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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)

TITLE: Sweet Death
By Jessica Schmit
06/07/06


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Naked, I fell to my knees. I needed Him. My clothes sat beside me. Scattered reminders of a concealed, self protected life.

“God, it’s over. I can’t live…like this.”

Over? I don’t think so. Don’t bow your head in shame. I’m not ashamed of you.

Obedience won. Nausea welled up inside as my face lifted and caught sight of the vile reflection in the mirror.

“God, I’m broken. Not a day can go by where I don’t give in to sin. And I don’t know why. I feel like I hate everything and everyone…for no good reason. I’ve sunk and I don’t want to get up…I don’t think I can.”



With a mighty roar the wind tumbled towards the unsuspecting pine. A violent struggle ensued. A single tree trembled in the hand of the mighty wind. Its branches writhed for an unattainable supremacy.



You’re tired because you’re always fighting me and my words that I have spoken over your life.

“God, it’s hard. I look in the mirror and all I see are my lies, the shame, the fear, the anger, the bitterness…that’s what I am…garbage.”

Stop! It hurts too much when you talk like that. You’re my child, my precious one whom I love. I fashioned you and formed you. You are not a mistake, or garbage. I love you.

Tears formed. Slowly, they made their way down my cheeks and washed my colorless face. Revelation approached. I could sense it.

“God, why can’t I do the right thing? Why…”

Until you let go of your own will, I can never work through you. And in turn, you will continue reacting and allowing the anger, the guilt and the shame to overwhelm you. My child, you say that you love me, but when will you let go and let Me in?




The wind continued. It never wavered. The tree refused to give in to its pressure and continued the struggle. Needles blew sardonically through the winds almighty breath. Evidence of the brutal death that was drawing near.




I wept. My body trembled from the recent acknowledgement, yet was horrified by the revelation.

“I can’t.” A faint whisper escaped from my parched lips.

You can. I will help you, but you have to want to give up.

I knew this day would come. The day of purging. The day where my security blanket would be ripped from my clutches. The day when I would have to realize that I could trust Him with everything.

The day I fell-to Him.



A swell. A change of pressure. The pine, tired from its struggle gave in to death.



“I’m scared God. What if…”

I clamped my mouth shut. Terror encompassed my being. He would surely destroy me.

I will destroy you, but through death comes life. With life comes unquenchable peace, free from control and worry. The question is, do you want to truly live?

My mind quieted. A perfect stillness hung in the air. A question stood before me. But it was more than a question, it would evoke change. The stillness was broken by an unwanted fiend.

Fear.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you.

I dare not speak out loud. Reminders of past mistakes clouded my mind.

Shame.

You are my child. An ocean couldn’t hold the depths of love I have for you and you alone. Shame holds no power over your life.

But what will people say? What if He asks me to leave my city, my job? What will I do…

Control.

I will always supply your needs. My needs and wants for your life will become your needs and wants. I have a destiny waiting for you that is perfect for you and I should know. It was I who created you.

Surrender.

My face bowed in holy reference. My body trembled while my heart wept at the unmasked beauty of His presence.

Was I ready to let go of the past, the pain, the worry and the fear?

I knew it was what I needed to do.

“Yes. I …need you.”

Something I’ve wanted, yet never known, entered my spirit. Something that could never abide in the presence of fear or control.



The wind quieted. The sun glistened off the trunk of a newly sprouted pine. New life had begun.




The struggle was over.

Peace.

“God, take me. Break me. I am Yours.”


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This article has been read 1049 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter06/08/06
Very profound and beautiful. The interspersed story of the pine works really well. I love the way you showed us some of the paradoxes of the Kingdom - freedom through surrender, life through death. Isn't God amazing the way he works? Fantastic.
Lynda Lee Schab 06/09/06
Probably one of the most gut-wrenching and powerful pieces I've read on that decision-making moment of choosing life over death. This was honest and real. Very easy to follow and packed a good punch. It really all does come down to surrender. And then comes the peace. From the title to the ending, you did an excellent job!
Karen Treharne06/10/06
This is an awesome piece and a great read from beginning to end. Your weaving was brilliant and so was the process you depicted of the struggle to relinquish self- control to receive God's control in our life. A good job and a blessing to read.
Suzanne R06/12/06
Interesting! The way you interwove the tree and the person was very effective. In the end, I figured it was a seed, right? (Or am I majorly missing the plot?) Just as the 'old self' of the person was really just the seed covering for the new.
Jan Ackerson 06/12/06
This is like a braid, the three strands beautifully interwoven, and becoming a strong, strong entry. Really wonderfully written.
Sandra Petersen 06/12/06
This was beautiful and yet powerful at the same time. I really needed this message this week.

One correction: "My face bowed in holy reference." I think you meant reverence.

I liked the juxtaposition of the struggle of the pine tree and the wind with the personal struggle of the created with the Creator. Excellent comparison!
Rachel Rudd06/12/06
Great job, Jessica!
I really liked the part where you ended each struggle with a one word description. The final "surrender" fitted beautifully. What an accurate picture of what it's like to turn from sin. I did struggle a bit with the beginning, but it made sense as I kept reading. Surrending to God is a sweet, but fatal thing to the flesh! Thanks for sharing!
Lori Othouse 06/12/06
This was fantastic. I really got a sense of the struggle - in so many different areas. Very honest emotions, too. Great job!
Dr. Sharon Schuetz06/13/06
Powerful. You obviously experienced this life and death struggle. Isn't God amazing? Life can only come through death, and yet as painful as that death may appear, once experienced, we discover it was only the decision that caused the pain. Beautiful.
Pat Guy 06/13/06
So many layers of life, love, struggle, sin, death, renewel! It's all here and woven so beautifully, and seemingly, so easily! Hope we continue to read more! ;) ;)
dub W06/13/06
What else is there to say, this is very good. I don't like the bold, but that's just me.
Sherry Wendling06/13/06
Penetrating, convicting, masterfully written! You so beautifully matched the simplicity and power of the written, 3-way drama to the stark, powerfully honest nature of the message.
"...the unmasked beauty of His presence" was rich. When we stop trying to hide from Him, He unveils Himself to us! A treasure!
Rita Garcia06/14/06
Powerful message, Superb!