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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sellout (05/26/11)

TITLE: Sword of the Flesh vs. Sword of the Spirit
By Karen McCabe


Jodie walked out the front door and gently closed it behind her. “Good thing she didn’t slam it,” Ellie scowled. But she could feel her heart breaking as she heard her daughter tromping down the sidewalk with her “stuff” in tow.

All Ellie could think was, That’s it? That’s all I get for all those years of give, give, give?

She replayed her words to Jodie in her mind, “If you were leaving home in the right way, it would be okay – we would miss you - but it would be fine. You’re barely 18 and it’s obvious you’ve been waiting for a reason to move out.”

Did she have to leave like this?

Indignant, bitter, rebellious.

She’s refusing every value, every godly principle we’ve taught her. Just because of a silly argument, she’s exercising her “right” to leave – move in with her boyfriend. And she says she doesn’t want anything to do with us.

Ellie wanted to run into the study, fall on her knees at her “prayer chair” and cry. Instead, she stomped to the hall closet and whisked out the vacuum. I’m glad the younger children are in school. They don’t need to see me this way. She raised her hand to her cheek. I know my face is beet red.

She unwound the cord and plugged it into the outlet. She grabbed the vacuum like it was a weapon, flipped on the switch and attacked the carpet with such fierceness that the vacuum bumped across the floor. This feels so good, was all the thought she could muster.

“Sword fight!” she declared out loud. Lunge, pull back. Lunge, pull back. “Vacuuming can be as aggressive as fencing,” she snickered under her breath.

Her assault on the carpet continued.

God, how could she do this to us? How could she sell out her family like this and buy into the enemy’s lie?

“She hasn’t learned how to count the cost, yet.”

She heard His voice as if He was standing right beside her. His words went through her like a sword.

Hebrews 5:8 came to mind. “…though He was a son, He learned obedience by the things he suffered.”

While she was still attacking the floor with the vacuum, her thoughts kept prodding her. But she has betrayed everything we stand for. She acts like she hates us; all we’ve done is pour love into her and bring her up in You. How could she turn her back on all that in one little argument? College, a car, church, home. She’s giving it all up. For what? Someone she hardly knows?

The rejection hurts so much.

“Let her go; pray for her and trust Me.”

(Wait a minute. Here they come…those infamous worry-words.)

Yeah, but what if…?

She stopped the vacuum and leaned on the handle. The world may say she is of age, but You know her rebellion proves she’s not. So much could happen to her.

“Do you trust Me?”

A very weak “Yes…” stuttered out of the mouth of her thoughts.

“Will you trust Me with her?”

But she sold us all out – for a boyfriend! She said he promised her that if she wanted her freedom, he would take care of her. What will happen to her if he dumps her?

Well, she deserves what she gets. Rebellion is sin and sin has consequences. You’ll get her back for the hurt and pain she’s causing us, won’t You? She will regret it, right?

“Is that what you want?”

Was that God or my conscious speaking?

She pondered her heart. No, I want her here – safe – with us.

She walked over to the outlet and unplugged the vacuum. I guess I can put this “sword of the flesh” away now. She began winding up the cord.

She stuffed the vacuum back in the closet and plopped down in the nearby Lazy Boy.

Well, God, thank You for working me through my fit of anger. I know that You are the only hope for her. Guide her thoughts. Remind her of what is good and right and true and pure. Most of all, please, keep her safe. She’s prey right now for the enemy to devour. Please protect her. And remind her of our love for her.

At night, when it’s dark and she’s just falling asleep, invade her thoughts.

If, like the Prodigal Son, she must wallow with the pigs, please keep her in Your watchful eyesight.

Keep her close.

Keep her.

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Member Comments
Member Date
diana kay06/02/11
good story. I too do cleaning hen i am stressed. I loved the battle of the vacumn cleaner and the spiritual battle. Great stuff and well told.
Joanne Sher 06/05/11
A very powerful piece - with great descriptions and action. Nicely done!