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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Facepalm (05/15/14)

TITLE: Slap!
By Graham Insley


Hopelessly drunk and driving! An accident waiting to happen and a life that became a constant train wreck.

These dramatic statements sum up so many years of my life as I struggled with the alcoholic violence of my father and the insane manipulation of my tormented mother. They taught me a lifestyle that became a pattern I followed with dedication and vigour. And for over fifty years, I didn't even realize that I had the power to change it.

As I think back on some of the more dramatic moments, I am now able to stand in awe of the Protective Hand that hovered over my life.

There was the time I woke up, slumped in the driver's seat of my mini and covered with my own vomit. Drinking all night in a country night club, I had left and run my car into a ditch only two hundred yards from its entrance gate. Talk about needing a slap -- I could have killed someone that night. But instead of slapping me, God's hand protected me.

Then there was the time I did nearly kill someone. Again as drunk as a skunk, I'd been drinking with a mate at the beach. We'd run out of booze and my drinking partner was fast asleep in the back seat. I decided that I was going to the bottle shop to get more booze.

Drive straight? I woke up in hospital to find that I had crossed over all lanes and run head first into a parked car... where a couple were kissing and cuddling. Praise God that I was the only one hurt. The Protective Hand was again at work.

And these are not the only two occurrences where, as I look back, the palm of my hand slaps my forehead with a declaration of stupidity.

The truth is that the number of facepalms that have been in my life could well have invented the word. Waking up in jail, hospital or in my own vomit was a regular occurrence. My life was being poured out as a drink offering to the wrong god. And it remained that way until I realized that the Protective Hand was actually not only protecting me, but also reaching out for me.

Through a series of supernatural communications, the hand that once slapped my forehead now came up in involuntary awe to cover my mouth in amazement. And the realization that there was a God, who was reaching out for an intimate relationship with me, left me staggering in shock.

I had dreams that confronted the lifestyle I was following. I heard messages and read things that penetrated my concrete heart. And God showed me how my life could have been with different choices; and how much worse it could have been if He had not protected me from more serious consequences.

I had to confront my need for forgiveness from so many people that I had left behind in the carnage of my life. Emotional road smashes and train wrecks littered the journey from childhood to adolescence and on into an immature, self absorbed adulthood. When this was revealed to me, by the Hand that once protected me, I wept in repentance for days. Until that same Hand once again came into play.

God now reached down with a Loving Hand and showed me His forgiveness. He encouraged me to accept that what was behind was simply that -- behind, past and gone. And then He taught me the most wonderful lesson of all -- how to forgive others -- especially my mum and dad.

My hands can still slap my forehead in frustration as I learn to change my ways. They can still cover my mouth in awe when my new Dad heals yet another embarrassing moment from my past. But most of the time they simply go right past my face and fly up in praise and worship of an awesome God who changed it all.

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This article has been read 317 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/22/14
Thank you so much for sharing your testimony with us. It is always an honor to hear from someone who was blessed and saved by grace, and lives on to give the glory to the One that provided the love and strength to bring them through.

Well written and touching.

God bless~
Susan LeDoux05/24/14
What a beautifully written testimony! You show so well how our Father holds each of us close and cares for us. Your phrases and word choices elegantly drew a picture of your life and how you were saved. Bravo.
Lisa Johnson05/24/14
The best thing about having a testimony like this is the fact that you can touch lives of people in similar circumstances, where they might not listen to someone who doesn't.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/25/14
This is a beautiful testimony. I liked especially your reference to the Providential Hand.
Carolyn Ancell05/26/14
Beautifully expressed and written. I love the imagery in your last paragraph; great summary of story!
Judith Gayle Smith05/26/14
I wish there was a level beyond "Masters." You write so vividly, with humility, that I MUST read your articles - brick thrown or not. Great job!
Joe Moreland05/27/14
This is an incredible piece. I love how it seems honest and genuine testimonies are coming out through the Challenge week after week. It seems almost as though one baring of the soul encourages another, and the result is the revelation of God's mercy, protection and forgiveness in so many lives. It helps many of us to see where He's been at work in our own lives in places we never noticed before.

I especially loved the imagery you used when you wrote of the hand that protected being the same hand that was reaching out.

This was truly a masterful job.
C D Swanson 05/29/14
God bless~
Lisa Johnson05/29/14
Congratulations on the high ranking for the awesome piece!
Pauline Carruthers 05/29/14
It's always an enormous blessing to read a testimony to God's grace. This was so beautifully illustrated it made me cry with thankfulness.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/29/14
Wow! I have tears in my eyes for the man who suffered so much pain that he thought alcohol could numb him. Mixed in those tears are tears of joy for the man the MC has become today. God is great and your story will surely make a difference in someone's life. Thank you for being obedient to God in writing this. Congratulations and a huge Happy Dance!!
Noel Mitaxa 05/30/14
Congratulations on sharing your story without glamorizing it, as I've heard too many stories like it that glorify the past stupidity and make listeners feel that they've never been bad enough to become good enough to have a testimony.
And congrats on your EC. Well done.
Trudy Newell 05/30/14
Hi Grahm -

I read entries like this, and it makes me wonder if I'll ever get out of the Beginner category!

Seriously, I love reading the "Masters". I was going to be brave and give you a bit of a critique - but obviously that's not necessary.

Congratulations! You are an inspiration to us all.

God bless!
Bea Edwards 06/04/14
You wrote an extremely powerful entry this week.

There are these words from a favorite song- 'We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb
And the word of our testimony, everyone overcome.'

There is not much more powerful than a transparently gritty account of the power of the Cross and Him who is always watching over us.

Nothing we have ever done or now can do will detracts or add to His love for us!

Thank you for writing this.