TITLE: Breaking Through
By Carla Feagans
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My deadline is only a couple of days away, so if you could respond by 12/13/05, that would be great, but feedback after that is also very appreciated.
I don't really like my title, but wasn't sure what to call it. I also considered Having it Out with God or Wrestling with God or something like that, but I'm not thrilled with those either.
Please let me know if this illustrates freedom of speech with God to you, and also any feedback on beginning, ending (not to mention middle), readability, flow, believability, etc., etc., would be much appreciated.
Linda slammed on her brakes as the car in front of her braked without warning. She barely swerved out of the way just in time. Why can’t people just drive, I really don’t need this today, Linda thought. The sheets of rain pounding her windshield mirrored the pounding in her head.
I need to pray about this, Linda heard inside her head. No, she shook her head, tears rolling down her already wet cheeks. I’ve prayed enough, God’s just not going to answer me on this one. I don’t know what else I could even say, God knows that my heart is broken, and He doesn’t seem to care.
I’ll call Jill, she’ll know how to make me feel better, Linda thought. She quickly dialed Jill’s number, her fingers knowing the keys so well she didn’t even need to glance away from the road.
Ring…. Please God, let her answer, I need her today.
Ring… Really, please, she has to be there.
Ring….Jill, pick up… you’re always there when I need you.
As the voicemail message played in her ear, Linda’s heart sank. A sob swelled in her throat, but she swallowed it back down. No, I’m not going to lose it again, I’ll just call someone else, she thought. But who? Therese’s sweet face floated into her mind. Of course, her prayer partner this month. Linda didn’t know Therese that well but she knew she was a prayer warrior if there ever was one.
I’ll just have to take a chance at being vulnerable with her, I need her prayers today, Linda thought. She dialed Therese’s number with shaking fingers. Lord, Therese can pray for me, please let her pick up, she thought as she heard the first ring.
When Therese’s voicemail message began, Linda felt desperation crowding in on her again. No, that’s not fair, God! she thought. Immediately she felt bad, she knew she shouldn’t think bad things. God is good, she reminded herself. But he’s not good to me, a small voice answered.
Linda groped for her address book on the passenger seat, trying to think of someone else she could call. She even broke down and tried her mom’s number. No one was home. The rain hammering her windshield made it hard for her to distinguish between the rain and her tears. She pulled over to the side of the road and crumpled over the steering wheel. Loud, noisy sobs wracked her body. A deep, guttural moan escaped from her lips.
Suddenly, Linda was gripped with anger. “Fine, God, have it your way,” she said out loud. Oh great, now I’m reduced to being a crazy person who talks to herself, she thought. “It’s bad enough you won’t answer me, the least you could do was give me someone to talk to when I need them most.” Instead of her usual guilt when her thoughts turned to anger with God, this time she felt her rage consuming her.
“Where are you?” she yelled. “Why don’t you answer me? I pray and pray and you just ignore me. Don’t you care any more? Don’t I matter to you? How could you have let this happen? How could you do this to me? Please, please, Lord, don’t turn your back on me now. I need you, I can’t do this, I can’t go on.”
Linda buried her face in her hands, her body rocking back and forth involuntarily. “God!” she screamed, the sound muffled by her palms. She lifted her head to breathe. “Don’t do this. Don’t let my life unravel like this. Help me!! Now, Lord, today, not tonight, not tomorrow, now. This minute. I… can’t… go… on,” she ground out through clenched teeth. Her desperation felt frenzied and out of control.
She wasn’t sure how long she sat there on the side of the road, waves of grief and tears surging from her body. Finally spent, she dropped her head on the back of the seat and closed her eyes. Her eyes were puffy and swollen, her breaths ragged and her head so full and clogged she felt as if she might suffocate. As she listened to the sounds of her own breathing, and briefly wondered if she had any tissues in her purse, she realized her insides were no longer churning. Her heart felt calm, peaceful, for the first time in as long as she could remember since all of this started. Nothing had changed, nothing was better or different, but finally, Linda felt peace.
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