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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)

TITLE: The Secret
By Nancy Quinn


Her room was dark. The dinginess of it filled her soul and depressed her. Looking down at her wrists she couldn’t believe she had cut herself again. It didn’t release her pain like she hoped it would. She heard a door slam downstairs and pulled her sleeve back down to cover her arm. Her parents didn’t notice she only wore long sleeves now. They were the perfect family in a small town and she knew she had to play the part. She turned to the stack of books sitting on her bed and slowly opened her Algebra book. It would be a long night.

The days passed by quickly as she struggled in her subjects, trying hard to concentrate. The school was a mass of faces, and she caught glimpses of pain and a spirit of confusion that mirrored her own. So many labels floated around with gossip to match. She wanted better than that but didn’t know how to rise above it.

She almost tripped over the answer late Saturday morning outside the grocery store. Distracted by trying to remember which coat pocket she put the car keys in, and balancing two bags of groceries, she nearly fell over a man lying on the sidewalk outside the store. She remembered her first aid training through the American Red Cross a lifetime ago and put the bags down. It was almost like seeing someone outside herself, barking orders to the closest person to call 911; she automatically recalled what she needed to do but had no idea where the authority coming from.

The lights and siren of the ambulance faded as she sat down exhausted on the store’s bench. Everyone was reaching to shake her hand and telling her she saved a man’s life that day. She slowly smiled as she picked up her forgotten bags of groceries and vaguely wondered if the eggs got broken.

Several times that evening she glanced at the phone, curiosity building up in her, but she was hesitant. Finally, she picked the phone up and dialed the hospital. A friendly voice answered and transferred her to the man’s hospital room. A woman answered the phone and excitedly told her that her husband would be fine thanks to her heroic efforts to save him. The women promised to visit her soon.

A week went by and she gradually fell back into her routine, but somehow felt lighter. Reaching out to someone else had somehow freed her tortured soul. A knock on the door interrupted her thoughts and she answered the door to find the couple standing on her porch with a huge bouquet of pink carnations. The lady hugged her and thanked her again. She said she hoped she planned on going into the medical field when she graduated because she was a natural at it. Before they left, the wife handed her a card and gave her one last hug.

She slowly walked to the kitchen holding the flowers and card with a glimmer of hope starting to shine in her soul. With the flowers overflowing on the counter in the little vase she found, she opened the card and read the kind words. She knew her future now. She was determined to make an appointment with her counselor the next day. She would show him her arms and ask for help. She didn’t want to go back to that small place she lived in before and somehow knew she couldn’t do this alone. She didn’t hear the door open and was surprised to see her mom standing in the kitchen doorway. She slowly raised her sleeve and released the horrible secret. She could be healed now.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Today’s NIV)

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This article has been read 787 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Carol Shaffron01/24/08
Wow, we really need to get our heads out of the sand! Not every young person has that kind of cathartic experience. How many are out there dying while we play church and entertain ourselves with blinders on to the hurting world around us!
Yvonne Blake 01/25/08
So sad...
I had a little trouble switching my point of view. I like how she found the answer to her problems.
good job...keep writing.
Hanne Moon 01/28/08
Good job - I could feel your MC's despondency, and I liked the conclusion. Keep writing!!