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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)

TITLE: My Life, or the Autobiography of a Redeemed Sinner
By Stephen Paynter


Birth: shock of light and cold. Gasp, drawing in the breath of life. Comforted, cuddled, fed. Gazing with trust into mother's doting eyes.

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 Im 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 Id 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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This article has been read 886 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 06/26/06
I liked the format of little snippets and glimpses of life. Great job for a first entry! Watch out. You'll soon be addicted like your wife. ;)
Sherry Wendling06/26/06
Welcome to FaithWriters! This is a captivating read. I love your word choices that enable you to encapsulate half a lifetime into less than 750 words! Beautifully written--and the ending is perfect: The real LIFE begins after all this!
Dr. Sharon Schuetz06/26/06
This is wonderful. I loved the fast pace clip style. You covered a lot of ground here. Great job. Oh, and welcome to Faith Writers.
Trina Courtenay06/26/06
Welcome, welcome, welcome, a beginner you are not! What an awesome job your first time here at FW. Love your quick snippets.

Looking forward to your second challenge.

Blessings & Keep writing for the glory of HIM.

terri tiffany06/26/06
This style was great!! just enough words to create a huge picture of life!! I absolutely loved it...it touched me.:)
Birdie Courtright06/28/06
This was wonderful from the very first paragraph. It was fascinating to read the little turns and twists along the way and you expressed it al so well; the wonder, the pain, the joy. Great stuff!
Sherry Wendling06/29/06
Way to go, Stephen--congratulations! I so enjoy your perspective and flow! I don't think you'll be at Level 1 for long.
Jan Ross06/29/06
Good work! Congratulations! :)
Jessica Schmit06/30/06
Wow. You definately don't belong in Beginners. A husband who has the same amount of talent os his wife! Incredible! Your word choices were beautiful. The flow was majical. Welcome to FW! You'll fit right in!
Brenda Craig06/30/06
This is great. Life in a wonderful nutshell of exceptional flow and beauty. Your words were well chosen. Reading between the lines I felt a sense of romance; God's romancing of our lives until the end and beyond. This should touch and crack any tough nut with a sense of purpose in life.