Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outstanding (04/21/11)
TITLE: The Love that Saved me
By Jennifer Hill
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I stared at a decorative print with statements of what love is, based on 1 Corinthians 13. The framed words with hearts and flowers seemed to rock back and forth on the wall. My stomach churned and my brain seemed to beat around in my head. The room tilted too as I tried to get up, I felt like I might be sick.
My hands trembled and my legs were weak, not strong enough to carry me to the bathroom, but I was sure I was about to be sick. I made it there finally after bumping into walls, falling to the floor and crawling to the bowl. After there was no more for my body to expel, I returned to my bed and stared at the print once more. I still debated on taking more pills, yet I trusted, that what was meant to be would be.
‘Love is patient, love is kind,’ how many times had I heard it? My eyes continued to scan each heart with its sickening happy lyric. ‘…is not jealous, does not brag, is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly, does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,’ I continued to read one heart after the next, my eyes feeling heavy. ‘…does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth…’ I read this to myself mockingly, wondering what is love really? ‘…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…,’ Darkness suddenly crowded in all around me.
I was dreaming again, only the monsters of my past were gone. I could only see images of a man, a man of true sorrow. He carried a cross on his beaten and lacerated back. He trudged up a hill and then was nailed to that cross. I stood still in the distance watching him, tears streaming down my face. I could not fathom the pain he was in. Our eyes met and from his, I saw tears falling down for my innocents lost. I came to the realization he was there for me. He was dying for me, so I could be free. Free from the darkness that had been incasing me.
The chasm there once had been was closed. God is love. He sent Jesus, who endured all things for me. He knows my pain and was and is there for me. In my heart I knew He was the one I’d been looking for, and all along he had been waiting for me.
Morning came and I awoke to sunbeams filtering through from the window. The light shown across the framed print, highlighting, ‘Love never fails.’ The visions from the night before were not the end. I knew that Jesus had conquered death, He had risen, overcoming this world. He was alive and in heaven preparing a place for me. I no longer needed to hide or be buried in my pain. I arose from my bed, feeling like I had never before.
I knelt and folded my hands and prayed. Welcoming the love of Jesus into my life, never again would darkness cover me. The outstanding love of the cross had chased the monsters away. And in their place was grace, mercy, forgiveness and love which surpasses all understanding.
No longer did I feel trapped, scared or tainted. I felt renewed, loved and beautiful in the eyes of my Savior. He loved me and wanted me. He had plans for me. With him by my side, I knew I’d have the strength, I’d never had before. I could now shine for him despite the darkness I had known.
He had stood in my place for my outstanding debt of sin and now I could bless his name by standing out for Him. He knows me and I know his voice and I will hear him call my name when his plans are complete in my life. I know then I will rise into his glorious light.
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