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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bon Voyage (09/05/05)

TITLE: Close Enough to Perfect
By
09/11/05


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“Bon Voyage!” I called, with a falsely cheerful tone that was just a little too perky. My ultra thin, beautiful friend Lauren and her equally impressive husband, Garrett, were leaving the next day to go on yet another vacation to yet another exotic location. This time it was a week-long cruise to paradise. Their two perfect children and perfect dog would be staying home with their perfect grandparents. “Send me a postcard…” I said as I got back in my very unromantic mini-van to drive back to my uneventful life in my ordinary neighborhood. When the door closed behind me, I changed my tune, “Please do NOT send me another postcard!” I mumbled as I put on my best fake smile and waved through the window.

The week before, Lauren and I had gone shopping to find just the right wardrobe for her trip. From sunglasses to cocktail dresses, with matching shoes and accessories, everything was new and strictly stylish. She visited the salon for a tan, manicure and new haircut to complete her flawless look. My friend appeared, as always, to have it all together.

Days later, the dreaded postcard appeared. A picture of the closest place to heaven I had ever seen. “Wish you could be here,” it said.

“I wish I could too,” I muttered under my breath. Lauren was generous and kind, and did not intend to brag. She just shared her life with me, because we were friends. The fact that I realized my sinful envy made me feel even worse. I shoved the postcard in a drawer. It appeared that they were experiencing a perfect voyage, as always. Good for them, I thought, and tried to make myself mean it.

When Lauren returned from the trip she stopped by to fill me in on the glorious details of her vacation: the peace and quiet, the food, the beach. The pictures were beautiful, as both Lauren and her husband were. There were pictures of their horseback riding expedition, the ocean view from their cabin, and their snorkeling adventure. It appeared that their trip had been a wonderful experience.

I had always wanted to take a cruise. My struggle with jealousy seemed to have hit an all time high. I was a grown woman, for goodness’ sake! Why did it seem that everyone had a more exciting life than I? Better things, better marriage, better life. Why did I care? And even more disturbing, why couldn’t I be thankful for the perfectly wonderful life that I knew in my heart God had given me?

***

Two months after the cruise, I got a phone call from Lauren. Her voice sounded strangely flat, very uncharacteristic of my friend. “Garret and I are getting a divorce, she said simply. “We thought the cruise would make things better, bring us closer together,” she explained, sadly. “But it’s over.”

Suddenly, I realized with great clarity that my family, my life, and my world were as close to perfect as I needed them to be. Bon voyage to jealousy, I promised myself, and God, at that very moment. I thanked my Creator for the life He had given me, and once again asked His forgiveness. But this time, I prayed, sincerely for the first time, for Lauren, Garrett and their children…

Bon voyage to a marriage, a family, and a future, I thought sadly. Some things are simply not as they appear.


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This article has been read 610 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Val Clark09/12/05
‘Some things are simply not as they appear.’ Indeed they are not. Thanks for this well written reminder to be grateful for what we have.
Anita Neuman09/13/05
Great story, and great reminder. Good job!
Jan Ackerson 09/14/05
You don't need the asterisks; you covered that by saying "Two months after the cruise..." Great job at showing your narrators changing emotions.
terri tiffany09/15/05
This story hits home for so many of us. A great reminder to be thankful for what we have. Thank you!
Maxx .09/17/05
way to bring the point home. very well written! :-)
Deborah Porter 09/21/05
Kelly, this was a great entry. The old dissatisfaction bug can hit anyone - the grass always seems greener on the other side. You expressed that view so well, and the fact that it isn't always so. Good work. Also, I wanted to let you know that you were in the semi-finals - so give yourself a pat on the back. Well done! Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)