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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: The Prom (08/02/04)

TITLE: pro…aaagh…gg.. hack-hack, oh, excuse me, om
By Lisa Beaman
08/04/04

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I wish I could write a romantic prom story, one of young love, beauty and innocence. Unfortunately, due to my own unfortunate prom experience, that is impossible. You see, every time I even say the word "prom", something catches in my throat between the "r" and the "o". It comes out more like a gagging sound. Somehow "pro…aaagh…gg.. hack-hack, oh, excuse me, om" doesn't sound very romantic.

Perhaps my experiences would be more fitting for a Greek tragedy. However, much to my dismay, there wasn't any bloodshed. I may have felt like killing my (absent) date, but my stomach's too weak and my conscience is too strong. Even without cold-blooded murder, the gory details of my junior prom would no doubt cause every woman reading this to cry for days. At least that is the effect the tragic story had on me.

I would love to write a comedy about it, but my sense of humor would probably be too cynical and harsh for a Christian web-site. I also might be forced to use words that are normally not part of my vocabulary and I would be banned from FaithWriters. Some of my "friends" did think it was funny at the time. One of them called me a "loser to the fourth". The math reference wasn't very funny to me then and to tell you the truth, sixteen years later, it still isn't. I do not think I could accomplish writing a comedy.

In fact, I believe I told Joanne Malley that I would be boycotting the writing challenge this week. I told her that the very thought of the word causes me to break out into hives. It's absolutely true. I'm all red and blotchy as I type. Yet, no matter how offensive the word "prom" is to me, I could not get those humiliating memories out of my head. The topic will haunt me until I write something. So, instead of writing about the prom that never was, I'll share with you some of the life lessons that my experience has taught me.

First of all, I have learned that if you happen to remain in the same small town that you grew up in, to be prepared to come face to face with ghosts of the past. Time may have dimmed my pain, but those feelings of anger, hatred and low self-esteem can come rushing back at any moment. Sixteen years later and I still feel a stab in my heart every time I see his name, talk to his wife or am forced to conduct professional business with him. Please note that it's hatred that I fight, not heartbrokenness. I am a happily married woman.

I have also learned that forgiveness isn't something that you only do once. The fact that this man is now a brother in Christ has forced me to do some serious soul searching. I have had to ask God to help me forgive him many times. Jesus told Peter to forgive his brother seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:22). I'm sure that he meant for him to forgive seventy-seven offenses. I have had to forgive seventy-seven times for one offense. I must be a slow learner.

Since romance and Greek tragedy are out of the question, perhaps one day I will be able to laugh at myself enough to write a comedic rendition. Until then, I will set my prom dreams on the future. One day my children will have their own prom experiences. Hopefully theirs will be more pleasant than mine, and I will be able to live vicariously through them. I also hope that I won't ruin the moment and say, " pro…aaagh…gg.. hack-hack, oh, excuse me, om" out loud.


Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 08/09/04
Lisa,
I am SO sorry for your terrible prom experience! How true that memories of the past bring forth all of those "thought-I'd-put- it-behind-me" feelings! Yikes!
Oh well, all we can do is keep trying! But I'm glad you came up with something to write for "prom". I mean, pro...aaagh..qq..hack-hack. oh, excuse me, om... LOL
Blessings, Lynda
WENDY DECKER08/09/04
I AM ALSO SORRY YOU DID NOT HAVE A GOOD PROM EXPERIENCE, IT SEEMS MANY HAVE NOT AS WELL. HOWEVER, YOUR STORY OF WHY YOU DIDN'T WANT TO TELL YOUR STORY WAS TOLD WELL!
Joanne Malley08/09/04
Lisa - Thanks for sharing, even though you may want to forget your experience. The way I see it, there's way too much focus put on the prom. You can read about my experience and I'm sure there's many others for this challenge that had hopes that were crashed. Hey, you're happily married, you can dance with your man any time...NO PROM NEEDED! LOL :)
Norma OGrady08/09/04
"Pro…aaagh…gg. Hack-hack, oh, excuse me, ohm" out loud.
You did great expressing your story.
TEEN'S AND YOUNG ADULTS MAKE MISTAKES AND OFTEN TIMES REGRET WHAT THEY DID. YOUR YOUNG MAN WHOM YOU STATED IS NOW MARRIED AND POSSIBLY A BUSINESS MAN AND NOW A CHRISTIAN HAS HIS OWN PAST MEMORIES AND HE MORE THAN LIKELY REGRETS WHAT HE DID TO YOU.
Yeshua bless you
Norma
Sylvia Spielman08/09/04
Lisa, I'm thankful you shared this -- sometimes I relate the teen stories to my son who is a Church Youth Leader. He and his wife have to do a lot of counseling -- some preventive, but often after the fact. I never share names, but the stories give my son and his wife understanding for the kids. If you get a minute, please read my article (and others, as well) -- but for the grace of God, it could have happened to any of us. Bless you! Sylvia
Kay Brown08/09/04
How interesting that I am struggling with a forgiveness issue today that I thought had long ago been laid to rest. Your words strengthen and equip me to continue the process. Thank you for your candor and for reminding me that I am not alone in my weakness. We are in the Beloved now, my sister. Let's rejoice together! Kay
Dian Moore08/09/04
I agree with Wendy, that your story about not telling your story was well written. I'm betting you could have told the rest, given some time to recover from the hives. Thanks for sharing. Yes, forgiveness is ongoing, and I think it's seventy times seven times we are to forgive one another.
Lisa Beaman08/09/04
Thank you all for your encouraging comments. E. Dian Moore, thank your for yours too, but if you look up the reference, Matt. 18:22 in the NIV, it says "seventy seven times". I had always heard "seventy times seven", so I looked it up to be certain. My footnotes say, "Or seventy times seven". Thank you again.
Lisa:)
L.M. Lee08/09/04
Lisa, my school didn't have a prom...so no memories. But my all of my children had proms and they were nights to remember! God blessed them with wonderful dates and the whole evening was a blast!
Carol Shaffron08/09/04
Yes, Lisa, forgiving is a process. In my junior year a boy called and asked me to the prom--it made me feel special until I overheard another girl talking about going with him. He was going to let me believe he was going to take me...hadn't thought about that in 30+ years. Unforgiveness just keeps us chained to the person we want to befree of....it's kinda self worship though too....think of the humiliation Jesus suffered for us and know that your experience whatever it was actually enables you to identify with our Savior.
Karen Treharne08/12/04
Wow, Lisa. What you didn't say was heard loud and clear. Isn't it a shame that some of the times we look forward to and expect to be forever memorable become nightmares?

I'm so glad you turn to God for help in such a difficult situation. Your trust in Him will be justified in blessings. Maybe writing a letter to your absent date, not necessarily giving it to him you understand, but just writing it will help in your healing. Maybe even an open prayer in writing with all the frustration and hurt that God already knows about but would be honored by if you turned to Him once again. May He bless you and bring you the peace you seek.
John Hunt08/16/04
Lisa,
I could tell that this was a soul-felt narrative, tempered with just a touch of humor. I was blessed.
Thank you.
Tara Rolfes10/26/04
Yeah, Prom is totally over rated. It doesn't get any better through the generations. Same high school drama, same tragic story, same prom king and queen, it's any wonder why prom isn't out lawed. Hmm.