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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Enter (02/27/06)

TITLE: Filling the Void
By Susan Burkholder


Filling the Void

April had spent the majority of her life trying to destroy it. She didn’t know why or when she began to feel empty, but she didn’t like the emptiness and was determined to fill it. Desperately seeking love and approval in the most destructive ways, she moved from boyfriend to boyfriend. She began drinking to forget her actions, and her inebriation and deteriorating self-worth encouraged her to repeat her actions. The cycle continued, and April wanted it to stop. She wanted to die. Yet, something kept her alive.

April was drawn to the “good” people, working for religious institutions and nonprofit organizations. She visited churches, hoping to fit in, hoping no one knew or saw the “real” April. Please, God, let me be normal. Look how many great things I do, how nice I am. Can’t you please just make me ok? But there was no surrender, just begging and bargaining. April continued toward despair.

She had many warnings, many flashing lights, many signs from God and man. Much to her dismay, she always survived, got away with her misbehavior and poor judgment with consequences inconsequential to her. April wanted someone to save her because she could not control herself. But no one would.

It was a night like so many others when April stumbled out of the pizza joint. But this time someone (an angel?) called the police. April was arrested for DWI, again, after driving one block and was soon released. Why didn’t they just let her kill herself? Why wouldn’t God just let her die? Did He hate her so much that He would continue to torture her?

April screamed out in her pain, struggling to escape her numbness, and, surprisingly, began to cry. Convulsing, heaving, to-the-core, tears of a lifetime exploded forth. And, at last, release. When she arose from a crumpled heap, April felt the miracle. She felt the weight of all her sins rise from her, and she knew that even without asking, she was forgiven. God loves me!!! Just follow me, He said. Yes, I will. “Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.” (Psalm 119:34 NIV)

April prayed, April listened and April obeyed. And her life changed. She felt God’s love and she shared it with others, striving to repair damaged relationships. She made peace with herself, with her family. She told her story. She attended church knowing that as a precious child of God she was no better or worse than anyone there. She worshiped!

The court date finally arrived. Family joined her, prayer warriors supported her. April prayed fervently that God’s will be done. Wherever I am, Lord, let me be a servant like Jesus. As the judge spoke, April heard no words and only felt amazing peace.

When April got out of the truck, she smiled feeling no fear as she looked at the prison gate. Enter, He said, I have work for you here. Yes, Lord, anything and all for you.

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Member Comments
Member Date
esther robinson03/08/06
April enters for a new beginning. Good writing.
Sandra Petersen 03/11/06
There are so many wonderful sentences here! My favorites: "April had spent the majority of her life trying to destroy it."; "Much to her dismay, she always survived, got away with her misbehavior and poor judgment with consequences inconsequential to her." The last three paragraphs are powerful, showing the life-changing miracle of salvation.

I have been an April and have known a couple of Aprils. You have described that mindset very well. I would just try to tighten up the piece a little, choosing every word for its impact. Good job!