Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Lock and Key (08/21/14)
TITLE: Tortured by Memories
By Shanta Richard
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“Why, Oh, merciful God, why can’t I forget it all, lock up my memories forever and live peacefully?” she prayed for the umpteenth time.
‘Lock up my memories, yes, that’s what I should do and hide the key’, she decided. She proceeded to do just that by avoiding anything that would be a key to open her horror memory box.
She withdrew from her friends, excused herself from parties, volunteered to work for others, enrolled in a Respiratory Therapist course in her free time. She also joined the church choir. All went well and Melody believed that she had overcome her secret fear.
Then Tim came into her life. He was the choir organist. Although not handsome, Tim had a calmness and charm about him, and his blue eyes held the scars of a buried tragedy. It was natural that Melody should find a soul-mate in him.
One evening Tim and Melody were walking back to the parking lot after choir practice. The weather man had predicted a storm and the black thunder clouds were gathering in the sky. Melody wanted to be home before the storm struck. Big drops of rain were starting to fall. Just before she could reach her car a blinding lightning preceded a loud thunder crash. Melody froze as the key to her memory box turned and horror of the past held her in a frightening grip. She hugged herself as a frantic scream tore through her slender frame. Instinctively Tim reached out and held her in his arms.
To Melody that was the last straw. The storm, the thunder, the lonely dark parking lot and a man holding her in firm grip, brought back memories of that other day. Screaming at the top of her lungs she slapped and hit Tim with her fists and ran to her car and sped away, leaving poor Tim bewildered and confused.
After that incident Melody withdrew herself back into her shell. She stopped going to church and the choir. Slowly she recovered, until the day she got a letter from her Grandma. Teddy was sick and grandma wanted her to come and see him. Melody did not want to see the child. He was the outcome of that traumatic night. She hated him and had dismissed him from her life. She considered him THE child not her child, and that was it. Yet Melody knew she had to go, for grandma’s sake.
Confused and miserable Melody went to church. It was open but there was no one there. She walked up to one of the front pews and kneeling down prayed. For the first time a sense of guilt invaded her. All these days she was only thinking of her own misery. Now she thought of the unhappiness she had caused in others lives by abandoning and disowning her baby boy, taking advantage of grandma’s love, insulting and driving away Tim. The floodgates opened and tears gushed out.
In the silence of that night she heard the organ playing that familiar hymn,
“I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to thee my blessed Savior,
I surrender all…”
“Yes, Lord,” she prayed, “I surrender all my fears, all my terrors, all my shame and all my guilt. I now realize that I cannot forget until I forgive. Teach me to forgive all those I have hurt, and also that faceless, nameless man that hurt me that dark night. Please, dear Savior, take all my memories and lock them up and keep the key. Help me to love Teddy and accept him as MY child, Amen.”
Even as I prayed I felt Tim kneeling beside me. Silently I reached out and took his hand. I felt peace surrounding me. God holds the key to my future. All is well.
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