Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)
TITLE: Alone at the House
By Ann Darcy
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Nobody would ever know I’m doing it anyway. People assume that guys are the only ones who get into this kind of thing. She typed in another URL and checked the new photos. She had her sites that she returned to more often. She skimmed the images for a handsome model to look at; finding one, she clicked on the photo to see an enlarged visual. She enjoyed the physical excitement that rushed through her body when she looked. She jumped at the sound of the garage door. “They’re not supposed to be home yet!”
In spite of the allure, she mechanically deleted her web history for that evening and then closed her browser and pulled it up once more to scan for something she might have missed. Just taking precautions. She got up and flopped into bed with her chemistry book. She heard the sound of someone coming up the stairs… down the hall… outside her bedroom. They always let me know they are home… like clockwork. She grinned at her book.
Someone knocked and Lahela faked a quick jump and put her hand to her heart. “Oh, mom, you scared me! I didn’t hear you get home,” she sighed.
Her mom came over and sat down. “I’m sorry, honey. I didn’t mean to scare you. Anyway, I thought I’d come in and say goodnight. Your father and I are very tired.” She pulled Lahela in for a hug and left the room.
It worked. Again. Lahela praised herself. She struggled to focus on her chapter as the images continued to flicker through her head until late into the night.
Sweat poured off of Lahela’s face and back; she still couldn’t sleep. Guilt had overcome her.
My child, why do you turn your eyes to look at evil? Do you not believe I will help you out of your sinfulness? I have said I will not allow you to be you tempted more than you can handle. Flee, my child.
The Voice always came at night, prompting Lahela gently. But it wasn’t the only voice inside her head. Another fought against the first.
Ah, but you know how much you love it, the other voice caressed. It’s something everybody does. Just keep at it and the Other One will leave you alone.
The gentle prompting voice and the cold sickening voice came every time she did it.
I know the plans I have for you; plans for hope and a future. Don’t throw those plans away with this. I love you and have forgiven you, but you need to stop this sinfulness.
Oh, God. I’m sorry. I won’t ever do it again. She would promise, but never meant it, she was only trying to get rid of the voices so she could sleep—it usually worked.
You filthy brat! How dare you promise that, you know you have sinned, you are as black as coal. You hypocrite!
The voices wouldn’t go away this time. The dark voice now preying on her guilt, making her feel like a wretch. Isn’t that what I am, though? She rolled, trying to find a place that wasn’t damp with sweat.
My child, I loved you so much I gave my son to die for you. Don’t you think I love you enough to help you out of this? Trust me, I will lead you home.
“God,” she rolled onto the floor, finally listening. “I promise, and I really mean it this time, that I will never look at pornography again. But I need your help, God. I can’t do it alone. Please forgive me for what I’ve done.” Tears ran freely down her face; but a peace came over her suddenly, a feeling that she could actually conquer this enemy, with her Lord’s help.
The next day she asked her parents for forgiveness. And while the struggle continued day after day, she fought and gained strength from the promise she had made that night. And day-by-day, she managed to stay away.
Paraphrased: John 3:16 NIV and Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
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