The Sincerest of Prayers

If I’m brutally honest with myself, my most sincere prayer isn’t one I’m proud of.

It’s not part of an inspirational tale of hope, passion and fervour with a dash of redemption.

It’s a tale of desperation.

Of being beyond worldly help.

It’s a tale of being well past the point of giving up.

It’s not pretty – and it comes with a trigger warning.

But here goes anyway.

I fail to recall the day or date.

Suffice to say it was mid to late afternoon.

I’d been on a roller-coaster of all the thrills and curve-balls depression has to offer.

I’d given up a good few months beforehand and was barely going through the motion of living anymore.

Barely with enough energy to think, I left the house for the last time.

I put all my energy into putting one foot in front of the other as I focused on my destination.

I remember feeling peace – for the first time in forever.

I had a direction, an anchor to hold me steady and it revived and clarified my thoughts.

I knew I didn’t have long before I’d be missed, and my steps lengthened.

Still, to this date, this had been the quietest my brain has ever been.

There was an emptiness, a resolution that I’d never experienced – before or since.

It was bliss.

I walked on.

I reached a corner, and without hesitation, I took it.

It was on this road that a new thought entered my head – what was I doing?

Was I sure about this?

For about three steps, I engaged it in debate.

I had no choice.

This was the only way.

For a long time, the courage to do this was what I wanted.

For three steps.

On the fourth I knew that this wasn’t what God wanted for me.

On the fifth, I knew that I was beyond caring.

On the sixth, I turned my eyes skyward and uttered that sincerest of prayers:

‘God, if you have some amazing plan for me, stop me before I get there. If you don’t – let me go.’

I thought that was it.

All my bases were covered now – I knew I was worthless, that no one, not even God Himself, wanted me.

I strode forward, all choice gone, with one sole purpose left in my life.

I strode on.

And on.

As I got close to my destination, I felt a thrill of being right – nothing had stopped me. This was it.

I stopped at the final set of lights and saw a police car across from me.

‘It’s okay,’ I told myself. ‘They can’t get over here in time. It doesn’t count.’

I crossed the road.

I was within feet of my destination when a car pulled up directly in front of me. It was the police car, having found some way of turning around in an unreasonably short amount of time.

As I stumbled back in shock, the officers grabbed me.

A matter of five seconds, of a longer red light, slightly heavier traffic.

A matter of minute changes and this would be a very different story.

A matter of moments and I wouldn’t be the one to tell it.

That sincerest of prayers.

– Candace

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