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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)

TITLE: Her Retreat
By Lauren Bombardier
08/07/05


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Sara climbed out of the camp's van and stretched. Spending four hours crammed in the van with young campers and their gear was not her idea of a fun car trip. Oh, but the destination was worth it! She smiled to see the ocean in the distance, picked up her gear and headed down to the beach where there was already a huge bonfire going.

After supper and an evening service, Sara lay in the tent she shared with four of the young campers and listened to the waves beating on the shore. She couldn't think of a better place to have a campout. She was also hoping that she could spend some quality time with her Lord. Oh, Father! she prayed. I just can't get enough of the magnificence You have created here. These little glimpses of heaven make me hunger for my home. She prayed for each of the campers she was in charge of and then went to sleep.

She wasn't the only one to get up with the sun, but she decided to go for a walk before breakfast. She grabbed her Bible and a jacket, told another camp counselor where she was going, and took off. After about twenty minutes she came to a little cove with a single flat-topped rock. What a perfect place for her quiet time! She climbed on top of the rock and devoted herself to her Lord.

When Sara returned, breakfast was starting and the camp director was going over the day's schedule. The theme for that day was simple retreat. The goal was to retreat from the troubles of the world and to retreat to God for peace, comfort, strength, instruction, wisdom, and healing.

Throughout the day, several young campers sought her out for counsel and prayer. Sara was quite popular with the campers and counselors because they could see that her faith was genuine and she lived her relationship with God. She was a young woman after God's own heart.

That evening, during personal devotions, Sara went back to her cove. It had been a good day but she was tired. It was nice to get away by herself for a few minutes. She waded in the sea as she worshipped her Lord with praise and thanksgiving. She was standing with her arms raised and her eyes closed, and her voice was raised in song when a huge wave crashed over her head. Before she knew what had happened, she was swept out to sea.

She struggled to keep her head above water. The shore was farther than she had thought it would be. With a prayer to her Lord to keep her safe, she started to swim to shore. Halfway there, another wave rolled over her, forcing her under the water. She bobbed back up and started to swim again. Wave after wave kept forcing her under water until she was too tired to go on.

The thought passed through her mind that she might not make it back to shore. She had hears that if you go under three times, you would not come back up the fourth time. She knew it was just superstition. Still, she pled with her Lord to save her. Another wave hit her and she was too weak to swim to the top. Each prayer she made was more desperate than the last. She realized she was sinking. Suddenly, she felt a great sense of peace. She was losing consciousness and her last thought was that her Lord was going to save her.

*****


She opened her eyes. What was that light? It was so bright! She gasped. Had she been saved? A Man's face came into her view. His smile was so kind and His eyes were so full of love. He held out His hand, beckoning her. She gazed into the face of her Lord as she took His hand. She knew now that that she was truly safe, for here was her Savior. Here was her Father, Brother, Beloved and Friend. Here was her Retreat.



Author's note: This story is inspired by true events. A wonderful family in my church lost their precious daughter in a drowning accident similar to this one last November. I never met their daughter, but I have heard that she was much like Sara in this story. Her faith was so strong that even in her death she was winning souls to Christ. I would like to dedicate this story to that family.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Debra Brand08/08/05
Good perspective on the subject.
Shari Armstrong 08/09/05
Well told and touching -even more so knowing it was inspired by true events.
Joanne Malley08/10/05
You're right to convey we'd find peace and a total retreat from the unpleasantries of this world in the arms of our Lord. Nicely written. Touching story. I'm so sad for the family that remains. Their loss is immeasurable. By the way, it's interesting that you've used almost all the words from our previous challenge words from this quarter in your story! Jo :)
Sally Hanan08/10/05
You did a good job on telling the story, it would be even better if you let us feel the story as it happened. Use all five senses in your writing-sight, smell, touch, hearing, sensing. Just imagine it's you and then describe what you go through.
Lynda Lee Schab 08/11/05
I'm sure the family appreciates this special tribute. You share a great message. I do agree with the "show, don't tell" advice. A nice entry overall. Keep writing!
Blessings, Lynda
Jan Ackerson 08/11/05
Thanks for sharing this joy-from-tragedy story.
Linda Watson Owen08/11/05
You've taken a heartrending story straight from real life. God is the Alpha and Omega here. Well told.
Suzanne R08/12/05
How sad ... yet how touching. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/12/05
What perfect rest Sara has! Thank you for sharing this story with us.
Beth Muehlhausen08/13/05
Quite a tribute to God and the young woman who loved Him with her whole heart.
darlene hight08/14/05
Beautiful take on the topic. What a retreat!
Virginia Gorg05/09/06
This gave me chills and knowing it's inspired by a true story, even more so. It is a reminder, too, that we never know when we will be called home. Will we be ready, like Sara?