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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Manuscript (04/29/10)

TITLE: Unscripted Blessings
By Lisa Harris
05/05/10


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Leaning over a pot of vegetable soup, Sara-Jean inhaled its full bodied flavor that made her stomach growl. Grabbing the wooden spoon she gave her soup one last swirl in the pot before putting the lid back on. As if on cue, Rosie, the seventeen-year-old teenager who had grown up across the street knocked on the door and walked in.

“Hey, Sara-Jean,” Rosie spoke with a widening grin, “smells good in here.” Rosie grabbed the stool nearby and scooted towards her warm, loving friend. Even though there were a good seventeen years between them, Sara-Jean had quickly become her big sister and mentor.

“What’s going on today, sweet-girl?” Sara-Jean asked as she poured the buttermilk over the cornmeal.

“Well, I have a situation Sara-Jean, the Homecoming Dance is coming up and my friend, David asked me to the dance and I said, yes.”

“But then Randy Collins asked me to go with him today and I said I would let him know. I really want to go with Randy, Sara-Jean. He’s the one that I’ve wanted to go out with forever.”

Sara-Jean grinned asking, “So, Rosie, are you asking my opinion?”

“Well….yes, I am.”

Sara-Jean leaned back against the refrigerator and closed her eyes. Rosie knew she was praying for a wise answer. Sara-Jean opened her eyes and looked intently into Rosie’s as she spoke.

“When I read the Bible Rosie, it shows many chapters of God’s promises to us and never have I read nor seen with my own eyes where God has gone back on His promise.” Sara-Jean leaned in and hugged her. “I know you’ll make the right decision, sweet-girl,” she said with assurance.

Rosie hugged back saying, “I just did, although it’s not exactly what I want to do, but I will keep my promise to David.”

“But, what if I make the other decision and go to the dance with Randy—would God be disappointed with me?”

Looking up, Sara-Jean propped her elbows on the counter thinking. “Well, Rosie, God gave each of us a unique manuscript for our lives. It’s His ultimate path for our future. The smallest choices can impact our lives, so choose wisely. But to answer your question, I would say that God would be disappointed and ultimately you would not receive His best blessing.”

“Have you ever messed-up your manuscript, Sara-Jean?”

“Absolutely, sweet-girl, on a daily basis, and I had to learn the hard way when I was young and naïve and didn’t go to God when I had a tough decision to make.”

Curious about Sara-Jeans big mess-up, Rosie prodded her to say more.

Smiling, Sara-Jean grabbed her coffee and led Rosie to the sofa. “I guess you’re grown-up enough to hear my story.”

“Sure am,” Rosie said.

Sara-Jean faced Rosie as she talked, “When I was your age, I fell in-love with a boy named Steven and we wanted to get married. However, we were too young and both our parents were against it. In the throes of our relationship I became pregnant and was so ashamed I just couldn’t tell my parents.” Sara-Jean paused as she went back to that moment in her mind. “We planned to run-away and get married, but before we could, Steven was killed in a car accident as he drove to work. I was devastated and so alone with my secret.

Rosie sat spell-bound as Sara-Jean recounted her story. “What did you do?” Rosie asked.

Sara-Jean smiled sadly, “Well, I finally told my parents disappointing them, but they quickly went into action making all my decisions. They sent me to a home for unwed mothers and I had a beautiful little girl. It was agreed that my parents would adopt and raise her as their own.”

“What did you do, Sara-Jean?”

“I rebuilt my life, married and watched my little girl grow-up from a distance into a beautiful young woman. She just turned seventeen on March 3rd.”

“That’s my birthday!” exclaimed Rosie.

“I know.”

Rosie looked confused, “I didn’t know you had a daughter?”

“Rosie...you are my little girl.”

Quiet tears rolled down her face. “You mean I messed-up the manuscript God had for your life?”

“Heavens no, Rosie, I did not make God’s best choice for my life, but because He gives us such grace and mercy He turned that choice into an amazing blessing.” That’s the thing about manuscripts, they are changed, crossed-out, added to and sometimes thought to be destroyed but the final manuscript is our gift to God.


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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/07/10
Very unique and interesting take on the topic. I like the idea of God having a manuscript for each one of us.

I did question a couple things about your story-would she have told such an important secret without first consulting her parents and having them be present? And if her parents agreed to raise the baby wouldn't Sarah-Jean be her sister and not the neighbor?

But I suppose many of those details would be difficult to fit in with only 750 words. You did draw me right into the story. You did a good job handling the difficult topic of teen pregnancy. I liked how you brought the scriptures in to help Rosie make her decision.