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: Not Alone
By Kristen Hester
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"Okay, buddy, let’s finish this work," She said as she riffled through his pages of school work. Her son lay on the floor, tired and drained from the day. Danielle knew to take advantage of this calm moment, because at any time his frustrations could erupt into an emotional meltdown.
"Let’s go over these spelling words." For the next hour she called out words while he wrote in hardly legible letters on a small dry erase board. It pained Danielle to watch him suffer. He struggled socially, emotionally and academically. Unlike his two sisters, nothing was easy for Mason. Why, God, is this so hard? Why are we going through this?
The next day Danielle got a phone call from her son’s teacher. "Danielle, I wanted to talk to you about Mason."
"Okay." Danielle leaned back on the coach, weary already. It wasn’t her first phone call from the teacher.
"He’s been picking his nose and then he rubs, um, it, on his neighbor’s desk." Danielle was tired. Tired of dealing with a new problem each day. Tired of teachers pretending to be sympathetic when she felt their judgment. She took a deep breath and talked with the teacher about solutions. She promised she would speak to Mason, and they decided he would clean the desks after school.
After the phone call, Danielle got down on her knees and cried out to God. Thirty minutes later she rose, refreshed yet still drained, hopeful but still desperate.
Danielle and her husband had taken Mason to numerous doctors, specialists and therapists. First they’d tackled ADHD. Next it was Dyslexia. The latest challenge had to do with his slow processing. Mason, though extremely bright and gifted in certain areas, took too long to finish his school work. It seemed the battles never ended.
"I’m sick of dealing with this," she confided to her best friend on the phone. "I just can’t believe I’m the one with the weird kid who picks his nose in class and doesn’t have many friends. How did this happen?"
"You’re just used to having the picture perfect life. God is going to use this for His glory."
"But it’s not fun!"
"I know, sweetie. I’m praying for you everyday."
"I appreciate it." As Danielle poured her heart out to her friend, she wondered what others did who didn’t have the same resources and support she had.
Later that day as Danielle sat on the park bench and watched her kids play, she noticed a mother struggling with her child. The young boy was spinning on the ground in a full-fledged temper tantrum. Danielle felt for the mother. When she had only her two mild-mannered daughters, she might have been judgmental, but not anymore. After all she been through with her own son, she felt only compassion.
When the mother had the situation under control and sat down, Danielle slowly made her way over to her. "I’m sorry you had to see that," the lady said apologetically.
Danielle offered a warm smile. "Oh, don’t apologize. Been there, done that!"
"Really?" The lady seemed relieved and eager to talk to someone who understood.
Danielle joined her on the bench. "I’m Danielle. Parenting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done."
"That’s for sure. I’m Chrissy." The two shook hands, and an instant bond was formed. They talked and shared for the next hour.
"You seem to be handling things much better them me," Chrissy confessed.
"Oh, I have my weak moments for sure. If it weren’t for my faith in Jesus Christ and the support I get from my friends at church, I don’t know what I’d do."
Chrissy was silent for a moment. "That must be nice to have faith in something. I’ve never really understood spiritual things."
Danielle used this opening to explain her relationship with Christ to Chrissy. By the time they parted ways Danielle had gotten Chrissy’s phone number and invited her to church. She prayed as she drove away. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to use my struggles for Your good.
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