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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cousin(s) (05/22/08)

TITLE: God Works in Mysterious Ways


I grew up in a large Italian American family in New York City. During my school years it was common to be in class with a cousin or two and for several cousins to be scattered throughout every grade level. Some of you may be thinking gosh, she’s been blest, but during my formative years having one or another cousin sitting in the school desk next to mine was anything but a blessing.

You see I was not ‘the shining star’ of the family. I was the ‘black sheep’. My cousin Vinny (I know this sounds like a Hollywood movie, but I do have a cousin Vinny) was in the same grade as I was all the way through elementary school. His sister, Laurie was in the grade level below us. Vinny was the class genius, Laurie the popular beauty queen and me – the class clown and resident idiot – at least that’s what the teachers kept telling me.

Sundays were also days to dread because all the relatives met at Great Grandma’s house for coffee and cake. The cousins played outside on the front stoop (steps for non-New Yorkers) each one trying to outdo the other with tall tales of getting top grades and being asked to the school dance by the most popular dreamy boy in school.

While the kids were having their own ‘who is better’ competition, my Aunt and mother were doing the same in the house each one declaring their daughter would be the first to marry and marry well, of course! If you want a visual of my family just picture My Big Fat Greek Wedding in Italian.

The years passed and I moved out of state and basically had little to no contact with the cousins. During these years I found Jesus and asked Him to be Lord and Savior and basically clean up my mess of a childhood that left many scars. I have grown up in the Lord and in time came to forgive all the teachers and relatives that had hurt me and caused me to feel inadequate.

When my first novel was published on a whim (or probably at the prompting of the Holy Spirit) I sent announcements of its debut to my cousins, aunt and uncle. Their response to this announcement was more than I could have hoped for with calls of congratulations and praise. Our relationship has grown and recently I had the opportunity to make a visit to see my cousins. The experience was more than I could have hoped for; all the hurts of the past no longer existed. We were just a loving family basking in the truth that God truly works in strange and mysterious ways.

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This article has been read 636 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Norma-Anne Hough05/29/08
Praise God for the way He works.Hope you'll keep up the contact with the cousins.
Yvonne Blake 05/31/08
I loved your descriptions of your childhood, especially the front stoop. Congratulations on having a novel published! I'm glad you were able to make ammends with your family.
Well done. Keep writing.
Joshua Janoski06/01/08
This was a blessing to read. Your story is proof that God can mend broken hearts and relationships. Thank you for sharing this. I really appreciate it.
Marlene Austin06/02/08
How wonderful that God has given you a future which includes your family without bitterness. :)
Mary McLeary06/03/08
God is so good. Your piece shows how God's love can grow in us and heal our hurts. Good job.