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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hide and Seek (08/07/08)

TITLE: He Was There
By Julie Paulsen


Lord’s Days are always special, but this one promised to be exceptional. Hazel and Virginia excitedly planned a couple’s overnight getaway, covering every detail. Finally, after months of anticipation the day arrived. Suitcases lay on the bed, packed and ready to be closed up after early service and Adult Bible Fellowship.

Tonight, Hazel thought as she heard the phone ring, the four of us will be watching a spectacular sunset over Chicago’s skyline while enjoying lovely conversation and a tasty, Lake Michigan dinner cruise…and after my hectic week I’ll sure enjoy being served…

Completing a final window check then grabbing her purse and Bible, Hazel was all ready to go. Heading for the door, she realized that Everett was still on his cell phone…the look in his eyes revealed everything, yet explained nothing. Hazel sat down to listen, bracing herself.

“It’s Steve,” Everett whispered, “Colleen woke up the kids this morning, finding Julie in a seizure…there are six paramedics working on her.”

Expelling a gasp, Hazel’s mind raced. Oh, Lord, our only granddaughter…please be with her…oh, God, she’s only four…keep her in your care…six paramedics!

The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9 (NASB)

He was there.

There was no arguing as Everett and Hazel agreed instantly to cancel the long awaited evening plans for a five hour drive to Iowa where little Julie lay sedated in a pediatric intensive care unit.

Father, please let everyone understand, Hazel prayed as her shaking finger dialed the first call.

“Oh, Virginia,” Hazel blurted to her dear friend, “Julie woke up in a seizure and is on her way to the hospital. We decided to leave for Iowa right away. We’re so sorry to…”

“Hazel, go, and don’t worry about us” Virginia interrupted. “Please call and keep me posted…we will pray.”

Within minutes all plans were cancelled, both hotel and cruise, and not one incurred penalties.

I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

He was there.

While changing into traveling clothes, Hazel slowly grasped God’s hand in this trip. “Everett, I’m all packed and ready for the fabulous night downtown we planned, but all along God had me prepared for a different trip…I’m amazed.”

“Yes, He’s overwhelming…hey, did you get the oil changed like we talked about last week?” Everett asked, his male mind checking off practical needs of the moment.

“Oh, my goodness,” Hazel paused mid-stride. “I did!” Sobbing, she continued, “And I had the radiator flushed and got a new air filter…oh, Everett, God is so very gracious…He knew.”

The Lord said, "Shall I hide…what I am about to do.” Genesis 18:17 (NASB)

He was there.

Arriving at the hospital after five hours on the road, they quickly found the pediatric intensive care wing. Julie, lying still, looked unusually small next to the medical equipment; strangely motionless and very pale. Their daughter, Colleen, cocooned in a blanket jumped up for an encouraging hug. Tears freely spilled as she reported, “the doctors say it’s a stroke and they’re talking long-term care.”

“Oh, honey,” Hazel comforted, “it’s going to be okay.”

“But, Mom,” Colleen sobbed, “not only is the left side not responding, the CAT scan showed swelling on the brain and a dislocated shoulder…”

With a shaky voice Everett requested, “Come on kids, let’s pray.”

Laying hands on the precious child, Grandpa Everett prayed, “Father…take care of our little Julie.” Pausing to compose himself, the silent room echoed soft sobs from anguished parents and grandparents. “ Heal her as only You can…sob…in Jesus’ name, amen.”

…pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

He was there.

Two hours later, doctors reported in amazement, “We can’t explain this, but the MRI revealed no swelling on the brain and no dislocated shoulder.

Minutes later Julie awoke. “Grandma, it hurts,” she whimpered as her left side displayed anticipated movement.

Many doctors and nurses swarmed the bed asking Julie to “move your toe,” “punch your balloon,” and “give me a high five!” Julie groggily responded as we praised God, our healer. Doctors found no explanation for the apparent “stroke.” But, we knew.

He was there!

…seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29 (NASB)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 08/14/08
The emotion you created in this story was good, and very real. I felt like I was there with them.

I would have maybe brought out "hide" more. I definitely got the "seek" part, but the "hide" was harder to find. ;)

Great job. Keep up the great writing!
Sunny Loomis 08/16/08
Very nicely done.God knows ahead of time what we need. Good descriptions. Keep writing.
Gerald Shuler 08/18/08
Wonderful first entry. You captured a lot of emotion. Keep entering the challenges... you belong here.
Dan Blankenship 08/20/08
Very nice!

May God bless.

Dan Blankenship