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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)

TITLE: Janie
By jill canter


She never really was alone. Although she sat in her boyfriends house alone, hungover, feeling used and abused; because she was. About every other day Janie considered moving back home, asking God for forgiveness returning to church and the family she loved. How could she though, after all that she had done, all the mistakes she had made. Surely she would be an outcast considering all that her family knew about, not to mention the things they didn't know. On top of that, her sister had repeatedly tried to convince her that her life was on the wrong track, that her so-called boyfriend was no good. If Janie followed her heart that would mean admitting that her sister was right. Wouldn't her family then just say "I told you so!" and forever doubt any future decision that Janie made. So, Janie stayed in pain, sadness, hopelessness.

Brenda knelt praying, it had been nearly two years since her baby sister had moved in with that wretched, awful... "Lord, help me to see him as a soul and not as someone who took my sister away." Wiping the tears from her eyes, Brenda stood from the altar, smiled at her dad who was standing behind the pulpit, and turned and walked back to her pew. After the service the family met to discuss what was going to be for dinner that afternoon and which game would be played. "How about Monopoly" someone suggested. Brenda choked backed tears recalling Janie playing her favorite game. There was no way she was happy like she said, how long until she repented and turned her back on the lifestyle of sin she was living. Brenda didn't know how long it would take, but she would pray until then.

Why couldn't she sleep. Janie remembered her sisters prayer at Thanksgiving the week before, "Lord, don't allow Janie a peaceful night's sleep, until she's back in Your will, make her know we love her and miss her and that more importantly You love her and are there whenever she decides to return to You...". How dare she in front of the entire family, she's really lucky that my boyfriend wasn't there to hear that. But then again why hadn't he come with her. He never was around really. Why did she love him, did he love her? Why couldn't she just know someone loved her. Why did she always feel alone?

"Honey, are you alright?" Brenda's husband asked. It was a little past three in the morning and once again Brenda was on the porch swing crying, Bible in hand. "Oh yes, just praying for Janie." The phone rang from inside the house, Brenda went inside to answer it. "She came home" a tearful voice belonging to an aging preacher spoke. Brenda had never heard her father's voice any more joyful than at this moment. A new swell of tears poured, this time of relief, happiness, thanks. Brenda replaced the phone and returned to bed thanking her Savior for His grace, His mercy, His love. She fell asleep knowing that tomorrow she would hug her sister and let her cry away the hurt, sadness and loneliness of the past two years. Although Brenda knew, that Janie never really was alone.

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Sara Harricharan 05/08/08
Very good! I was hoping that Janie would change, but it seems like there is more to the story than what is just here. Great job, I liked the fact that her sister was always praying for her and that she was never really alone. ^_^
Julie Paulsen05/09/08
Your entry is a great reminder to keep praying for our loved ones who are walking away from God. Thank you!
Betty Frazer05/12/08
Very good. I am gald that Janie came home. I know how it feels when love ones stray. My brother was in a similar situation. I thank God every day for returning him to his family.
Leticia Caroccio05/14/08
Such a familiar story yet I like your take on it. It tugged at my heart strings. I've said that prayer myself over and over for my sisters and brothers to come home to the Lord. I loved that simple and so powerful a sentence: "She came home". It completed your message and encouraged me to continue praying for my loved ones. Very nicely done.
Preacher Johnson05/16/08
Jill I love your story, it made me cry, I love your heart for Janie. Good job mom