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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)

TITLE: A Question of Confusion
By Dana Hubbard


As the sun painted the horizon with splashes of scarlet and orange, she relished the salty residue on her lips. Eris normally visited her favorite shiny black rock to find solace in the sound of the breaking waves and merely tolerating ocean spray. Today, however, she needed more comfort. She longed for tangible proof that her heart and mind would somehow quiet and the tangy remnants left on her skin helped to ground her. She wanted something, anything that was familiar.

“WHAT do you want,” Eris raged toward the heavens. “I’m here! I’ve always been here. Why are you silent?”

Eris collapsed in a heap, her chest heaving and lungs burning from her outburst. The tears brought more salt to her trembling lips. The darkness inside was suffocating. All her life the answer to any problem or crisis had been one word. God. Friends with drug issues or complicated home lives often found themselves inexplicably drawn to her because she always seemed to have the answer. She even helped total strangers through mission work. Eris loved to see the look in someone’s eyes when that spark of hope ignited inside as they met God for the first time.

Why was the hope that she shared with others, seemingly absent in her own heart now? As the evening wind gently ruffled her long red hair, Eris pondered the questions racing through her mind. Had she done something that caused the silence from God? Why would He leave her in her most desperate hour? If she had so much faith, why was she terrified of being alone?

There wasn’t some cataclysmic event that had happened in her life. Her parents were healthy. She loved her job. Her friends were loving and loyal. Yet, there it was. The doubt. The disbelief. Why was she suddenly questioning the one thing she had always known to be true? Why was her belief in God, her ultimate answer, now her ultimate question?

As Eris watched the ocean churn she reflected on her life. Did she believe in God because that’s what she was raised to believe? The turmoil inside was agonizing and she felt much like a frightened child lost in the deep woods. The more thought she put into trying to figure things out, the more confused things became in her head. In any other situation, she would have immediately gone to the Word and to prayer. How was she to find an answer now?

Eris picked up her sandals and began to walk along the beach thinking absent mindedly of the often quoted Mary Stevenson “Footprints” poem. Was God carrying her now? Is this what faith really means? Believing even when you don’t “feel” like you believe? Despite the unsettled feeling that had been present for weeks still swirling inside, Eris began to talk with God.

"You’ve always been the answer to everything I've ever needed in my life," Eris said softly. "My heart says this is no different, but my head kind of wants to run things at the moment." Eris cracked a slightly crooked smile in spite of herself. "No doubt I've been a source of amusement for You during all those times my mind and I wanted to do things our own way instead of yours." At this thought, Eris chuckled for the first time in weeks. "I'd be huffing, puffing and basically exhausting myself trying to get something done in my own way and You were there the whole time helping me, aiding me anyway. If I’d just asked You to show me the best path in the first place, it would’ve been so much easier!”

"I've missed our chats you know. I know I've been a little M.I.A lately and I'm not even sure why. Does everyone go through this or am I just weird? I mean, I know You made us all special, but seriously God, please tell me I'm not the only person who has felt this way! I don't want to ask anyone, because everyone seems to think that I always have it together. I'm the "go-to spiritual chick". We both know that’s so far from the truth! I suppose that’s pride on my part.”

As Eris took a deep breath of sea air, she made her decision. “I’ve trusted You for everything else in my life, so I am choosing to trust You with this. I gave you my heart long ago and even though I don’t “feel” You right now, I choose to believe.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Janna Kampen08/23/07
I think we have all been at that spot where something is missing and we need to trust Him and rely on Him all the more. The ocean setting is perfect for such contemplation. Great article to help people know they aren't alone in those times.
Dee Yoder 08/25/07
You captured a moment that we all have experienced, I'm sure. And your writing is very polished! I like the descriptive bits in your story. I'd be curious to see how you write dialog, too. Good job!
Laurie Walker08/26/07
Even as a teen I was the "put-together" girl who had her head on straight. No one had to worry about Laurie.

But what happened when I did have a problem, or doubts? Who could I turn to then? No one really knew what to do when I felt weak.

I wanted to share that because you touched on feelings I've had more than once in my life. At the end all I wanted to say to Eris was, "Sometimes we're so immersed in God's love and presence, we don't realize what it's truly like to go without it." Does that make sense? In any case, a beautiful contemplation, and I thank you for it.
christine bastow08/28/07
This is something that most of us have experienced in our walk with God. Well done.
Jacquelyn Horne08/28/07
Wonderful writing on a place in our walk with God that most of us have been. You pictured it nicely.
Sara Harricharan 08/29/07
This was interesting. I think we've all been there at one point or another. Good job and especially with the dialouge. I like the name Eris, too. Nice. ^_^
Lynda Schultz 08/29/07
The nature of faith — believing when you don't see, or understand, or feel. The latest news is that even Mother Teresa of Calcutta had her moments! Well done.
Joanne Sher 08/30/07
Very sharp writing - your imagery is wonderful. Enjoyed this very much.
Joanne Sher 08/31/07
Congratulations, Dana. Your entry has placed 10th in Level 2. The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall is available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards.