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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: First Day of School (06/28/04)

TITLE: The Promise
By Mitch Gill


As the huge yellow bus roared up to our bus stop the panic began to creep into my mind and changed to a cold hand clutching and squeezing the breath out of me. It was the fear of the unknown and the fear of seperation from my family. I was homesick and scared before I ever got on the bus. I turned and looked at my mother as I squeezed her hand tighter and tighter. She could see the panic in my eyes and she merely smiled that reassuring smile and said, "Don't worry about a thing, I promise we will be together when you come home. I'll be praying for you today". That was the last time I saw my mother alive.

At the age of seven, there is no pain greater than losing someone that your life revolves around. I can remember everyday she would wake me up with a smile, fix me breakfast and read stories from the Bible with such enthusiasm that to this day I can still see David slaying Goliath with a single small stone. It was not fair! I cried, I yelled and I prayed that God would bring my Mommy back but to no avail. It was at that tender age that I decided that God was not real and I began to hate my mother for lying to me.

My grandmother took up the responsibility for raising me. She was a Saint among Saints though she was a short two hundred and fifty pound Saint. She took up the mantle and read me stories from the Bible but I no longer believed and she knew it. She would always tell me, "God has a plan for you and though we don't know why he took your Mom to heavan so early, he has a plan". At the age of fifteen I told her to stop reading the Bible to me and to stop telling me that my Mom died for a reason. She refused, God bless her because one year later I met a man who changed my life.

His name was John and he was a guest speaker at the church. I, being bored, was busy looking around, fidgeting in my seat and trying to find a way to sneak out but Grandma would have none of that. She held my hand and stroked my hair and merely said that she loved me. Then John with long brown hair dressed in a long robe with a staff in his hand approached the front of the church. John was not just a speaker but an actor as well. He portrayed the final minutes of Chirst on the cross and something stirred inside of me. I fought it as hard as I could and thought that I had won until John took all of us Junior High kids for a private talk, one on one.

When my turn came I crossed my arms and sat down. Johns' chair was right in front of me and he sat down. I was afraid. Afraid of what? I had no idea but I blurted out that I did not believe in God. He asked why and I told him. He then asked me what was my mothers last words to me. Why would he ask that? With tears in my eyes and a renewed anger I told him. I will never forget his words as they are etched on my heart as if in granite, "My son, your mother is keeping her promise. You see, our true home is in heavan and she is waiting for you with open arms". I cried in Johns' arms and he soothed me, prayed for me and cried with me. It was at that moment that I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior because I had no doubt that God spoke through John to me. He had talked to the Pastor and he knew my mother died but he did not know my mothers last words to me.

To this day I do not know why my mother had to go so young but I know this; she did not break her promise and God loves me. I am now forty nine and I pray each day thanking God that someday I will go home and see my Mom just like she promised.

Member Comments
Member Date
Sylvia Spielman07/05/04
Dear Mitch, yours was the first title to grab my attention. I'm not sure what I expected, but this testimony is well written and very powerful. Having lost my husband just eight years after we married, I understand the question "why so young?" Thank you for sharing this part of your journey. Your grandmother's stamina is inspiring and I'm glad God sent John along before you could carry your anger into adulthood. May God bless you always! Sylvia Bunn
L.M. Lee07/05/04
darlene hight07/06/04
Beatifully written! Thanks for sharing it!
Martha Robinson07/06/04
Great story! My mother died before I started first grade. You were fortunate to have a godly grandmother! God bless you for sharing!
Mary Elder-Criss07/07/04
God bless you for sharing this piece with us. Isn't it wondeful to know that God does keep His promises to us?

Your piece touched my heart deeply, and that's the best compliment a writer can ever receive. Thanks again. GOd bless you. Mary
Norma OGrady07/07/04
Ecclesiastes 3:1-10
New American Standard Bible
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-- A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace. What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.
Like you I lost my mom, I was older, 16, I also developed hardness of heart.
Only God can soften a harden heart.
Thank God we both learned that death is not the end..Death is our real beginning for eternity.
Yeshua bless you

Charlotte Schafer07/07/04
Mitch, How excellent! It truly touched my heart and my soul.
Linda Miller07/07/04
Beautiful entry- Thank you for such a moving story. Touched my heart indeed.
Melanie Kerr 07/08/04
An emotional account. It was heartbreaking to read. My dad died when I was quite young, but I don't remember being agonised by it. There were one or two spelling mistakes that slipped through the net.
Marina Rojas07/10/04
Your article was a reminder to me how important it is for us as Christians to "get out there" and do whatever we can to touch the life of even just one person. I wonder if John ever knew the impact of his selfishness made such a great contribution to your growth in Christ. If he didn't, I am sure you two can discuss it when you cross over the Jordan. A good thought provoking piece.
Linda Germain 07/11/04
So close to home for me.At age nine, My 19 year old son's beautiful girlfriend, who has become like a daughter to me,lost her mother (VERY sadly, to homocide). It is still so unresolved in her heart. Thanks to your story, I have some new ways to attempt to bring comfort to her. See, we never know when a word we write is used by God to prompt someone. Thank you, Faith writer!