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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)

TITLE: In God Alone
By Marie Hearty


"You need a man."

"I do not," Susanna said quietly.

"Well, you need to get out and have some fun." Diane stood. "All you ever do is read this silly book." Reaching down she slapped the bible shut that was resting on Susanna's lap. "And when you're not reading, you're praying."

"What is wrong with that?" Susanna looked up at her sister expectantly.

"You need to get a life. Look at me," she flipped back her long blonde hair. "Just last night I met a hot guy at the club I went to. He asked for my number and wants to take me out. You should see his Corvette, whoo-hoo."

Susanna shook her head.

"What? You don't approve?"

"It's not for me." She opened her bible and flipped through the pages to where she had been reading.

"How do you know if you don't try?" Grabbing Susanna's arm, Diane attempted to get her on her feet. "Come, I have this amazing short skirt that will flaunt your figure. You'll look great when I take you out this Friday."

Susanna pulled back. "Diane, I'm not going to a club."

Diane huffed. "I don't understand you."

"I don't expect you to," Susanna said. "I just wish you would respect my relationship with Jesus Christ. Clubs aren't something he would want me to go to."

"How do you know that?" Placing her hand on her hip, eyebrows raised, Diane stared at Susanna.

"They are full of temptation."

"Anyone who tells me I can't go to a club is no friend of mine."

Susanna closed her eyes. "Jesus laid down his life for his friends and I am doing my best to lay down my life for him."

"What fun is there in that?"

"The joy the Lord gives is amazing, and it never ends like the fun you have at a club."

"If that is true, then why is church the most boring place to be? I would choose a club over church anytime."

"The joy I am talking about doesn't come from a place; it comes from within. Jesus gives it to us and we have it no matter what we are going through."

Diane rolled her eyes. "Life is short, I choose to enjoy it." She grabbed her purse from the table, "I am going to the mall, want to come?"


"Suit yourself."

Susanna waited till the door slammed shut, then bowed her head. "Father God, in you alone I have fulfillment . . ."

The door flew open, "I forgot something . . .oh, sorry." Diane ran upstairs.

Finishing her prayer, Susanna went to sit outside for a few minutes. She had been criticised her entire life for her devotion to God and for how careful she was in following his commandments. When she was younger, her mother would try to get her to wear more fashionable clothes so she would fit in with her peers, but Susanna was content with the clothes she had. Now at nineteen, she had the same struggle, plus new ones; the main one being her social life, as it was hard to find people with things in common. Her church didn't have many activities for people her age and at school, most people thought like her sister; that clubs and parties were the greatest places to be.

Diane skipped out of the house onto the veranda. "Are you sure you don't want to come?"

Susanna stood. "No, I have something to do."

Fumbling through her bag for the church bulletin, she picked up the phone. Having never done anything like this before, she was unsure of what the response would be, but she felt that God was calling her to a deeper faith in him. The phone rang three times before the secretary picked it up.

"Can I speak with Father Allen?" She began to shake.

"Just a moment."

A deep voice said, "Hello."

"Hi, Father Allen. It's Susanna Griffin calling. I was wondering if I could meet with you sometime this week. I have an idea for a group for young adults that I would like to share with you."

"Sure, Susanna. That would be great." The enthusiasm was evident in the priest's response, yet Susanna couldn't help but wonder why God would have chosen her to lead this special ministry, as she didn't have any experience. The time was coming when she would soon find out.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Ann Darcy04/13/06
Thank you for sharing this with us! I liked your characters and the dialog flowed smoothly. The only thing I would wonder about is that Susanna doesn't even have an inclination to go to the club. I think as Christians it's a given that we will have temptations to overcome, this seemed too easy for me. There would always be that "it would only be this time." thing, that wish to be cool just once. That would make her more real to me and also add a little more conflict.
Great story!
Jan Ackerson 04/13/06
I think Susanna has a few things to learn about the way to win over non-Christian friends; she was a bit too pious for me. Good character development here, and realistic dialog. Thanks for this thought-provoking story.
Helen Paynter04/13/06
Interesting story, really gripping. I wonder if the last paragraph could have been expanded a bit?
Shelley Snyder04/13/06
I like how Susanna stuck to her guns. However, I would tend to think that teenagers are more apt to be a little more rebellious and experimental...though not all are. I do like the contrast you had between the girls though.
Marilyn Schnepp 04/15/06
Do writers want the truth or a pat on the back? For myself, I want the truth...no matter how unflattering. So, I find this story very unrealistic. Unless the writer wants to paint Susanna as a female-type nerd or geek...which I don't believe he or she does, then the conversation must be more like LIFE REALLY IS. Christians don't have to be prudes; but the point of the story was well taken. Good job.
T. F. Chezum04/17/06
I enjoyed the story. I like how Susanna stuck to her guns, but I agree with the others that her characacter might be a litle different. Good job.
Pat Guy 04/19/06
This reads like a prelude to one who will be called to full time commitment as a Nun in the future. But I think even one who desires to live this profession would go to the mall with her sister. Or maybe express why she wouldn't - like maybe her sister would only go to the stores of wild clothes or something. Or maybe show a compromise between the two so they could do something together.

You've captured her love and commitment to God very well - maybe you can work in a way for her to reach out to her sister so she doesn't feel cut-off.

Good writing!