Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)
TITLE: The Experience of a Lifetime
By Rachel Burkum
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During the past few months, I could feel myself changing. I knew deep down that I wasn’t meant to be here anymore. But why now? Why couldn’t it have waited just a little longer? I was torn between wanting to stay and wanting to leave.
I could hear voices around me, though I couldn’t see the faces.
“Hold my hand, Janice, I’m right here.”
Each phrase held a tenseness, yet a strange element of peace. Yes, there was peace. It soothed me and calmed my nerves. I could feel the pressure again, but my ears picked up on a voice so tender. My grandpa. Oh, he was waiting for me. So many others were waiting for me, too. But God, do I have to go now? I knew the answer, and I was willing at last.
The discomfort increased and I felt as though something had gone terribly wrong. I heard loud beeping and the peace around me seemed to have vanished. What was going on? Why had my journey stopped? No, not when I’m finally ready!
My body felt like gravity no longer existed and I couldn’t tell which direction was up or down. My lungs felt like they were on fire and my heart raced. God? Where are you? What’s happening? I clung to Him for my comfort.
And then...a moment of silence seemed to last an eternity before suddenly I was surrounded by the most brilliant light. The pain was gone. Oh, thank you! Was that singing I heard? Yes, it was singing! Tears streamed down my face, but not because I was disappointed to be here. Oh, if only I would have known how beautiful this place would be when I had balked at the calling.
I saw my grandpa and felt his loving arms surround me. It really had been his voice I’d heard. But even he paled in comparison to the One I was really meant to meet here. I was finally home.
. . . . . . . . . .
A little baby’s cries filled the hospital room as her mother’s tears mixed with a joyous smile. Her father stood close by, gazing down into his daughter’s eyes for the first time, his heart feeling as though it would burst with sheer happiness.
As the doctor allowed the new family time alone, he was pulled aside by one of the nurses.
“I thought you’d want to know...Janice just passed away.”
The doctor’s shoulders dropped just a little. “That family has been through so much. First Claire’s father, now her daughter.”
The nurse nodded, but a peaceful smile crossed her lips as she gazed past the doctor into the room. One life had been born into this world, while another had been born into eternal rest. And both would have the experience of a lifetime.
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