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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)

TITLE: Three Empty Boxes Filled
By cindy yarger


The three boxes she meant to fill still stood empty in her head. They were cheery enough, covered in paper that she hoped might solidify the thoughtful meaning she so longed to put within. Just what was to go inside them, she wasn’t sure of. The purpose was set, the means not yet identified.

She refused to fret. That pattern was of yesterday. Today she clung to the words that spelled release, “Let go, Let God.” She knew that she could not get to the “Let God” part until she’d safely made it through “Let go.” She knew from long ago what happened when she did. Her whole world went to hell and she was left terrified and alone. But, that was yesterday.

She didn’t always live in yesterday. It mostly came when she was afraid or unsure, or when stronger people came along and tumbled down her boundaries, that had been steadfastly placed in a moment of her own strength. She took a deep breath and resolved again that she would be strong.

In thinking this thought she found her first gift. It was in the words of God to Joshua, “Only be strong and courageous.” God would give to her this gift and she would receive it. It went into the gold wrapped box inside her mind. She wanted to tape it shut and trap it as hers, but she could not. It was with strength and courage that she began to believe that God Himself could keep it there for her. A tear slid down the side of her nose as she thought of God protecting something just for her. Just because He wanted to.

It had been a long time ago that she had stopped believing. Somehow her truth had become “The truth is not true,” and she believed it whole heartedly. Mostly it was for survival and all of it was to ward off terror and the sense of being alone. She had become very good at pretending, so good she believed it herself. But pretending and denial are not the ways of God so the real truth came and knocked upon her heart. Something inside of her opened the door.

The second gift presented itself to her now. These words were from a man in the book of Mark to Jesus. “I do believe, help my unbelief.” The truth had been so hard to find, let alone believe. It had been a trip through insanity that had not been her own. She never wanted to go back to her time of unbelieving, yet it still was so much the easier road. The box that held this gift was green and black plaid on red. Ordered and true. Reliable and trustworthy, things she could hold onto much of the time.

She let her mind wander to the third box. It was decorated with dark blue paper that held Heralding Angels. Trumpets were held to the lips of some of the angels and the words “Hark the Herald Angels sing” were scattered about the non trumpeting host. Whatever could she put in that?

She watched the lid slide off as a quiet voice called her name. “I will fill this one. It is a part of your letting God.” She smiled only a little and let the picture play out in her mind.

The inside of the lid was inscribed with the words, “The years that the locust has eaten…restored.” She only got a glimpse at what was filling the box. It looked like the box was filling with happy things. Love, joy, a bit of peace. What seemed to permeate it all was playful. This she was not sure that she had ever known. Playful was way too unsafe, yet here it was. She was not even sure that she could or would accept it.

Never-the-less the box was filled, the lid replaced. It stood with the other two. Three empty boxes filled.

She let go of the boxes then, knowing that somehow their contents would filter through and replace older thoughts that should never have stayed so long. One other little present came her way. God let her put her finger in the making of His bow. He encircled all three boxes with a bow that held the words “A promise from I AM.”

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Member Comments
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Teresa Lee Rainey11/23/08
Your MC has quite the imagination. How wonderful to invision God filling her emptyness through those gifts. :)
Beth LaBuff 11/24/08
Extremely creative writing. I've always been fascinated with the promise concerning the "years the locusts have eaten." I love that you included it here.
Anita van der Elst11/25/08
Wow! Joel 2:25 is a verse quoted to me when I was in the midst of coming to terms with huge disappointments in my life. Your MC has beautifully expressed the process of healing. May God bless this writing & bring healing to others through it!
Leah Nichols 11/27/08
This is amazing writing....like a devotional, but somehow more powerful when described in fiction. Beautifully done. :)