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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Step(s) (11/29/12)

TITLE: Just The Next Step
By Joan Nakyana


Andrea opened the door of her grandmother’s guest bedroom and made her way to the kitchen. On her way there, she passed by the huge gold plated watch that hung in the corridor and noted that it was almost midday. She rubbed her eyes to make sure that was the right time, she could not remember the last time she had let herself stay in bed past eight o’clock in the morning.
She half filled the kettle with water and turned to open the fridge to see if there was any milk that was left in there when she saw the post it note that her grandmother had left on the fridge door.
Banana Cake In Fridge!
Andrea almost smiled at her grandmother’s thoughtfulness. Andrea simply loved her banana and walnut cake, which she had been enjoying since she had been a little girl. Andrea made herself a cup of very milky, sugarless tea and sat down on one of the stools that were in the kitchen island. That was S when Andrea noticed an envelope with her name on it. She reached out and tore the envelope open, to see a card that had a picture of a very long road that was set in a mountain.

Andrea, all you need to know is the next step, for our God will be our guide even to the end! – Nana.

Her grandmother had left two days ago to go on a cruise ship with about three of her friends, and she had given Andrea the chance to come and live in her house while she was away. Andrea had jumped at the chance to come here and get away from all the sadness that she was experiencing.
It was the one week anniversary of the closure of her florist shop. She had had the shop for five years, and at its peak she had employed two full time workers and two part time workers. Maria had been the part time worker, who used to come in two days a week to give the shop a thorough clean. She had been the first that Andrea had had to let go of, about a year ago.
Sasha had been only eighteen when Andrea had taken her on. She had a different hairstyle every six weeks and she had been great at creating the website for the shop and getting the online shop running. She had seen the way things were going and she had left to find another job soon after Maria had left.
Timothy had always been amazing with the customers, and with lifting all the heavy lifting that needed to be done. And he had always known when Andrea needed a cup of tea. Towards the end, he had even allowed three months to go by before Andrea paid him, because he knew what dire straits the business was in. Andrea had wept when she told him she could not afford him seven months ago.
Jasmine, was the other part time worker who came in three days in rotation. She had three young children so she had not wanted to have a full time job. She was the last one that Andrea had let go of, just a month ago.
The orders for her flower creations had just plummeted, and with them had gone her five year old business. When she had started five years ago, she had thought that by now she would have three other shops. But then again, she had thought that by her thirty eighth birthday, which was coming up in four weeks, she would have been married with two kids.
She had no idea what she was going to do. All her investment of time and effort had been sunk into her business. She sighed deeply, she had to stop mourning.
“Dear God, what is the next step? What do I do?” She called out.
The tea had gone cold and the cake was still uneaten. She left the cup and picked up the plate of cake and walked towards the conservatory. Her grandmother’s garden never failed to make her glad. They had planned it together and bought all the flowers with great care. She drew the curtains and immediately put her hand over her eyes to shield them from the sun that was shining through. She saw all the beautiful flowers in the garden and promptly burst into tears.

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This article has been read 346 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/07/12
This is one of the heart-wrenching stories that many people can relate to this time and age. Things have been hard financially but somehow God provides a way for us to pull through whether in the timing of a letter or a favorite cake baked by Grandma with love.

I noticed some tiny things like missing hyphens in words like: thirty-eighth. Also you repeated some words close together like: for the chance to come in the third paragraph. That can be fixed with some sentence restructuring or another word like opportunity. (If you'd like more input or ways to fix it feel free to PM me)

However those little tiny errors don't stand in the way of your message which is sensational. It took me a minute to grasp the meaning of Grandma's note but once it made its way to my tired brain it spoke volumes to me. Sometimes life can be quite difficult and instead of taking it one day at a time I find I need to endure it minute by minute or step by step. A journey is far less overwhelming if you focus on just one step at a time. That is a beautiful message and one I'm sure just about everyone can relate to. You did a great job of pulling the topic into the story and ending it showing God's Glory even in little things like the sun and the garden. Great job of writing on this one.:)
C D Swanson 12/11/12
Awww. Wow - I loved this story! It was phenomenal, and held such a significant message overall. Great job, thanks! God bless~