Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)
TITLE: Spring in Her Heart
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She remembered the pain. Spring may have been blossoming outside, but it was still winter inside Jenny’s heart. Autumn had been ripe with promise. She and Jim had been struggling in their marriage, but once she found out she was pregnant things seemed to get better. There had been hope. After all there was a new life to look forward to! But then it all fell apart.
First, she lost the baby. The pain was unbearable—she had desperately wanted a child for so very long. In the first few weeks following the miscarriage, she had been so blinded by grief that she hadn’t noticed the change in Jim. Until it was too late, that is. By then he had practically moved in with the “other” woman.
Now, three months later, she was heartbroken, alone, and on the brink of a yet another disaster—a financial one this time. Without Jim’s income, she was struggling to make ends meet. Besides that, she had missed so much work that now her own job was in jeopardy.
“Why, God? What have I done wrong? Why did you let it all fall apart? I don’t understand! Where are you? Why haven’t you helped me?”
Jenny’s tone was more plaintive than accusing. For a while she had been angry with God, but now she was just plain numb. She wondered if He even listened to her anymore. There had been a time when she felt the Lord’s nearness. Oh, she still went through the motions. She went to church occasionally—whenever she could gather the energy to make it out of the house. She even attempted to read her Bible and pray at times, but her heart had drifted far from His.
Ever since she was a child she had believed Jesus would take care of her. She believed He would always provide for her and protect her, but now she wasn’t so sure. It seemed as though He had broken His promise. Had He forgotten her entirely?
Her thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door. "Who on earth could that be?" Jenny peeked out the window, puzzled. She hadn’t seen anyone come up the walk and hadn’t noticed anyone all morning except for a few of the neighborhood kids playing just down the street.
She wiped her red, swollen eyes and walked quickly to the door. There stood a bright-eyed little girl, of about five, whom Jenny had never seen before.
“These are for you,” the little girl said, while stretching out a tiny hand that held a small bunch of wildflowers. Jenny reached down to grab the bouquet and as soon as she did, the little girl skirted off without another word. Jenny looked down at the flowers—they were beautiful, even if they were nothing more than a handful of blooming weeds—and began to weep. There was something about the little girl’s simple gesture that thawed some of the ice in Jenny’s heart. Maybe she wasn’t completely alone after all. Maybe He did still care.
Jenny went back to the table and sat down. She noticed her Bible and began to read where it had been opened. She laughed out loud as she read Jesus’ words, “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers, most of which are never seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?” *
The sound of her own laughter startled her. How long had it been since she had laughed? Then she whispered a quiet prayer, “Okay, Lord, I hear you. Thank you for letting me know that you are still there and that you do still care.”
Yes, spring was in the air. And, for the first time in a long time, Jenny dared to believe that maybe, just maybe, one day, it would be spring again in her heart.
*Quoted from The Message, Matt. 6:30
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