Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)
TITLE: A Future and a Hope
By Elizabeth Baize
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She saw herself riding along the creek, her horse picking his way over the well-known trail. The cottonwoods were whispering soothingly overhead, but they failed to calm the raging storm of the girl’s heart. “Lord,” she cried aloud, “I know I’m Your child, but my life is destined for shipwreck. I’ve ruined it for myself. Isn’t my life completely useless in Your eyes?” She smoothed the tiny slip of paper clenched in her fist – a verse her mother had left by her bed stand that morning. “I know the thoughts that I think toward you,...” she read, and then it happened. Her horse went down, his body rolled toward her, and blackness wrapped her in its folds.
She saw herself in a hospital bed, her parents kneeling beside her whispering her name as she opened her eyes after a three day coma. No tender words could calm the icy fear that took away her breath when she saw her own still form and heard the word “paralyzed”. The nurse slipped into the room and placed a slip of paper on the bed stand. “A friend wanted you to have this.” Sara’s mother smoothed the soiled slip of paper, started in surprise as her own handwriting flowed before her eyes, and read in a trembling voice, "...thoughts of peace and not of evil …”
“Who brought the slip?” Sara wondered, but then anger overrode her curiosity. How could God have wonderful plans for a paralyzed patient like herself?
She saw herself turn her face towards the wall, when after weeks of therapy and little progress, her mother announced a visitor. “Dear, the person who found you after your accident wants to meet you.” Sara wanted to face the person with a burning question on her lips, “Why did you have to rescue me? As it is, my brain is all that survived!” Yet, when she saw the genuine concern in John’s face and saw him pick up the soiled slip of paper that still lay at the bed side, she listened as he read, “. . . to give you a future and a hope.” Sara found herself focusing as he poured out the story of how God allowed him to rescue her and how later, he had discovered the slip of paper that she must have dropped. She felt something indefinable stir within her as he spoke with conviction, “You must always believe that God desires to give you a future and a hope.”
She saw herself watching John as visit after visit God’s love radiated from him challenging her to truly believe the words on that slip of paper. “Sara,” he exclaimed, “God has a purpose for your life even if you remain in your current condition, but have you ever let a hope of recovery ever cross your mind? If there is a chance, would you trust the Lord to give you the strength and endurance to pursue it?” With John and her parents beside her, she cross-questioned the doctor concerning every detail of her situation. With a faint ray of hope, she opted for a risky surgery and extensive therapy.
She saw herself after almost two years of intense pain, slowly walking with John beneath the cottonwoods as the leaves whispered in anticipation overhead. Love for her heavenly Father and for this man that pointed her towards Him combined as she saw Jeremiah 29:11 engraved inside the ring that John held toward her. With her “Yes,” she watched him slide the ring gently over her finger.
Time resumed its course as the pastor’s voice recalled her to the present. “Today, we have come together to celebrate the marriage of John and Sara. They have asked me to open the ceremony with Jeremiah 29:11, ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope’.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV
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