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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Exhale (08/15/13)

TITLE: Love's Gasp
By Linda Berg


I stood and turned to look up the aisle. Instantly my breath caught in my throat. My hand impulsively went to my heart and laying it flat against my chest, I heard myself gasp. Oh my, I had no idea this would be so incredibly emotional The tears immediately began to roll down my cheeks.

She was beautiful. Her face was glowing. She was our little girl, all grown up and on the arm of her daddy. This was her wedding day and she was walking down the aisle to meet the man she loved and would commit her life to in marriage.

Her eyes were on him, his on her, as she walked calmly and confidently to the front of the building.

As she passed me at the first row of seats before the stage, I felt myself exhale. I was unaware I had been holding my breath.

Her grandfather was performing the ceremony. He began with prayer. “Our great and mighty God and Father, we thank you for the love represented here that brings us to this day. For these two young people who today commit to you to love, honor and be faithful to each other for life, we ask for your blessing. We pray that those of us gathered here who love them will be an encouragement and support in the days to come as they grow in unity with one another. May they put your son, Jesus, at the head of their marriage, looking constantly to him for guidance in their joined lives. May their home be a place of kindness, joy and reflection of Christ to all that see them. Protect them from the evil one. In Jesus’ name, amen.

He continued, ‘who gives this woman to be this man’s wife?”

Daddy, my husband, standing at our daughter’s side replied, “Her mother and I.” With that he lifted our daughter’s veil and gave her a hug and kiss, whispering in her ear as he did so.”

He came to sit with me in the front row, grasping my hand as he did so. A quick look passed between us. There were tears in his eyes. Another gasp filled my throat. This was really happening, our daughter was getting married and we were gaining a son.


This scenario has played out in our lives five times in various places, with different décor and colors, with different daughters and their beloved. Each time, the gravity of the situation has taken my breath away as I catch that first glimpse of each daughter on her daddy’s arm walking towards the one she is giving her life to in marriage.

In the physical literal sense, when the wedding is over, the incidences of gasping and exhaling to deal with the various emotions of the day are over for me.

In the spiritual sense there is much more exhaling to be done. It begins for me with the awareness that Satan would delight in destroying a marriage and a family. So it is daily that I find myself in prayer for our daughters and their marriages. Exhaling with words from my heart, I often make my praises and requests known to God for each of our daughter’s marriages. As the girls have moved from newlyweds into a few years of marriage and then moved on into a decade of marriage, the praises and requests have changed as the needs or the growth in the marriage has changed.

The need of a daughter for words of understanding or support in the times of difficulty in her marriage keeps me exhaling words of wisdom from God’s word that might encourage her in her commitment to the marriage.

A gasp at her beauty on her wedding day and a continued exhaling of life giving words in prayer and encouragement…that is my honored position as my daughter’s mother.

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This article has been read 287 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 08/22/13
Awwww. THis was lovely. I smiled and enjoyed your words in this beautiful story. Thank you.

God bless~
Brenda Rice 08/22/13
Such a lovely entry. You are obviously a wonderful Mother.

Your entry is well written, easy to read and full of love. I enjoyed it very much.

Thanks for sharing.
Jan Ackerson 08/23/13
Beautiful writing--I can't find fault with anything here, and you certainly tapped into emotions very familiar to much of your audience.

My only critique would be to suggest that you experiment with adding conflict into your entry. Conflict doesn't have to involve sin or evil--simply a problem, however small, for the main character to overcome. Conflict draws in the reader, and is an essential part of a good short story, whether fiction or nonfiction.

Thanks for a sweet and serene entry.
Janice Kelley08/28/13
Right on target as you exhale encouragement and prayer. I suspect with five marriages and more than a decade of years involved, there has been ample conflict but not yours to tell. Thanks for sharing.