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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)

By Maria Kana Santos


“Dad, can we talk?” I ventured in to his study.

“The Child Care Centre in the City called a while ago. They are offering me a permanent job. They need me to reply by Monday,” I informed him.

“I’ve been praying for work as stable as this, Dad.” Thoughtfully, I continued, “But I have to leave home if I accepted. I.... can’t... tell dear Mom. I’d break her poor heart.”

Father carefully chose his words, “I have decided to take you back to our country home as soon as you finished your three-month certificate training in Child Care. How did your job application in our area go?”

I reasoned with a decided tone, “What if a job in the City is GOD’s will? What if I reject it? Will my job as casual-part time in our suburb and therefore live here be God’s will instead?”

Traces of lines in Dad’s furrowed eyebrows evidenced the gravity of unforeseen dangers along the way; whatever that might be. I trust that he had seen them. Dad, a logical thinker, often appealed to my inclinations to rationalize everything. And Mamma? I squirmed with full contempt with what she felt about her grown up daughters leaving home.

“Mamma has home schooled us all our lives! She has laid a good, hard grounding for our education. I’m grateful for that. But I feel I have the right to decide for myself now.”

I would miss out on this chance of independence if I stay longer in my parents’ protective nest.

“I am twenty-one! I appreciate you and Mamma when you allowed me to go on a short-term missionary venture in India seven months ago. Why not let me go now and let me earn a living to help out?”

Dad finally spoke, “Seek the LORD’s counsel.” His handsome face heavily-laden with care showed deep concern and love for Mother. And yet he placed the choice to me and continued, “Do pray. Our Lord knows His coming in and going out in our lives. Will you tell me what your response to the LORD is by tomorrow?”

I had not been speaking to Mother. Not that we were not in speaking terms. It was her quietness that was so deafening; a reproach! What a cold and dreary place of recluse for Mother. Her silence wearied me. Or worried me?

Mamma knew. But she remained quiet. I knew she was praying. It is the Living Joy of her strength and peace that had been helping her through. Why was I in want of that joy and peace?

Charging it to my distressing circumstances, I stubbornly resorted to hoarding the counsel of my peers and older friends. “Be logical, Karen,” they said. “You can always bail out later when you realize that your decision isn’t God’s will after all.” Their reasoning weighed more balance than Mamma’s simplistic mind. But I had never been more confused in my whole life!

Work of the day drew near to the end. From its place in the corner, the large wood heater confined the vibrant and friendly fire that cheerily warmed my family. From my little corner in life where I am placed: I felt confined, useless, and lifeless.

In the living room, Dad’s clear full voice resonated the pleadings of Jeremiah; “The remnants of Judah sought for prayer with the prophet in their time of confusion. GOD knew that their hearts had ‘‘’wholly set their face to enter into Egypt and sojourn there.’”

With a look of tender care, Mamma said, “I do not question their request for prayer with Jeremiah. But GOD was silent for ten days. I believe that God was allowing them to think and to understand His mind He had intended for them.”

Mamma meekly continued, “I only want our children to hear from GOD and to know His mind alone.” Mamma looked at me and smiled.

In the quiet recesses of my heart, kneeling by my bedside, “O Lord Jesus, forgive me. Family life indeed isn’t comfortable and snugly. It is dynamic. We strive to be in Your will, to be true to You through life to the end. Thank You, Lord, for the sheltering and training that my parents provide for me and my six siblings. Please help us.”

Warmth filled my heart. Decisively, “This is the perfect present care GOD has chosen for me. I will not be dissuaded, in any way, by the echoes of this world. Let GOD be GOD!”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/08/09
It's certainly difficult to fly the coop--both from the parents' point of view, and the young person's.

I found some of your sentences and word choices a little bit stilted, and I'm not clear on how this fits the topic.

Love your title, and the way your presented this girl's dilemma--very thoughtful.
Maria Kana Santos05/08/09

Deut. 28:6 A blessing will be on your coming in and on your going out." Psalm 121:8(BBE)

Indeed, the father was wise to counsel his young daughter, "The Lord knows the coming in and going out in our lives; to pray and seek the Lord's mind; with His help, to understand and respond to His will."

Thank you.
Neneng Masaya11/10/09
Hi, Mom, it's sweet how you took my life story and wrote it out. God is truly gracious, and I'm eager to see how He will continue to lead me....