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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)

By Sylvia Hensel


I was just five when I first came to the conclusion that I lived in the ugliest house on the block. The porch had pulled away from the brick structure it was supposed to be attached to, and birds had nested in the crevice. And, as you can guess, the wall was covered with bird droppings. I found it to be disgusting and embarrassing. Mom kept an exceptionally clean house, but that didnít help the outside appearance.

I came from a large family, and we struggled to make ends meet. My siblings, who were already teenagers and even older, wanted a better life for me than they had had. They pooled their money and sent me to a private school. This would have been great if we had money, but that wasnít the way it was. I was a poor girl thrown in with the wealthiest children in the city. I felt so insecure and self-conscience. When I visited their homes, I was even more embarrassed about my own.

I suppose it was due to the fact that I was exposed to another side of life for so many years, that I made up my mind that someday I would have a beautiful house. This became a priority in my life that I refused to let go of.

The first home my husband and I purchased was nice enough; it was just that there were about four hundred exactly like it in the same community. The neighborhood was made up of young couples with children. Our home was the gathering place. The children loved being with all their friends and life was good. However, my dream still haunted me, and I was determined it would be fulfilled while we were still young enough to enjoy this beautiful home with our children.

On one of our outings to the countryside just beyond the city we lived in, we discovered land for sale at a price that was beyond reasonable. We purchased a half acre plot and now I was one step closer to having my dream fulfilled.

It took five years before we were able to build, but at last we were the proud owners of a beautiful home in the country. Dreams may come true, but the fulfillment of them isnít always what we thought or hoped they would be. Our old friends no longer visited and there were few children for mine to play with. The quite country road we lived on turned out to be a link between two main roads that let to a major highway. It was a beautiful setting, but dangerous. All in all, my dream was becoming a nightmare.

It was through the many problems that ensued while living there that brought my husband and me to a true relationship with Jesus. My dream of long ago, even though fulfilled, faded into reality; only Jesus truly satisfies. Through Him, I found real happiness wasnít in achieving worldly desires. No one or no thing can bring true fulfillment. That can only be found in Jesus. He has given me, not a dream, but a promise. Itís of a home that He has already gone to prepare for me; a home that is more beautiful than anything I could ever hope, dream, or desire for myself. I am so looking forward to it, true happiness and fulfillment awaits me there.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 06/05/08
Thanks for sharing this story straight from your heart!

FYI: You wanted "self-conscious", not "self-conscience." No big deal, though.

This was quite lovely.
Beth LaBuff 06/06/08
Although a bit sad, I loved your opening sentence. I like the devotional aspect of this. Having grown up and living most of my life in the country I could relate to the "loneliness" there for children. :)