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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)

TITLE: I'm So Confused
By CJ Raney


I was lying on the couch trying to ignore the laughter coming from the family room. What was so special about a tree anyway? I lived for 13 years without one. The laughter and excitement were so loud, I couldn’t tune it out. All this is stupid, putting lights on a tree and hanging little decorations on it.

Getting up from the couch, I went in my bedroom, shut the door and climbed into my twin bed cuddling up with my favorite blanket. I reached into the top drawer of my night stand and grabbed my green pen and my new best friend these days, my diary.

Dear Diary,

I can’t believe all that is going on. My life has turned upside down since Daddy left a year ago. I miss him a lot. I still can’t believe he left. I also really miss my church family. But, you’ve heard enough about that over the past year. He isn’t coming back and Mom isn’t taking us to that church anymore. Anyway, now after 13 years of my life being one way, it’s changed. I don’t understand all the excitement over a tree. I guess I should be thrilled that I’ll be able to celebrate Christmas for the first time. All it does is confuse me though. When all my friends, from school, were getting their trees and I asked about getting one, I was always told that it was wrong. So now that I am older, and don’t really care, well, I do care. It stinks! I grew up missing out and feeling like an outcast with my friends. Now, Rachel and Kevin are going to enjoy Christmas. I should be thrilled for my sister and brother. They won’t have to go through the same things I did. But, if it was so wrong before, why is it okay now? It just hurts! I'm so confused! Thanks for listening, again.”

Placing the diary on my night stand, I fell asleep on my tear-stained pillow. The next morning, I woke barely able to open my swollen eyes. As I walked into the living room, I saw a magnificent tree with so many bright lights and fancy decorations. How could something this beautiful be wrong? I just didn’t understand. My mom came into the room and placed her arm around my shoulders.

“Good morning, Cheryl, what do you think? Sure wish you had joined us.”

“I just couldn’t, Mom.”

“I thought you would’ve been excited to have a Christmas tree for the first time.”

“I’m confused. How could it suddenly be all right?”

As we sat on the couch beside the Christmas tree, my mom tried to explain.

“Well, I’ve been doing some soul-searching since your father left. I believe that I need to get back to the faith I had growing up. Trusting in Jesus is the only way, I remember that now. I’m sorry that the religious decisions your father and I made have affected you so negatively. I know you’ve been having a hard time lately.” As tears streamed down her face, she hugged me tightly.

“Just be patient with me, Mom. I’ll try to be more open to these new changes. The tree sure is pretty. I’m glad we have it.”

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…..” 1Corinthians 14:33 (KJV)
We must always look to God when we get confused.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joy Faire Stewart10/16/08
My heart ached for Cheryl trying to deal with the changes in her life, very difficult and confusing in a child's life. So, happy the story ends on a positive new beginning with Christ as the center. And the scripture reference is perfect. Excellent job!
Hannah Hunter10/17/08
You did a good job showing a child's confusion when the people they look to for truth change their beliefs.