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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Our Mutual Friend (not about the book) (09/15/11)

By Julie Andre



I bolted up from a dead sleep! There it was again----the shrill sound! It broke the silence of the night. At first, I thought I was in a dream, but there it was again---a wailing noise! The quiet of the night, and the dream state were now pierced by the sounds of Sarah. A new trial had surfaced for me to overcome. It meant I was to function on little or no sleep.
My husband and I had a new baby girl named Sarah. The excitement and thrill of having a baby was astounding. Feeling new life grow in me day by day was awesome! God created a miracle in me. Accompanying this blessing was morning sickness and constant nausea. Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials. James 1:2 NIV
Once I survived pregnancy on an emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical level, the new bundle of joy was delivered on August 17, 1983. Sarah was born healthy and with a great set of lungs. Sarah had no problem telling me what she wanted, when she wanted it, and how often she needed it. I, on the other hand, was not as quick as responding to her ever increasing demands. Now in my life I had several roles: wife, mother, teacher, daughter, sister, and friend. My work hours were from 7:15 AM – 2:30 PM on Monday – Friday. An early morning work schedule was not conducive to night time feedings and a sick baby. Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials. James 1:2 NIV
This mutual friendship of joy and trials never made any sense to me until recently. With age comes wisdom. Finally, I had an “AHA” moment. Now I understand that there is a blessing in the midst of trials. If I am willing to see the trial from God’s perspective than I am better off.
Although I do not always understand God’s way, I am willing to make lemonnade from lemons. My husband, Sarah, and I did survive the infancy stage, and even the teenage years! Sarah has now matured into a beautiful young woman. Instead of me just being a character, I have developed more character. Through the early morning awakenings, I learned perseverance. Also, I developed an incredible bond with my daughter. Even though that bond disappeared during the teen years, it has returned again. I once thought of joy and trials as mutual enemies. Today I now see that they are indeed mutual friends.

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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/23/11
This is a lovely story about how your daughter changed your life. My Emily was born 11 months to the day after your Sarah so I really do understand.

Try double spacing between paragraphs to give the reader that all important white space. Also try not to use so many exclamation points. Your words are strong enough on their own; save the exclamation points for dialog. Using "salsa" verbs will help spice about your writing. On the message boards, in Jan's Writing Basics, she covers this and other topics. It's been a great help for me.

You did a great job of pulling your reader in. It was easy to relate to your story and left me with a feel good feeling. Keep writing!
Linda Goergen09/27/11
Unique perspective of seeing joy and trials as mutual friends, and as each in their own way promotes growth of our spirits, I would have to agree. Though one of them we desire to keep and the other, we are glad to end the friendship! LOL I remember saying many times of the worst trial I have ever gone through, I wouldn’t take anything for the experience and growth I gained but I would never want to go through it again! LOL Great job on this and the pondering it arouses in the reader! Enjoyed!
Lady-Jessica Rapalo09/29/11
Thanks Julie for your wisdom. I really need that for my 16 year-old. It does help me see the light at the end of the tunnel, especially when I feel like it will never end.

It is so true and confusing how joy accompanies trials. It is beautiful and warming to know we can put our trust in God to provide a way for all who believe.

Great writing!!!
Gwen Plauche09/30/11
This awesome! I love how you tied joy and trials together. Keep up the great work!