Hi! So I’m trying my hand at Christian fiction as one of my dreams is to write several Christian fiction short stories, novels, etc! I’m enjoying the process so far and I hope you will too! I’d love to know your thoughts & suggestions but be merciful ok? My fellow writers, I’m open to suggestions on courses and resources for fictional writing as well. Without further ado, here’s The Aftermath…
***This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.***
Hello my friend, my name is Camille del Mar. I’m a lay pastor at my church, Glory Christian Church. I love Jesus and His people. There’s not much else that brings me such joy as seeing men and women discover the great and unconditional love of Jesus! Over the years I’ve heard some heartbreaking stories. The struggles, sicknesses, heartbreaks, and pain. Some I’ve been able to help, some, I couldn’t. But I have faith that I sowed a seed and I’m trusting that God will water it. Oh, but there’s one particular story that stands out from the rest and I’ve had the opportunity to watch the hand of God move in and that is the story of my niece, Laila.
Laila grew up pretty much the way I did, no father figure, single parent home. My sister did all she could for Laila but the stress was so much that she turned to drugs and instead of the drugs providing an escape for her, the drugs overtook her. So, I took Laila in and I haven’t seen my sister since. I pray for her everyday. I pray that wherever she is, she’s ok and if she is dead that she’s made peace with God and is in heaven. You’ll learn more about me later, maybe. Laila was a very bright girl, curious, loved to read and very pretty. As she got older, she began to realize just how pretty she was from the attention she was attracting from the boys. I tried my best to instill value and worth into Laila. She was even at the church helping me out sometimes. When I was there, she was there. But, there was just something missing I guess. My husband had passed early on in our marriage, 5 years in and I haven’t remarried. He was my one and only love and I just don’t feel like he can be replaced. So, there was no live in father figure in the home for Laila. I tried to get her involved in the church youth programs and have her around the adopted family of the church but I guess, nothing can replace the Father.
In Laila’s teen years, she began to really enjoy the attention she got from guys, especially the older ones. She pretended to listen to me when I told her about seeking the love of Jesus, her worth and to value herself and her body but I think it went in one ear and out of the other. I could see it in her eyes, the deep longing that she just didn’t understand. I tried to tell her that only a relationship with Jesus could fill the void she felt. Only Jesus could cast out the orphan spirit she had. Instead of her dealing with her feelings of abandonment by her parents, she sought the affections of men.
Laila graduated high school and entered college not too far from home but far enough away that I couldn’t be ‘all up in her business’ as she says. When she came home to visit for Thanksgiving her first month away, I knew she wasn’t a virgin anymore. I could see it in her eyes and in the way she dressed and in the way she moved her body. It was almost as if another spirit had taken up residence within her. Whenever I tried to question Laila, her words would spit venom of hurt and hatred towards me. It hurt me so very badly that I couldn’t get her to see what was happening! What she’d given herself over to. To her I was a lonely old middle aged woman who didn’t know what she was talking about and needed to go get a man for myself. Poor girl, if she only knew that my worth and existence has absolutely no bearings on man but only in Jesus Christ! If only so many knew this! My God! Whew! Anyway, back to my story. But just for the record, just because I’m middle aged doesn’t mean nothing! I’m still fine as wine and look better than most women in their 30’s! I lift weights, run and go to spin class twice a week! Don’t come for me little girl! Sorry, getting my bearings! Bring it back Camille, bring it back! Um oh, yes, so Laila thought I was old and wretched. Even though she didn’t walk a life of purity, she made it her business to get good grades in college. Over her years in college, each time she came home with a different, older guy for me to meet. Each man was quite successful in his own rite. They all spoiled her and the girl wanted for nothing, materialistically that is.
Laila continued to go from man to man. She only stayed with them until she got bored and moved on. She was searching for something she’d never find in the manner she was going. In spite of all of this, Laila graduated college with honors. I was and still am so very proud of her. After Laila graduated, the big corporate job she desired didn’t come quickly and she no longer had the money flowing in from her boyfriends. It’s like they’d all disappeared. Then, what neither of us wanted happened, she moved back in with me. I love the girl, but I loved my freedom! I could praise the Lord as loudly as I wanted whenever I wanted! She was NOT happy to be around my books about Jesus, music about Jesus, my friends coming over to talk about Jesus LOL!
One night as I was praying for Laila, the Lord told me that He’d brought Laila back home so that she could come back to Him. If she didn’t, she’d ruin her life. What I didn’t know at the time was that Laila had contracted herpes from one of her many boyfriends which contributed to her serial ‘love him and leave him’ attitude. She wouldn’t let anyone get too close and she wouldn’t stay with anyone long enough to really see if she could truly be loved the way she deeply desired. She didn’t want to be hurt or abandoned again, so she made sure she was the first to leave, always.
About a month after she moved in with me, the church decided to have a college and career day for the youth and me, now in cahoots with the Lord, asked Laila if she’d come and be one of the speakers. She said no at first but after I bugged her enough, she gave in. At one of the planning meetings, I caught Laila stealing glances at Troy. Troy is our youth pastor and if I must say so myself, he’s a fine, handsome man. If I were about 15 years younger…. Whew, sorry, ok, I’m back! Lord, I guess I do still have a little bit of an itch for a man…. Camille, girl get it together! So yes, Laila was checking out Troy. She made it her business to speak to him every chance she got but he was always respectful, nice and cordial to her. He didn’t respond the way her past boyfriends did and I could tell that it got to her. She didn’t know what to do. But God knew ha haaaaa! This girl found every excuse in the book to be at that church just to get a peek at or to talk to Troy. Troy, he loves the Lord and he loves those kids at that church! When he speaks, you know he’s been in the presence of the Lord. Troy has a past too, but that’s another story for another day. When God got His hands on Troy, there was no turning back and he’s a better man for it. He’s truly walking in His purpose and calling. He’s also quite the successful entrepreneur but he doesn’t flaunt it.
One Sunday, Pastor preached on God being our Father. How God will never leave us or forsake us, never abandon us or push us to the side. I looked out the corner of my eye and I could see tears rolling down Laila’s cheeks. As he continued to preach on God as our Father, the girl could barely hold herself together! I didn’t say anything, I just reached for her hand and held it through out the service. But then, it happened. Pastor gave an altar call and she shot up from her seat and almost pushed another young lady out of the way trying to get to the altar! I lost all my dignity then! There were tears and snot and my makeup was gone! Oh praise God!!! Laila gave her life to Jesus and she wept at that altar until her makeup was gone as well. I’d never seen her in this state before and to me she was never more beautiful than she was then, completely surrendered under the glory of God! Ohhhh but when I did look around, guess who I saw smiling at Laila through his own tears? You guessed it, Mr. Troy himself! Oh! I cried again! My God is so awesome! I knew He had a plan for those two!
Even though I was so excited to see that Troy showed an interest in Laila, I knew the road ahead of them would be difficult but I didn’t know it would be like this….
I hope you’ve enjoyed Aunt Camille’s story thus far and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Stay tuned for Part II!!
Be blessed & encouraged,