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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Time (11/15/12)

TITLE: My Esther Story
By Julie Andre


My Esther Story

I am a recovering alcoholic with 29 years of continuous sobriety. Before recovery alcohol ruled my life. I said and did things under the influence which caused hurt and pain to me and to others.
Due to my alcoholic thinking, I made poor choices which resulted in some serious consequences. By the time I turned 31 I had reached bottom. My life was a mess. I was physically, emotionally, mentality, and spiritually depleted. Finally, I surrendered and admitted my powerlessness over alcohol.
As a recovering alcoholic, I do service work. The service work I find very meaningful is taking Answerphone. People will call the 24 hour hot line which I answer. There are inquiries about meeting times and places. Recently, I had the honor and privilege of manning the phone.
One of the callers was a woman wanting to know about Open AA meetings. The Open meeting is the place where the alcoholic and family can attend a meeting together. I told the lady I needed her to hold so I could look up the necessary information. Most of the AA paperwork in the information binder is organized chaos. I kept going back to the phone asking, “ Are you still there?” She said, ‘Yes.” This went on for a few minutes. I was anxious looking for the correct information to give her. This is important work for me since I can be a change maker in a family’s life.
Finally when I returned to the phone I decided to tell her my first name. Her reply back to me was “This is Jane Doe.” I almost dropped the phone. I knew this Jane Doe through my business associations over the last eight years. In that instant I felt like Esther in the Bible. It was time to make an instantaneous decision: to tell her my full name or not.
For if you remain silent at this time, relief
and deliverance for the Jews will arise from
another place, but you and your family will
perish. And who knows but that you have come
to a royal position for such a time
as this? Esther 4:14
This phone call was my Esther moment. I had a responsibility
to share with Jane my own recovery journey. With God’s help
I was able to tell her my own experience, strength, and hope
that God had shown me in the AA community. Jane Doe and her husband have now walked through the doors of AA for their own
individual recovery programs.
I may not be Esther, but I can with God’s strength have my own
Esther moments. It’s my job to recognize these times.

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This article has been read 257 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Christina Banks 11/22/12
It takes a lot of bravery to share a story like that.
Lynda Lee Schab 11/23/12
Thank you for sharing your story. What a wonderful correlation to Esther.

On a technical note, your entry could use a little punctuation editing and it could be edited to flow a little smoother, but I truly admire your transparency. Keep writing!
Connie K Cameron11/23/12
This was a very interesting piece. I enjoyed reading it, and it kept my attention. Nice work.

PamFord Davis 11/24/12
So true, like Esther, God placed you at the right place, and right time to help others. Keep sharing your heart through your writing!

Wing His Words
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/25/12
I'm assuming this is a true story or a story based on truth. I really liked how you subtly tackled the topic in a fresh and creative way. Your beginning was good as it drew me in right away.

I have a little bit of red ink for you. A lot of the story was more telling than showing. This is a concept every writer wrestles with for most of their writing career. How do I paint a picture for my reader? You had this line that is an excellent example of showing: I almost dropped the phone.
Right away, I picture the MC feeling surprised and perhaps a bit nervous.
However this is more telling than showing: I told the lady I needed her to hold so I could look up the necessary information. Most of the AA paperwork in the information binder is organized chaos.
A way to make it showing would be to convert it to actual dialog :"Please hold while I find the information." I scurried to the back filing room. Groaning, I started perusing the chaos. or Flipping through papers in the AA binder, I sighed as I began the hunt for the necessary paperwork.
Now that's not perfect since I did it in just a few minutes but I hope it helps show you the difference between telling and showing.
I did notice some little errors like missing commas and not starting a new paragraph each time someone new speaks. A challenge buddy or crit group might help you catch those things. You can look for someone on the message boards or PM and I'll try to help.

With the red ink out of the way, I want to stress how impressed I am with your honesty. I think you did a nice job of writing on topic. It made me think about how important time is in a recovering alcoholic's life. The time of sobriety can be measured in hours, days, week, months but hopefully years and decades. The message of Esther was a great example. I've read several stories this week but this is the first time I've seen a story built around this verse but it is a perfect fit. You have a lot of passion in your words. Know that God laid this story on your heart for a n important reason. It may be only one or two people or possibly hundreds who will read your words and be touched in ways you'll probably never realize. Keep writing those stories that He places on you, for you're the only one who can tell them and the world needs these gentle reminders.
Olawale Ogunsola11/27/12
An interesting Esther story indeed! You have shown some bravery in writing this true life story. It is a nice job.
C D Swanson 11/27/12
Wow - an altogether powerful and prolific entry. Thank you so much for sharing.
God bless~
PamFord Davis 11/29/12
Congratulations on your rating by the judges!

Wing His Words
Myrna Noyes11/29/12
What an inspiring story! I truly enjoyed reading it! It has such an honest, hopeful, positive, willing-to-serve tone! CONGRATULATIONS on your "Highly Commended" ranking! WAY TO WRITE!! :)