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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Beginning and End (04/16/09)

TITLE: It All Started at the End of an Axe
By Jae Blakney
04/20/09


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It began when I got my head stuck in a subject that was too heavy for me.

It was some time in January, 2008, and we had run out of firewood--except for the huge chunks, full of knots, that I normally left for my brother to split. But my brother had moved away and we needed the wood because I had no money to buy fuel for the propane heater.

As a single mother I was trying desperately to make a living from home. New Hampshire does offer daycare assistance, but I had learned from experience that the State doesnít pay for days when the daycare centers are closed. I had lost too many jobs already to daycares that turned my daughter away at the door because I couldnít pay them for the days they provided no service.

I needed to somehow make this wood fit into the stove. If I didnít heat the house with wood, then the gas furnace would turn on, and my mother would be obliged to pay for the gas. My mother didnít even live there--she had gone to Ethiopia as a missionary. Besides, senior citizens should be helped by their children, not the other way around.

I grabbed an axe and started on the big chunks. With patience and a lot of work I was able to split some of them, and eventually only the biggest, hardest, knottiest ones remained.

I got the axe head stuck in a piece that probably weighed about 20 pounds. So I lifted the axe, with the wood stuck on it, took a deep breath and jumped into the blow. Nothing happened. I lifted it higher, held my breath and tried to put the full strength of every possible muscle into it this time.

The wood didnít break, but something in my body did. The doctors said it could be my diaphragm, and there was nothing they could do.

It seemed to end in September. I was finally able to stand, sit and talk without pain. But in January, winter chores brought back the tearing pain between my lungs and my stomach.

When will it end? I donít know. I guess that means that right now I donĎt need to know. One of my favorite verses is Daniel 4:35b: ďHe doeth his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou?Ē (KJV) I canít change this situation by worrying, any more than I can change the weather by worrying. Itís just not up to me.

I donít know when it will end, but I do know that it will end well. And if this experience follows the pattern Iíve seen so far, itís preparing me for joyful beginnings.


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This article has been read 410 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jana Kelley04/23/09
Thank you for encouraging me today with your article! I love the positive outlook and it encourages me to take a new perspective on challenges in my life. Well done.
Gregory Kane04/26/09
This certainly didn't go where I was expecting it to. It's good that your MC can face adversities with a positive spirit
Bryan Ridenour04/27/09
A nice devotional feel reminding me that God knows best and is in control of everything going on in my life. Nicely written.
Jan Ackerson 04/27/09
Well-written first person testimonial...I enjoyed it.
Chely Roach04/27/09
A very touching testimonial...any type of chronic pain is such a spiritual hurdle. Glad to see that you have your mind on the end game. Lovely.
Betty Castleberry04/27/09
I like your title. Nicely done testimonial.
Carole Robishaw 04/27/09
I found my self worrying about the daughter, who is taking care of her now? Very well written, it's hard to have peace when everything seems to be going wrong, but then, appearances can be deceiving.
Seema Bagai 04/28/09
The beginning was descriptive and drew me into reading more. I thought the fourth paragraph from the bottom was a bit abrupt. Since it is the turning point in the narrative, I thought it needed something more. You've created a realistic character here. Good work.
Gerald Shuler 04/28/09
Inspiring testamonial. I agree that the transition to medical problem was a bit rushed. Otherwise, this is wonderful.
Sharon Kane04/28/09
Great opening line! I had to keep reading to see where this would go. Well written
Jae Blakney04/28/09
Thank you, everyone, for the comments and suggestions. I'm really surprised by all the positive feedback. I wasn't well enough to try to compete, so I just wrote about what I was experiencing and sent it in just for fun (and in case it could encourage anybody). Carole, my family and friends have come together to take care of my daughter, and of me as well. And an afterword of praise: I'm feeling much better now.
Joy Faire Stewart04/29/09
I enjoy and am encouraged by personal testimonials and appreciate you sharing yours. The last paragraph is perfect.
Carolyn Crook04/29/09
..."I don't know when it will end, but I do know that it will end well"...

I love that. Inspirational. Good job!
Rachel Rudd04/30/09
I liked the first line. It drew me in and made me curious.