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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: rain (10/17/05)

TITLE: The Storm Inside
By Shelley Snyder


Tonight it is raining. The wind has picked up and the trees are blowing wildly, as though dancing in a frenzied state. The conditions outside echoing what I was feeling on the inside, deep in my soul.

Why does this issue of being single weigh so heavy upon my heart tonight? Why do I feel that nobody seems to understand or care? Many questions fill my mind, questions that can’t seem to be answered adequately. Tears flow down my face, like the rain on the church windows.

The sermon tonight wasn’t supposed to have this effect. It wasn’t supposed to cause pain, or bitterness. It should have been uplifting, promising, and guiding. Yet, I feel as though stranded in a rowboat on the middle of a lake, all alone. I bite my tongue; I withhold my voice so as not to say something I will regret. I hold back my pain, afraid to let anyone know how their thoughts and words have hurt.

Their voices were taunting and teasing as they seemingly put the brush off to the single people. ‘Why aren’t you married at your age?’ ‘There must be something wrong with you if you haven’t settled down by now!’ ‘There is nothing wrong with being single, look at the apostle Paul.’ They don’t see that their words are a slap across my face.

Thunder booms in the night sky; my heart pounds in my head like a hammer on a nail. I want to scream, I want to yell; but what good will that do? They don’t understand or care! It has been so long since many of them have been single; have they forgotten what it is like? Have they even been in this situation themselves?

I yearn for marriage, for a family. Surely God wouldn’t give me these desires if I were meant to remain single forever. It is hard to wait and hold onto a dream when everything feels stalled.

I run outside, into the tempest. I can’t take it in there anymore, and if I stay it will only get worse. These people, my brothers and sisters in Christ, kill a little part of me with each comment made, unknowingly murdering my hopes, my wants, and my dreams.

Out here, I feel at one with the storm; the elements dramatizing the raging storm inside of me. The rain stings as it bites into my face, and the wind whips my hair frantically as I hurry angrily down the sidewalk.

“Oh, God!” I scream into the night. “Where are you? Why can’t you see how much I hurt! Why can’t you stop this pain! Where is the person I am supposed to marry? Where are the kids I long to have?”

“Be still and know that I am God.” (NIV) I stop in my tracks. There was no one around, but yet I heard a voice…no, I didn’t hear it, I felt it. The words seemed to have permeated into my flesh, striking at my heart. I knew the Lord had just spoken to me.

“I hurt God. I ache so much and nobody seems to understand or care.” Tears flowed freely again, mingling with the rain that pelted my face. My anger began to ease up but I still felt upset.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (NASB) He said.

“Lord, I am afraid. I want so much to be a wife and mother, but I’m afraid it isn’t what You want, and that scares me.” The storm began to die down as I listened. I knew He wanted to tell me something, but I was afraid of what He might say.

“For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (NIV)

I felt Him in my heart again, and began to feel reassured. He really was working in my life. I was not alone in this. I knew whatever would happen in my life, whether I remained single or got married, I could count on Him. I just needed to be obedient, no matter what the outcome would be.

I turned back toward the church and with every step I took, the heavy weight on my heart lifted more and more. By now, the rain had stopped; the storm had finally passed and tranquility was returning again, both in the world and in my heart.

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This article has been read 1778 times
Member Comments
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Amy Michelle Wiley 10/25/05
Thank you for this story. I too, am waiting and wondering for the man God has for me. :-)
Debbie Sickler10/26/05
This portrayed the character's feelings and pain very well. Good use of the storm throughout. It built with the mood of the story, but the end was wrapped up a little too neatly. I think it may have been better to just have the physical storm lighten up with out completely stopping. It would show her grief was changing for the better, but she would still have the internal struggle not completely satisfied.
Garnet Miller 10/27/05
One storm or another rages in the heart of all God's children. My sister has the same battle as your character- she is a single mother who longs to be a wife and a mother again. I also have a dear friend who has realized that God has not called her to be a wife or bear children. When we want things that may possibly not be in God's plan, the bitter anguish can crush us like a ton of bricks, until we can see our way clear to utter the words, "Thy will be done Lord." Thanks for sharing this wonderful true-to-life story!
Mary Frederick10/27/05
Powerful! Only one who has been there can understand the depth and truth of this story. Paragraph seven is my favorite...we kill so many people with our sharp tongues. Too many do not realize that killing comes in many forms and death of the spirit is more painful than death of the body. Great work, thanks!
Linda Watson Owen10/27/05
Many will grow in wisdom through the reading of your story. It is gripping and inspiring. If you would like, you can put the NIV attribution at the end of the entry so it won't distract the reader in the body of the story itself.
Jeffrey Snell10/28/05
Praise the Lord! Thank you for writing this. So many times I have struggled with similar feelings--even about writing! Your expression of "what if what I long for isn't what God wants?" nails it. A few grammatical errors here and there, but a great job of writing.
Cassie Memmer10/28/05
Nice. Her longing is evident but in the end she, as we all must, gives it all back to the One who is in control. Good!
Deborah Porter 11/01/05
Shelley, I'm just popping in to let you know that you did very well in the Rain Challenge. You ranked 28th out of 147 entries, which is really excellent given the standard of entries. Be encouraged! Well done. Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)