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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)

TITLE: Worth It?
By Jessica Schmit
06/22/06


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You always said I was worth it.

Your education, career and travel plans flew out the window when I came into your life. But I never heard you complain. Dad told me that during your pregnancy you never uttered a single word of regret. He said you took great care of yourself during those nine months. You wanted to give me the best. You did.

I remember the first day of kindergarten. I was scared of Mrs. Kerbunkt, scared of the colorful walls and scared of the kids. You sat beside me at school for an entire week. You ended up getting stuck in that little orange plastic chair. But the embarrassment of not having steel buns didnít keep you from returning the next day. Hand in hand we walked into that classroom. You patiently waited for me to feel comfortable. But mom, you were my comfort. You were my security.

You were on the side lines, screaming to me when I scored my first soccer goal. Every other mom just stared at you. Speechless. Which was fine, considering you were doing enough screaming for the entire team. To this day Mrs. Warner attributes her hearing loss to that soccer match.

You handed me my first rose when I stepped down from the stage after my performance as ďKatie, the CucumberĒ in the elementary school play.

You listened to me when I told you about my first crush. You didnít lecture me on responsible behavior, because you knew I would make the right choices. You knew because you listened. You knew because you knew me-all of me.

You helped me learn split infinitives, gravity and atoms, algebra and the history of World War II. You were the first to volunteer your ďspareĒ time to help me with my homework, even if you didnít have a clue about what I was learning. You relearned how to do fractions and relative pronouns.

You spent time getting to know me. You knew all of me, not just my shell. You knew my hurts, my insecurities, my struggles, my joys and what made me tick. You helped me discover my passion for swimming and were there when I won my first swim meet. You were there when I received my graduation diploma and there when I received my scholarship news.

Phone calls, e-mail and letters sustained out relationship when I went across the country to complete university. Iíll never forget the day I phoned you about my first job at the television station. I think you were more excited than I was. You ended up getting three stitches after you hit your chin smack against the corner cabinet while you were in a hurry to find dad and tell him the good news.

You helped me choose my wedding dress and were there as I threw my boutique. You held me so tight that day. Like you were afraid of loosing me.

I wish you were truly afraid of losing me mom. But you werenít. Thatís why you did it.

My life wasnít worth giving yours up. ďA life for a life.Ē But I wasnít a life to you.

I am now but a faded memory, pushed down. Forgotten about. Iím in no pictures in the family albums. Thereís no graduation diploma, no soccer medals. Iím a ďcould have been.Ē

But itís fine right? After all, I was only a fetus, not a life.


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This article has been read 972 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 06/22/06
Whoa! What a powerful statement you have made here. Excellent writing.
Lynda Schultz 06/22/06
Whoa! What a powerful statement you have made here. Excellent writing.
Suzanne R06/23/06
Wow - that sure gives a punch in the stomach when you get to the end...... Beautifully written.
Helen Paynter06/25/06
Phew - powerful writing. I was carried along, moved and transported on the web you were spinning, then suddenly it collapsed, and I found myself on the floor!
A couple of typos - lose not loose and (unless it's one of those trans-Atlantic things) bouquet not boutique. But very powerful writing. Brilliant.
Maxx .06/25/06
As I was reading I was waiting for the zinger ... knew that it was coming ... had a few options in my mind of what it might be ...... and when it came, I had to stop and re-read it several times until I was sure I got it right! Very strong switch ... really drove your point home. Ya done good! THis has a punch!
Jan Ackerson 06/25/06
Yes! Very powerful! Porbably the best of the pro-life entries this week. My only niggle is just one of personal preference: how is this being narrated/written? I guess that's the pragmatist in me. But there's no doubt about it--this is superb writing.
Sherry Wendling06/26/06
Jess, this IS going to be published! One way or the other! You just knocked the wind out of me with the ending! The whole thing was so ingeniously crafted, built, and launched. I pray it will be picked up and widely distributed where many confused women will read it! Bless you much for this one.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz06/26/06
I was waiting for the kicker, but I wasn't expecting this. Beautifully crafted. Breathtaking. Only one little typo. Letters, emails... sustained out(r) relationship...

I think that's what you meant anyway. I LOVED IT!
Phyllis Inniss 06/26/06
Superb writing. The end came like a bombshell. I had to reread to see if I truly got the point - then I did.
Pat Guy 06/26/06
Yes, this is truly poignant and beautiful. So sad it hits you in the gut - and THAT'S good writing! Hope you plan on submitting somewhere!
Lucas .06/26/06
Wow. It made me feel sick. I love how the ending came out of nowhere. Fantastic.
Jen Davis06/26/06
You initially describe the life that every child deserves and end with the reality that some never have that chance. "...a faded memory, pushed down." Sad. Powerful. Well done.
Anita Neuman06/26/06
Hurray for you, Jess! I love a surprise ending that's really and truly surprising. Great job on this!!!
Rita Garcia06/26/06
Jess, this holds a powerful message, direct from the Master Himself.
T. F. Chezum06/27/06
Really awesome. Well crafted story with a powerful ending. Great job.
Garnet Miller 06/28/06
Powerful piece! I think "boutique" should have been "bouquet". This piece will make you think about who your decisions affect in this life.
Stephen Paynter06/29/06
As others with more weight than I have already said, this is great writing, with a powerful message. It certainly moved me to tears - but then I'm the soppy sort, I'm afraid! I echo the hopes of others, that this finds wide circulation somewhere, somehow.

Personally, I had no problems with the p.o.v. - it gives the whole piece (on reflection) a mythic
quality that adds to its profoundness. Well done.
Shari Armstrong 06/29/06
Wow - well done.
Debbie OConnor06/29/06
A very powerful message. Well done.
Steve Uppendahl07/01/06
Wow, Jessica. Huge impact with your ending. I love being led one way, then yanked the opposite, and few do it better than you.

Outstanding job. I'm impressed yet again.