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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)

TITLE: This Too Shall Pass
By Marita Thelander


Emma sat on the edge of her bed, clutching her teddy bear tighter with each wave of tears. “I…gulp…don’t…shudder breath…wanna move!”

“Mom, I just don’t know what else to say to her.” Sandi dabbed at her own tears with a napkin.

Em reached across for her daughter’s hand and gave it a gentle pat. “I’ll talk to her. We share more than our names, you know. Little Emma and I have a special bond.”

“I know, Mom, that’s part of what is killing her about this move.”

Em cleared her throat, “Yes, I know dear. It’s hard on me too, but out of our hands.” Em pushed away from the table and smiled weakly. Only she could calm her granddaughter’s storm of tears.

The wailing increased at the sight of her Gramma Em. She threw herself into the older woman’s arms. As the tears subsided, Em spoke gently to her namesake as she stroked her long blonde hair.

“My dear, I know you think this storm in your life will never pass. You know, there are other people in this world that need your daddy even more than I need you. Your daddy will share with many people the love of Jesus, people that have never heard of Jesus. Can you believe people have never even heard that Jesus loves them?”

Wiping her tears on her sleeve, she stifled a sob long enough to respond, “I know Gramma.” Shudder…sigh.

Em continued, “You, my dear, will be a part of seeing people accept Jesus.” She paused to let this important truth sink in. “This storm in your life will not last forever, Sweetie, this too shall pass.”


Em walked up to the beautiful young woman as she leaned over the kitchen sink and wept. She was blessed to have Emma live with her while she attended Bible College. Again, Em needed to help calm a storm in the life of her favorite grandchild.

Emma turned to welcome the embrace from her beloved grandmother. “Oh Gramma, I thought he was the one. You know? I think I really do love him, but I know what I am called to do and he doesn’t share that calling. I have to break up with him, don’t you see? My heart is in such pain, Gram, like a knife stabbing clear through me. I can’t breathe.”

Wiping the mascara smudges from her precious one’s face, Em longed to comfort her. The sobs continued as the aging woman prayed tenderly for her young namesake. Em assured her that God had someone wonderful to share her life with who carried the same call from God for ministry. She pointed out that it is a good thing she discovered this now, rather than later.

When the sobs had ceased, Gramma Em whispered wisdom into her ear. “I know you think this storm will last forever, but it won’t. It is but another season in your life, and this too shall pass.”


In the dim quiet room, Emma sat and held Gramma’s frail withered hand. Noticing the wrinkles in her own hand, she remembered the days when grandmother’s skin looked like hers. Had it been that long ago? Life had many storms in it, yet one thing that had always been constant for Emma, her grandmother’s encouraging words.

The nurse worked quietly, not disturbing the two women. Family members had visited off and on for several days, but Emma stayed diligently beside her dearly loved grandmother.

As the nurse stepped out of the room, Emma leaned in close to her grandmother’s ear. Quietly she sang, prayed and whispered her love for this dying woman. Finally, when she sensed the right moment, Emma wrapped her arms around her thin frame.

“I want you to know I have learned many life lessons from you. You have been my mentor. Your arms held me through many storms. One message you taught, I will never forget. I wish to remind you of it now.” She paused to steady her own breathing, “I know you are in pain, Gramma, and you think this storm may never end, but this storm…the pain you are in, will soon disappear. Gram, this too shall pass.”

Weak, damp eyes opened momentarily. Emma could tell she had heard everything. The peace in her grandmother’s eyes overwhelmed Emma as she choked back tears. Gramma Em blinked. She closed her eyes. Her breathing stopped.

Through her tears, Emma whispered, “And this too shall pass.

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This article has been read 743 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Holly Westefeld03/06/08
This story beautifully conveys how hope we give returns to us when it is needed.
Laury Hubrich 03/06/08
Wow! I love watching the progression of Little Emma as she grows up and the changing roles with her grandma. Wonderful job showing us the silver lining!
Shirley McClay 03/07/08
Tissue warning! So sweet. Now I miss my grandma ;-(
LauraLee Shaw03/07/08
Ok, now I am blubbering for the third time today. This story will be passed on to many, I hope, as it is a beautiful, well-written piece. Well done.
Henry Clemmons03/11/08
Very well constructed and written. I enjoyed my time with this story. Thanks for sharing.
Beckie Stewart03/11/08
This was beautiful. Oh to have a godly grandmother to teach you the grace and strength of Jesus in all things. I loved this.
Sharlyn Guthrie03/11/08
This should come with a tissue warning. I enjoyed your story, especially the realtionships portrayed in it.
Chely Roach03/12/08
Beautiful story, I absolutely loved it.
Lynda Lee Schab 03/12/08
I love this! Loved the flashes of time and the end scene left me satisfied. The only nit-pick I have is sometimes I got tripped up on the names. It's tough when the two main characters have the same one. LOL. Otherwise, very well crafted. Nicely done!
Lyn Churchyard03/12/08
This was an absolutely beautiful story Marita. I'm still crying as I write this. You touched my heart deeply. What a wonderful relationship they had. Well done! Superb!
Sara Harricharan 03/12/08
This is your first piece in advanced? Wowza, I think we've got some serious competition! lol-just kidding. But this is really awesome, I think it's my favorite one of yours yet. I loved the bond between the granddaughter and grandmother. It is so special and so beautiful. I loved how the title tied in with every slice of life though. Very well written, you did great here! ^_^
Mandy White03/12/08
Beautiful story. They were blessed to have that relationship. Excellent.
Lauryn Abbott03/12/08
Beautiful story. As I sit here trying to type through watery eyes, I think of my own very close relationship with my grandmother. What a gift this was to me. Thank you.
TJ Nickel03/12/08
Congratulations. Here's one of my biggest compliments to a writer. I saw this coming the whole way and you STILL got me, with exactly what I knew was coming. Fantastic job.
Debbie Wistrom03/12/08
Well done and a great entry into Advanced. I was touched and so glad for your brick or I may have missed it.
Jan Ackerson 03/12/08
Beautiful, Marita!
Patty Wysong03/12/08
I love Gramma's wisdom down through the years. It was so neat seeing them through the years...great job.
Sherry Castelluccio 03/12/08
Well done, as always. I do believe you are going to pass me up and move right into Masters, my dear. This was beautiful.
Joshua Janoski03/12/08
The same masterful writing that I have come to expect from you week after week.

I loved how you showed several different phases of the relationship between the grandmother and granddaughter.

Lots of emotional pieces this week that are brilliantly written. This story is one of them.