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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)

TITLE: Desperate Retreat
By Lynda Lee Schab
08/01/05


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I held on for dear life.

Many told me it would be better to let her go; that she was holding me back. But she was my friend and I would cling to her for as long as I could.

She'd been in my life for so long. In fact, I could barely remember a time when she wasn't there. She was like my favorite pair of jeans - comfortable and familiar, the first thing I reached for every morning. We'd become inseparable and the thought of saying goodbye was torture.

We met twenty years ago at my family reunion; the same day I was raped. In the middle of the afternoon, while music played and dozens of relatives laughed and reminisced, and my cousins were splashing in the pool, I was losing my virginity to my very own uncle. I was thirteen.

When it happened, I was just ten feet away from my mother, who was sipping iced tea with my aunt. Her words, audible through those thin pool house walls, still echo in my mind: "I have such high hopes for Karina. I know God will do great things with that girl." I focused on her voice as I cried in silence. Great things? Is this God's idea of a joke? "Great things" wasn't being trapped underneath a monster, his slimy hand clamped so tightly over my mouth I could hardly breathe. "Great things" wasn't a snorkel jabbing me in the shoulder, and the taste of bile in my throat.

The moment my uncle finished and stumbled out the door, my friend appeared. She helped me clean myself up, as well as the bloodstain I'd left behind, the only visible evidence of the evil that had been present here moments before.

My new companion held my hand and, eventually, my heart.

There seemed no retreat from the memories, especially in my sleep. And when I miraculously lived through the nightmare and woke up to sweat-soaked sheets and mascara and tear-stained pillow, my friend was there to console me. I would cry out to God, "HOW could you let this happen!" and my friend would pick up where I left off and demand answers too, in ways I couldn't. But God didn't respond to our pleas, which made me even more desperate to hold onto her - the only one I could count on. The one who was there for me when God was not.

Over the years, many begged me to let her go. "She's no good for you," they'd say. "Get rid of her before she destroys you." But I was unable - or unwilling - to say goodbye to my trusted friend.

Until one day she almost killed me. She had convinced me to take my own life and I grabbed a knife and slit my wrists. But when I saw the blood, my thoughts returned to that godforsaken day. I thought of how I had come to depend on my friend. How I had let her grab hold of my heart so tightly she consumed my every thought…. I thought of my mother's voice: I know God will do great things with that girl.

And I thought how right everyone was - my friend had never really been my friend at all.

It was then that I realized I had to let go. Holding on to her for all this time had seemed easier than the alternative. But in that moment I had to ask: Was she worth dying for?

***

I have a long road of therapy still ahead but it gets easier every day. It's strange living without her. I am still getting used to the freedom I am feeling now that she's gone. I have discovered that God was there all along and that He does, indeed, have great things in store for me. It wasn't His will for me to get raped. And I now know it should have been His hand instead of Anger's that I grasped that day. I guess the important thing is that these days I'm clinging to Jesus, the retreat I so desperately need from the hatred and bitterness and pain that took control of my heart. And for the first time since that unforgettable day...

I truly feel peace.


Retreat: A place of refuge…


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This article has been read 1097 times
Member Comments
Member Date
janet rubin08/08/05
Powerful. It took me until the end to "get it". God bless you as He heals you- I'm cetain this article would be a blessing to those who can relate. I wasn't sure it fit well with the "quiet get-away" topic... but well-done.
Tesiri Moweta08/08/05
Jesus is truly our refuge from terrible storms of life.Powerful piece.Thanks for sharing.
Anthony Tophoney08/08/05
Wow! What can I say? As a fellow anger survivor, I can only agree with your answer. Jesus. Plain and simple. Thank you for sharing this painfully personal piece.
Beth Muehlhausen08/08/05
It sounds like you're discovering that a heart full of Jesus is the ultimate retreat. :-)
Dixie Phillips 08/08/05
Wonderful Piece! May it help bring healing to many! Way to feed the multitudes!
Shirley Thomas08/08/05
A wonderful message of healing and hope. Thank you for sharing your pain and your victory.
Cyndie Odya-Weis08/08/05
There really is no retreat other than the true peace we get from working through life in Jesus' name and with his grace. AMen
Jan Thackston08/08/05
Wow...how brave to be so transparent. Your honesty surely will help others in similar circumstances. God bless you as you heal.
Nina Phillips08/08/05
Your story will help and encourage many to let go of the past and pain, and lead others to Christ. This is a very heartfelt and touching entry. God bless you on your amazing journey in Christ, littlelight
Marjorie Arrowood08/09/05
The writing and courage to share combined are certain to be a great step in healing. I'm sure many will join me in praying for continued progress.
Lynda Lee Schab 08/09/05
I just want to clarify - this piece is purely fictional. I should have noted that on the bottom of the story. Sorry about the confusion but I am glad it had a "real feel" to it. Hopefully it brings hope & healing to someone who needs it.
Debra Brand08/10/05
Good flow in thoughts and action.
Melanie Kerr 08/11/05
A very compelling read.
Jan Ackerson 08/11/05
I know it's hard with the word limitation, but I really wanted to know more about this friendship. Well done!
Joanne Malley08/11/05
Great reading from beginning to end! Top of the line descriptive writing. You got a little down and dirty this time, eh? Good job. :)
Shari Armstrong 08/11/05
A powerful story -well written.
Fenny West08/11/05
A moving and powerful story. I like the simile in the third paragraph.
I was arrested till the end. Well done.
Linda Watson Owen08/11/05
Captivating story. Excellent message of hope!
Maxx .08/11/05
Excellent and powerful. A top 8 contender to be sure. I'll be surprised if it isn't in the top 3 at least. Good word use, to the point, nothing extra weighting it down. Strong from opening line to conclusion. Tie-in to "retreat - as in quiet time away" is weak ... but that is the only weakness I could find. :-)
dub W08/12/05
Wow, tough, and captivating. Good job.
Suzanne R08/12/05
Wow! I was really glad to read your comment that it was purely fictional, simply because this is such an awful thing to happen to anyone ... but I know it does. Well written. Kept my attention from start to finish. And so real.
Pat Guy 08/12/05
Well done Lynda. Simple words I know but, you wove simplicity and complexity together so well they seem to fit. Wonderful message. It can be apllied to any of those crutches we use when we don't understand. A contender for sure.