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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: God's Way, not Our Way
By Marc Smith


Mike peered over his coffee mug, gazing at his wife of 11 years. She was pale and tired, with dark circles under her eyes, and she was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. He smiled, not because of the way she looked, but because of the reason she looked the way she looked.

Mike and Keri had been life long friends. As a matter of fact, their parents had grown up as best of friends. So when the two were married it came as a shock to no one. Like most newly-weds, Mike and Keri had grand plans of family, home, and career, and like most newly-weds were increasingly confused when “real life” stared them square in the eyes. Their plans for the future took on a whole new look. Their life together had begun with Mike struggling to find a suitable job, Keri working full-time to make ends meet and going to school to finish her degree, and struggles conceiving their first child.

Throughout these minor struggles the happy couple had relied on their faith to see them through. They were both very active in their church, and they tried to continue praying and reading Scripture. God had seen them through to better times, and they had thought their troubles were over. Then the unthinkable hit.

It had taken them about eight months to conceive their daughter, so when they starting having troubles trying to conceive their second it wasn’t very alarming. The first year past and they began to get nervous. Year two came and went and they started to get discouraged. After the third year hope was dwindling, and that hope vanished completely in the midst of year four.

So what do we do when God’s ways are not our ways? How do we react when His answer is no? How fast does our mind race to recite James 1:2-3 – “My brethren count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Do we remember that our God, the only true God, is Sovereign? No matter what we are going through we can be sure God has control over it and has orchestrated it perfectly. You cannot read Psalm 139 without instantly thinking on the sovereignty of God. Psalm 139:16 states, “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” God knows us perfectly. His plan for our lives was made before we took our first breath.

Mike had forgotten these truths. Through all the “specialists” visits to numerous doctors over a six year span, he had stopped trusting in and relying on God for strength and encouragement. It had started slowly, unnoticeably, but with each “no”, with each closing door, he had slipped farther and farther away. Not only did they have trouble having their own children, but their attempt to adopt internationally had been crushed more than halfway through the process. Where had God gone? Didn’t He care? Mike’s heart had hardened and closed, until he was emotionally unrecognizable.

It wasn’t until a very long and disturbing email conversation with Keri that Mike started to see what was happening. He had begun to turn his back on God. The very events that were to be used to strengthen his faith were turning him away. He had forgotten God’s promise that he would “never leave you nor forsake you”. Mike had started to recognize that it was not God who had left, but it was he who had drifted away from God. It was that day that the healing process had begun. Was he instantly transformed into the man he once was? No, that would take time. Would there be struggles and setbacks on the road to recovery? Absolutely. However, Mike was keenly aware that he did not have to do it alone.

Mike looked up from the table and once again gazed upon the glowing beauty of his wife, who was now expecting their second child. He smiled; not because he had gotten want he wanted, but because he knew that the Lord had been with them every step of the way.

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This article has been read 534 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Brenda Blakely05/06/07
God had been with them every step of the way. How wonderful. Thanks for the reminder. I liked the way you opened and closed the piece. Thanks for sharing.
Jan Ackerson 05/07/07
A moving story--glad he saw the light!

Parts of this are more "telling" than "showing." One way to show us Mike's struggles might be though dialogue, or by other interaction with Kari.

I liked your happy ending.
Jacquelyn Horne05/08/07
Heartwarming story. Encouraging.There are a few redundancies (things repeated or that don't need to be said because they are already apparent)but that can be taken care of in careful editing/tightening. The article itself is very good and encouraging.
Cheri Hardaway 05/08/07
"He had begun to turn his back on God. The very events that were to be used to strengthen his faith were turning him away." This sentence sums up many Christians' responses to trials. You did a great job of illustrating how God never left, and it is often in the letting go of our own will and our own efforts that He can begin to move. Blessings, Cheri
Benjamin Graber05/08/07
I think this is my favorite of what I've read so far - you did a great job of tying the ending with the beginning in an inspiring way, and touching my heart with your story. Great job!
Patty Wysong05/09/07
The glimpse into these lives was good and a good reminder for us. Too often we let things pull us away from Christ--glad Mike saw this and turned back. Good job.
Loren T. Lowery05/09/07
The love between these two was palpable - being able to bring this out in words is great in and of itself, but your message, that we may turn our backs on God, but he never turns His on us - is even more a wonderful testiment to your skill. Thank-you for sharing.
Joanne Sher 05/09/07
I enjoyed this very much. Knowing it is a true story, I think it might have been even stronger written in the first person - but that is just my opinion. I also would have liked to see some more dialogue or descriptions rather than being told in some instances, but this is a great piece.
Donna Powers 05/09/07
This rings so true. Very good sketch of a couple's journey to acceptance of the Lord's will. Thanks for sharing it
Sara Harricharan 05/09/07
So glad that Mike came through and went 'back'. I was really rooting for him. The little bit of scripture in the middle was good, but a little out with the storyline, kind of like a bump. Maybe if you had Mike reflecting and writing out the story to himself or talking it over with his wife, it would fit in better. Otherwise, this is good! ^_^