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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)

TITLE: Life Neverending
By Shanon Hinkel


Nurses were hustling about like an army of ants when Abigail opened her eyes. The bright lights caused her to blink several times. Where was she, and how long had she been here?
One nurse came over to her side. “Well, look who’s awake. It’s okay, we cleaned you up just fine. We’ve been waiting for you to wake up.”
Abigail could barely take in what the nurse was saying. She opened her mouth to reply but found that her voice was hoarse and raspy. She couldn’t say anything that made sense to anyone.
“That’s all right, Sweetie. I’ll get you on to your room and get you hydrated, and you’ll be able to talk in no time.”
Abigail shuddered, realizing she was in a recovery room. She’d been operated on, then? No! They couldn’t know what she’d done. But she knew looking around that they did know. Something had gone wrong, and they’d fixed her. Why did they have to do that? She didn’t deserve it, and she didn’t want to be fixed.
Anger began to creep up her body and she wanted to shout at anyone who’d listen. How dare they do this. The nurse took her into a big elevator and then down a floor or two. Abigail’s head still throbbed. Her body ached. She felt so empty. The pain was at least something. She wished for more of it. She knew she deserved as much pain as she could get.
The nurse wheeled her into a room with a big picture window. It was nighttime. Abigail could see the night sky and the city lights. It was beautiful… in perfect contrast with her pain.
“You’re gonna rest now, Honey. You sure need it,” replied the nurse as she attached an IV drip. Abigail wished she wouldn’t bother. The nurse left the room quietly.
Abigail ran her hands over her stomach, closing her eyes. Just twenty-four hours ago there’d been a baby in there. She had felt such despair, such hopelessness… sheer desperation. As she remembered, tears began to fall.
She hadn’t felt right the night before. Should she still have been bleeding? She couldn’t afford to have gone to anyone reputable. It had to be done like it was. Cheap, quick, and simple. And then she could forget.
She wasn’t counting on wanting to die… such complete emptiness and shame. And here it was again, in this hospital room, overtaking her like a black bottomless pit. She was falling, falling, and didn’t care to be pulled out. She deserved it, after all. And as she drifted off to sleep, Abigail hoped she would never wake up.

The arms that draped over Abigail at that moment couldn’t have been human. They began to pick her up and cradle her. Abigail could feel the despair and shame leaving her body, as if it were being pulled from her. She was being rocked, nestled very close.
Abigail’s eyes opened and she saw herself as a teenager, kneeling at her own bedside. She’d asked Jesus to take her life into his hands… to be her savior… to forgive her sins and set her free. Abigail could feel the same love as she felt at that very moment in her life. She didn’t understand it then, and couldn’t begin to comprehend it now. What had she done to deserve such perfect love?
Abigail then saw a baby, a beautiful little girl smiling at her happily. “Mama!” Abigail could still feel the huge arms cradling her. She knew then that this baby was too being cradled, in the arms of Jesus. Abigail felt such elated joy that she couldn’t contain herself, and let out a wail of relief.

Abigail’s eyes flew open and it was still nighttime. She was still on the hospital bed, connected to the machine. There were tears streaming down her face, and she still had no baby in her stomach. Her body ached. Her sin consumed her, but yet she knew she was forgiven. She had to learn to forgive herself.
At a loss for what to do, she raised her hands, closed her eyes, and began to sing praises to God. He had not only forgiven her, but had given her the gift of seeing her baby girl and giving her comfort. And how He could do that, Abigail knew she’d never understand.
No chattering was necessary now as the nurse peered in the doorway, thanking Jesus for the new life he gives continually. Despite our choices.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 06/22/06
I really like the forgiveness and reconciliation at the end, although I had to read this several times to be sure I understood what had happened. A few edits for clarity and this will be a very powerful story!
Virginia Gorg06/27/06
Powerful. Great ending. Nicely written with a lot of feeling. Forgiven is such an incredible word, isn't it.