Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Confident (07/05/07)
TITLE: Of Hurdles, Hedges and Hindsight
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“Tell you what?”
“Yes, I know.”
We both giggled. My daughter snuggled. I retold her favorite story.
“Let’s see…I remember grabbing handfuls of weeds from between my flowers and mindlessly tossing them aside. I had always been meticulous about keeping my perennials looking as if the Home and Garden Magazine editor was going to make an unannounced visit. But that summer…well, that summer my life had been turned upside down and backwards. I felt like an inside out sweatshirt fresh off a pile of dirty laundry. I’m sure I looked like one as well.”
More giggles. “You’re funny.”
“Okay. For thirty-five years, my life had been one of privilege and blessings. I was the best at everything I did, and I had accomplished all of my hopes and dreams…until that summer, when I couldn’t get over the biggest hurdle in my life. Like those weeds I was pulling, my husband and children had been ripped from me in one day, in one plane crash, and the hurt was unbearable. I didn’t feel like eating or sleeping or going to work. I just didn’t care about anything or anyone. It was a hindrance, circling me like an invisible prison cell. I knew I needed to break free and ask my boss if I could have my job back, but self-assurance and ambition seemed far beyond my reach. I just couldn’t make the call. I was unsure of myself, my talents, even my relationship with God.”
“That’s so sad.”
“It is, isn’t it?”
“I’m sorry you had to lose your family.”
“Thank you, Sweetie. Do you still want me to keep going?”
“Well, as I recall, I sat down and hugged my knees. That’s when the cry of an eagle caught my attention. I blinked away tears, and a magnificent doe came into focus. She stood there, regal and composed, with a stag at one side and twin fawns close at her heels. Our house had been built on a bluff jutting out over a pine and evergreen-forested ravine. The beauty alone was enough to make time slide into slow motion, but happening upon a scene like that one made the moment bypass surreal and border on fantasy. Spellbound, I sat completely still.”
“ ‘Cuz, you didn’t want to scare the deer away?”
“Then I heard the eagle’s piercing cry again; it was a warning. Just as the deer sniffed the wind, twilight revealed a cougar’s stealth-like movements. In the seconds that followed, I saw the fawns panic and flee, while the stag placed himself between them and the charging cat. In the confusion, the doe leaped up the side of the ravine, only to encounter a hedge of fallen cedars and brambles.
I watched as she searched for an escape route. Above her the fawns bleated in fear; below her the stag bravely fought off the intruder and retreated into the underbrush. The cat then turned its attention to the doe. I was sure she was trapped.
By then I was standing, my heart beating fiercely. She seemed to size up the blockade standing between the enemy and her freedom. For a brief second, she turned her head my way. I was beside myself, screaming, ‘Go, go, go! You can do it!’ She backed up and stopped. Suddenly, I was praying.
I could hear the words echoing in my ears as she leaped into the air. With every fiber of her being taut and straining, she found the footholds she needed and bounded over the top. When the defeated cougar disappeared into the shadows, I fell to my knees.”
“The mommy deer didn’t give up; she knew she could get to the top, didn’t she?”
“And after you prayed, you knew you could call Daddy and ask for your job back.”
“Yes, I did.”
“Is that when he asked you to marry him?”
“Well, not exactly. It was a little bit later.”
“God likes doing that, doesn’t He?”
“Turning the bad things that happen to us into good things when we trust Him.”
“Yes He does, just like it says in Psalm 27.”
“And now you have me !”
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