Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hot and Cold (04/09/09)
TITLE: Abby Gets off the Rollercoaster
By Judy Mathis
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Abby, whose brown eyes could reflect a smile, sense of humor and a spark for life could transform into someone with sadness overcoming her entire face, helplessness driving her to long naps, tears and an anger flowing from somewhere within. Her life fluctuated between hot and cold. Sometimes she could be hot and cold in the same day or in the same moment. Abby would have an idea. It would be like a lighting match. She would ignite and be off running onto whatever promising path. Subsequently the flame would go out and she would freeze. Seemingly in mid air of her journey she would lose whatever lit her fire and she would fall on a cold path of hopelessness, helplessness and anger.
Katie had a habit of shaking her head and showing no interest in her friend’s pain. Katie frequently made fun of Abby’s hot and cold approach to life. But there was something about Abby. Katie couldn’t do without her friendship even though, as she constantly reminded herself, her success in life put her way ahead of Abby.
Katie was Abby’s only friend. Abby was willing to endure her belittling just to have a friend. Abby believed Katie when she said she was going nowhere and probably never would.
Abby still lived with her parents while Katie became a teacher, had a new apartment and could afford to live by herself. Eventually phone calls became fewer and the friendship faded. Katie stepped out of Abby’s life. This further confirmed to Abby that she was a loser. Abby continued going nowhere on a rollercoaster, hot and cold path. After losing her only friend, nothing seemed to matter.
Until one day…
Hearing the bells of the St. Paul Lutheran church across the street on a Sunday morning, Abby recalled that she hadn’t attended church, and hadn’t even prayed since her parents had moved across town after her high school graduation. She didn’t even know where her Bible was. Being awakened by the bells was nothing new but on this day they seemed to be insisting that she shake off her sleepy thoughts, get dressed, and attend services.
She slid into the pew and listened intently to the sermon. But it was the words of a song that grabbed her attention, “I am all you need, I am with you. I will direct your steps. Just trust me.” She kept repeating the words over and over in her head as she walked from the church to her parent’s front porch. Sitting on the swing, thoughts about her life, hopelessly filled with her need and flawed attempts to find a purpose for living, took over her mind. It all flowed like a movie and was over in seconds. She became strangely peaceful as three words came onto her lips “Please forgive me!” Almost immediately she felt her body go warm as she realized she was hearing back, “I forgive you.”
Abby stood up, stretched and started to walk into her parent’s house when she saw Katie walking out of the church with a couple of friends. Abby thought about calling to her but from somewhere inside hurt distracted her from acting on her thoughts. With a smile and wiping away tears, she walked inside and upstairs to her room feeling like a new person. For the first time she felt the power to rid her life of all the hot and cold. She was determined, focused and ready to learn to trust God and find the path that He had planned for her.
Abby flopped onto her bed, closed her eyes, caught her breath and whispered, “I forgive you, Katie, my hot and cold friend.”
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