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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Black Sheep of the Family (10/03/13)

TITLE: The odd silver lining
By Maretha Retief


I have been labelled an outcast. I never do what people expect of me. I come across as abrupt and unapproachable. I am not the one who completes a pair, but rather the one who disturbs the balance.

Some becomes an outcast because of behaviour or circumstances; with me, it was because of what I look like and even more, because of who I am. I bring out the worst in others because of my odd appearance. I make them feel uncomfortable, eerie or weird and they even act out negatively.

I stopped defending myself as people’s minds are made up about me even before I open my mouth. My family bears with me as I have nowhere else to go. Everywhere I go, I cause confusion. “How is that possible?”; the question on every person’s lips. I have been bruised and scarred beyond recognition - the fate of an outcast. If a person does not want to know me, that person never will.

I desire to be accepted, but it does not happen. I want to be loved, but I do not know how it feels to be hugged and I have never heard a word of compassion.

I know I have been called for a specific purpose in life, but it seems to be a lonely journey. I am the one who turns heads, but at the same time force people to look away. The ones I thought would accept me rejected me.

But, in the midst of my pain there is love – a love I do not understand, but remains the desire of my heart. In the midst of my rejection there is hope – a hope that brings peace and enough air for my next breath.

People may not accept me, but I will hold my head high. I know there is glory at the end of the road. I may not be perfect, but I know Who is. I am filled with pain and hurt, but I know Him who has walked this road before me. I have been rejected, but I know there is One whose rejections cannot be fathomed. I am broken, but I know He became broken so I can live in His wholeness. I am named an outcast by the world, but I know He embraces me with His redemption and love through His grace.

Today, I may still be perceived as an outcast, but I know I am embraced by the silver lining of God’s grace through Christ.

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This article has been read 86 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 10/10/13
Thanks for sharing your story with us. It was a compelling read with an important message at the end...Today, I may still be perceived as an outcast, but I know I am embraced by the silver lining of God’s grace through Christ
Amen & Amen...God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/11/13
Wow this is a powerful piece. I'm not sure if it's a true story or not, but the raw emotion really grabbed me and pulled me in. I wanted to reach through the pages and hug the MC.

You may want to look at your opening paragraph. All three lines start with the word I. If you vary it just a bit, then you can make it more intriguing for the reader. For example: Having been labelled an outcast for most of my life, I never do what people expect of me. I come across as abrupt and unapproachable. Rather than the one who completes a pair, I tend to disturb the balance.
Also be careful about being consistent with your tenses. You start off in the past and then drift to present, then back again. It can be tricky to write in the present tense, but you do do a nice job of it with only a couple of little slips. That is impressive and helped me relate to the MC right away.

I think you did a nice job of writing on topic. Life can be so difficult and I think we all worry about being judged by others, but as you so nicely point out, there is someone out there who does love us, faults and all and only wants the very best for us. You did a grand job with this piece!
Larry Whittington10/14/13
I understand the last half of the article but have some difficulty grasping some of the first part.

In Christ Jesus, he makes our past to be memories and not anchors. He lets us use these memories as stepping stones to climb higher to accomplish his purpose for us.

Keep the memories as stepping stones under your feet and not as an anchor around your neck.

Use writing as a tool from God.
CD Swanson 10/21/13
Congratulations! God bless~
Toni Babcock 01/04/14
What self-contented and prideful folks regard as "ugly and despised" is really a testimony against them - one day they will know the ugliness that resides within their own hearts. There are also talented and beautiful people who are hated and despised because of their gifts and good looks. Or, as is often the case, they are only liked because of their gifts and good looks - if they lost them, they would lose their admirers as well. People can be so two-faced. Neither ugly or beautiful is anything - it is what abides in the heart that counts as you have learned. Thank you for sharing this important message!