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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)

TITLE: Against the Wall
By Jen Davis


Waiting in the small examination room with its hard, cold floors, I am anxious to complete the test that will tell me what my future holds. The white walls offer no warmth or consolation. The florescent light above flickers and hums as if to cling to life. A single chair with a hard plastic seat is positioned in one corner of the room and along one wall is a grey exam table with paper pulled down its center and ripped at one end. Everything here seems hard; there is no softness, no comfort. I choose to stand. I am all alone.

Last week the doctor called. This is usually not a good indication. It’s so much more reassuring when the nurse calls with test results, which usually signifies that everything is fine. Receiving the card in the mail, now that’s even better. Then there is nothing to worry about; everything is normal. Because the doctor is calling—I sense that everything is not normal. I wait to hear what she has to say. Those moments stretch out beyond the normal realm of time, or so it seems. The next few words she speaks may forever change my life. Standing in my kitchen, I cling to the receiver.

“There was a mass found on the X-ray,” she said in a rather concerned tone of voice.

“A what?” There are no previous connections in my brain for this unfamiliar arrangement of words. It takes a moment to sink in.

“Can you come in next week so that we can do some further testing?” she continued.

I have carried the weight of this burden for seven long days now. As I stand in this room and continue to wait, I grow more anxious by the minute. The hospital gown is opened to the front and leaves me feeling vulnerable. I shiver from the cold air that blows too strongly from the vent. I can hear an exchange of laughter coming from down the hall; I long to join them, but instead, a single tear escapes before I can discern what my heart is feeling.

After the test is done, the nurse leads me back to the same room. I can get dressed now, she tells me, and wait until the doctor comes in with the results. I’m glad to have my clothes again; their warmth and familiarity comfort me. I will find out today. I will not have to wait any longer. My mind tries to fill in the blanks. What if …? What will …? So many questions to think about, but no answers come. Suspecting this room is used for situations like mine, I wonder how many others have stood where I stand and have waited to hear their future. How many received good news? How many did not? I sense the tears that have spilled onto these floors and then mopped away. I want to cry for them and for myself. This is hard.

Standing in this room, I close my eyes and lift my head up in prayer, longing to feel the presence of my Lord. I begin to lose my balance and start to fall backwards, but instead I lean gently against the wall behind me. Keeping my eyes closed, I settle into it and feel it supporting me. A sense of peace that surpasses understanding resonates within me. A smile rests upon my face as I realize: God is like the wall that holds me up, supporting me. I cannot see Him, but I can feel Him. His peace settles over me and becomes my own. God has taken a step closer to me. I am not alone. Whatever the news is, I can handle it. I will walk through it. With God’s support, I will be all right and so will my family.

* * * * * * *

I received good news that day. Praise God. Yet the most amazing thing God showed me was that I can have peace even in life’s most difficult moments and that I can deal with anything when I lean into Him.

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This article has been read 1137 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allen Scovil 06/08/06
Nice one. You wrote the uncertainty well, I thought, and, at the end, the decision could have gone either way and not disturbed me. Peace indeed.
Jan Ackerson 06/08/06
Oh wow--I went through this exact thing about a year and a half ago, and you really captured EXACTLY what it feels like. I love your details--the cold hard room, the laughter in the hall--you put us right there with you (so cover up a little bit, there you go).

I almost think you could have ended without the last few sentences: end it with "I am not alone" in contrast with the end of your first paragraph.

Excellent writing!
Marilyn Schnepp 06/09/06
A beautiful way to show the topic of Peace...I loved it! Jesus, as solid as a rock and as solid as the wall that held you up when you were faint. Nicely done.
Sue Dent06/09/06
. . .and don't we just go through this almost everyday on some level. I sure needed to read this now! Thanks!
Trina Courtenay06/12/06
An excellent read!

Dr. Sharon Schuetz06/13/06
Good job. You created the uncertainty and fear so clearly. I really liked it.
Ruth Neilson06/13/06
Wonderful job. I can feel the fear and worry that you were portraying here.
Anita Neuman06/14/06
This is brilliantly written! Personal, emotional and with a wonderful message. My only criticism is that the 2nd paragraph is about "last week" but it's still written in present tense. Overall, great work!
Rita Garcia06/14/06
Well written! You captured in the inner peace that only comes from Him.