Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Ohhh…. (02/04/10)
TITLE: Reduced to Rubble
By Rikki Akeo
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His words rattled my innermost being. I needed undeniable clarification. After all, marriage was His idea in the first place.</i>
By the time President Reagan challenged for the destruction of the Berlin Wall, Troy had already completed a grandiose fortress of his own, brick by agonizing brick. Had I known about the war from his arduous childhood that raged beneath his 'dazzle and baffle' surface, you bet I would have retreated. Troy was a wickedly charming nonconformist; like fine food, only dusted with arsenic. Everything about him tantalized my senses. We were on our second child before I reached maturity.
"What brings you here at 3am?" The nurse inquires, fixing her eyes on my baby bump.
<i>Actually, I've been in the emergency room since last night…</i>
"It's my ear." I grimace.
The nurse probes my orifice with a cold metal flashlight before continuing…
"Looks like you have a ruptured eardrum. What happened?"
Modifying my behavior had become like second nature. Tears replaced make-up in my daily ritual. I purposed not to wear earrings in fear of them being ripped from my lobes. <i>What value has adornment, anyway? He no longer desires you, remember? Only Monica, Hillary, Jenny…</i>
Remember? How can I forget!
These marks on my neck; they fade away. This torment never ceases!
Our middle son brought home an assignment from his elementary class. In childlike innocence, it read:
"I have a dream. I dreamed we had a superstore closer to home. I also dreamed Bush would be president again because Clinton cheated on his wife."
That paper hung in our home for the remainder of the Clinton reign.
<i>What's this ache in my heart? It's not the usual pain…</i>
"Have you thought about joining us at Bible Study yet?"
<i>Unbelievable! Who are these people! First, the corner market and now, my yard sale. It's like they're following me.</i>
"Maybe someday." I reel off.
"No pressure. Just call us when you <i>are</i> ready," she offers as she jots down her telephone number.
One week later - lipstick and cover up inclined - I call.
My son's dream was realized. <i>Well, almost.</i> President George W. Bush took oath to lead a vulnerable and acutely distressed nation. I am reminded seven years back, when I called upon the Lord and was saved.
His mercy permeated Troy's personal ground zero; a dilapidated fortress. It took 30 days for Troy's wall to collapse…while enclosed by four others he did not build; a cell - charged with domestic battery.
<i>No visits? No phone calls? Lord, I don't know if I'm able…</i>
He used this opportunity to turn my weakness into His divine strength. I strove not for the peace that enabled me to remain dutiful to our three children. Troy and I eventually reconciled and sadly, things went back to 'normal'.
Our oldest son voted for Barack Obama. <i>Eminent change is on the horizon.</i> My mind was far too occupied to have gone to the polls with him. Chest pains coupled with left arm trauma subdued me. Fearful and confused, I rolled up my sleeve and expected to find a bruise to which there wasn't one. I drew close to Him.
<i>"What do you mean, 'it's over'?" I echo. "I had a dream, too, Lord. One of marriage and family. I strive daily because I want this more than…"
"Me?" He guides.
"Ohhh…God." I exhale.
"You were created for Me. Refined by fire, but that fire will not consume you."
He quenched the flame with His tears of compassion, releasing me from the burden of anguish that tormented me for over two decades. He rescued me from the depths of despair, but I emerged with stronger faith, greater understanding and a sincere intimacy with Christ. Reality and my feet were reunited.
His peace spilled into every area of my being; and I let go.</i>
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