The Story Behind a Story: Rooms

It’s been my deepest desire to write about the making of my short story Rooms, which is extremely personal to me.  I finally felt that the time was right to actually sit down and share about a darkness that, for the longest time, haunted me and cost me so much lost time.  What better way to do this than to put it on a public blog for all the world to see!  Joking aside, I feel that it’s good for everyone to see that we are all just human.  We all make mistakes and we all fall flat on our faces.  And that’s okay.  The sole point in sharing our failures with others is to, one, learn from them, and two, release any guilt or shame we may unintentionally be carrying with us in the process.

So, let’s dive into the muck, for out of the dirt came this story that I am so passionate about.

The entire concept behind this story began on one Sunday morning quite a few years ago (specifics unknown). My pastor was teaching on how to let go of certain things in our lives by giving those spaces within our minds over for God’s use.  He explained that our brains are like storage facilities or large buildings with many little rooms with them; each serving a function or thought process in our lives, whether it be a certain activity we enjoy, a habit, a philosophy, or specific cluster of ideas.

He used his personal example of his habit of smoking cigarettes.  That entire room within his mind was filled with all the ideas, processes, decisions, etc, involving smoking.  It was an unhealthy habit he could not shake.  It seemed the entire ability to be able to finally quit had gone up in smoke (I couldn’t help it). At last, he decided to give it over to God to take care of; he gave that room to be occupied by Him.  In that moment, he was no longer a “smoker.” God had gone through, cleaned up the place, maybe even redecorated a bit, and became the lone tenant.  It changed my pastor’s life in that aspect, and all because of faith.

The message that day made quite the impact in my life but not until a couple of years later.  For though it had set off quite an alarm blaring though my conscience, I didn’t really understand it at the time.  I knew I had to make a change, struggling with the darkness that I was then, but I could not figure out how to exactly do it.  I was trapped in a repeating cycle that held me by the throat and would not let go. That room in my mind had been filled to the ceiling with so much filth that it seemed beyond repair.

This problem threw me into an even deeper depression over the years.  I had experienced depression-like symptoms before this all began, but with the onslaught of this new darkness in my life, it began eating away at any hope I had left.  I was, in many ways, like the character within the story, our protagonist who had been innocent in the beginning.  It wasn’t until he discovered the realm of darkness beneath his feet that he became enslaved to the mist-like creatures desires and, with that, despondent to the point of utter worthlessness.

It wasn’t until later on, after nearly ruining my engagement to my beloved wife due to my depression, that I figured out the key behind what my pastor was saying.  It was all about letting go of my own control and applying faith to that area of my life, allowing faith to permeate the room.  I, like the character, finally saw that glimpse of light shining though the dark and I wanted it; I wanted to let it fill the entire space, destroying the mist creatures that resided there.  And it worked!  The darkness fled, light took its place, and true love could be felt in ways I never could have imagined.

And yes, I still have my moments; the creatures still crash against the floorboards wanting to be released, but things are different now in that room.  It is a room of far greater peace than mankind can understand.  Light floods every corner of it with its radiating rays of yellow sunshine.  Thanks be to the Father.

I realize the story can be interpreted in many different ways, from a physical, mental, or spiritual aspect.  My goal in writing it was to show that, even in your darkest moments, whether it be due to depression, suicidal thoughts, addiction, violence, abuse, etc, there is always hope.  Interpret this story in any way you can; make it your own, make it personal if you’d like.  It’s for you.

If you haven’t yet already, you can read “Rooms” here, or simply find it on this website under the short stories tab.  And if you have ANY questions about any of my writings or blog posts, contact me by leaving a comment or by messaging me on my Twitter or Facebook page.  I would love to hear from you!

Love Unlimited

C.J. Huffman

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