Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)
TITLE: The Plan
By Kate Wells
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How could anything be wrong? She had finished Law school with honors and had been asked to join the most prestigious firm in town.
She had married the man of her dreams... handsome, caring, successful, architect, Dave Collins.
Together, they had built a beautiful life that included financial wealth, world travel, and many friends.
She had everything any woman could want.
This loathsome feeling of lack she had acquired had begun when she got that Christmas card from her college friend, Alli.
It had been one of those quaint little cards people design on the computer with a family photo on the front. Not very elegant and definitely homemade...but she couldn't get it out of her mind.
Allison... she had such promise when they were at University. Such a bright girl. She had also studied law, and could have been exactly where Julie was, today, if she hadn't chosen to marry Adam Barnes.
Julie remembered how she had tried to talk her out of it.
"Alli, are you crazy?" she had demanded. "This will destroy who you are and everything you've worked for!"
"Julie, you don't understand", she responded, tearfully. "I love Adam". He's not like anyone I've ever known. When I'm with him, it's like...like.. something inside me wants to explode with joy!"
"So go out with him. Have fun! But don't MARRY him, for crying out loud! He's not...not, from your social position in life. And, oh, my gosh, Allison, he's a Theology major. Think about it! What can he possibly make of himself with a major in Theology?"
"Julie, he's studying to be a pastor. He's called to missions! And I...I do want to marry him. To share his life. To have his children."
"You are making a huge mistake, Alli. Mark my words. There will come a day when you will regret this decision."
"I know you mean well, Julie. But you just can't understand. It's not all about money, you know? It's not even about a successful career. God has a plan for our lives and unless we find it...we will never be happy! We have to let Him choose our paths...and that's not always what we thing it should be."
"Don't start giving me that religious stuff, Alli. You're starting to sound like Adam now. Next, you're going to pull out a Bible and start thumping it at me!"
They had lost touch after graduation. Someone had told Julie that Alli was living in China. But she hadn't heard from her in years. And then the Christmas card came.
She reached in her desk and pulled it out again. She stared at the photo on the front and wondered how they could look so content...so fulfilled...so..."happy".
There they sat with six children of various ages all around them on the floor, in their laps... smiling. No...beaming... and she read the card again.
I pray this card finds you well and enjoying life. We have recently added to our growing family, as you can see in the photo! Zi Shin is our little miracle girl. She is adopted as are our other five children. Adam and I learned a few years after we married that we could not conceive. But we know in our hearts that this is God's plan for us. Adam's work, here, at the the University in China, teaching English, offers him many opportunities to share God's plan of salvation with the students and we are so blessed with our girls...six of them now, with the addition of Zi Shin. Her name means "Happy Girl" and that's what she certainly is, Julie...and so am I... wishing you all the best! Alli
Suddenly, Julie understood what Alli had been trying to tell her so many years ago. And she knew what was missing in her own life. Children...maybe. But following God's plan...definitely. She wondered where to start...and then she picked up the little pamplet that Alli had included in the card. "How to find Christ" it said on the cover. She opened it and began to read...
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