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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Encouragement (02/23/12)

TITLE: The Flood Rose
By darlene thompson


On October 24, 1985, blue skies engulfed the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia. The mountain people, carefree and happy, enjoyed the bounty from autumn's easel of bright red, crisp brown and gold.
Several thousand miles away, high winds and pelting rains churned into the Gulf of Mexico. Together, the winds and rains formed a hurricane known as Juan.
November 4, 1985, forced the storm into West Virginia. Alone, my mother, kept watch into the night's darkness. Eventually, worry, wind and roaring waters rocked her to sleep. By morning, the national weather channel reported a tale of horrow. West Virginia was flooded. Frantically, my brother and sister attempted to locate my mother. All communication in the area was down.
We knew we had to go home immediately. We were warned by the West Virginia Highway Patrol that most roads were impassable. We traveled at our own risk. With supplies of food, water and fortitude, we loaded the truck. We found roads with no pavement and roadsides disappeared in many places. In the darkness, we could see houses and cars turned upside down and wrapped around trees and fences.
Finally, we pulled into our mother's driveway. Our house was untouched and through the window we could see our mother. We were truly blessed.
The next day, the local community center reported 12 people missing and 8 dead. On our farm were stacks of dead animals, turkeys and chickens. We spent the day burning the dead animals and removing debris from the fields.
By week's end, progress had been made with the clean up of the area. Although, the water receded, an unsettling rumbling by the river remained. As I walked along the widened river bed, my mind grappled with all the death and destruction. Among the mud, silt, piles of rock and debris, a yellow rose blossomed. I was encouraged that the beautiful rose had burst forth from the flood's carnage. I remembered Isaiah 35:1, "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom like the rose." The yellow rose was proof God was still in control. He would heal the land and its people with His grace and His mercy.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Martha Black03/02/12
I could feel your concern for your mother. Only such concern could have caused you to risk such danger to reach her. Relief upon finding her safe opened your eyes to see the rose (a silver lining) in the midst of such destruction (every cloud). Good job!
C D Swanson 03/02/12
I am so happy your mom was okay...and yes your family was truly blessed.

Wonderful story illustrating your tenacity in searching for you mom...and a powerful ending with hope springing eternal and new.

Loved this. Thank you.

God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/03/12
This is a thrilling story. I found myself holding my breath for the safety of your mom.

Try work on doing more showing than telling. Instead of saying you were worried, show the reader what worry looks like. --I massaged my swirling stomach as worry creased across my forehead. I squinted my eyes searching for a glimmer of hope. The second sentence paints more of a picture for the reader. It isn't an easy thing to do but can turn a great story into an excellent one.
C D Swanson 03/08/12
Congratulations! God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/20/12
I thought I'd take a quick peek to see how the year had started for you. My first thought was the horror 2012 has endured. Yet through our faith in God, we somehow heal from one storm when another one is piled right on. I'm so glad I came back to this story. It gives me a sense of hope. Through the strength of Jesus at our side we ride the many storms of life and get back on our feet from one just to have the unthinkable happen.A rose pops up through the agony. The crows fly about reminding us that God cares about them how much more must his heart hurt over the loss of lives in Newtown.

I also wanted to tell you that your writing as improved over these months. You are doing better at painting pictures and your first and last story of the year, but even more important you are showing God's love through all kinds of injustice. Knowing Jesus doesn't mean we are protected from the storms but He is beside us every inch of our journey. Bless you and thank you for these stories this year. You are making a difference. :)