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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Season(s) of a year or life (01/13/11)

TITLE: Dark Clouds of Winter
By Fern Brown


Dark Clouds of Winter

On the way home from church, three-year old Jordan rubbed his fingers across his jawbone as if he were trying to remove something sticky, causing Mommy to ask, “Jordan, do you have a booger on your face? Do you need a tissue?”

In a husky, masculine voice, Jordan surprised the family, saying, “No. I think I’m growin’ a whisker.”

New discoveries continued through the springtime of his life, bringing joy and laughter to the rest of his family.

Jordan’s teen years found him thriving on sports, especially basketball. He and his cousin played for the same school, constantly competing with each other to prove who the best man was. “I can outscore you any day.” “I can out jump you by five feet, at least.” Bantering back and forth forced them to prove their words or eat them, thus sharpening their skills.

After graduation, he married his high school sweetheart, thinking life could get no better. As children blessed their lives, he prayed, “This is the life! Thank you, dear God, for my precious family.” He worked hard to support them, sent the children to a private school to give them a Christian education and diligently kept the family in church. Jordan wanted Christ to be his all. He knew the enemy of his soul lurked in the shadows, but he didn’t foresee the wintry chill that would soon blast his feet from under him.

Untouchable all day, Millie grew unusually subdued as they kissed the children and put them to bed after church on Sunday night. In the soft firelight of the wood-burning stove, Millie said, “We need to talk.”

“Come sit by me, my love.”

“I’m fine right here.” Without hesitation, she continued, “I’m moving out tomorrow.”

“What?” He bounded to her side and grabbed her limp, cold hands. “Why are you talking like this?”

“I’m tired of how you treat me.” She shrugged, hurling one insult after another at him. Not believing his ears, he begged forgiveness for not being more sensitive to her needs. He called the Pastor who came immediately and talked with them, to no avail. Millie admitted there was another man, refused more discussion, and went to bed.

“Ring…ring…” Jordan’s mother looked at the caller ID. “Help, dear Lord,” she whispered. “It’s too late for Jordan to call just to talk.”

“Hello, Son, what’s wrong?”

“Just… pray…please…” His broken conversation etched itself in the hidden chambers of her mind. Never in his lifetime had his voice held such grief, betrayal and bewilderment.

Mother told Dad the horrendous news. Through the dark hours that followed, they pled for God to have mercy as the cold, icy fingers of winter held their son captive in their cruel grip.

Mother’s heart exploded into tiny pieces as Jordan and his three beautiful children walked through her door. Like a furious river, tears coursed down the anguish- ridden faces of the two younger girls. The hideous monster of pain forbade their oldest daughter’s numb heart to cry.

Jordan’s face twisted in grievous torture. “She walked out with that slime bag while the girls cried and begged her to stay. I want to beat the snot out of him, but that isn’t best for them,” he motioned towards the girls.

Mother let them cry, hugged them and tried to warm their aching, frozen hearts.

Winter persisted with the unrelenting blizzard. Occasionally a ray of sunshine broke through the angry clouds for a brief moment. Then the blustery snow fell again like a heavy blanket smothering the earth, trying to choke the life out of Jordan. Not caving in, he held his head up and walked tall like the man of God he was, while family and friends fortified him with prayers.

Jordan prayed, “Lord, I trust you to prove yourself strong in this storm and put our family back together, for your name’s sake. I’ll never be glad this happened, but I thank you for what you are teaching me in the darkness.”

The sun shone brightly the day Jordan received the long-awaited phone call from Millie. “I want to come home. Together we can work things out. Will you pick me up?”

“Thank you God,” he shouted exuberantly.

Tilling, seeding and much weeding loomed before him as springtime in his heart broke loose, replacing the life-threatening blizzard in his soul.

I Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. KJV

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This article has been read 326 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Leola Ogle 01/22/11
I worked for 20 years in a ministry and saw God restore lives and broken homes numerous times. A very touching story!
Laury Hubrich 01/22/11
This moved me to tears and that doesn't happen very often. I'm so glad it has a happy ending, although, I know much work is ahead for the couple. Nice writing!
diana kay01/23/11
great title and a great story :-)
Troy Manning01/23/11
I thought your story flowed well & you had many nice descriptions. I didn't really see a connection between your opening lines & the drama that followed--assuming it wasn't the "booger" foreshadowing the "snot." :) The ending was happy, but it didn't really seem to receive the attention you gave to the marital strife & therefore struck me as sudden. You have a nice conversational voice that is easy to follow.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/23/11
I really enjoyed this story. You made Jordan and his mother so real I could feel their pain. I must admit the ending seemed a bit forced. If Millie hasn't repented or found God it could be the worse thing for the family. You give an important message of forgiveness and repenting.
Norma-Anne Hough01/24/11
Moving and well written.
I felt for your mc and his family. Your wrote with deep emotion and I loved the way it played out.