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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)

TITLE: Once Upon a Time...
By Jennifer Waddell
01/28/06


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Quite a few years ago, I had created a space for myself that consisted of alcohol, parties, men, women, and cigarettes. Of late nights and mornings of going to class still drunk from the night before. Of not caring what anyone thought or said. It was a life of freedom. I spoke however I wanted to whoever I wanted. I dated a man who would have done anything for me. “No one will ever love you as much as I do” he told me once. I believed him. But, he was wrong.
Someone who loved me more than I ever thought I could be loved came into my space. In the beginning, He just sat quietly; I didn’t even know He was there. Then, every now and then I began to sense His presence. I didn’t know what it was, I just knew that it was threatening and I didn’t like it. So, I drank more and I smoked more and I tried to burry the pain in substances.
On the night that I saw my beloved walking home at 2am with another woman, the substances refused to help me. They left me all alone with the pain out on the balcony of my apartment. I lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply, but nothing happened. There was no welcome comfort. No solace. I ran to my bedroom and crumpled into a ball on the floor. I sat there rocking and hurting so badly that I just wanted to leave my body. My heart exploded into a million pieces that night. Pain slithered throughout my body, shutting me down. All I could do was bawl and rock. The darkness that had been slowly surrounding me closed with a snap and I was trapped inside.
“Oh God” I said. I’m not sure if I was actually talking to Him right then, or if I just didn’t know what else to say. “Help me! Somebody help me! I don’t know what to do!” Despair wrapped it’s sticky arms around me and rocked with me. Life had no color. There was no future. There was no reason to continue to breathe. There was nothing but an echoing cavern where my heart once was. Suddenly, I stopped crying. There were no more tears. I just lay there all curled up on my hard floor. I reeked of smoke, cheap wine, and sweat. I leaned into the darkness and let reality wash over me, ready to drown in it.
For some reason, I thought about God. I had learned about Jesus along with my ABC’s, but I realized right then that it wasn’t just cool that He had died for my sins, it was necessary. I need Him to have died. If He had not died, there truly would be no hope in the world at all. I saw Him then. He was in my room. The darkness faded away and despair untangled itself from me as I raised my eyes to His. Instead of the anger I expected, I saw love reflected there. “How can this be? I thought. “Don’t you know me, Lord?” In awe, I realized that He did indeed know me. He knew me before the beginning of time. I got up onto my knees right by my bed. “Jesus, I need You!” I said in desperation. “I need you, don’t go! Don’t leave me. I need You.” The pain did not go away, but I was filled with something that I now know was peace. For the next two years, I pushed Him out of my life and ran back to Him countless times. There was no instant change. He has been gradually transforming me since that day. Sometimes I get it right, but more often I don’t. He has taken up permanent residence in my heart. It is now His personal space.


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This article has been read 578 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 01/31/06
Without paragraphs to break up the story, it is awkward reading. To make it "reader friendly" would be a good start, and then the reader can consume it much better.
Kate Wells02/05/06
I was so drawn by your title.
My favorite words have always been, "Once Upon A Time..."
I'm so glad you found Jesus.
Your passion was felt in this piece. Thank you for sharing.
God bless you...Kate~