Hi welcome to FW! I'm so glad that God directed you here. As for your question about the weekly challenge, I'm assuming the story you entered was for the topic rest. The deadline for that topic is Thursday at 11 am Eastern time. At that time the winners for measure will be announced as well as the new topic. Then the rest stories will be available for reading and leaving comments. The authors will remain anonymous until the judges are all done. Then Deb will give the all clear for brick-throwing, which is thread in the forums that allows people to leave links to their stories. This will allow more people to find your story and leave feedback. You in turn are asked to leave feedback for others.
I hope that answered your question. You don't get an email saying your story has been accepted but instead after you hit the submit button, it should take you to a page that says your article has been submitted. If you don't remember seeing that page, you can send a PM to Deb Porter and ask her if she received it. The challenge is one of the most popular spots here for sure. If you can afford the few dollars a month it is so totally worth it.
So Silver members can enter the challenge four times a year. They also can enter the blogging contest. This month it is about WellSpring Missions. You don't receive the writing job if you're a silver member but instead the Silver member receives a year long Gold membership.
You can also enter your stories under the general submissions. You may want to leave a link here or in the Open Forum so people can find the stories easily.
You also can find a wealth of info on the boards. It's also a great way to make friends. I've become close to people from all over the world.
The Critique Circle is a great place for paid members to receive a detailed critique on their work. Just recently, they have allowed members to pay so much a page for detailed feedback. This is for silver members or members who want a critique but don't have the time to critique someone else's work. That's how the circle works. Each time you leave feedback, you receive a credit to allow you to post a piece and to get a constructive critique.
I hope I gave you some places to start. The site is huge and there are so many wonderful things here. You may want to check out the FAQ thread as that may answer many of your questions.
Have fun exploring, jump into conversations and don't be afraid to ask any questions.