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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hotel/Motel (09/12/05)

TITLE: Righteousness regained
By Karen Ward


It was dark. She was hiding. He had a machine gun, and blazing red eyes. Every part of her tensed as he came towards her hiding place. This couldn’t be the end. Somewhere in her mind, she knew she’d just started something good, but she couldn’t quite remember what it was…


Jenny’s jaw ached from grinding her teeth.

She unclenched her fists slowly. Her nose twitched at the overwhelming odor of alcohol, and her head felt like a lead ball wrapped in marshmallow. She remained motionless under the covers as the dream faded and reality washed over her.

Oh God, what have I done?

Her face contorted.

A hotel. I’m in a hotel. God, why did you let this happen?

She remembered a conversation she’d had only two days ago.

“Jen, do you really think this is a good idea?”


“You’ve come a long way in two months. Do you really think you should go to the wedding?”

“I have to go. Jane and I have been best friends since high school. She’s expecting me. Besides, aren’t you always saying that we have to witness to people?"

Yeah, witness. Tell all my old friends that I’ve become a Christian. Tell them about Jesus, and then end up drunk and in a hotel room with Jamie Peterson. To think I was angry that she didn’t trust me. Well I sure proved that I’m trustworthy didn’t I?

Jenny tried to throw the covers over her head and hide, but they were caught. She growled, yanked at them angrily and then curled herself into a ball beneath them, hoping that the world would go away if she stayed there long enough.

Well, at least Jamie had to leave early this morning. I’m glad he’s not here.

Thoughts of the shots she’d had at the wedding, and the bottle of bourbon they had brought back to the room with them, confirmed her belief that she’d been out for the count when Jamie had snuck out to catch his plane.

God, why!? You know I came intending to be good. I wasn’t going to drink at all. How did this happen?

“Come on Jenny, just one for old time’s sake!” Jamie’s eyes were smoldering as he leaned in close enough for her to feel his warm breath on her cheek. “We have a lot of history, let’s drink to it!” He pushed the bourbon and coke into her hand.

The reception room was dimly lit now, as the music blared and the disco lights flashed. She was about to say she had to go, when her favourite song from high school started to play. Jamie leaned in closer, “Come on, dance with me. I’m not going out with Jane now.”

Her grown up self seemed to slip away as he led her to the dance floor.

It was my dream come true. Jenny’s high school boyfriend wanted me!

By the time he steered her back to their drinks, her emotions were high, and her resolve was gone.

I just ignored you God. Somehow I put a wall up. The moment I agreed to dance with him, I knew where it would lead. Oh God! Please forgive me! Help me! Don’t let this happen again. Oh thank Heavens no-one at church will need to know. But I know and You know, can you ever forgive me?

Under the covers it was getting hard to breathe. Jenny thrust her head out the top and flung one arm towards the drawer where she had put her glasses. It was time for a hot shower and a coffee.

She felt around until she hit something cold and hard. She sat up to look. Her glasses were beside the object. She put them on.

A Gideons Bible.

Oh God. I’m so sorry, can you ever forgive me?

For a moment she just sat with the Bible clutched to her chest. Then she started to flick the pages over. A title caught her eye.

“Help in Time of Need – Forgiveness in Time of CONVICTION 1 John1:7-9”

Oh yeah, that’s me.

The last verse stood out: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

She read it again, and tears began to flow down her face as she received the gift that God had given her.

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This article has been read 967 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Julianne Jones09/20/05
Isn't it great that no matter how much we mess up, God is faithful and always ready to forgive? Must admit I was wondering where you were going with this, but loved the ending. I thought it was interesting too that Jenny was wilfully sinful: "The moment I agreed to dance with him, I knew where it would lead." A well-written piece that shows great insight into the human heart and offers a solution without being preachy. Thanks for sharing and God Bless.
Anna Meadows09/20/05
There's one thing that can help this piece. Try using different names for your other characters.
It started to get confusing when they all started with J. That's something I learned at a writer's conference. The workshop teacher said that making names with the same letter can leave your reader confused, since we don't really read the whole word anyway.

Other than that, it was great!
Jan Ackerson 09/21/05
Yep, very well-written, showing the Christians stumble and that grace is always there for them. This should be required reading for new Christians. Nicely done.
Debra Brand09/22/05
Yes, He is quick to forgive if we are quick to ask. Every Christian struggles with temptation and some lose. Good work
Anita Neuman09/22/05
Great piece, Karen! I think you're fitting in just fine with the advanced crowd. Great job!
janet rubin09/22/05
"her grown up self seemed to slip away.." I liked that. I'm one of the Christians who can relate to a story about disobediance followed by regret. Thank God for grace!
Lynda Lee Schab 09/23/05
This story is so real! Who hasn't been there? (OK, maybe not in a hotel room but falling into the trap of sin). The names all starting with "J" also crossed my mind while reading. You don't want to confuse your reader. But overall, it was an excellent piece, well written with great detail and emotion.
Blessings, Lynda
Shari Armstrong 09/23/05
This was very well done, but the first bit with the machine gun confused me, but I'm guessing that was a dream?
Garnet Miller 09/23/05
Your story was expressed very well. We all slip and God is there to pick us up!
Phyllis Inniss09/24/05
Excellent piece. Held my interest throughout.
Val Clark09/24/05
Great work. You got the point across without going into the 'sinful details' or preaching at me. A well written provoking read.
Suzanne R09/26/05
I liked the way you flicked back and forth between the past and the present. Also your description of her head feeling like a lead ball wrapped in a marshmallow. Well done!
Deborah Porter 09/27/05
Yep Karen ... I was another one who made note of that lead ball in marshmallow bit. Very good description.

Just a few thoughts - the opening paragraph was a little confusing. I personally would have left that out. I know it threw me a bit when I was reading it.

This was also a little confusing, " "Jenny’s high school boyfriend wanted me!" That really confused me because I thought she was "Jenny."

But overall, this was very good. With love, Deb
B Brenton10/13/05
I agree with Deb about that line... but I loved it. You have a great style! Don't believe I've ever mentioned that to you before. Can't wait to see your article for this week!