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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Expand (07/18/13)

TITLE: A Wider Place
By Brenda Rice
07/24/13
~8th Place


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Bright lights reflected off stainless steel. Clacking wheels on a gurney, and masked faces frightened me. I was only four. I had never been in surgery. When I think about that day twenty years ago, my lungs expand to capacity and then I realize Iím holding my breath.

When I was born doctors explained to my parents that I had a rare heart defect. Some of the muscles in my heart were atrophied which meant they could not expand or contract enough to pump blood out of my heart. This diagnosis meant a heart transplant was in my future. Everyone said I was blessed to be alive.

A small room with an antiseptic smell was home for my first four years. A machine did what my defective heart couldnít do. My only embraces came from people wearing masks, gowns and gloves. I longed to feel the touch of my motherís soft hands and to snuggle into my dadís whiskers.

As the years passed, the machine and the medications didnít work as well any more. My doctors and nurses worked diligently to keep me going as the search for a donor heart began. My transplantation day came one month after I turned four. I was old enough to know that something big was happening. Everyone tried to act like it was just another day, but I knew I was going to live or die that day.

Iíve never liked thinking about the donor, because a heart donor dies. In my case, a child had to die. My comprehension was stretched to the maximum as I rationalized the impact a total strangerís grievous loss had had on my life.

The anniversary of the transplant is the time I most often think about the donor. Though my life began anew that day, the donorís life ended. Someone cried. Probably many some ones cried. I wonder if they think about me on the anniversary of the death of their child. Do they feel glad a part of their child lives on inside of another? I hope so.

All my life my parents encouraged me to expand my thinking beyond the sadness of the great loss. They told me the donor parents chose to give life to another child. So, I needed to expand my thinking from a narrow place of grief to a wider place of peace and joy.

Finally, I was able to do what my parents asked. I even went a little further and expanded my faith to believe the heart now beating inside me is capable of wonderful thingsÖthings far greater than would have been possible with my little sickly heart.

In I Chronicles 4:10, the Bible saysóOh, that You would bless me and enlarge my territory (border) and that Your hand might guide me and keep me from evil that I may not cause pain. NKJV

I often thank God for the people who in their deepest sorrow saw beyond the narrow place into a wider place where they could bless another one of Godís children. I sincerely hope their gift to me somehow lessened their pain.

Since God helped my donorís family expand their border wide enough to include an anonymous child who was dying, I have embraced all the circumstances of my life. And yes, I am blessed.

Accept Jesus as Your Savior Right Now and be Certain of Eternal Life.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/26/13
Wow! I'm not sure if this is a true story or not, but boy did it impact me. I trembled as I read with tears welling in my eyes. I'm not sure if you knew FW Jess, who had a heart transplant two years ago, and just last week or so succombed to the battle. She and her family were blessed with several extra months because someone wanted her to live on. My mom died 20 years ago, and was able to donate her liver and kidneys. It's hard, but yes, I think of the recipients, pray for them, and hope they are still thriving. My mom was the most caring person that many people ever had the privilege of knowing. It was horrible to lose her when she was only 57, but the fact that she helped others helps me every time I feel sorry for myself because she is not here. Your story will also touch lives and I know God will use this in ways we can never foresee. Thanks for sharing.
Judith Gayle Smith07/26/13
Yes, you are blessed - and you have blessed me with this poignant precious story.

I wonder if 70 year old organs prove useful? Something to consider when in deep and dark conversation with our doctors.
Judith Gayle Smith07/26/13
Yes, you are blessed - and you have blessed me with this poignant precious story.

I wonder if 70 year old organs prove useful? Something to consider when in deep and dark conversation with our doctors.
lynn gipson 08/01/13
Congratulations on your 1st place win! Happy, happy day!

Blessings, Lynn
CD (Camille) Swanson 08/01/13
Congrats. God bless~
Colin Swann08/01/13
Well done with your EC placing.
Linda Goergen08/01/13
CONGRATULATIONS BRENDA on your 1st place level and 8th place EC placing! What a well deserved win for this amazing, touching story!
Genia Gilbert08/01/13
This is a wonderful piece. Congratulations on your EC and your first place in Level 2! Well deserved
Bea Edwards 08/01/13
Your story rang true and bittersweet. Well done and congratulations.
Brenda Rice 08/01/13
Thanks for all the kind remarks. This piece is fiction. I'm drawn to writing fiction. It thrills me when people ask if the story is true. I want it to feel true.

Thanks FW for the opportunity to write from my heart. Thanks Editors for helping me reach my goal

Blessings to everyone.
Brenda Rice 08/01/13
reaching my goal of moving to level three.

It left off the last part of the sentence.
Barbara Caldwell08/09/13
Congratulations on moving to level 3! You writing is beautiful, I can really feel it. You are truly blessed!
Thanks for comforting others, as God has comforted you.