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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hotel/Motel (09/12/05)

TITLE: The Quiet Room
By Robin McGowan


The motel from a distance was stark and it was raining so heavily. I felt as though I was in a bad movie. Upon entering, I hated to check in but I knew that it was the only motel available. I registered and entered reluctantly. When I entered my room, I knew that it was not my desired place of rest, but I had to look at things differently now. I had to make the best of it and pray my way through the hard times. It could be worse, I mumbled. I could have nowhere to stay. When I looked around the room, I remembered the many beautiful and serene rooms that I have occupied in the past. Now, although sad, my gratitude was humbling as I appreciated the past, but more importantly for where I was despite the surroundings. I thought about how the sun and light filled other hotel rooms that I have occupied. Then I thought about how very cold and dark it was in my motel room. This room is dull with no color, I yelled! There is no life here. I then heard my thoughts as if I spoke out loud again, “It is only for a night, joy will come in the morning. Be at peace within, for this is but a short stay.” Someday soon, I thought, I will be able to stay at a Hotel again. Most hotels are much better than motels. They have more light, more color, more accommodations, and they are happier places. While motels are stark, dreary, and rustic and they seem to have little character. I had to remember that God is in both places; motels, hotels, and all the rooms that I will ever occupy. And for that I am most grateful.

You see, that dark motel is really my heavy heart right now. Moreover, I need to remember the conditions of my heart, although bruised, are only for a short time. I truly am in a place of intense pain and change, but nonetheless, I am here. I forget that I have ever felt good and whole. I forget that I felt joy and hope in the past. As I go through the process of divorce, some days feel like a cold, dark, lifeless motel room. The hurt and pain seem needlessly intense. And although I know intellectually that God will work everything together for good in my life, my heart lags behind as it struggles to catch up. I thought of the verse, “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” Proverbs 14:10 NIV Perhaps that is why it hurts so much. Often, it is so hard to express that hurt, other than through quietness and tears. I also know that God is so faithful, for He is an ever-present help in trouble. Many times my prayers do not make sense to me, and my thoughts are swirling around my emotions, much like the wind outside. At those times, I just look up and say, “Jesus, please help me. Please give me hope again and let me see life through your eyes. Heal my tender hurting heart, for I know you have a better plan for my life.” I then remember another verse, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” And I thank him for knowing my heart better than I.

I know the next time that I am able to stay in a “hotel,” I will appreciate that space more than I ever have before, because the pain has changed me. I will have shed the pain of the old, and embraced a renewed heart, a new life. Pain has a way of making you hypersensitive to all that is around you, even joy. And as removed as I may feel from joy right now, I happily anticipate joy occupying my heart again. For now, I need to recall, “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5 I think that is best place of all.

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This article has been read 582 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Melanie Page09/19/05
The large blocks of text are rather intimidating. You need to work on creating smaller paragraphs and leaving lines between them. Paragraphs are usually 4-6 sentences and you use a new paragraph when time, place or action changes. (In this piece, first paragraph change should be between "reluctantly." and "When")
Jan Ackerson 09/20/05
Your second paragraph begins with a very deep and profound sentence. I have been there. Blessings to you.