Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Anniversary (04/11/05)
TITLE: Goodbye, Johnny - Hello, Jesus
By WENDY DECKER
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“May I come in?” Janet asked.
“Of course,” Cynthia answered, and led Janet to the couch and sat down beside her.
“I’m sorry to show up like this, but I didn’t know where else to go and I know you’ve—” Tears
streamed down Janet’s face. Cynthia pulled a tissue from a box on the coffee table and handed it to her.
Janet stared deep into Cynthia’s eyes and said, “How did you do it? How did you break away?”
“It wasn’t easy,” Cynthia said. “As a matter of fact today is my anniversary. “One year ago today I said goodbye to Johnny.”
“But how—you’d been with him for so long?”
“Like I said, it wasn’t easy. He was my best friend. When I felt lonely and had no one to turn to Johnny gave me with warmth I’d never known. He’d accompany me on every occasion. He’d celebrate with me when I was happy and comfort me when I was sad. I still remember how he touched my lips and made me think everything was alright. Just a few minutes with him and my mind floated away without a worry in the world.”
“However, after many years together our relationship began to shift. Things changed between us—he didn’t make me happy anymore. No matter how much he gave of himself he no longer filled my empty space. Sometimes he even made me angry and I took it out on others—even people I loved. I tried to say goodbye many times, but he always found his way back into my life.”
“Eventually, Johnny caused me to become ill. I ended up in a hospital bed where he couldn’t find me. While I lay there sick and tired a good friend came to visit. He told me that Johnny had fooled me and never was the friend I’d thought. I didn’t want to believe it, but deep inside I knew it was true. I knew in my heart the source that had told me this was more reliable than Johnny ever had been, or ever could be.”
“After spending a good amount of time in the hospital I went back home. I didn’t want to see Johnny, but he was still there. I cried and Johnny didn’t care. I hollered and Johnny didn’t budge—my friend gave me the strength to throw Johnny Walker out of my life for good.”
“How did you make him leave—you said you tried many times before—what made the last time different?” Janet asked, desperate for an answer.
“I got rid of everything in the house that reminded me of him. I stopped going to the places we frequented together. I discontinued friendships with people who knew Johnny. Instead of seeking Johnny each day I let my new friend take his place.
“See that?” Cynthia pointed toward the kitchen. A plaque with these words hung above a kitchen cabinet, it said, I can do all things through Christ Who Strengthens Me, “Phillipians 4:13” (NKJ). “Now I see Him everyday instead of Johnny.”
Cynthia took Janet’s hands and placed them in hers. She said, “You can say goodbye too. Let’s make this an anniversary we can share together. Say goodbye to Johnny or whatever his name is and say hello to Jesus. He’s waiting for you with open arms.”
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