Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
TITLE: When the Heart Beats No More...
By Caitlynn Lowe
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“Why...why did I ever go through with this?” she cried. The taste of tears mixed with the stench of blood as the strength in her knees finally gave out, and she fell to the floor. She reached out for something--anything--that would keep her upright. If she let herself fall completely then that would mean it was really over, that she had really ended her time here on this Earth. In her efforts she knocked over a nightstand and everything on it: a lamp, an alarm clock, the cursed knife, and a long-forgotten book.
She hated herself for doing this. She had hated herself for many things in the past, and she hated herself for them even now. But this was the worst of them all. This...this...this retreat! This surrender! This God-forsaken cowardice that had caused her to destroy herself!
She stopped at that thought--God. Was...was there even a God? And if there were, would He forgive her for this? Or would she spend all eternity suffering as she had in life, maybe even worse? Darcie pulled her hair at the thought. Would God allow so much suffering in one person’s life? The shadows in her mind told her no, that there was no God, and that this was the final chapter of her story. Yet, it was the shadows that had led her to do this, the shadows that had inflicted this new pain of dying on her in the first place. “They must be wrong,” she reasoned aloud. Yes, they were wrong. There was a...no...THE God, the One and Only, the One she had believed in during the days of her innocence and the One she had strayed from during her time of suffering.
Her eyes widened. “But then...that means that I’m...” Darcie didn’t dare finished the words aloud. Was she going to Hell, then? She had destroyed the temple of God that was her own body. She had sinned in His sight...all was forfeit, now, all was lost. She had turned from the One who loved her most, and had done the unthinkable by ending her life and choosing death...Would she now be kept from Him forever?
Looking over, Darcie saw the dusty and forgotten book that had fallen from her nightstand. It was a Bible...her Bible, the one that she had during the days of her faith. Slowly she lifted her weak, trembling hand and pulled it closer to her. The answers would be in here, they had to be. With all her strength she fumbled through the pages, not knowing what she was looking for, yet hoping she would know when she found it. It was difficult, perhaps the most difficult thing she had ever done. Which page would be the last she’d ever turn? Would her heart stop beating before she reached what she needed? The room began to go dark and her blood began to make the pages stick together. “Please, God, not yet...” she whimpered. Just then, on instinct, her fingers stopped flipping through the pages and she stared at the verse in the middle of the page:
Isaiah 44:22, "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me for I have redeemed you."
Darcie ran the joyful thought through her mind. “Return...to God...” she replied, just as the room went black and her strength left her. “God...” she whispered. She no longer had the strength to speak out loud, and so her heart cried out instead, “God...I realize and know that I have sinned against You. I have destroyed my own life, sacred and blessed by You in Your way. My time on this Earth is ended now, and my blood has destroyed me. But You, Lord...Christ, my Redeemer...Your blood can save me even still. I am sorry, God, with all my heart. I beg You now to forgive me. For Your mercy’s sake, accept this wayward sinner into Your eternal arms.”
At that, Darcie breathed her very last.
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