Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Foreign Language (12/09/10)
TITLE: Transforming Hurt to Triumph
By Esther Phillips
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I think those times might have been in preparation for the days many years later after my husband suddenly passed away. I was left with three young children, and I had to comfort them before they settled down for sleep. Then I went to my empty bed and thought “OK, now who is going to comfort me?” Along the way, I met a man who was just plain nice to me. He worked shift work and when he heard me talk about how I couldn’t sleep at night, he said “When you are up during the night and can’t sleep, call me.”
I didn’t think I would do that, but as loneliness kept slipping in, I found myself calling him. You know there aren’t many people you can call in the middle of the night! I suspect that much of what I rattled on about was foreign to him, but he never let on that I was boring him or that I didn’t have things straight in my head.
When the kids returned to school in the fall, I took another dip in my journey. My dad was so concerned about me and called frequently. He said, “When things get to closing in on you, just leave the house and go somewhere...anywhere. Just go window shopping if nothing else.” This was a piece of good advice because it got me out of the moment of dread. Many times, I just took a bike ride through the neighborhood. The wind blowing against my face was therapeutic. Then my Dad suddenly died. I felt really alone now that the two most important men in my life were gone.
My church friends were extremely helpful in the dark days of grief. Although they may have not understood my loneliness or the stress of trying to help my three children through these tough times; nevertheless, they came alongside me and offered support. One lady called me every day. I kid you not, every day! Once when she called and asked how I was, and I said, “I just want to run away.” She answered, “But dear, you’ll just have to take you with you!” I’ll never forget that piece of good advice. She followed that with, “Get dressed. I’m coming to take you to lunch.” Any diversion was a good one.
We do not know why things happen the way they do. Nicodemus questioned Jesus “How can anyone be born after having grown old?” Jesus answered, “Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above. The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’”(NRSV, vs. 3:4, 7-8)
The farm animals listened to my woes when I was a child. Today, I turn to God. I know he is there and he listens even if my words don’t make a whole lot of sense, even to me. Oh, and as aside, I married the man who listened to me in the middle of the night all those many years ago.
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