the fact that I had to leave early and missed my quiet time with God. I made a mental note to spend time in the Word and prayer later in the day.

It was a typical Monday at work. I suspect there are pesky demons who slither into office buildings on the weekend to hide important documents and put hexes on computers and various other office machines. By 10:15 this morning Mr. Richardson was demanding the marketing report, which my computer refused to print. The coffee machine had dispensed a cup of coffee – minus the cup. Even Sharla, who worked at the next desk and was usually in a great mood was being a pain.

My daughter's school called at 2:00 o'clock.

“Mrs. Baker, your daughter has skipped her last two classes and was found smoking in the restroom. She's been suspended, please come right away to pick her up.”

That went over big with Richardson.

“Lydia, I can't have a marketing director who isn't committed to her job.”

Being a single mom sucks!

The drive home with a sulking teenager was the highlight of my day...at least it was quiet.

She stomped off to her room and slammed the door to let me know just how angry she was. Believe me, I felt like slamming a few doors myself. Instead, I walked to my room and plopped into the chair where I usually spend the mornings with God.

“Where are you?” I whispered.

I swallowed hard at the lump in my throat, then closed my eyes and allowed my mind to review all the things that were wrong with my life. It seemed that struggle filled every nook and cranny of my existence. The tears came, unbidden and my spirit began a slow descent.

I was all too familiar with depression. It had become a close companion over the last couple of years since my divorce, but several weeks ago, the ladies in my small group had prayed for me and I had actually felt it lift. Each day that followed was a little brighter than the last and I had thought that maybe...perhaps, the depression was gone for good.

Now, I felt it creeping it's way back into my heart.

I reached for my Bible and opened it, praying that I would find something to hold onto, something to keep me from slipping back into the darkness.

I let my Bible fall open and began to read Psalms 43. When I reached the 5th verse, my heart did a little flip-flop.

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

I read it several times. The Psalmist was talking to himself!

I got up and marched myself into the bathroom, flipped on the light and had a little face-to-face conversation with the gal in the mirror.

“Now, you look here, Lydia Baker – I will not tolerate this moping around. God is still on the throne and He is still in control. You are not walking through this world alone. You are walking hand-in-hand with your Savior, Jesus Christ and there is nothing in this life that He can not see you through. You are blessed beyond measure and have much to rejoice about, so shake this off and begin to praise God.”

And I did...right there in the bathroom, staring myself in the eye, I raised my hands and began to praise God for all the good things in my life. I sang, I prayed, I proclaimed my love for the One who gives me every reason to hope.

I only stopped when I saw my daughter standing in the doorway.

“Have you lost your mind?” she asked.

I slipped my arm through hers and smiled.

“Nope! I just renewed it.” I said. “Let's talk.”

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This article has been read 717 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lollie Hofer10/21/10
Excellent story for this week's topic. Great characterization of your mc. I could feel her sinking into despair. I could visualize her in the bathroom and all that took place there. Great ending as well.
Jeanne E Webster 10/21/10
I loved this! YES!!! Very good choice of action: Contact-Bible-Psalms-light bulb comes on...praise, lots of praise. Yes. I have never been able to throw a pity party while I'm praising the Lord. Well written. A big thumbs up. Blessings :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/21/10
This was a delightful story. I liked how you covered many aspects of conversation. Nice job and a great lesson.
Genia Gilbert10/25/10
This is delightful, has humor, honesty, and real substance. Good writing.
Jan Ackerson 10/26/10
The first half of this was particularly engaging, with a great voice.

A tiny nitpick: it's (with the apostrophe) always means 'it is' or 'it has'. You wanted the possessive 'its', with no apostrophe (like 'his' and hers').

Your characterization of both people--especially the mother--is quite strong. Good job.
Sarah Heywood10/27/10
This was an encouraging piece and a reminder to me, personally, that despair is a choice. Thanks for writing it!
Lollie Hofer10/27/10
I've already left a comment but want to add another...if the word you're talking about is "sucks" I think you're okay. My daughter is a single mother of two; and I'm here to tell you that there are some days when that word probably best describes her overwhelmed emotions.
Mona Purvis10/27/10
Very current, in the zone writing style. You do it well. Interesting. Good entry.