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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

By Gwen McCoy


After having been married for 22 years, 3 children, 2 grandchildren I have no doubt begun to ponder the question, have I really done anything that will speak for me when I am gone? I have long been inspired that I was placed here to do great things, but to accomplish is always the challenge. It sort of reminds me of the game show that bears the inquiry of whether Iím smarter than a 5th Grader. The concept appears easy, but the answers to the questions must be from lessons that I either missed while daydreaming in class or maybe I was at home sick when that subject was covered. In retrospect it would seem that I should have been able to overcome many of the obstacles that Iíve faced in life but the answers or solutions to the troubles Iíve faced did not come with cliff notes. Life is just what it is.

At the age of 6 I lost my mother to breast cancer. Four years later I lost my father to heart disease. I was just 10. I was so young and had to learn at an early age how to deal with tragedy. Here I was at 10 all alone (even though I had an older sibling who was 18 at the time). I went to live with my uncle and aunt who didnít have any children, so while I wasnít physically alone, in my heart I felt all alone. After having gone through junior high and finally graduating high school I was able to attend college at a major university. I ended up getting married at 24. My first real life challenge came when I adopted my husbandís 6-year old daughter. When I met her she was living with her paternal grandmother. I later discovered that her mother was not a part of her life. This wonderful little girl loved her daddy and didnít take well to the love connection made by her dad and I. Little did I know that we would go through years of counseling, worries about a run-away teen girl, and sleepless nights as a young married couple. Even though I attempted to reach her she was determined to be rebellious and the pain of rejection in her life became a stronghold. Not the happily ever after I thought, but I loved my husband and vowed to remain. She has now abandoned her daughter and 15 years later I am raising her also. My granddaughter, who is now 7, exhibits symptoms of ADD and has had difficulty in her coping with school and has emotional outbursts.

The question often arises in my mindÖ was this in Godís will for me? To go through tragedy and difficulty is one thing, but to have even greater obstacles and have to endure difficulty consistently is another thing altogether. However, unlike the 5th grade question/answer dilemma it appears that time and experience have a way of becoming an instructor in the school of life, led by Grace. You see I now understand it now when the Word of God says, ďFor whosever will save HIS life shall lose it, but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospelís shall save it.Ē (Mark 8:35 KJV) I have come to learn that the life that I have been given IS a gift. The Holy Spirit has changed my perspective of my lifeís contributions. God allowed my tragedies to be a channel through which His mercy flows. He gave me the opportunity not only once but twice to make a difference in the life of someone else. We are not promised that things in life will be easy, but Jesus does promise us that He will be with us in the midst of every trial. I can look back and tell you that God has been a comforter, a healer, a friend, and a confidant. He IS my Rock! The word of God also says ďÖto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required (Luke 12:48 KJV). Your life is a gift! Every victory and yes even every difficult place are all ďworking together for your goodĒ (Rom 8:28 KJV). Heís transforming you into His image. Allow the Marvelous work of Grace to change your life. I did! By the way I still may not be smarter than a 5th grader, but Iíve got much more Wisdom!

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This article has been read 354 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Cartwright11/30/07
Thanks for your transparency and sharing your heart and what God has done in your life. One suggestion would be to break up the long paragraphs into more easily digestible, smaller ones. I think you will also find this helpful in organizing your material.

Praise God He has used the bumps in your path to benefit others as well as yourself.
Jan Ackerson 11/30/07
Thanks for sharing this testimony!

One minor thing that stood out as an easy fix was your use of numerals--I believe that numbers under twenty should be spelled out.

I like the way you began and ended with the game show.
Joanne Sher 12/01/07
What a testimony! I was engaged in your life story throughout - and a great way of opening and closing. The last line is definitely a keeper.