Thursday, February 11, 2010

259 words

This story describing my journey in the spring/summer of 1994, started out at over 500 words. Even then I felt like I was leaving out important details, but I finally got it down to the exact 259. So here we go...

“I should drive across the median. I've failed at everything. They would be better off without me.” These mocking thoughts no longer frightened me.

My health failed first. I dropped out of school. Our business tottered on the bring of bankruptcy. Yet none of these were my greatest disappointment.

Two years of yearning for the fulfillment of dreams I had carried since my earliest memories left me disillusioned. “Lord, we are serving you in every way we know how. Don't you promise the desires of our hearts?”

I flung my Bible across the room. Remorseful, I ran to find it open to 1 Samuel.

“Not funny, Lord!” I hated Hannah's story. How could He put her through years of waiting, only to bless her with a child, then take back the thing she most longed for?

I sat down to read it again, to prove to God how cruel He was. What, God never demanded Samuel of Hannah? She gave him of her own free will?

Heaven broke through the hardness of my heart, not with an audible voice, yet with words that rang loud and true, “My child, you cannot treat me according to the gifts I choose to give or withhold. I AM worthy!”

I offered works in hopes of blessing. He wanted praise for the sake of love.

We lost our business. I never earned my degree. It was five more years before we held a living miracle in our arms. But I never fantasized about driving my car into another again.

Mary DeMuth recently sent me a copy of her new book, Thin Places. I knew it was a memoir, but beyond that really had no idea what to expect. So far I've only been able to steal away enough moments to read the introduction and already I'm enthralled. Mary describes thin places as "those times where the division between this world and the eternal fades; snatches of holy ground, tucked into the corners of our world, where we might just catch a glimpse of eternity." Check back here in the coming weeks (or maybe months - I'm a very slow reader) as I'm sure I'll have more to share about the book later.

In the meantime, I received an interesting invitation this week, asking me to share with you my own "thin place" story, a time when God burst through my life to remind me of His presence or reassure me of His reality. The story was to be exactly 259 words long. If you know my writing, you probably know that limited word counts are the hardest writing challenges for me! The above story was my response to the invitation.

Why such a specific wordcount? This is the retail price of a new Kindle, the contest prize for the winning essay submitted. Please join me for your chance to win a Kindle by sharing your thin place story too! (Head on over to for details.)


Jessica Kirkland said...

what a brave story. thanks for sharing.


Thank you for your kind words on my thin space. How wonderful is our Father, His time is always perfect and even when we feel totally alone, abandoned and forsaken - He is there.Thank you for sharing your thin space

tshunter said...

I've been there... WOW!!! Your story touched me and make me reminisce about my own "thin place".... Thank God that you held on and didn't give up:)

Robbie Iobst said...

What a powerful story! Thank you for being real. And thank you for your kind words about my own thin place story. :0)

Kristina said...

Thanks for sharing your story. You did a great job of paring down your words. I know how difficult that can be. Good luck in the contest!

Mary DeMuth said...

You beautifully conveyed the essence of your thin place in few words. Wonderful story of God coming near.

Heather said...

what a beautiful story. as others have said, it is so touching and powerful. thank you for sharing it with us.