Hope sat on her bed, hugging her knees and rocking. Her eyes roamed about her girly, purple room. It portrayed a typical teenaged girl’s interests; magazines and makeup were strewn across her dresser, band posters hung over her bed, clothes and shoes flung haphazardly about the room, pictures of friends taped to her mirror, a stack of untouched schoolbooks on her desk. Yet she sat rocking on her bed as if she was removed from the lively and vivacious girl who owned the stylish room.
Picking up a picture laying close by, she sighed. The perky, mischievous, prom-queen, with her arms around her group of girlfriends, grinned up at Hope. She would never be that girl again. Not after what that stranger had done - what he had taken from her. How could she ever be innocent, happy, and carefree again? Even though the outer Hope was still the same as the girl in the picture, the inner Hope had died.
Her life had changed. And it was about to change even more, she noted as she unclenched her fist to, once again, stare with unbelief at the small thermometer that hadn’t left her grasp since she had used it hours before. Hope did not expect it to have changed her answer since that last time she had looked at it, but she did long to wake-up from her living nightmare.
Hope set the picture down and slowly tipped to one side, so that her head rested in her pillow and she lay in a fetal position. Hope began to sob. The sounds of the anguished sobs that came from deep within her were muffled by her pillow. And though she could not stop sobbing, she cried no tears. She simply had none left in her.
She sat up and looked around warily. Did someone just say her name? Or had it been more of a command? Maybe both?
She glanced at the clock. It was 11:37. The house was quiet and everyone was sleeping…right?
Grabbing a pillow, Hope hugged it close, as if, with it, she could protect herself from the strange Voice. Although, she mused dryly, my life can’t get much worse.
She drew in a sharp breath and stiffened, hugging her pillow closer still. Was the Voice coming from…her closet? She stood and took a few, small, shaky steps in that direction and stopped cautiously.
The command was gentle and with it, her fear dissipated. Drawn to it, she slowly opened her closet door – just a crack – and keeping her body behind the door, she peeked around it, and then threw it wide open.
Though she wasn’t exactly sure what she had expected to find, she was disappointed to see nothing out of the ordinary. It was just her normal – albeit messy – closet.
She dove into the corner of her closet, throwing clothes and shoes and candy wrappers and other unidentified, somewhat foreign-looking objects, searching for the source of the Voice. Hope’s hand found a thick book. With a strange sense of elation, she grasped it and pulled it out.
Hope sat back on her bed and scowled. Was this the source of the Voice? A talking book? She waited, hoping to hear the Voice call to her once more, but she was only met with silence.
She opened the Bible to a random page and her eyes fell of John 16:33:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Peace. Tribulation. The latter Hope knew well, but the former…
Turning the page to read the beginning of the chapter, she dared to hope that the peace this Man talked about could be hers, despite the evil in this world.
And so, from her emptiness and depression (and a little help from the One who knew her heart) she began her search for peace.
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