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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Light and Dark (05/21/09)

TITLE: God Always Has A Plan
By CJ Raney


Mary slowly opened her eyes. As they adjusted to the darkness, she realized what had happened. “Mike!” No answer came. “Kids!” Nothing but silence. When she moved the pain was so intense, she passed out.

Mary awoke to flashing red and blue lights blinding her.

“Ma’am, we’re here to help. What’s your name?”


“Okay, Mary. My name’s David. We’re going to get you out.”

Struggling to talk, “My family…please…..”

“Just relax. We’re going to take care of you. Okay, men, let’s get them out.”

“Hello, you’re awake. How do you feel?” A nurse spoke from beside Mary’s bed.

“I’m really thirsty and very sore. Where’s my husband?”

“Here’s some water. Just sip it, while I check your vitals and I’ll get you something for the pain.”

“What about my family? I want to see them?”

“Your vitals are doing better.”

“My family! Where are they?” Frustrated that the nurse was ignoring her request.

“I’ll check on that.”

The nurse left and Mary started to remember the accident. As tears flowed down her cheeks, the door opened again. “Mike?”

“No, it’s me, Cynthia.”

“I’m glad to see you! Can you tell me about Mike and the kids? You’re my pastor’s wife, surely they have told you something. ” Mary looked at her with pleading eyes. That’s when she noticed the painful look that spread across Cynthia’s face. Mary started to shake her head.

“Mary, I’m sorry, they didn’t make it.”

“No, it can’t be true!”

Cynthia held Mary until she fell asleep exhausted from crying.

Two weeks later, Mary was discharged from the hospital. She had a long road of recovery from the broken collar bone, fractured ribs, and bruises. The worst pain was her broken heart.

Cynthia took her to the funeral home to properly say good-bye to her family. They walked into the visitation room, where the three caskets sat. Mary’s legs grew weak and she collapsed.

“Why did you let me live, God? I can’t live without my family! Why are you punishing me?”

Cynthia knelt beside her, “You have to trust that God has a plan.”

The survivor’s guilt had wreaked havoc on Mary for six months. Cynthia called everyday checking on her, but today she stopped by to ask Mary to go into town.

“Hi, Mary. I’m taking the clothes and toy donations to the orphanage. I thought you might like to ride.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Just ride. You don’t have to get out.”


At the orphanage, Cynthia got out. “I’ll be right back. “

Mary noticed a little girl with brunette hair, under the oak tree, reading a book. She was drawn to her. Leaving the car, she went to see her.

“Hi, I’m Mary.”

“I’m Emma.”

“That’s a lovely name.”

“Who are you?

“I’m waiting on a friend and thought I would say hi.”

Emma closed her book and smiled at Mary. “Thanks, it gets lonely here. No one wants the older kids.”

Mary heard Cynthia call. “I have to go. It was nice meeting you.”

“You too.”

Several days passed and Mary couldn’t get Emma out of her mind. She called Cynthia to talk about it.

“Cynthia, I really think God‘s telling me to bring her home.”

“You don’t want to ignore God. Do you want me to go with you?”

“I need to do this on my own.”

“I’ll be praying for you.”

At the orphanage, Mary took a deep breath before knocking on the office door.

“Come in.”

“Hi, I would like to take Emma home.”

The stunned lady behind the desk asked, “Have you met her?”

“Yes, the other day. I haven’t been able to get her off my mind.”

“You should know about her past. She lost her family a year ago, in a car accident.”

A smile crept across her face. “I think we’ll be a perfect match.”

They walked into Emma’s room. “Hi, Emma. Do you remember me?”

“Yes, you were here the other day.”

“I’ve come back to see if you want to go home with me?”

Not wanting to show too much excitement, “Are you sure? There’re younger kids across the hall.”

“God spared me for this very moment. You see, I lost my family six months ago. I believe God wants us to help each other be happy again.”

Hand in hand, they left the orphanage. Mary felt as light as a feather. All the dark, heaviness of grief and loneliness had been lifted.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (KJV)

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This article has been read 384 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/28/09
Isn't it wonderful how God works?

I think that with less dialogue and more description, your readers would be better able to identify with your characters.

Very sweet ending.
Joy Faire Stewart05/28/09
I love that God placed Mary and Emma together. Thanks for bringing the plight of older children in the adoption system to the forefront.
Charla Diehl 05/31/09
Good job with this topic. God does work things out for all His children.
A little more "showing" and not so much "telling" allows the reader to feel more involved with the characters.
Esther Phillips06/02/09
I loved this story. It caught me at the beginning and carried me all the way through. Thanks for writing this inspiring story.