Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Game of Life (09/11/08)
TITLE: Promises Kept
By CJ Raney
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I married the love of my life, Todd, and we had two beautiful children, Cindy and Joey. Yes, I had a dog and a white picket fence, too. I was living the fairytale life I had so precisely planned.
So, how could I let someone sneak in and start spinning the wheel for me in this game we call life? Two years ago, my fairytale ended.
I remember the day, so vividly. Todd was an avid climber and loved to seek the thrill of the mountain. He came into the kitchen so excited he could barely stand still.
“Angie, you’re never going to believe it. Craig called me today he needs a partner to go with him to Mt. Blackburn, Joe canceled on him.”
I remember thinking, Alaska, he has got to be kidding. But, there he stood with the silly grin he would always get, like a kid begging for a piece of candy at the store.
“I promise, it will be my last,” he said.
That was one promise, I wish he hadn’t kept. I would’ve let him go on a hundred more climbs if he was only here looking at me with that mischievous smile.
When I received the dreadful phone call, that Todd wasn’t coming home, I was stunned and couldn’t imagine my life without him. He had been rappelling down a steep, icy incline and the safety line snapped. This was definitely not part of my plan.
With all the insurance and legal work that I dealt with, the first year was a blur. Life was returning to a normal routine until the bills began to pile up and the insurance money was just not enough.
Todd had made a good salary. I was blessed to be a stay-at-home mom, which was my passion, just as mountain climbing was Todd’s. My anger with Todd started about the time I had to find a job to support the kids and myself.
As the kids were growing up and accomplishing different things, I started to miss Todd even more. It was hard to go to the kids’ school and see all the parents celebrating the success of their children. That was the time my anger switched to God. How could He let this happen? I had everything planned. What did I do to deserve losing my fairytale world?
The sound of the phone ringing jarred me out of my land of misery. “Hi Jill . . . Yes, I will be home this evening.”
“It’s not fair! You always win!” Joey shouted as he jumped out of his chair and shoved it into the living room wall.
“Quit whining. It’s just a game.” Cindy said in her normal sarcastic teenage-tone.
“Kids! Please, I’m on the phone.” I yelled covering the phone with my hand.
“Sorry, Jill, the kids are playing LIFE and Joey is complaining about it not being fair. Fair? That’s something I know all too well . . . Okay, I’ll see you in a little bit.”
When Jill arrived, I made some tea and we sat in the small sitting room off the kitchen. Jill told me how much I was missed at church.
“Don’t start on church again, Jill. If God loved me and wanted what was best for me, He wouldn’t have taken Todd.”
“Angie, you know God loves you. It’s just like that game of LIFE that Joey and Cindy were playing. In real life we suffer loss and celebrate victories. It’s tough sometimes, but we have to keep our eyes on the final victory of eternal life with Jesus.”
I sat there thinking about what Jill had said, and knew she was right.
“You know every time Todd left, he always told me God was in control and God promised, good or bad, He would take care of us.”
“God always keeps His promise, Angie. He is always there and He has been taking care of you. Things will become clearer when you let go of the anger.”
“I know you’re right, Jill. It’s just so hard. I miss Todd so much, and I know he would want me to be happy.”
Reaching over to me, Jill hugged me tightly. She whispered in my ear. “So, I will see you on Sunday?”
“Yes, I’ll be there.”
“…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 (KJV)
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…” Romans 8:28 (KJV)
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