Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Crime and Punishment (not about the book) (07/21/11)
TITLE: Broken and Barren, yet Blessed
By Shanta Richard
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However the bitterness in her heart seemed to swallow the joy of the moment as past memories flooded her mind. For the umpteenth time those tragic words, “If only”, returned to torment her broken heart. Years ago, she remembered walking hand in hand with Herb, her young husband, on this same beach – laughing as they happily planned their future, a two bedroom condo, a flower garden and the patter of little feet running around.
And then Herb’s unit was sent to Afghanistan. Thelma joined the nursing school. She worked part-time as a waitress to pay for her tuition. She was so busy that it was more than four months before she realized that she was pregnant. She did not know what to do. Herb was somewhere in Afghanistan, she did not even know his address. Her only sibling, her sister, was in Canada and her elderly parents were in Florida. Her friends at church would advise her to have the child- God would provide.
Her faith was not strong enough to quell her doubts. She would have to drop out of school and quit her job. Then what? How can she provide food, clothing and shelter for her child till Herb returns? Her human wisdom argued that it was impossible. She tried to pray but she could not find a solution. Finally against her better judgment, she took her courage in her hands and walked into an Abortion Clinic. Something went wrong. She hurt and bled more than was normal. Eventually she healed and returned to her school and job.
Time passed. Thelma graduated and became an R.N. She got a good job. The war was over and Herb returned home. He also got a good job. They moved into their dream home – a two bedroom condo. They decorated the second bedroom as a nursery and anxiously waited for their baby. They waited in vain for a medical checkup revealed that the abortion had damaged her womb irrevocably and she would never be able to conceive again.
Like Cain, Thelma cried out to God,
“My punishment is too much. I can’t take it,” and prayed for forgiveness.
Herb consoled her as much as he could. They applied for adoption of a baby. God heard their prayer and in due course they were able to adopt a baby boy, Tim. The boy grew up to be the love and joy of their lives. Thelma knew that in His infinite mercy God had forgiven her sin and blessed her with Tim.
But deep down in her heart, Thelma still grieved for her own precious unborn child. Her sin was forgiven but the consequences of it – the scarlet stain- would remain. The scarlet stain could be bleached but the white discoloration that bleach leaves will always be there. On Judgment Day, Jesus, our beloved Savior, will cover that stain with His white robe of righteousness. But the consequences of sin will have to be borne – Thelma would never have a child of her own. God had blessed her with Tim. She would have to forgive herself and forget the past and thank God for Tim.
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