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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)

TITLE: Gloriously Single
By Ebony Murdoch


Annette rolled to the edge of the bed and slapped the alarm clock so hard, it fell.

“Oh, shut-up,” she muttered, sinking deeper into the covers. There was no reason to rush. There was no reason to do anything. Darren had used up the last eighteen months of her life, only to let her know she wasn’t the one.

Tears seeped from beneath closed eyelids as she recalled the conversation.

“I don’t know how to say it,” he began. “You’re cool and all that, but, this relationship just ain’t working out. I need somebody who gets me. Somebody without all of your issues.”


Annette sipped her tea in silence. She didn’t know whether to step away gracefully or flip the table over and start wailing. After a few seconds, she decided that diplomacy was best.

“Oh, so, you’re just leaving? What happened to love? What happened to us getting married?” She sounded whiny, despite fierce efforts to the contrary.

“You wanted that. I never wanted to get married. I wanted to move in, test the waters for a while, see what happens; but no. Now you’re trying to tell me about courtship. I don’t have time for it. Anyway, you weren’t talking all that God stuff when I met you.”

“People change, Darren. My life is different now. I tried to invite you—”

“See, you don’t get it, Nettie! I don’t want to go. I’ve already been to church. Look. We can still be friends if you want, but that’s all.” The waiter came with the check. He rose from the table without reaching for his wallet. “Can you get the check this time, Nettie? I’m a little short on cash.”

She paid, and took a taxi home.

Once she arrived, Annette drew the curtains and refused to reopen them. She stopped taking calls and crashed on the couch in front of the TV. How could he just take her heart and step on it like it was nothing?

On day three, Annette splashed her face with cold water and stared into the bathroom mirror. She was a mess—hair all disheveled; lips chapped as paper. The bags under her eyes looked like dried apricots. Whereto from here?

Annette had recommitted her life to Christ in recent months, and was getting more involved at church. Honestly, she thought he would be happy for her—or at least supportive. She had been praying for him to change, so they could get married. “He’s the one,” she kept telling herself. “I just know it.”

Now, her insides felt hollow. She felt the call to prayer, and yielded.

“Dear Lord, who’s going to love me now? Why do I have to be alone? I made all these changes for You. I didn’t know You were going to take him away…”

Heaviness of heart drove Annette back to bed. “Please give me strength,” she whispered, before drifting off into the impregnable sleep of depression. Hours passed. No alarm sounded. Sunlight poured in through cracks in the blinds, its molten gold stripes warming her face. She opened her eyes, sat up straight, and said, “I’ve had enough. Thank you, Jesus. Today, I live.”

Annette fluttered from window to window, yanking open the curtains and letting in fresh air. She put Vivaldi’s Summer on full blast and started the coffee maker. “It’s a new season!” she shouted, almost laughing. She slipped her hands into the air, effortlessly worshipping her Lord and Savior until the weight slipped from her shoulders and His voice came rolling through her spirit like the sound of mighty, rushing waters. She heard the words of Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” 1

It was time to enjoy the most important relationship of all. It was time to draw nearer to the throne of the fadeless, changeless God. It would not be easy, but He was worth it. Annette had no idea what adventures life would bring. She only knew that she wanted God’s best for her, and at the moment, that meant walking alone. Annette was nobody’s has-been. A whole, healed, satisfied woman was bursting at the seams with anticipation for tomorrow. While she didn’t get what she wanted, she got what she needed—the grace to be gloriously single.

[1.] Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV

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This article has been read 378 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/01/11
This is a great story! You did an excellent job showing me what happened. I know so well that falling for the wrong person can make life so much worse than a broken heart. Nicely done.
Sarah Heywood09/02/11
What a neat story! I could feel Annette's heartbreak as you told her story. But I loved how she made the choice in the end to go forward with hope. I know God is going to bring her the right man in His time!

Good job!
Sharon Brooks09/03/11
Nicely done, I really liked this. An important message as so many people never realize the most important (and reliable) relationship is with Christ. Paul wrote : "For it is better to stay single as I am..." for a reason.
C D Swanson 09/03/11
Great message! I loved this story. Good job. God Bless you~
Rachel Rudd 09/05/11
Very sweet story...I like this line especially..."its molten gold stripes warming her face."
Sharon Brooks09/08/11
Congrats on your win! Really terrific!
Jenna Dawn09/08/11

This was a great story. I could feel Annette's pain and I know a lot of single Christians experience this. After I was married, my best friend remained single for several years and had to constantly give it to God and trust Him. In His perfect timing, God gave her a wonderful husband.

You painted a good picture with your words.

Congrats again. :)

C D Swanson 09/08/11
Congratulations! God Bless you ~
Noel Mitaxa 09/13/11
Great story and so crediblly told. I love your word pictures - nice poetic touch. And to place with your first entry is no mean feet. You're on your way to Masters level. God bless.
Anne Warden09/21/11
Ebony, you did a wonderful job of showing the effort it takes to come out of the hopelessness of depression. Not an easy feat in 750 words.

Your reference to Vivaldi's "Summer" is so appropriate. If that piece doesn't get the blahs out, what would?

Third place? No. NO! You deserved first place for this story.

Keep up the good writing.