Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Manuscript (04/29/10)
- TITLE: The Pages Of My Life
By Dolores Stohler
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For instance, I’d had a near-death experience while pregnant with my third son. I went through that windy tunnel others have written about and met an angel who told me to return to earth. I lost the baby I had borne and mourned little Phillip for years. What had become of the life within me, I wondered. Finally, God revealed the truth to me: “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.“ (Matthew 19:14 TLB) Of course! Why hadn’t I seen this before? Heaven is full of infants and small children. God in His love would never allow them to perish.
Seven years later, I came near death again in an auto accident. I spent a month in the hospital, then a full year with my leg in a cast. My husband suffered brain damage in the same accident and ended his life three years later after an attempt to strangle me. He was losing his mind completely and, as the suicide note confessed, “I must end it all before I kill someone. I can no longer control myself.“ The suicide took its toll on the children, of course, and I struggled to put some normalcy into their lives. Oh, yes, I was a Christian but my faith was tested almost beyond what I could endure during this difficult period.
It wasn’t surprising that I developed breast cancer five years later. My doctor had an unusual name for cancer. He called it “despair of the cells.“ However, by now I was working for a Christian organization and received plenty of support from friends and co-workers. It was during my recovery from a mastectomy that I began to write the story of my life.
About half way along I decided to send the MS to my writing instructor for his approval. His response was not encouraging: “I grew depressed just reading about all your troubles. Surely there must have been some sunshine in your life. I would encourage you to take a more positive approach to your writing.” I decided he was right and filed the MS away in a drawer. I’ve never looked at it again.
Life is like a book, I believe. As we turn the pages, we encounter difficulties that seem at the time insurmountable. We muddle through and learn new things. A God who loves us will test our mettle, allowing the tempter to play with us for a while, but will always be near to hear us when we call upon him for strength.
There were times when I cried like a baby and thought that I might drown in the river of my own tears. Those were the times when God sprang into action , performing miracles to show me how much he cared. Like the time when I lost my job and was short the $75 that I thought I needed to feed my family. I figured it over and over. Yes, that was exactly the amount I needed to get me through the month. In the midst of my sobs, I asked God for that amount of money. It came two days later in the form of a check from my son’s Sunday School teacher. When I called to thank him, he said God had spoken to him in his office, telling him to send me that amount of money. And he obeyed without question! Would I have done the same?
As I near the end of my life and, perhaps am approaching the final chapter, I reflect on the many lessons I have learned. They are too many to write them here but I can summarize by saying the most important thing is to live simply without giving too much importance to money and possessions, but every importance to living for God and loving your fellow human beings. Share what you have with others, forgive those who harm you, use every opportunity to share your faith and look forward to the soon coming of Christ and life in the hereafter.
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