Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Pros and Cons (08/14/14)
TITLE: I Love You Deeply
By Louise Galley
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Stacey knew voices; they had plagued her life too. Godly counsel and her Savior kept Stacey from becoming a headline. She wondered if the recent victim had a checklist, contemplated which side was more appealing.
Stacey learned to recognize warning signs. It wasn’t odd to conduct head conversations; most people did. Comprehending forces behind those discussions was the key.
Armored with God’s Spirit and Scripture, facing menacing demons didn’t faze Stacey anymore. Truly understanding God’s love for her, however, did come with a high price.
“Stacey,” her sister said. “Say something.”
Controlling her emotions, Stacy flatly asked. “When did it happen?”
Tears burned Stacey’s eyes. Mom was dead. As reality set in, an indescribable feeling overwhelmed her soul.
Who was going to help her now?
Stacey met her sisters at the hospital. An Orderly allowed them access to their Mother’s body. Stacey really didn’t want to see her Mom lying dead but her sisters insisted.
Stacey’s icy gaze covered her rising fear. How could God allow this to happen? A small hand reached for Stacey’s. Looking down, it finally dawned on her; small children were with them!
“This is crazy,” Stacey muttered and pulled her nieces out of the room and down the hall. Vending machines provided a distraction while Stacey sat contemplating life.
The more she thought the more entangled she felt. Darkness was closing in; demonic voices exploded in her mind. She couldn’t breathe; her crutch was gone.
Distraught, she whispered. “Oh Mom, what do I do now?”
The funeral went off without a hitch, except for Stacey. She couldn’t pull herself away from the grave. As the casket descended, Stacey fell to the ground.
“Please don’t leave me,” she sobbed.
Exasperated, Carmen yanked Stacey to her feet. “Stop it,” she barked. “You will not make a scene at our Mother’s grave.”
Funny how siblings react to heartache, Stacey sobbed while her sisters praised God for their Mother’s entrance into heaven. Two years later, they wept for Mom while she embraced an unspeakable evil.
After the funeral, her sisters went back to their busy lives, raising kids and being married. Stacey rarely heard from them.
When Brick decided marriage was out of the question, he ended their relationship. Stacey did her best to move on; left the company where they met and moved across town. She’d been working hard at her new position, was up for a much needed promotion.
“Finally,” she thought, “recognition and acceptance.”
The slot went to a gal whose playboy figure outweighed Stacey’s thin athletic frame. Stacy celebrated by partying, missing work and cradling Mr. Booze. Sitting in church on Sundays, she hoped her litany appeased God’s wrath over her actions and thoughts.
Ah, thoughts. How they do catch up. It didn’t matter how far Stacy ran or how cluttered life became, darkness would find her and sink its malicious talons into her soul.
When Stacy’s Mom departed, her love and covering disappeared too. Her Mom was the only one who knew about Stacey’s dragons.
Howling voices filled her loneliness, vying for strategic positions. As they gathered forces, jabbing at her vulnerability, their torment was relentless.
“Who’s going to help you now,” they repeated. “You’re ours for the taking.”
Only talks with Mom showered peace on Stacey’s hostile beasts. Whenever it became unbearable, she’d call home, share with Mom, Mom would pray, things would change. She was that reliable.
Groggy from pain pills, darkness took control. Ignoring any reasoning, Stacey let the blade slice. Eyelids heavy, she waited for death.
As her life spilled, an eerie mist engulfed the room. Hallucinations gripped Stacey’s waning consciousness. Engaged in heated battle, her list danced across the bathroom.
“No one will miss you,” Darkness hissed.
“I will miss you,” God expressed.
“Working hard doesn’t pay off.” Darkness heckled.
“I know the plans I have for you,” God declared.
“Loved ones leave you,” Darkness sneered.
“I will never leave you,” God promised.
“No one will ever love you,” Darkness roared.
“I love you deeply,” God proclaimed.
Sensing someone, Stacey asked, “Mom, is that you?”
“No, honey,” the nurse answered. “I’m just checking your bandages.”
“I didn’t die,” realized Stacey.
Dazed but recovering, Stacy uttered her first genuine prayer.
“Lord, help me. I’m so scared.”
“Now, my daughter,” Jesus whispered. “We can begin.”
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