Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Guard Your Heart (06/08/12)
TITLE: Dose of Reality
By Genia Gilbert
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The hotel restaurant was unusually quiet. Emily was thankful because she was exhausted.
She smiled as Rachel chattered nonstop. They had just completed their first Calvary Ladies’ retreat together. Sent by their church, they had led a study based on Titus 2, focusing on Christian mentoring among women.
Emily’s sessions emphasized women’s interests, needs, and responsibilities, at age forty and above. Rachel had followed by speaking from the perspective of the younger age group. The final session was arranged to draw all ages together, discussing ways they could minister to each other as women, wives, and mothers.
The response was phenomenal. The success of the weekend effort exceeded all their expectations.
“Can you believe it?” Rachel bubbled. “The attendance alone was unreal, and there were dozens who came to me wanting more information about getting started with mentoring. I finally ran out of our printed suggestions, and promised to mail some.”
Emily laughed outright at Rachel’s excitement, yet shared in the joy. God had indeed blessed them. Her head was still whirling at all the compliments she’d received about her speaking presentation. She had been especially flattered by several who didn’t believe she looked old enough to be in the forty-plus category.
“Yes, Rachel, it will take us days to come down to earth,” she agreed. It’s great to see such interest in God’s word and His ways.”
Rachel’s cell signaled a new text. As she read it, she grinned.
“I have to go up to the room now. That was Darren, and he’s getting ready to put Bailey on the phone to talk to her mommy.” Bailey was Rachel and Darren’s toddler daughter.
“Then you go, girl. I have taught you well. Family comes first! I’ll just finish my coffee and be up in a little while. " Emily shooed her young friend away.
Leaning back and sipping slowly, Emily felt a little relieved. Rachel’s enthusiastic energy was beginning to take its toll on her. Although they had separate hotel rooms, they had been together a lot.
Emily and her husband Wayne had settled into a much quieter routine since their last chick left the nest for college. This was, in fact, the first time she had been away from home alone in years. She was extremely tired, in spite of the wonderful events of the last two days. She looked forward to a good night’s sleep and going home tomorrow.
As she mused, she felt as if someone was staring at her. Her eyes swept across the restaurant and suddenly connected with those of a well-dressed man who smiled. She couldn’t help noticing how handsome he was, and briefly wondered if she had met him before. She hadn’t, or she would definitely remember, she decided. Emily averted her eyes and returned to her coffee, a bit unsettled.
I’m so silly, she thought. He was only being friendly. However, as she cautiously glanced up again, the good-looking stranger was definitely gazing at her. He looked about her own age, with a touch of gray in his hair. There was a strange chemistry, or connection as her eyes met his again.
Like lightening, Emily retrieved her purse, paid at the cashier’s counter, and rushed to the elevator.
She passed the door to Rachel’s room, quietly entering her own. Once inside, she groaned, aghast at herself and nearly in tears. What could have been in her mind? She hadn’t experienced anything like that in … longer than she could remember. How could such thoughts have blindsided her?
Suddenly she knew, and fell to her knees beside the bed.
Oh, Father! Forgive me for acting so “spiritual” that I forgot I am only flesh and blood, saved and kept by Your grace. There’s never an age or time when a woman should forget that. Help me to include some warning about it if I ever make this presentation again. Thank you, Lord that the only thing I did right in this was “flee” as You’ve told us. Never mind about that man’s intentions; I only know my own thoughts.
She reread Titus 2: 3-5 with new understanding.
Closing her prayer, she repeated a familiar verse, with new emphasis.
“Let the words of my mouth AND the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my STRENGTH and my Redeemer.” *
With that, Emily reached for her phone and dialed. She needed to hear her husband’s voice.
* Psalms 19:14 (NKJV)
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