Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Light and Dark (05/21/09)
TITLE: Valley of the Shadow
By Ruth Neilson
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There was no end to the struggle.
That was my life for so many long months. The only thing that saved me at church from breaking completely down was finding odd jobs to "stay busy." I was good at it too. Actively involved at church, putting on the 'happy face' for every person to see--but did they know I was slowly dying on the inside?
I doubt it. Everyone assumed the smile meant everything was okay. Even though, I knew it wasn't.
Somehow I managed to stay busy.
Locked away, lost in the dark. Slowly, dragging spiritual razors across my wrists, wishing perhaps that someone would notice the pain within my church...but no one did. I did what I was told to do, faithfully serving the church; trying, somehow, to ease the pain.
I could only hope that God had a plan to illuminate the pain I was carrying. He did. It's almost funny, when it's time for life to change; it is rarely slow and painless. He thrust a flaming torch into the darkness of my soul and revealed my hurts and scars.
I screamed, "No! It hurts too much! Leave it alone!"
But the torch burned brighter, the light piercing the darkness surrounding my life. I wept, knowing I had no place to hide.
Exposed, vulnerable, forced to make a choice. Do I return to the dark recesses of my mind or do I stay exposed to the world in the light of the Christ.
I stood there, in my valley of decision.
A roll of thunder echoed through the basin and I turned, fully embracing the light.
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