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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Blog (10/20/11)

TITLE: Unbelievable
By Rhonda Ritenour
11/02/11


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"Ugh … I’m telling you, Michael, this post just doesn't want to come together. Every time I add another point, I feel like I’m making less and less sense."

"Honey, I've told you a thousand times it’s perfectly fine the way it is. You’re just overthinking it, as usual."

Kathryn rolled her eyes and took a deep breath in an attempt to relieve the tension building throughout her body. Her husband was right, but she wasn’t ready to admit it aloud. Writing these posts was extremely important to her and she wanted them to be perfect.

Having shared her thoughts, prayers and daily devotions online for less than a year, Kathryn wondered if any of it was making a difference in the lives of her mysterious readers. If the eight months of intentional writing with only one comment was any indication, then it appeared she was making even less of a difference than she had hoped. What’s the point? Why should I keep doing this, Lord, if nobody is going to read it?

As Kathryn worked on perfecting the post for the tenth time, her husband shook his head. He’d come to know her all too well over their fifteen years of marriage. Placing his hand on her shoulder, he spoke softly, “Lord, I come to You right now, asking for You to be with Kathryn. Help her let go and trust You to speak through her. Remind her it's not about her or even about being perfect; it's about obeying Your Spirit and trusting You for the results. In Jesus name, Amen."

Taking a slow, deep breath, Kathryn realized her husband's prayer was exactly what she needed to hear. Reluctantly, she let go of her worries and put her work in God's hands. She slowly stood, looking into her husband’s loving eyes and thanked God for blessing her with such an amazing partner.

------

Suzanne wiped the tears from her eyes as she reread the words on her screen. She still could not believe a person she’d never met, was able to read into her very soul. The main message of the post, trusting God even during the most difficult times was exactly what she needed reminded about right now. She was grateful to her friend, Julie, for directing her to this special site. New to blogs, she found this resource in her young life as a Christian to be a tremendous blessing. Immediately, Suzanne knew she needed to thank the author for being obedient to God in sharing this timely post.

-------

Rachel reached for her laptop and plopped down on the couch in a state of complete exhaustion. "Lord, I don't know if I can take this anymore. I’ve reached the final straw. Life has become ridiculous. If it's not one thing then it's another. I just don't think I can handle any more. To say I am overwhelmed would be a vast understatement.”

When she opened her email, over one hundred emails clamored for her attention. Rachel knew she was going to scream if one more person pointed out what she was doing wrong. You would think a family of Christians would be more loving. When she had taken over as worship leader at Middleton Independent Church, Rachel had been terribly disappointed at the lack of patience and understanding. She wondered what she’d gotten into when she gave into a friend’s pleas to help her dying church. Isn't there any ray of hope, any encouragement in being a follower of Christ?

Scanning the emails, her eyes landed on one from her a college friend. Quickly she opened it and saw directions to a blog. When she read the post, she cried out, “What a blessing! Praise You, God. You know me so well. Forgive me for doubting Your faithfulness and love.“
-----

Kathryn was shocked as she opened her email and saw several comments left on her blog. With eyes wide, she read as each person told how much her post had blessed them and was exactly what they needed to hear at the time.

She continued to sit in stunned silence, reading each comment with tear-filled eyes. Lost in thought, she almost jumped out of her chair when her husband's voice came from behind and whispered in her ear, “I told you so.”


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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/03/11
This was a great read. You did a nice job at building your characters and showing her emotions. It is hard when you pour your heart into something and aren't sure if it is helping. We never know how many hearts might be touched by our words.

My only suggestion might be to stick to one POV. With the word limit, it's difficult to have so many characters. Maybe instead of jumping to the new characters, you could have had the MC or her husband read the emails. It might help the story flow a little better.

I really liked how the husband supported his wife and prayed with her. This is an excellent example of how marriage should work.
Anne Warden 11/04/11
Very good.

We never know how our words impact others. The Bible tells us our tongues (in this age, words typed onto a computer screen) can be used to bless or to harm. As writers doing God's work, we desire to be positive impacts to the world around us, sometimes encouraging other believers and sometimes showing unbelievers The Way.

Who knows who might be reading what we write? I think we'll all be surprised when we get to heaven and learn who we touched with our words. It reminds me of the Ray Boltz song, 'Thank You for Giving to the Lord'.
Randy Foncree11/04/11
I loved this...it was very encourageing and uplifted...we never know how we affect other people...God bless you and thanks for sharing...
Catherine Maher11/05/11
Isn't it funny how just when we're about to give up, God does something grand to show us the way.
This was very encouraging to all bloggers and writers, esp biginners. Thanks for sharing.
Theresa Santy 11/05/11
I agree with Shann's comments. I loved how you built the characters, but yeah, in such a tight word limit it's difficult to add in so many points of view. The first section was amazing. My heart jumped up and down along with the emotions of the husband and wife. In this first section you took your time 'showing' us these beautiful characters.

The rest of the sections felt a bit squished into a small space, and we were 'told' about the characters and their feelings. But what else could you do in only 750 words?

Lovely piece overall. Loved the inspiring message, a beautiful answer to the ever so frequent question from bloggers worldwide, "What's the point?"
Kristine Baker11/05/11
I loved getting to know Kathryn and her husband Michael. I agree with the others, there were too many characters even though I understand how you were trying to connect all the people.

Keep writing, you were drawing me in and I wanted to learn more about your main characters.

CD Swanson 11/08/11
Beautiful job. And, this is so true for so many of us. God uses us as His vessel to reach people, and many times it can be through a "writing ministry."

It was wonderful how she let the Lord guide her and how her words touched others, through the Lord's will.

Nice job - I loved it!
God Bless you~
Verna Mull11/11/11
This was really neat. It keeps the readers attention and touches their emotions. Great job!
Nancy Bucca 11/13/11
I think you made good use of a limited word count to pack in a powerful message. It started and ended with the same POV and didn't leave any important issues unanswered. Great job; look forward to reading more.
Jennifer Suchey11/17/11
CONGRATULATIONS RHONDA!!!

WOO HOO! YOU DID IT! I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!
Theresa Santy 11/17/11
Congratulations Rhonda!!!
Anne Warden 11/17/11
Yeh, Rhonda!!! I am so proud of you.

Congratulations!
CD Swanson 11/17/11
Fantastic work and great job! Congratulations on this wonderful story and your well deserved win.

God Bless~
Nancy Bucca 11/18/11
Congratulations on your EC!
Bonnie Bowden11/18/11
Congratulations on your 1st place award.

God uses our words in unexpected ways.
Rachel Phelps11/18/11
Great story. Congratulations on your EC!
Rhonda Ritenour11/19/11
Thank you for all your wonderful words of encouragement and helpful critiques towards this short story. I feel tremendously blessed to be a part of this writing community. I feel doubly blessed to be part of such an amazing writing group. I'm learning a great deal from their experience, knowledge, honest critiques and unwavering encouragement. I'm taking a few weeks break from entering challenge, because of the craziness in my life right now, but I plan to return soon. I will keep reading the entries and try to leave critiques more often for other writers. Keep up the great work everyone!