Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write CONTEMPORARY FICTION (10/30/14)
- TITLE: Decision
By Trace Pezzali
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”Oh, hi Maria,” she recovered, giving her friend a warm hug.
“I’ve come at a bad time,” the elderly woman replied as they walked into the lounge, “You’re expecting company.”
“Not definite. Just a possibility.” They sat.
“You’ve been on my mind since I opened my eyes this morning. Scripture too. What’s wrong?”
Charlotte considered a glib answer, but that wouldn’t fool Maria.
“I, well. The kid’s aren’t coping with Jacob working away, and... we had an awful blue last time he was home. Oh. It’s bad, Maria.” Sudden tears slid down her cheeks, “I told him not to bother coming back if things weren’t going to change, and he... he... he said that was a great idea. He only comes home to see the kids, and even then it’s only Samantha who wants him here.”
A torrent of fear and rejection broke its banks. Charlotte heaved up pain in large sobs. Maria wrapped her up in motherly arms and encouraged her to weep.
Married for fifteen hard years, love had become stale with neglect and resentment. Charlotte knew that Jacob experienced relentless fatigue of a different sort to her own. The last five years for him had been spent heat-pressed and overworked in the red barren Pilbarra for weeks of long shift work, to come home to a frenetic household with its own monotonous demands.
Jacob had taken a Fly In Fly Out position without family discussion. He insisted that financially it was necessary. Charlotte beseeched him that they trust in God’s provision, but to her husband he was A Failure if they were in debt.
The cyclic isolation of two weeks away, one week home, wore on them both. Charlotte was a single parent two thirds of the year and she was lonely and exhausted. Jacob undermined Charlotte’s parenting when he was home in an attempt to thaw Andrew’s indifference, and relieve Samantha’s anxiety at the constant goodbyes. Jacob had complained of being a stranger and a nuisance in his own home, and at times that’s exactly what he was.
“We’ve not spoken in two weeks,” Charlotte admitted quietly once her sobs had subsided. “I don’t even know if he’s coming home today.”
“Let me tell you the scripture I received this morning. It makes sense to me now.” Maria smiled tenderly, knowing she was to bring words of hope and encouragement to this precious child of God’s. “Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs.*”
Charlotte’s heart was filled with yearning; that the dry place her marriage had become would transform into this glorious garden described. She also saw the poison of her own unforgiveness on the marriage, and fell to her knees.
“Oh Lord, I’m so sorry, I have sinned against You and Jacob. I’m full of resentment toward the man you chose for me. Give me a grateful heart. Renew my love and passion for him. Help us work through this, and bring us back together, Lord, I pray. Thank you for Your Word today, I sit before you expectant of this new life between us.”
The two women sat together in fellowship – they spoke, and prayed, and laughed over the next hour, and Charlotte’s heart bubbled over with joy and peace. It was as Maria prepared to leave that Charlotte heard the tinny bell that marked a text message on her phone.
“Oh Maria! Jacob’s written. ‘Honey, I’m coming home. I wasn't going to, but God had his way with me. This is a new day.’ ”
* Isaiah 35:6-7
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