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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Confident (07/05/07)

TITLE: Of Hurdles, Hedges and Hindsight
By
07/10/07


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“Please tell me again.”

“Tell you what?”

“You know…”

“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.”

“Thank you.”

“Keep going.”

“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?”

“Yes.”

“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?”

“Right.”

“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?”

“Umm hmm.”

“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?”

“Doing what?”

“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 !”

“Yes…I do!”


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This article has been read 678 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 07/12/07
Love the interaction between the mom and the daughter. Great lesson too - engagingly told!
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/12/07
What a delightful story of regained confidence! The mother/daughter dialog is perfect and the descriptions, beautiful. I enjoyed the story from title to end.
Lynda Schultz 07/12/07
Excellent story, and the part about the eagle, cougar and the deer, kept me on the edge of my seat. A job well done.
Dee Yoder 07/12/07
The way you reflect the doe's struggle with the main character's struggle to start over is an example of good writing! I like the message in this story, too.
Janice Cartwright07/12/07
You did some awesome character development in your dialogue between mother and daughter. In few words you had them living and breathing especially because of the mom's subtle humor. Also the parallel you drew between the deer and the mother in their circumstance was great... and the descriptive phrases of nature were superb. The whole thing was really good!
Sharlyn Guthrie07/12/07
Your title intrigued me and the story did not disappoint. Your writing is impressive.
Mo 07/12/07
The part with the deer was very suspenseful. The dialogue at the end was my favorite.
Dixie Phillips 07/13/07
A "confident" contender indeed!
Jacquelyn Horne07/13/07
Very good. Life has it's troubles, but with God's help we CAN move on into his blessings.
dub W07/15/07
Good dialogue, the interaction was realistic and the trials and troubles story worked well.
william price07/15/07
Excellent job. My only critique is that I'm not a big fan of starting a story with dialogue, especially untagged, but once I got on track, I really, really enjoyed the story. Very good work. God bless.
Loren T. Lowery07/16/07
Some (well most) of my favorite stories are those that take nature and the elements of nature and use them as analogies for life. It is all so basic and true and if we but stop, listen and discern - we can be taught so much.
Your story is engaging and suspenful and held my interest leaving me able to hear a valuable lesson.
Maxx .07/18/07
The characters ... wow! The voices ... perfect! This is very well done. Congrats on an excellent job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/19/07
Yea! Buddy, you've still got it--highly commended, indeed!
Sara Harricharan 07/19/07
***Congratulations, Mid!*** I love this story, especially the interaction between the Mom and daughter. Made me smile. Great writing!