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

TITLE: Swallow the Fear
By Monica Henkel


Fear gripped me. Even though my husband had come home again, even though I had agreed to try to work it out one more time, I was on the brink of losing everything. My home, security for my children, my own sense of security, was about to be taken from me. After finally taking the painful step of calling the mortgage company and entering into an agreement to pay the back payments owed I allowed my next to last payment to arrive late. It didnít matter that I thought I got the payment out on time all that mattered was I didnít and the mortgage company was demanding payment in full for the past due account or they would go into foreclosure.
Our home was always a safety net for our children, for me. Things so often felt out of control with an alcoholic husband but at least I had a home, a sense of stability for our two children. With their own home they could feel a sense of security even when their father wasnít around to be there for them. They could feel a sense of permanence when their mother, me, couldnít be strong enough to say, enough, this isnít right.
Before going to work, leaving my husband at home since heíd lost his job, I said, ďYou must call about the foreclosure. Iíve done my part, this is your responsibility.Ē
Of course he agreed, he always agreed, it was so much easier for him than actually dealing with anything. That night when he told me he didnít make the call I wasnít even all that surprised. I went out back feeling numb. I couldnít bear to loose our small, humble home. It seemed so unfair to my children that we had allowed it to come to this. I was beyond tears. Staring into the dark sky dotted with sparkling stars I prayed for an answer.
There in that moment of silence, staring into that velvety sky I felt the answer. It was time for me to stop waiting for my husband to fix things that were so completely out of his control. I realized I could take care of things, I already had been, working two jobs, being involved with our childrenís school. It was time to see I could do this, with Godís help.
My family went through some very difficult financial times. We came out of bankruptcy with our house and a more mature way of dealing with finances. Our marriage didnít make it but after a year of divorce my exhusband finally got sober and now enjoys a great relationship with his children and is handling his own finances in a much better way. While things didnít turn out as I expected, or wanted, I realize weíre all better off.
I believe we all have the capability of rising to the tremendous difficulties that come our way, but we cannot do it alone. Inside we have the strength to survive the hand thatís been dealt us and become better people for it, if only we turn to God, or our higher power, and truly believe that the support and guidance we need is there for us.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 04/30/06
This reads at times like a narrative, and at times like a devotional. It might be more effective if that were clarified. A wonderful testimony of God's help through difficult times.
Helen Paynter05/01/06
Strong testimony, although I stumbled at the end on your reference to "God or our highter power". GLad you came through with his help/