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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: Torn Apart!
By Norma-Anne Hough



Three and a half years ago our eldest daughter Jacquie decided to go off to London. The time had come for her to spread her wings and she was able to go to the UK on an ancestral visa. She had no job but plenty of ideas. For the first 6 weeks she was staying with family in Edinburgh but then she would be on her own!

Personally it was a very difficult decision for me as there were many issues between us. I loved her deeply but she had grown very distant since graduating from school. She mixed with the wrong crowd, got involved in “dodgy relationships” and in general was a very difficult and angry young lady. I knew she was still angry with me for the years I had abused alcohol, although she had spoken forgiveness it was never evident. I suffered from major guilt.

I had an excellent relationship with her two sisters, yet she remained very distant. London seemed an excellent idea for all concerned. Her first three months away were awful. She was unable to find a job, her money had run out and she was desperately unhappy!

One morning through my quiet time, the Lord spoke to me.
I began to email her daily with scriptures and funny sayings.
Unknown to the rest of the family I sent her money as I knew she needed it. A job came along, it didn’t pay wonderfully but it paid the rent and put some food on her table. (I only found out much later about how she often lived on crackers!)

Through the emails we began to open up to each other. On a Christmas visit home she was still a bit distant but I could see a softness creeping back in. Dave and I with the two girls flew over to the UK later the next year for a three week visit. We spent a week with them all then left the girls alone together while we had time out alone. She still had her angry outbursts but realized what she was doing and quickly apologized!

The time passed with her coming home or us visiting her. Some visits went well others not so well. She had found a very good job, a boyfriend and had settled into life there. I wondered if we would ever be able to restore our relationship.

God is good and faithful. Last year my husband and I went over for her 30th birthday. Her partner was supposed to join us for a week in the country but decided not too. Praise the Lord! The first evening after supper I went up to bed, she came into the room after me, sat on the bed and began to share her heart! The next four days were very special. Each night she would come into the room after I had finished showering for her “private little chat” with me. That week will stand out in my memory as it was the turning point in our relationship. She started off by sitting at the bottom of the bed and by the end of the week was lying alongside me chatting away.

Dave and I went onto Italy for a week and then Spain where she joined us. She was able to tell me how she had felt cut out of the picture by her other sisters and had never really had me to herself in many years. It was a wonderful time of healing for us both. She also rededicated her life to the Lord.

When she was home for Christmas, our family all noticed the difference in our relationship. I know that God took her off to a far place for a good reason. It was hard for us, but He healed our hearts. This year my husband gave me a very special birthday gift. He gave me a ticket to London, to visit Jacquie alone. Already we have planned a fun filled two weeks.

Sometimes God has to remove us from situations so that He can work out His perfect plan. I still long for her each day, but I know now she is where God wants her to be.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on our own understanding,
In all your ways acknowledge Him and
He will direct your paths.”


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This article has been read 1109 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Holly Westefeld03/07/08
This is a beautiful testimony of God's restoration, and an excellent example of the topic.
Jan Ackerson 03/09/08
You know what I loved most? That you e-mailed her with not only Scriptures, but also with funny sayings...showing that you were still very much a relate-able mother, and not a preachifyer.

Avoid the use of exclamation points as much as possible--they should be used mostly in excited utterances.

As a mother of grown daughters, I could really identify with this.
Shirley McClay 03/11/08
Very sweet and moving story! Thanks so much for sharing. One tip that has helped me is to avoid using the same word.... for example, excellent is used twice in one paragraph. O enjoyed your story.. keep learning and keep writing.
Yvonne Blake 03/11/08
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing this. I know as a mother of grown children, that it is hard to see them drifting away.
I love how yours ended.
Marlene Austin03/13/08
A story written from the heart. Nice entry to the topic. :)
Kenneth Heath03/13/08
Hey Norms, isn't it wonderful how faithful the Lord has been to each one of us as we entrust our children to His care. This is a very moving and well written story!
wallacetrust watosen03/18/08
I liked it... and professionally, am dumb-found!

The motion in the peice takes you only to its final words; while the sincerity anchors the reader through.
Anne Linington03/21/08
I like to check out the writing of someone who has taken the time to critique my own work- and thankyou for doing so. The parable of the prodigal son came to mind as I read this lovely story which is still in progress. Is she by any chance your middle daughter? Just wondering.
Edmond Ng 05/03/08
I am a little late at commenting on this, but I must say your story touches my heart, and I can feel how you must have felt. The Lord is indeed good, and I am truly happy for you and for the mending of new bonds in requited relationship. God bless you and your family!
Cheri Hardaway 03/21/09

This is a beautiful account of restoration and how the love of God can heal even the most painful wounds.

My own mom abused alcohol for ten years, my teen years. There grew a great rift between us. I remember one time asking her why she was so much closer to my sister than to me, and she replied honestly that I kept a wall of reserve between us, so she couldn't get close.

In the midst of the chaotic years of her drinking, my grandfather, her dad, moved in with the family as well. He drank too. Those were dark times.

Eventually, God gave her the desire to quit drinking, and she and I began to bridge the gap that had grown between us, just as you describe in your article above. She and I even attended AA/AlAnon meetings together, since her dad was still drinking and in the home, and she was maintaining sobriety.

God knit us together in a beautiful way. She came to share my faith in Christ. She died in 2000 of lung cancer, and I miss her terribly. But I hold the hope of knowing I will one day see her again in eternity!

Hugs, Cheri