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Topic: hope (03/29/04)
TITLE: Glimmer of Hope
By Ann Marie Lindenmeyer
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She had committed her life to Jesus when she was twelve years old, and at fifteen took the vow with God for purity. She was waiting for marriage and knew ‘he' was out there waiting too. What she hadn't realized was just how difficult the wait would be.
She had tried alcohol a few times in high school, giving in to peer pressure, but decided it wasn't what God had planned for her. She had stood strong and avoided the trap of partying and boys that many of her friends fell prey to. But at college, she felt so alone. She saw people out having fun, partying and letting themselves go. She wanted so badly to be a part of it, but instead, she watched out her window of the dorm each weekend feeling lonely.
She had dated some boys in high school too, but they always thought she was a prude. They never could respect her decisions and would move on to someone else, somebody they thought was more fun than her. She remembered the hurt and feelings of unworthiness. Again, she had stood strong and didn't give in to the temptation just to fit in or be accepted. She was a woman of God and that was more important than anything that other kids around her were doing.
Where did that strength from high school go, she thought? She felt weak, tempted, and alone. She remembered her parents suggesting a Christian college and she couldn't understand why there would be a big difference. Now she understood. It had been difficult to find friends. Her one friend went home every weekend, but she couldn't because she lived too far from home and was stuck on campus.
This weekend was different though, temptation had gotten the best of her. A knock came at the door and the girls in her hallway invited her out with them and she decided to finally go. What would she do at a college party, she had thought nervously? She didn't care.
She remembered the uncomfortable feeling surround her when she first arrived. People were acting crazy, silly, and the music was loud. She had never been exposed to a situation like this, but her loneliness had been consuming her. The other girls grabbed her and shoved a beer into her hand. She took a sip but it tasted disgusting. How can they drink this stuff, she thought?
She looked around and thought to herself, what am I doing here? She walked out onto a porch balcony. Luckily, everyone else was still inside. She was alone. She looked into the night sky and cried out, why God can't I be normal, is there no hope for me to find someone like me? She stayed out on the balcony for quite some time while the loud noise blared from inside the house.
It was time to leave, she thought. This wasn't the type of person she was and she didn't belong there. She walked slowly across the campus toward the library. She could go bury herself in a good book. All her homework was already completed. She found a comfortable spot in a corner with her book and lost herself in the words.
She hadn't even realized how much time had passed before she finally looked at her surroundings. Then she saw him. He looked close to her age and loneliness filled his eyes as he looked out the window at the other students laughing. He wasn't very far from where she sat, but he hadn't yet noticed her stare. He looked back down to his own book and continued to read.
She watched him intently as she noticed he was in his own world, just as she had been minutes earlier. Then he looked up and caught a glimpse into her eyes. Embarrassed that she had been caught, her eyes diverted back to her book. That didn't stop him from coming over to her chair to say hello.
They ended up talking for hours until her eyes were exhausted from the early morning hour. They had so many things in common, and it amazed her. He was a strong Christian with many of the same beliefs as herself. Maybe she wasn't the only one on this campus, she thought.
They made plans to meet again the following night at the coffee shop in town. As she walked back to her dorm room, she didn't even notice the drunken laughter of the other people passing by. She was engulfed in her own thoughts. God had heard her cry on the balcony. She wanted a glimmer of hope and that glimmer arrived. She was in the wrong place, tempted to do the wrong things, but in her cry, God answered and gave her renewed strength that she was doing the right things.
Arriving back at her room, she looked out the window once more to see again what she had been missing. She thought to herself that she hadn't been missing anything at all. All the others out there were the ones missing something, the love and saving grace of a Savior that could fill their hearts. She curled up into her blanket, closing her eyes, she drifted off to sleep knowing she had made the right choices this evening. The small glimmer of hope He gave her at the library was enough to convince her once again that she was a woman of God.
Copyright 2004, Ann Marie "Ree" Brown.