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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Start (01/16/06)

TITLE: Starting Today
By Karen Heslink
01/22/06


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Cady promised herself she would not procrastinate another minute. Today she would start. No matter what it took to motivate her, she would begin today. She rolled over and looked at the clock. The large number seemed to shout at her, “8 A.M! GET UP! GET STARTED!”

Downstairs she grabbed her Bible and sat at the kitchen table while she waited for her tea to brew. She opened to where she had left off months ago before IT had happened, before her world had crashed down around her. “Romans,” she thought, “Good a place as any other, I suppose.” The whistle on the tea kettle interrupted her just she was reading the part that said we are saved by grace through faith. Thoughts swirled in her mind as she stirred the cream into her tea. She went back to the day IT happened. She had not seen IT coming. One moment she was whole and vibrant, then the next she was broken and mute. She had read over and over about God ad how he had a purpose for her life. She just wondered how it could be when she was no longer her old self. Her effectiveness has been stolen from her. Her mobility had been stolen from her. Even her ability to speak had been stolen from her for awhile. All those year she wasted in sinful living, and now look at where she was. When she had finally turned towards God, he had stricken her down. She wheeled her chair out to the deck where the morning sun peeked over the roof top. She continued to read. Paul kept saying all she needed was faith. What was faith to her? She tried to think it out. Her brain just wouldn’t wrap around it.

Faith meant believing and trusting. How could she ever trust God again? What would it take for her to begin to trust Him? She had give up her sinful ways. What more did He want from her? She had pulled herself up by the bootstraps after IT had happened. It had been an incredible struggle. No one knew how hard it had been. She had to learn to do everything all over again. The first attempts at everything had been so arduous. Each move, every muscle had to be re-taught. Her brain had to be re-programmed for even the simplest of tasks. Little by little she put the pieces of her life back together.

As she read on, she was reminded of God’s faithfulness and how we must have an awareness of our sinfulness. Most important, though, was the forgiveness we receive through Jesus Christ. She had received that forgiveness, but in her self-pity had forgotten the One who made the biggest sacrifice of all. How could she forget that we are justified by His blood? She bowed her head in a prayer asking again for forgiveness.

The door bell rang. “I’m already out on the deck, Jeff,” called Cady.

“So, how are we today, Miss Cady?”

“Today I will walk, Jeff. With your help and guidance and the strength and love of God, starting today I will walk again!”


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Jan Ackerson 01/24/06
As one who knows, I can say that this is a very accurate representation of the kinds of feelings one goes through after a devastating event. Good job. I don't think you needed to capitalize "IT" throughout--it was slightly distracting. Thank you for the hope at the end. Well done.
Shari Armstrong 01/27/06
You did a good job getting into the bitterness, but moved toward hope. I liked how you didn't reveal it all at once what had happened.
Sandra Petersen 01/28/06
I'm surprised that more people have not commented on this article! You wrote with great understanding how someone would be attempting to piece her life back together after a major incident. I agree that the reader does not need to know what caused this, but simply needs to be reminded of God's faithfulness and trustworthiness. Watch the verb tenses to be sure they agree throughout (In one paragraph you switched from 'has been stolen' to 'had been stolen').Try not to switch to 'we' (keep all of it in Cady's POV) as in "...and how we must have an awareness of our sinfulness. Most important, though, was the forgiveness we receive through Jesus Christ." Thank you for sharing this article!