Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)
TITLE: The Bridesmaid's Prayer
By Elizabeth Burton
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Lord, forgive me for lying. You know I’m not happy. More like jealous, mad, frustrated. She lived with some guy for two years, breaks up with him and then...poof! Just like that she meets a wonderful Christian guy who wants to marry her. And at a single’s party I had to drag her to! What’s up with that, God, oh Ye who hasn’t brought me a date in two years?
“I’d love to be a bridesmaid.”
Lying again, just so You know. I honestly think I’m going to puke if I have to be a minor player in yet another Happy Ever After story. Especially those that involve the “bad girl” being rescued by Prince Charming. Who knew that was the secret, God? All these years I’ve done the right things, been faithful to You. And at 39, the closest I’ve gotten to the altar is in a horrid pink number with puffy sleeves and a bow in the back. I should have been out “living it up.”
“Pink? It’s my favorite color!”
Carrie snapped the cell phone shut. “Deep breaths. In...Out...In...”
Stormy, her German Shepherd, watched her quizzically, her head tilting back and forth with each breath. Catching sight of her, Carrie giggled in spite of herself.
“Guess I look pretty funny, huh girl?” The dog wagged her tail. “Wait ‘til you see me in another pink bridesmaid’s dress!”
The meeting hadn’t gone well. Again.
I think Mr. Halloran hates me, God. What on earth did I ever do to him? I worked so hard on this project and he shot down every idea I had. There goes another weekend...
“Hi, Mom...No, I can’t Saturday; I’ve got to finish some work...The stadium project...No, he hated it...I know, but I can’t seem to even get an interview anywhere else!...Yes, I’ll keep praying...Love you, too. ‘Bye.”
Lord, just thought I’d remind you for the 337th time that I really do need a new job. I haven’t had a chance to see Mom in a week and You know how much she misses Dad. It’s not good for her to be alone so much. Please help me rearrange my life somehow so I can honor her the way You want me to.
You know, I wonder sometimes if You don’t just get tired of hearing me ask for stuff all the time, but then I figure, hey, You stuck that persistent widow bit in there for a reason, right?
Carrie slipped into the pew just as the music started. “Come, now is the time to worship; come, now is the time to give your heart...”
Worship. What is worship, anyway? I think of David and all his sins, his troubles, his complaints. Yet in the end, he worshipped You and was a man after Your own heart. I want to be that, Lord! Well, not a “man” exactly (I did mention I’d like a man in my life, didn’t I?), but You know what I mean.
“Today we’re going to have a special blessing for families,” the pastor announced. “Would the husbands, wives and children please come forward?”
Carrie closed her eyes and groaned silently, wishing the floor would open and swallow her up. She stepped out of the pew, forcing a smile, so the young family sitting beside her could get by.
Thanks loads, God. You couldn’t have given me a headache or stomach flu this morning, could you?
Mercifully, the rest of the service was short. “See you next Sunday!” her friend Marla called in the parking lot, clutching her new baby while her husband adjusted the car seat. Carrie waved.
Lord, I don’t mean to be ungrateful. You’ve given me more than I could ever deserve. But I just don’t understand...I know what you told Peter, that it shouldn’t matter to him if John is allowed to live until You return. We’re not supposed to compare. But I still long for that human love You’ve given others, God. Your arms aren’t there to hold me when I cry.
Stormy met her at the door, barking with excitement. Carrie knelt down, burying her face in the dog’s fur while Stormy tried to give her doggy kisses.
She’s so happy to see me, isn’t she, God? Just to be in my presence. Fullness of joy and all that. Ok, I get it. But I’m not going to stop praying for that husband—I’ve read that desires of the heart verse too, You know!
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