Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)
By Sheri Gordon
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As I lie in a state of I-don’t-know-what, I try to reach someone…anyone. I don’t know what is happening to me, but I know I am deathly afraid…and something is deathly wrong.
I am floating in and out of consciousness, but no one ‘out there’ seems to know this. I hear them talking…or am I merely dreaming? I have to fight to wake up. They have to know I’m in here, trying desperately to get out.
Please shake me. Somebody shake me awake. I need help…I can’t come out of this by myself.
And then I’m gone. To where? Did I die? This is not like the near-death experiences I’ve read about. I don’t see any bright light. I do not feel an overwhelming peace. I feel alone…so alone. So cold. Did I die and go to hell? Is this what hell is…eternal aloneness? What about the fiery furnace?
I remember when Grandma was dying…she talked about seeing her sisters and mom. I don’t see anyone.
Is someone there? Anyone?
And Grandma kept saying ‘I can’t decide,’ like she was stuck between two worlds. Well, I can decide, and I don’t want to be trapped in here, wherever here is. I want to be out there.
“Her brain activity is good. There is nothing to do but wait…and pray.”
I’m in here! Hello? I can hear you. Get me out of here. No…don’t leave. Please don’t leave me alone. Just shake me awake.
And then, I’m alone again.
I attempt to calm myself and think my way into ‘awakeness.’ But how does one do that? ‘Out there,’ one does not have to think oneself awake, it just happens. So how do I think about it now? And what if I have to think my breathing? Breathing is just supposed to happen, too, but what if that stops functioning correctly? I practice thinking my breathing, just in case.
And what about my fingers? They always move their fingers in the movies. I focus on my fingers, willing them to move. Nothing.
“We have no answers. Everything looks normal…she just doesn’t want to wake up.”
Yes, I do! I do want to wake up. I can’t think myself awake. Stop talking around me and shake me. My brain just needs help…I’m trapped in this void. Please get me out.
They can’t hear me…it’s no use. I’m going to die a slow, agonizing death trapped in my own brain.
Where are you, Jesus? Why are you letting the enemy torment me in this vacuum of nothingness? Why are you letting my loved ones suffer out there while I’m suffering in here?
“Oh Father in Heaven. We know that your ways are bigger than our ways. And we certainly don’t understand why our sister in Christ is going through this, but we trust you in all things. We ask for a miracle, and we ask you to walk with our sister, wherever she is inside there. Amen.”
‘Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone.’
I hear the singing…or is it simply inside my head? Maybe it’s the heavenly hosts. Whatever or whoever it is, I hear it, and I feel the emptiness slowly floating away. I stop trying to will myself awake. I stop thinking about my breathing. I start focusing on God.
Verses I didn’t even know I knew begin filling the empty spaces.
“I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear…Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer…The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?...I will exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths…Oh Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me…I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears…Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me…When I am afraid I will trust in you…My soul finds rest in God alone.”
I hear the singing again; ‘Because I know, He holds the future. And life is worth the living, just because He lives.’
I am still not awake. But I am not afraid. And I am not alone.
Author’s note: “Because He Lives,” written by William Gaither, 1971.
Scriptural references: Psalm 3:5, 6a; 4:1b; 27:1; 30:1a, 2; 34:4; 54:4; 56:3a; 62:1a.
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