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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Guard Your Heart (06/08/12)

TITLE: On Both Counts
By Kristina Newby


I saw them. I saw the guilty pleasure on their faces when they hadn't expected me to turn. I heard them. I heard the whispers and giggles as I walked past or tried to find a seat on the school bus. And yes, I felt it. I felt them knocking down my books as I navigated the crowded hallways.

"Please Lord, just help me keep it together. With you I can make it to my next class". I should have said that, but I didn't. All too often I failed... on both counts.

They accept me. I know my parents think they are going to bring me down. I know some of the things they do may not seem right, but they accept me and I like them. I don't have to do all of the bad things they do. They like me for who I am, how can I give that up?

"Please Lord, help me to make wise decisions in the company I keep. With you I can avoid the relationships that will cause me harm." I should have said that, but I didn't. All too often I failed... on both counts.

He loves me. Of course, you think he's not the right one, but he really loves me and I love him. So big and strong, he makes me feel safe, you should see how he protects me when we are together. He doesn't want to lose me to another man. We're getting married in a few weeks. Please be happy for me.

"Please Lord, be my protector, my shield, my confidant. With you I know I can grow in confidence and security." I should have said that, but I didn't. All too often I failed... on both counts.

It was an accident, really. I shouldn't have made him so angry. He says it won't happen again. He loves me so much, even God believes in second chances, right?

"Please Lord, be the lamp to my feet and the light upon my path. With you I know I can live a happy and meaningful life." I should have said that, but I didn't. All too often I failed... on both counts.

Sorry Mom. Really, it doesn't hurt so bad. I know you were just trying to help me, I should have listened sooner. Take good care of Dad for me.

"Please Lord, I should have come to you. Forgive me for not trusting you earlier. I know I don't have much time left." I said that, I did. This time, I was right... on both counts.

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This article has been read 326 times
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/18/12
This is a powerful piece and it ripped at my heart. I think you handle the topic in a creative way while delivering a powerful message.

I'm a little nervous that some people may not totally get it. Perhaps if you added some more details about your parents and then more details about the beating at the end.

I did understand it though and it makes my heart hurt that there are so many people who are in an abusive relationship and don't know how to get out of it. I think you did a brilliant job of showing how important prayer is. Often people say the least I can do is pray but as you so aptly demonstrated it is the most one can do. God bless and thanks for having the courage to tackle such a difficult subject.
Joanne Sher 06/19/12
This is very powerful - excellent use of repetition. Very good.
C D Swanson 06/20/12
This made me cringe and my heart lurched wanting to reach out to the MC. The inernal dialogue was beautifully done, and realistically portrayed. The last line made me sad...It seems like she may be contemplating suicide.

With God and prayers, all things can change. God is our shield, and the MC realizes that...it is my hope that she "climbs" out of the hold of despair before it is too late.

Great job. Thank you for this story. God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/21/12
Congratulations for ranking 11th in level one!