Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)
TITLE: Gloriously Single
By Ebony Murdoch
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“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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