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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Blessed (11/29/04)

TITLE: Blessed Assurance
By Lynn Benicken


An unexpected gift awaited me at my wedding reception on a picturesque, May afternoon aboard the paddle ship, The Peconic River Queen. This present wasnít packaged in a fancy box tied with ribbons or a bow, but appeared in the presence of two of my wedding guests who were wrapped in joy and bound together by the ties of love, neither one aware of the blessing they were bestowing upon me, the blushing bride.

MJ and Michele had been brought together fourteen years earlier by divine providence. MJ had been struggling for years with a kind of longing and loneliness that God knew Michele and only Michele could satisfy. Only He could possibly know how well this pair would fit together, complimenting and completing each other and only He could orchestrate their union, which would result in a symphony of love and fulfillment for both.

I was MJís teaching assistant and learned of the beloved Michele through details of their life together that MJ would share with me, along with the photos of Michele that lined MJís desk. MJ was extremely devoted to Michele and I envied the intimacy they shared. My wedding provided the first opportunity for me to come face to face with the darling who had captured MJís heart.

I spotted them, holding hands, standing alongside my other wedding guests who had circled the gazebo that served as the chapel for my wedding ceremony. I was immediately impressed with Micheleís loveliness which MJís photos had failed to completely capture. She was a natural beauty. Her deep-set emerald eyes complimented her flawless, porcelain complexion and crimson crown. I met Michele, as my guests offered their congratulations upon the completion of my vows when my husband and I were received and our family and friends began to go board for the reception cruise. Micheleís prettiness now paled in comparison to her inner beauty. She was articulate, poised, and bright and I could easily see why MJ was smitten with this splendid lady.

Throughout my wedding reception, as we voyaged along the scenic Peconic River, my attention was drawn again and again to MJ and Michele because of the absolute enchantment they shared when engaged with one another. I found their interaction mesmerizing. It was obvious that they relished each otherís company. When they danced, they were fluid and light on their feet, unselfconscious, totally immersed in the pleasure of moving about the dance floor together. They caught each otherís eye on every twirl, often giggling with glee. Their faces radiant, their countenance glowed. It was apparent to all that this couple mirrored delight and affection for each other, their interactions communicating, ďI not only love you, but I like being with you and would pick you to be mine all over again.Ē I felt blessed to witness such love and commitment, inspired by the devotion and joy I was privileged to take in.

What makes this love story unique is that it is not the tale of a married couple as you might have imagined, but the true-life love story of a mother, MJ, or MaryJo and a daughter, Michele. An adopted, handpicked, especially for you, special delivery daughter who couldnít be more MaryJoís daughter had she given birth to this now sophisticated, engaging, young lady, fourteen years ago. Michele was the fulfillment of MaryJoís desire to be a mother. She is Godís extraordinary answer to MaryJo and Tonyís prayers to be parents.

MJ and Michele blessed me with the gift of the presentation of their effortless, animated, love story. Their poignant tale stirred up unmet emotional needs in me. My longing for this kind of familial security and tenderness brought me to my knees. Through prayer, I was reminded that I too, am a cherished, adopted daughter; the daughter of the King of Kings who delights in me and longs to bestow His unconditional love and acceptance upon me. I needed only to turn and seek His face and bask in the glow of His countenance and grace.

What MaryJo and Michele share is indeed special. However, an even more satisfying edition is available starring each one of us as Godís specifically chosen, treasured sons and daughters. Beloved by God, the author and fulfiller of the greatest, living, love story ever told, complete with a happily ever after ending. For those who dare to believe in the implausible, we have the blessed assurance of an eternity spent with the true lover of our souls.

Member Comments
Member Date
Teresa Lee Rainey12/06/04
Lynn, this is a wonderful story. Being a mother to a precious adopted 12-yr-old boy makes me appreciate it that much more! :^)
Mitzi Busby12/07/04
Lynn, precious story. Thanks for sharing.
Debbie OConnor12/07/04
A sweet story. I really enjoyed it.
Lynda Lee Schab 12/09/04
This was such a wonderful piece! It touched my heart and was the perfect way to start my day. Very well written and you did a great job expanding on the story with the analogy of us as God's adopted children.
Well done!
Blessings, Lynda