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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Adolescence/Teen Years (07/16/09)

TITLE: "Sleepless Nights"
By CJ Raney


Nancy paced in front of the large picture window that looked out to the front yard. She anxiously looked at the clock again and picked up the phone. The redial button was all she had to hit since she had called the same number ten times in the last hour.

“No answer…where could she be?” It was now 1:00 in the morning, two hours past Rhonda’s curfew.

The last four years had been tough. Nancy’s husband had divorced her and left her with four kids, ages 16, 12, 5, and 2, to raise on her own. She had been working double shifts to take care of them. Unfortunately, this left the burden to help in the house and take care of the little ones on Rhonda and Tracy.

Tracy had worked really hard to get a scholarship and was now away at college. Nancy was very proud of the young lady she had become. Since Tracy had been gone, Rhonda had just gotten angrier. She was frustrated that Tracy left her with all the housework and to tend to their little brother and sister, Ethan and Haylee.

All Rhonda wanted was to be loved. She felt like everyone close to her had left, first her dad and then Tracy. She never saw her mother, because she worked all the time. Rhonda wanted to be a kid and hang out with her friends. None of them had to do housework and take care of their siblings. In her mind, it just wasn’t fair.

When Nancy was offered a full-time job during the day, she thought it would help ease the situation. Instead, it left Rhonda with the freedom to run wild at night. Her attitude was terrible. These were the times she wished Jack hadn’t left. Rhonda needed her father. Nancy didn’t know how to make it better for her.

Nancy sat in the rocker by the window and must have dozed off. She awoke when the front door creaked.


“It’s me.” Rhonda said, as she headed down the hallway.

“Wait! Where have you been? It is 3:00 in the morning.”

“Mom, I don’t need a lecture. I was just having a little fun.”

“Why didn’t you answer your phone?”

Rhonda looked at her phone. “Sorry, I didn’t have any missed calls. I’m going to bed, Mom.”

“Rhonda, wait.”

“Goodnight, Mom.” Rhonda said without even a second glance.

Nancy was beside herself. All she could do was drop to her knees and pray for God to get a hold of Rhonda. She couldn’t seem to get her attention. Several weeks passed with many more arguments and prayers.

Nancy went to church one Sunday morning. She sat in the front and listened to the pastor preach a sermon on "The Prodigal Son". When the invitation was given, Nancy went to the altar to pray for Rhonda. As she knelt there pouring her heart out to God, she felt a small hand touch her shoulder and someone knelt beside her. She heard a small, trembling voice say, “I’m so sorry, Mom.”

Nancy reached over and grabbed her daughter in a tight hug. She rejoiced and thanked God for answering her prayer.

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This article has been read 426 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mary McLeary07/24/09
Precious are a mother's prayers. This a wonderful reminder that as parents we must pray for our children and claim the answer even before we see it. Good job.
Joy Faire Stewart07/24/09
You have captured the love and concern of a mother. I've heard my mother call my name in prayer,it's a beautiful thing! Wonderful example for our children, knowing we pray for them. Love the tenderness of the story.
Seema Bagai 07/24/09
You nicely captured the emotions of the mother of a teenager in this piece. Good work.
diana kay07/27/09
this was a good story. I got confused with the characters though,I think it would have been easier if you had put the kids names by there ages. I was not sure if it was the 12yr old or the 16 yr old who was out late and which one was at college etc. You also told the story from several peoples views and maybe it would have been beteer to stick with just the mums concerns re her daughter. Just a few pointers that would help me.
Brenda Welc07/27/09
Awesome story. I am going through this same sorta thing with my son right now, I could totally relate. good writing!
Brenda Welc07/27/09
P. S. thanks for the conformation. Pastor just spoke about the Prodical Son story at church last night and the amount of unconditional love God has for each of us as a Father!
Norma-Anne Hough07/29/09
Could totally identify with the mother in this story. Thank God that the prodigals do come home and thank God for mothers who pray.