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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)

TITLE: I Surrender!
By Shayne Catoe


I know I love my baby, I know I must. Iíve never seen fuller lips, bigger eyes, a sweeter nose, and such a gentle spirit. This child is more than a dream could concoct, yet my feelings are dry. What kind of mother am I, that the bond I extend to her must be one falsely coerced? Whatís wrong with me? Thoughts go through my mind that Iíd never carry out. I say things to my husband that are out of character for me. My insides are crawling to the outside. My outsides are just plain crawling. My body sweats hot, then cold. Is this what itís like to go mad? I wonít be insane! I wonít be out of my mind! Iím on edge every moment. I laugh too hard at a joke. I then cry in agony of my soulís depth. Where am I? Is there no escape? What happened to the young bride of my husband? How shall he manage job, ministry, children, and now an ailing wife? Life is a peril to me. It only gets worse, until one day I visit a Doctor.

Sheís a bit baffled, because Iíve waited so long to come. Then sheís not qualified to handle my complicated case, but does not inform us until I am markedly worse. I float from doctor to doctor. Medications are introduced. I pray through the rage and anxiety attacks, but still experience the excruciating mental torture it affords. My family suffers, years pass. No one seems to have any answers. I stop eating. Itís the day after 9-11 and my dedicated husband takes me to the hospital to admit my feather weight frame. They say it was almost too late. The doctor I was seeing was shifting medicines so quickly that Iíd begun to hallucinate. After six weeks of care, I am no longer in danger. I go home to find a clean house, because of my mother-in-law, and a worn out, yet excited family. How could they all still love me? I came home a different woman than I went away.

For many years I wanted to run my life. When God decided it would go a different way, without my permission, I turned on Him, angry. How was it He could allow such suffering in His childís life? Surely I meant more to Him than that! I fought many death rolls on my own, and nearly drowned forever, especially that last hospitalization. My mind much extinguished. Vapors remain, but they do remain. I spent time reading my Bible, when I could not make sense of anything else. I prayed when I could not communicate with anyone else. Jesus was all I had. He was all I needed. I didnít need my own life goals or agendas above His anymore. The Lord God became first in my life. Through losing control of my own life I gained a new and more beautiful life from the Lord.

It came at a high price. Through the refining fires came a golden soul, with many flaws, yes, but purified in the furnace of the fire.

I was never able to break free of medication or some symptoms, but will forever be grateful for Godís plan in allowing these years of training my faith, that I might loose much dross.

I have been given much by Godís grace. Jesus Christ, my Savior and LORD. A family I love who loves me unconditionally, a godly husband who provides, and children who are growing up in the admonition of the Lord, albeit with scars from my experiences. I am confident the Lord will use all these things for His glory and our good, even in the lives of my children.

May the Lord continue to do His perfect work, conquering my will for eternity.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynn Jacky 03/08/08
HI: This is an amazing story. Took a bit to get into your writing at the start but once I did I enjoyed this immensely -

You shared a very personal part of your life's story. the words and way you wrote helped me understand you pain (I had tears) your surrender and joy.

Your husband and family seem so supportive.

Keep writing, excellent story and look forward to reading another.
Nancy Quinn03/08/08
Beautiful testimony. The Lord held you through this and your positive outlook and seeing the silver lining was beautiful. God is good indeed, and may He continue to bless and hold your family close.
Jan Ackerson 03/09/08
Powerful, moving writing.
Shirley McClay 03/11/08
Thank you for sharing such a testimony! God bless you in your journey with Him.. and keep writing!
Celeste Ammirata03/12/08
Wow. This is amazing. You write so realistically. I felt her pain and despair. And I love that though the Lord didn't take away ALL her pain, she learned to trust him and to realize her blessings, and to cherish them. She learned to see the silver lining. Great job. keep writing.
God Bless