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4) You can build up credits to be used at another time by giving critiques to others.
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TITLE: More Than Halfway
By Micheline Murray
03/26/09
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This is a true account that happened to me recently. I submitted it to Guideposts magazine,(for their atricle "What Prayer Can Do") perhaps too early. I think it could have been better--would love it to be red-pen critiqued--thanks!
At seven a.m. on a Saturday morning, I groggily made my way downstairs to the chilly living room. In the days before, my mind had been occupied with “taking back” my early morning time, before anyone else in the house was awake. This precious time used to be a priority, a time to think, read, and pray with no interruptions, but recently I’d given in to the luxury of a little extra sleep instead.

So, when my forty-four year old bladder forced me out of bed, something also stirred in my heart. I settled onto the couch under a fleece blanket, warming my hands on my steaming mug of tea. Closing my eyes, I inhaled deeply, allowing myself to be enveloped by the morning stillness that belonged only to me.

Silently, I prayed for my husband, our four children, neighbors, etc. Finally, anxious about a missing page of a story I was writing, I prayed about it too. This wasn’t just any story. My heart and soul were poured into each page, into each character. My only hope of finding it was that perhaps my friend Lisa hadn’t deleted it when I e-mailed it to her earlier in the week. I, of course, had chosen Friday morning to clean out the “sent mail” and “trash” in my own computer, permanently deleting everything. Maybe she wasn’t as technologically challenged as me.

Placing my mug on the coffee table that was still cluttered from Friday night. I put my bowed head into my hands. Lord, I prayed, You alone know how what this story means to me, how much of myself is in it, and how very hard I’ve worked writing it. But I can’t stress over this. If it’s gone--it’s gone. Please just show me if it’s lost or not, and if it is, please show me what to do.” Before I could say “Amen,” the phone rang. Jumping up, I saw that it was now seven-thirty. Lord, I thought, please don’t let it be an emergency.

“Micheline! It’s Lisa! I found it!” blurted the excited voice of my friend through the phone. “I got your e-mail, and checked, but had already deleted it- permanently, I thought. So I sent you a message to say I’m sorry, but it’s gone. Then I saw something that said “Search,” so I typed in your name, and up popped the last several e-mails you sent me. I just forwarded it to you!”

As Lisa took what seemed to be her first breath since I picked up the phone, I was already scanning my emails. There were both of hers! The first, saying “I’m sorry,” and the second, which read, “ God is so good. Right after I finished praying this morning, I did a search in my e-mail. I’ve never done this before…I’m not very computer literate! Yea, God!”
At the exact moment I was praying, Lisa, who had just finished, was shown where to look. I’m reclaiming my early morning quiet time, because I’ve been reminded that when I take just one step of faith toward Him, God always meets me more than halfway.
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