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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Encouragement (02/23/12)

TITLE: In the Midst of the Storm
By Michele Fleming


The rain began to come down in sheets as Jen made her way along the winding mountain roads. Even though her windshield wipers were going as fast as they could, her visibility was practically non-existent. Pushing the limit with her speed, she struggled to keep the car on her side of the road.

The call had come in an hour ago that her father had taken a turn for the worse and that she needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible. He didn’t have much time left and Jen was determined to see him one last time. She vowed to herself that no amount of rain was going to keep her from it.

The further she went on the mountain road, the more her radio station began to play out. Normally, she wouldn’t even have the radio on, but she was hoping to stay on top of the weather. Annoying static quickly replaced the encouraging sounds of Q93 and Jen reluctantly took one hand from the wheel to hit the volume button.

Missing the button on the first try, Jen took her eyes off the road for a split second and tried again. That split second turned out to be a moment to long. As she focused on the radio controls, she heard the blast of a horn. She quickly turned her attention back to the road and terror flooded over her as she realized she was heading straight for an oncoming big rig. She jerked the wheel just in time to miss truck, but her car began to hydroplane.

No matter what she did, it seemed only to make matters worse. Time seemed to move in slow motion as the car made its way back and forth across the road, twisting and turning as it went. All of this left Jen feeling she was in the middle of some horrendous ballet routine.

Suddenly, Jen heard a loud pop as one of her tires blew and she could see sparks begin to spray out behind her, lighting up the dark dreary night. The blown tire caused the car to slow its tossing and turning, giving her back control and she was finally able to make it safely to the side of the road.

Jen’s heart pounded so hard she felt sure her ribs would break from the battering they were taking. She sat with numb fingers clutching the steering wheel and attempted to calm herself. Her body, however, began to shake the same time the tears began to find their way down her cheeks.

“Thank you, Lord for watching over me just now.” She allowed herself some time in prayer before stepping out into the torrential downpour to begin the task of changing her tire.

She had done it before so she knew she could do it again, but the overwhelming need to be at her father’s side left her feeling utterly defeated. Jen opened the trunk to remove the tire and tools and fresh tears began to mix with the rain on her face. Taking a deep breath, she forced back the tears and set her mind to the task.

As she worked, the radio station cleared up and song after song proclaiming God’s love and strength, poured through the speakers and straight into her heart. It was as if God was using the songs to encourage her. She could almost feel his hands guiding hers as she worked on the tire, giving them the strength they needed to complete their work. She was also sure she could hear his words of comfort fill her spirit with hope. Before she knew it, she was finished and was back on the road.

“Lord, you never cease to amaze me! Thank you for helping me tonight. No matter what I find when I get to the hospital . . . I thank you.”

Stepping from the elevator, she began her long walk down the corridor to her father’s room. Family members lingered in the hall and their tear-stained faces caused Jen to fear she was too late. Hesitating at the door, she was suddenly too afraid to go in the room.

“My child, have I not already shown you tonight, I am here with you?”

The calming words renewed her courage and she gently pushed open the door.

“Oh good . . . you . . . made it.” Her father managed to say.

“Oh, Daddy!” Jen exclaimed as she rushed to her father’s side.

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This article has been read 377 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Wilcher03/01/12
You had me from the beginning! Great story, and I loved the ending! Great work!
Kathleen Langridge03/02/12
Powerful, spell-binding, frightening yet encouraging. The piece was very well crafted. Well done.
Nancy Bucca03/04/12
I love the ending, which was almost a little bit unexpected. You kept me in suspense. Well done.
Jean C Prentice03/07/12
I loved your article, because it showed that no matter the storm we are in , God will get us through.
Keep writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/07/12
This is a great story full of suspense. I could feel my heart hammering as she twisted and slid on the road.

The only thing that would make it better would to do more showing and less telling. I'm sure it seems like in a story like this you did a great deal of showing and you did do some good showing. For example the first sentence is telling. Show by using more descriptive verbs like The rain pounded against the windshield as Jen cranked the steering wheel to the right and the quickly readjusted to the left. It's not the best sentence but I hope it gives you a small glimmer of what I mean.

I did thoroughly enjoy this story and I think you have a great deal of natural talent. I really liked the ending and it surprised me a tad which doesn't happen often. Nice job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/08/12
Congratulations for ranking 8th in level one!