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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bitter and Sweet (05/28/09)

TITLE: Submit
By Ashea Goldson


Norie couldn’t believe her sister in-law’s question, but it was launched and there was no taking it back. So she looked up from her meal to hear her husband's answer.
"My wife won't work when we have our kids." Neil dipped his spoon into the bowl of potatoes so matter of factly, Norie couldnot believe her ears. Norie's fork dropped as well as her smile.
Needless to say ,she was stunned at Neil's adamant attitude.Within seconds, the course of her life had changed forever. Her eyes filled up with tears as the one she loved betrayed her with his words. She couldn't believe that after only two months of marriage, she was already at a crossroad.
Back in the privacy of their two bedroom townhouse, Norie stepped out of the garden tub and dressed herself quickly. Neil came out of the shower , sat next to her on the bed ,and began to massage her shoulders.
"Why did you say I can’t work when we have our kids? We never agreed on that."
"I want you to be a real mother, not a part-time one." Neil kept rubbing her shoulders.
"Are you accusing your own sister of not mothering her children?" Norie pulled away from Neil .
"No, I'm not saying that."
"Then what are you saying?"
"I'm just saying I wouldn't choose that kind of life for our kids." Neil squinted his chestnut brown eyes and Norie knew that he was serious.
"She takes good care of her kids.”
"Yes, despite her career.”
"What's wrong with a woman having a career?"
"I just don't believe a mother can have a successful family life at the same time she's out chasing her own ambitions."
"What about my career and all I've worked so hard for, my MBA? I love working at the bank."
"I 'm not asking you to give it up permanently, just to postpone it for a while."
"A while?" Norie stood up and put her hands on her round hips.
"Just until the children are old enough." Neil sat down next to her and began to stroke her long, wavy hair.
Norie swallowed hard. "Old enough to do what? Drive?"
"I'm sorry I've upset you. Listen, we're both tired so let's talk about it in the morning.Everything will be alright." Neil pulled her close and aimed his lips at hers but Norie turned away.
Neil said a quick prayer and jumped into bed.
Norie slid under the covers with her heart still racing and with her cheeks still warm with frustration. She felt his arm around her as she drifted off to sleep. “ Lord please help me to get through this.”
Norie woke up to a new day. Everything was fresh-her new linen, her new job, and her marriage. The smell of strawberry pancakes floated in from the kitchen and filled the room. Everything was sweet again.
Then Norie remembered the argument she and her husband had the night before. It was their first real one since the wedding. Although Neil apologized and promised they would work things out, she couldn't get their disagreement out of her mind. It was bitter.
Norie decided to consult God about the issue. She got down on her knees and wept until there were neither tears nor words left in her.
"Lord,I know you've made us one. Help me to understand my husband and to help him to understand me. I want whatever you want for my family, Lord. So therefore I submit to your will . In Jesus' name. Amen."
Suddenly, Norie felt a sense of peace. By the time she got off her knees, Neil was serving her breakfast in bed. Deep inside she knew that everything would work out, even though she wasn't sure how. She reminded herself of the wedding vows they recited just two months ago, their covenant with eachother and with the Lord. Tasting the syrup on Neil's lips, she lost herself in his kisses. She enjoyed her husband and decided to deal with the issue of children when the time came.
"Norie, I love you and I only want what is best for us and our future." Neil reached for Norie's hand.
"So do I."
"I want to make wise decisions."
"I trust you Neil, but mostly, I trust God." She put her hands in his and had no doubts, only faith.
Neil kissed her gently on the forehead."He won't let us down."

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