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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Thump (05/30/13)

TITLE: It's Personal
By Lori Dixon


I stared down at the pumping hands. They did not look like my own. Thin, weak arms flexed, pushing down with all their might.

The song, “Stayin Alive,” ran through my head, setting a steady rhythm. I thumped down harder as I focused on the chest, purposely not making eye contact with his lifeless face.

My arms ached and my back was screaming, but I refused to stop. It had been a few years since my boyfriend’s heart attack and I was giving this all I had.

Finally, a firm hand on my shoulder told me it was over; I allowed myself to take a quick glance at Andy’s white, unresponsive face.

Stretching, it took a few minutes to loosen up enough to sit back on my heels. My arms began to shake uncontrollably as my muscles reacted to the intense workout. Choking back tears, I hid my face from the crowd around me.

“You did exceptionally well. I never thought with your small upper body that you could keep the compressions so deep and steady. Are you sure you’ve never taken a CPR class before?”

Turning my head from the lifeless torso, I looked up at the instructor, “No, and I never thought I would, but this was personal. Tell me, how did I do? Did I pass?”

He leaned down and scooped up the CPR dummy, “You bet you did, that was darn right impressive!”

During the rest of the course that day, I struggled to keep my head in the game. When they showed videos of gruesome roadside injuries, the entrails and body parts that normally would have caused me to cover my eyes or nearly faint, did not impact me at all. I wasn’t mentally or emotionally present . . . my mind was still counting and replaying the CPR over and over again.

This class was personal. Really personal. Nothing had prepared me in 2008 to see my then boyfriend, Don lying in a hospital bed with tubes, wires and a noisy—but thankfully beeping—heart monitor hooked up to him. I promised myself right then to learn first-aid so I would be ready to help should the need ever arise again. God forbid.

As time went by, and our lives took on a more normal existence, I thought less and less about his heart attack and more and more about my heart condition. It became increasingly clear that Don’s heart was not the one that needed an overhaul.

By 2011, I was harbouring so much anger—decades worth—my heart had become a heart of stone. As a result, my entire body was beginning to break down under the heavy mask of hypocrisy. I refused to acknowledge the sin of unforgiveness. Finally ready to get real, I Confessed to a few close friends, Prayed and Repented, a much needed spiritual CPR . . . begging the Lord to do some open heart surgery in the process.

Thankfully, I have never had to put that first-aid training to the test. But more thankful still, the Great Physician did some awesome work and my heart transplant was successful.

”And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26 ESV

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 06/10/13
Great description in the beginning - I was right there. Like the spiritual message too. Thanks for sharing!
Sunny Loomis 06/12/13
Very well done. I can relate. I like your words for CPR. Thank you.
C D Swanson 06/13/13
Beautiful message attached to this well written and enjoyable entry.

God bless~