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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Volunteer (11/23/06)

TITLE: Anna Grace
By Sally Hanan


I wander through the hospital holding the baby close to my chest. I have given birth, but I do not feel as if this is my baby; she does not look like me. “Is this your baby?” I ask one woman after another. I hold out the bundle of pink warmth, hoping for a face to light up and arms to reach out, but not one hand stretches out for her. Finally, I stop to look into her face. There is such understanding there.

“It’s all right,” she says, “I understand what you are doing.” I hold her – my strong yet tender touch encircling her. How can I give her away now?

“Anna, Grace. I will keep you,” I murmur, and her destiny is sealed.

I wrote down the dream as soon as I awoke. Knowing that God was showing me something through the dream, I worked through it to where I thought that He was telling me that I would soon be given a ministry that I did not feel was my own, but that I would nevertheless adopt it. The dream was sent to me in March.

By May, the youth pastor had asked for volunteers to lead the middle-school group. I had always felt called to women’s ministries. “I don’t like other people’s kids,” I’d often joked. But, as always, God had the last laugh. Before the month was out, I’d signed up to teach and guide ten 6th – 8th graders that belonged to other people.

“I’ll only do it for the summer, but then I’ll move out of the way and let someone else lead.” The pastor nodded his head.

But God sent more dreams. All of them were about me being given babies and I nurtured those little ones, and led them, and drove them places and…and…

And the kids were beginning to show more interest in God.

It’s been six months now. More kids are coming. We share God stories. They’ve been learning how to get words of knowledge. They’ve been praying for the sick and seeing them get healed. They’ve started to pay attention to the dreams God sends them. They’re excited about our upcoming trip to the mall to pray for the sick and give encouraging prophetic words to total strangers. These are 11-14 year olds who are actually excited about God at work.

As the Bible says, “How can I give you up Ephraim, how can I let you go?” These kids are in my blood. God has filled this ministry with the presence of Anna, Grace (grace, grace).

I hold this ministry – my strong yet tender touch encircling her. How can I give her away now?

“Anna, Grace, I will keep you,” I murmur, and her destiny, for now, is sealed.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 12/01/06
I can't tell you how much I love this! The symbolism of the baby is absolutely precious.
Joanne Sher 12/01/06
Your beginning is just wonderful wonderful, and I love the way you weave the baby imagery throughout. Excellent!
Pat Guy 12/04/06
This is beautiful - just so beautiful.
Cheri Hardaway 12/04/06
Could this be a true story? Either way, it is written with the heart of one who has accepted God's call, who has volunteered to be used of Him in precious lives. Nice work. Blessings, Cheri
Debbie OConnor12/04/06
Excellent work. A very believable story. I like the dream and it's interpretation and the way it comes to fruition.
Donna Powers 12/04/06
This is so lovely. I really can relate to it. I love the tenderness and the love in this story. Thanks for sharing it.
Debbie Sickler12/06/06
Loved the dream and the interpretation of it. Also the thought of making sure the pastor knew it was only temporary. :)
Valora Otis12/06/06
This is written with such honesty and has pulled at my heart. Well done!
Ruth Neilson12/06/06
this sounds so much like how my mother ended up in youth ministry. Gotta love God having the last laugh and pulling you in without you realizing it. Thank you for sharing.