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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "It's No Use Crying over Spilt Milk" (without using the actual phrase or literal exampl (02/07/08)

TITLE: A Choice of Growth
By Nancy Quinn


Tonight was a good night. Fourteen kids surrounded a table in the spacious basement. Weíd certainly have room for four times that amount, but itís a small church and its members had unfortunately gained a reputation in the community for exclusivity. People who didnít dress right and ďfit inĒ were not exactly pursued to continue attendance. Even the Wednesday night clubhouse was only the children of the members and a few of their friends who came as their guests.

The leaderís voice brought the dull roar of excitement quickly down and everyone bowed their heads to pray together. I nodded to my sixth grade son and then herded my small group of first and second graders to a tiny classroom. Their expectant faces made me smile and I settled in for a treasured evening of teaching them about Jesus. It was my sonís last year of Clubhouse and I vaguely wondered if the Lord would allow me to continue this ministry for many years to come. I hoped so.

Subtle criticism of the pastor started to filter into the church and I started to feel a vague sadness that gripped at my heart and made the winter months seem even darker. Then older members made their opinions known that the over-exuberance of youth needed to be curbed and some newer faces began to disappear.

The final evening of the graduation ceremony arrived and the table overflowed with awards and certificates. The table slowly emptied as each grade came forward to accept their applause. The sixth gradersí turn finally came to stand and accept their awards. My son stood with his small class, teetering on the edge of childhood. I knew what we needed to do. It saddened me for the things I couldnít change, but I needed my sonís faith to keep growing. I needed my faith to keep growing. With the Lordís leading, we would find a church home where the members had open arms. Arms that stretched beyond the sanctuary doors and into the community and its youth. And I hoped the pastor would find a church who would appreciate his vision and where its members would not quelch his ideas on ways to reach out to the community too. His final day at the church became mine.

As I searched for a new church that summer, I fought feelings of hesitation and second thoughts roared around my head like the spring tornado winds in Iowa that often sent me to the basement. What if no one likes me? I already have a job at the old church; what if no one gives me anything to do? Will my son be happy? Should I stay and simply hope that hearts and attitudes will some day miraculously change? The tornado winds stopped suddenly one Sunday morning as I sat in a little church just down the road from my old church. The minister began speaking and I felt the Holy Spiritís presence fill the tiny sanctuary. My son and I were home.

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This article has been read 744 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dolores Stohler02/14/08
Good writing! I've been in churches where they didn't welcome newcomers--it's so disheartening. I'm glad you found a church to your liking. God bless you.
Laury Hubrich 02/14/08
Very good story. Isn't it amazing to sit in a church and KNOW for sure it's THE one for you? I've been through this too. Thank you for sharing. Keep up the writing!
Kimberly Frazier02/15/08
I enjoyed this article. I felt it to be sincere and heartfelt. I think many people have that way before. It is an excellent lesson on how we must respect every Christian ministry yet be strong enough to submit to the changing winds of the Holy Spirit.
Seema Bagai 02/17/08
This is a good story. Well written and fits the topic. Keep writing.
Joshua Janoski02/19/08
I attended a church for 8 years, and then I finally felt God leading me elsewhere. I migrated to a new church that I have been attending now for 9 months. I must say that I am much happier now. Your story reminded me of my struggle to finally leave and pursue a house of worship that is more welcoming. Thank you for sharing. Great writing. :)
Marlene Austin02/20/08
Good writing. You let the reader feel the love and disillusionment the MC held. :)