Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)
TITLE: My Life, or the Autobiography of a Redeemed Sinner
By Stephen Paynter
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Toys, games and holidays. Gleefully consuming sweets tricked from my little sister. Riding imaginary horses, shooting plastic guns. Denying with fervor that I will ever die.
Books - adventures and fun; spaceships and superheroes. Later, an introduction to an adult world. Steamy and sordid depictions that fuel my awkward reticence around THEM.
Homework and music. Pointless charts tabulating my listening preferences. Dreams of University. Hoping for a life; a life not free of free sex.
New friends, new interests - thinking I’m so sophisticated. Parties and pontificating on life's ills. Amazed when my friends find the Creator. Even more so when I do.
Such a learning curve: `John 3' is not the same as `3 John'; spiritual realities I’d missed before turn me upside down; learning the hard way that friends can't be argued in; and dismayed by my own propensities to sin.
Work and church, and reading theology. Lonely - longing to share myself, but determined not to jump from church to church, seeking. One Saturday night, praying again for God's provision.
The next day She's there - in my church - helping the visiting preacher take the service. After, cheered on by the whole church, I talk to her. The next time we meet, I ask her out.
My first kiss; my first girlfriend; my one true love. Parental mandate requires us to wait until she's qualified. Four long years to grow in mutual knowledge and love. Fighting world and self, we justify the white wedding.
The two made one – wonderful, yet hard. Sex: an emotional minefield. Thrilling intimacy interleaved with bewildering hurt. Eventually, our dream home - filled with beautiful things.
The desperation of feared infertility. The desolation of multiple miscarriages. The wonder of our premature firstborn. Life transformed by car-seats and prams.
Three darling girls - a source of endless analysis and not a little work. Putting them - and the Kingdom - first, leads to a down-sized house. An up-sized heart, as social justice concerns become more central. Writing and theology - a passion for both of us.
The future? Our lives in God's hands. We plan adoptions - but he knows best. Growing inklings of mortality point out this life will end. Then - true life! Our story will really begin.
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