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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (04/08/10)

TITLE: The road to happiness is a dead end
By Lisa Fuller


Lost inside a story, thatís where he found her. In her reading position, all curled up in a black leather recliner. In the middle of a warm and ordinary June day, Rachel sat and read as she so often did. Stuck in a place she didnít want to be, the smell of cat urine mixed with carpet fresh lingering in the air. Weighted with hopelessness, she had nowhere else to go. At the age of 32, she sat in the living room of a place she jokingly refers to as the Stink-Hole; a tiny little two bedroom house that was once occupied by cat lovers.

Rachel and her two children had moved into this rent house two weeks ago. Her husband, not the father of her children (that was husband #1), was supposed to move in with them but, after he moved her things in, announced he was leaving. They were selling their home and once the deal closed, he was taking half of the money and leaving. She agreed to move only because it was cheap and temporary. She was there under the guise they would be saving money and building a home together. This was her bottom, the bottom that addicts generally have to hit before they can begin to overcome their addiction. Although she wasnít addicted to drugs or alcohol, the direction of her life was certainly spiraling in a similar direction.

She grew up, a country girl in Iowa, went to church regularly, always believed in God, and even completed catechism in the 8th grade. Raised in a time when kids were to be seen, not heard, she spent much of her time alone reading books and hanging out outdoors. Taking adventures with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, she loved losing herself in the words, this was her favorite place to be. Just before entering high school, Rachel and her family moved to Oklahoma where she became a city girl.

Overnight she left the innocence of country life. Within the first year of the worldly city life, Rachel experienced many firsts; alcohol, pot, speed and sex. She now loved losing herself to drugs, sex and rock and roll. So long boxcar children, she had found a higher high. Still needing books she started reading romance novels. Then she met her high school sweetheart, they graduated and got married. It didnít feel right but Rachel wanted that happily ever after that the books promised, and apparently it was found in men. At 19, they had a baby boy. At 23, she was in line for a management position with a moderately successful corporation. At 24, they had a baby girl. Now earning enough to support herself and two children and not at happily ever after, Rachel divorced her high school sweetheart. She met husband #2 just one year after the divorce. In her gut she knew it was wrong, but she was struggling financially. Again she ignored that feeling, because the books canít be wrong, and so they married in Vegas.

Lost inside a story, thatís where he found her. In the middle of a warm and ordinary June day, Godís word was revealed to Rachel. She was reading the first book of the ďLeft BehindĒ series, when she learned about salvation. She confirmed what she had read in the book to what was written in the Bible (Romans 10:9). How had she grown up in church but never heard about salvation? It didnít matter, she dropped to her knees and prayed ďthe prayerĒ. The weight of 32 years of baggage lifted from her, she was not alone. She knew God loved her, that He died for her and she knew that He would never, ever leave her. The following Sunday, God led her to Eastside Baptist Church. She felt the presence of the Spirit, as she entered through the doors; she was home.

No longer did Rachel have to look to the things of the world for her happily ever after, she had found it in Christ. Unknowingly, the wordly words had influenced her choices, which ultimately dictated the course of her life. No longer did she have to lose herself in stories or substances, she had found herself in Christ. She continues to read His word so that He may become greater in her than she is in herself. No longer in the pursuit of happiness, Rachel is currently trying to pursue holiness.

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Member Comments
Member Date
AnneRene' Capp04/15/10
Very good message of the reality of being influenced by "worldly words", as you put it. Romance novels are a misleading temptation to most all of us women with a deceptive alluring of what true romance is.

Although, there are those who will definitely disagree, also liked your mention of the Left Behind series, which I find to be great reading and enlightening as well.

Caitlyn Meissner04/16/10
It is good to remember that there is always hope in Jesus. :)
Jan Ackerson 04/17/10
Interesting character study.

I see tons of potential here--would love to read the same story in a less dispassionate voice, one that puts us in your characters thoughts and feelings rather than narrating them.

Very good title!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/17/10
This is a wonderful well-told story.