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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)

TITLE: Fresh Hope
By Sandy Ott


The darkness of the room was overwhelming as she lay there, alone; pondering the information she had been inundated with that afternoon. It was all so extraordinary. As her mind reeled through the events of this unimaginable day, thoughts of her husband, her 11 year old daughter and her large extended family raged through her mind like a flood of emotion bringing both pain and joy.

Her heart was overcome with desires and disappointments. Trying to take it all in; seeing her life played out in her mind’s eye while remembering both moments of triumph as well as the perceived failures of her choices.

“What am I going to do?” she muttered. “How could this diagnosis be real?”

The last few years of her life had been mundane. Having taken it all for granted she traveled through life with no thought to eternal purpose. She had focused her attention on her job, but had not truly taken care of herself physically, emotionally or relationally. The priorities in her life had been skewed. The importance of family had been lax in her agenda.

Doubts about her effectiveness as a wife, mother, sister or daughter swirled around in her head crashing against the finiteness of life. She questioned how well she was teaching her child about priorities or imparting the tools to be successful in life, in family, in love? She wanted desperately to have a second chance to be a positive influence on those she loved instead of an energy draining burden on them. She wanted to leave a legacy of extravagant love and an example that would be remembered as total devotion. She did not want to leave this world at all just yet, but if she had to she knew she had a lot of work to do to turn things around.

But how? How could she change things? Overflowing with shock, fear, guilt…. She was feeling defeated by an enemy she could not even see. How could she fight this battle or hope to win this war?

She thought about the God who over the last 20 years she had only consulted in times of eminent distress and utter helplessness. In desperation she began crying out to the God of her childhood yet had all but forgotten in her adult life. This God of the universe, the Creator and Great Physician, she wondered, could he really be here? Is he real? Would he even care about her plight after all this time? Would he give her this chance she desperately needed? Is he really so gracious and merciful that he would forgive her rejection and be willing to mend her brokenness?

The petitions of her heart wrenched through her soul as she sought out this God. She begged him to answer her. Pleading with him to forgive and renew, to heal and to console, to give peace and be real in her life once again. She determinedly desired the faith she once had as a child. To have that openness and the unquestioning belief that only one untainted by the graceless acts of the world could possess.

“I want to live”, she first whispered. “Let me live through you!”

As her voice grew stronger, she prayed with fervency, knowing in her heart how outlandish the thought that he would be willing to move in her life after all this time in darkness.

“I haven’t been a bad person” she reasoned. “I have made mistakes, I have sinned against you, but please God, forgive me. Let me live. Help me change my ways.”

It was an agonizingly long and lonely night in that hospital room. Tears welled up from deep within her soul. She bargained for her life making promises of faithfulness and priority. During hours of conversation with God she poured out her hurts, mistakes and regrets. At last peace surrounded her after purging her soul to the One who loved enough to listen. Finally, she slept.

As dawn broke that morning with sun shining through the window, a fresh hope was born inside her. Not knowing yet the outcome of her physical condition, she knew deep within that no matter what the medical prognosis would be she now had what she needed most, her Savior, her God. He alone had comforted her. She knew he had never left her and he never would.

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This article has been read 313 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Fowler05/26/11
Moving. Thanks for sharing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/27/11
Having spent many nights in a hospital bed this story really touched me. I could feel the fear and pain and I liked the open ending. Each reader can then relate it to a story in their an life. Nicely done.
Bonnie Bowden 05/27/11
I am glad the MC found the peace she needed, no matter what the ending of her situation.

Well written.
Leola Ogle 05/29/11
Heartfelt, well-written, thought provoking. You won't be in Beginner for long. Great story with a powerful message. God bless!
diana kay06/02/11
gosh powerful and well written. the story unfolds and kept my attention. I would have liked to know what was a matter with the MC i fully realise that that was not the point of the story :-) the battle and the turning back to God at the moment of crisis touches many. and Fresh Hope is a perfect title.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/02/11
Congratulations for ranking 6th in level one!