Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Reader (04/15/10)
TITLE: Prey for the Words
By Holly Hoell
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That summer everything changed. I swallowed two pain killers and lay back in my bed. My broken ankle was throbbing again. It had been a week since my best friend was removed from her ministries. I talked on the phone with two women from our church who were aware of the situation. They explained to me that it was a decision made by the elders. She disregarded something they asked of her and now this was the result.
I grabbed my laptop and crafted the email to my friend. I hesitated as I typed, "I think you should have listened to the elders". I felt like friends are supposed to be able to speak the truth to each other. I felt strongly that she shouldn’t disregard the authority at the church even though she disagreed with them. I hit the send button and went to sleep. Hours later, I saw an email with her response.
As I opened the email, I was unprepared for its contents. It was like I was approaching a vicious rabid dog. Each word was scathing and harsh, pointed toward me, as if I was the one that had caused her pain. I was crushed, no apology or anything I tried to say or do would fix what had been said. That was the first of many angry emails I would receive throughout the next year.
What I didn’t know was that my identity was wrapped up in that friendship. It was typical for me to be on the phone with her or emailing her several times a day. Since she was head of the women’s ministry, I felt I was learning and growing from her as my mentor. Now, all that had come to a violent end. I was alone. Now, offense was screaming words of hate; demanding recompense.
As time went on, my sadness and loneliness deepened. My angry friend continued to send critical, hurtful emails. Whenever I saw an email with her name on it, fear filled my heart. One night I awoke from a deep sleep. I sat up in bed and saw a vision of a bird of prey grasping a bloody mangled corpse in its talons. I watched as it pecked and ripped at the flesh. I heard "she's picking you apart". These attacks were evil, and I was the prey. Not only was it picking at the flesh, but it was feeding on and enjoying it, using it for nourishment.
I dived into the Word of God. Little by little, I started receiving the truth instead of the lies that had made me feel worthless and abandoned. Now I began feeding my spirit and learning not to walk by my feelings. The Lord put a new wise friend in my life. She showed me how to worship the Lord in my pain. She would often show me scriptures that helped me cope with my emotions. It took several months for me to feel somewhat stable.
Once again, that angry friend tried to start a new attack. I got her to agree to meet me in person between church services. I donned the armor of God and prayed for His help; then faced my Goliath. She scowled as I told her we needed to have a casual friendship for a while. She walked away in a huff. Even her final email, with more angry words was of little consequence. I knew I had emerged victorious in Christ with a freedom that only He can provide.
PSA 119:42 (AMP) Then shall I have an answer for those who taunt and reproach me, for I lean on, rely on, and trust in Your word.
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