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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)

TITLE: Divine Strength
By Melissa Williams
04/20/06


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As a child Sylvia’s mother had taught her to be strong, have faith in God and she would be able to deal with anything that came her way. But not this time. Surely not this time. Her child lying there on that hospital bed with tubes attached all over her body caused Sylvia to panic and want to do just the opposite of what she had always practiced, believing and having faith in her God to handle things.

It had only been two years since Sylvia had lost her husband in an automobile accident. He was hit head on by a drunk driver as he was coming home from work one evening. She and Jim had only been married eight years but theirs was a marriage made in heaven. They had been married three years when Sylvia learned she was pregnant with Jenny. She and Jim were thrilled. They had talked about having as many children as God would bless them with. Now Jim was gone. Sylvia was heart broken when he died but she had been able to go on with her life trusting God and knowing that He knew what was best for her and Jenny.

When Jenny got sick Sylvia was not worried because the doctors seemed to think it was not anything to worry about. But her health continued to decline. The doctors ran test after test coming up with nothing until they ran a test that found some cancerous cells in her stomach. By the time they found it and operated on her the cancer had spread throughout her body. The doctor told Sylvia that the best they could do was make Jenny as comfortable as possible, that it was only a matter of weeks. Sylvia immediately called the pastor of her church and her Sunday School teacher and asked them to pray.

That was weeks ago. Jenny was very strong and had such a sweet spirit, everyone at the hospital fell in love with the little five year old girl in room 100. As the days went by Jenny was getting weaker but her spirit seemed to be getting stronger. She talked about looking forward to seeing Jesus and her daddy again. But Sylvia seemed to be sinking. Her faith in God was faltering and she was feeling alone and deserted. One night when Sylvia was laying on the bed next to Jenny, Jenny reached out and touched her mother’s cheek and told her she loved her and that an angel was in her room standing at the end of her bed telling her it was time for her to come home. From somewhere deep inside, Sylvia experienced an overwhelming sense of peace come over her. She knew she was going to be able to make it. Jenny would no longer be with her but she would be with Jesus and her daddy.

Sylvia made it through the hard days ahead, through Jenny’s funeral and the grieving process. During that time, God walked with her every step of the way and filled her with a strength she had never known. She was able to reach out to other women whose lives had been touched by death. She ministered to these women helping them deal with their losses and hold on to their faith in God as He gave them strength, an inner strength that comes from trusting Him.


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This article has been read 448 times
Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight04/27/06
I liked that you used personal tragedy to reveal inner strength because I truly feel that is where it begins. I didn't feel as close to the characters as I would have liked. I got the tiniest view of it in the paragraph where you told about the little girl in rm. 100. That is where the story needs to begin and we need to really feel who this little girl is also instead of telling how the mother felt - show how she felt through action, dialog etc. Over all this is a nice entry but it could be a powerful story with a rewrite focusing on engaging the reader in what is going on. Keep up the good work!
Carol Shaffron04/27/06
Very insightful and real testimonial to God's faithfulness in our weaknesses and trials. One thing I'd like to point out is that in the first sentence it says that As a child Sylvia's mother....

That is saying that Sylvia's mother is the one who was taught. It needs to read When Sylvia was a child her mother taught her...

common mistake in writing about one's childhood. But good testimony
Phyllis Inniss 05/01/06
Sometimes the spiritual lessons we learn when we are young return to help us through our most trying times later on in life. Sylvia's trial was a good example of this.
Steve Uppendahl 05/01/06
This is a sad and beautiful story. As a parent, my worst nightmare.

I agree with Darlene above that this could be a very powerful piece with a bit more detail. Maybe switching to first person? You could bring in the mother's emotion first hand, and still give more detail about the daughter.

Thanks for sharing your story.
Virginia Gorg05/02/06
A tragic story with a real hope ending. I would have liked to learn more about the child - some personification would really add to this. Overall, well done.
Jan Ackerson 05/03/06
I've heard of children experiencing that angelic presence--what a blessing!

Consider writing this from the mother's point of view, and adding some dialog. I think the basic material for a very touching story is here--you just need to grab your readers hearts a bit more.

Thank you so much for this hopeful entry.