Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Day and Night (07/10/14)
TITLE: Purple Sky
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom
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I can’t exactly pinpoint my fears. I think, mainly, I’m afraid of failing, of not being good enough, of no one needing me anymore. Like many other days before this one, the fear cripples me, making it a struggle to accomplish anything. I feel like I should be doing something to make my family proud of me, but instead, I lie in bed, trembling. Then, the sobbing starts. It wracks my body, leaving my eyes puffy, my head throbbing, and every joint aching.
Somehow, I muddle through the day. I manage to accomplish a few things here and there; yet, still I feel like a burden–a failure.
As the day ends, I seek refuge outside in the cool of the evening. I look to the sky for comfort. The pink and lavender hues make me think of a family joke. When someone expected something outrageous, I would ask, “What color is the sky in your world?”
Of course, the person would answer, “Blue.”
Laughing, I would contradict them. “The sky is purple in my world.”
A sense of hope flutters in my stomach, but the time spent recollecting has caused the purple sky to disappear. Now, I only see black. The fear that never quite left me threatens to strangle me.
I walk around the yard and listen to the birds sing their babies to sleep. Oh, how I long for a remote control for my life so I can push the rewind button back to when Mom sung me lullabies. I remember how whenever someone hurt my feelings or I felt sad, I would run away to the comfort of my room and plop on my bed. I would keep one ear perked for the sound of my mother’s footsteps. She would always follow me and rub my back until my raw feelings were soothed. I miss her so much, and I feel old.
At this point, I’d love to rewind exactly thirty years, back to the birth of my first daughter. I know I should be happy and proud. All three of my kids have turned into amazing adults; each one living a good life in their own corner of the world. I swallow back the tears. How I long to hold my baby and nurse her to sleep. Those days are gone, and I feel all alone.
Crumpling, I fall to the ground and curl into a fetal position. I leave one ear exposed, waiting for the footsteps that I know will never come. I cry out, “Please, God, I’m so afraid. Another day has come and gone, and I don’t know if I made you proud. I’m one day closer to death, and I’m so afraid.”
Suddenly, I feel another presence and think that maybe my husband has gotten home early. I listen intently for his footsteps but hear nothing. Just as I am ready to succumb to my fears, I feel his arms enfold me. I look up; expecting to see his face etched with concern, but no one is there.
But, then who touched me? Suddenly, goose bumps pop out on my arm, and I feel the weight of the world lift from my shoulders. I look up and see the stars twinkling back at me, and the sky has turned from jet-black to a magnificent, dark purple. Jesus whispers in my ear. “You are mine, and I love you for who you are. You do have a purpose.”
My cell phone trills. Somehow, I managed to miss three calls and a text, there is a voice-mail from each one of the kids. They all felt a need at that moment to phone me to say, “I love you, Mom.”
I read the text from my husband. “I love you and I’ll be home soon.”
Looking at the purple sky and the twinkling stars, I know some would say everything I had experienced was a coincidence, but I know better. After all, the sky is purple in my world.
Author’s Note: This is the story that God has been calling me to write all week. I don't know why I fought him so. For the first time in days, I don't feel the fear wrapped around my heart.
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