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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)

TITLE: No Room for Gloom
By Loretta Leonard
07/18/07


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The sky was dark and ominous and it was so black that it was hard to see anything outlined in the world outside. Thunder resonated noisily in the air and the sound seemed like a huge bass drum rumbling near the finale of a piece of music. Wide streaks of blinding white lightning zigzagged across the sky piercing the vast darkness into two distinct vertical blocks. Heavy drops of rain poured down in sheets on the window panes in Bethís bedroom. The only source of light in the room came from the various sized candles which gave off a soft luminescent yellow glow. The electricity had been off for an hour.

Beth gave a long exaggerated sigh and wondered if the gloomy weather would ever change. It had been raining for over two weeks. It wasnít so frustrating at first but as the days turned into weeks it became more of a hassle. Mentally she was worn out and a thick cloud of depression set in. Beth knew there was no conceivable way to control the weather but she certainly wished that the sun would move away from its hiding place behind the clouds and shine its bright yellow rays downward. Normally she could keep the depressive feelings beneath the surface but this time the hopeless despondency felt like nothing would ever be the same. All the joy and fun of living seemed to dissipate into thin air. It felt like happiness was a million miles away. Would there ever be a time when she would feel joy? Not just a superficial emotion but a joy that carried way down to the depths of her soul. Where did I go wrong?

(Daughter, listen to my voice! I hear your cry for happiness.)

When had the happy moments vanished? I had been busy for so long that just trying to sit down and relax was a problem. The sound of four active enthusiastic boys in the home were silenced as they one by one moved away and finished college. Empty nest is what everyone calls this season of my life but at times I feel lost without all the activity. God, show me the path I need to take now.

(My child, trust me and I will show you new opportunities for service.)

Wait! Thatís the difference. Iíve tried to handle things my own way over the past few weeks. I always used to get up early in the morning to read my Bible and pray. I have started my day in a rush without even a minute of thanks. God, I have left you patiently waiting for me each morning, expectantly hoping I would take just a few minutes with you. Please forgive me for pushing you into the background.

(Beth, forgiveness is only a prayer away.)

That night I opened my Bible and talked to God. The heavy burden I had been carrying was lifted and the following morning I set aside quiet time for just God and me. The day had a new focus and although I felt sad at times, I began to see the positive things that were hiding in each day. A simple smile or ďThank youĒ helped others to feel special. Time spent outdoors opened my eyes to new and wonderful moments of peace and admiration for Godís creation. All the little things seemed more precious that day. A pink rose in full bloom, the chirp of a bird, and the shades of green in the landscape were all part of the Makerís portrait. I began to see His hand in everything. Hearing His voice beside me gave me assurance and quieted my restless moments.

(Daughter, I love you and will give you the joy that you desire. Cherish each day and let me show you the way.)

I have discovered happiness lies within me. When God is a part of my daily life, my soul can soar with Him and the depression leaves. When I take my (H)Heavy heart to God with an (A)Apologetic attitude offering a (P) Penitent prayer I can have (P)Perfect peace. The (Y)Yoke of bondage falls off my shoulders and Christís face illuminates the dark recesses of my mind. Even if the sun fails to shine each day, when the Son shines in my heart I can be happy.


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Dee Yoder 07/19/07
The ending of your story is clever. Your story is a good reminder to seek the true source of happiness!