The Official Writing Challenge
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Outstanding, heartfelt. There may be a novel in this one. I know the look Tara endured...I quit a draft deferred job in 1966 and joined the Navy. Keep writing.
God's calling is so strong. As a missionary myself, I can't imagine not having my parents approval. But I know it does happen. One little picky note - you separated Tara's starting to listen to the message from her response, but you did not separate her response from the living room scene. I found that a little confusing for a second. Sobering ending. Makes you think ...
You have such an outstanding ability to put your reader into the scene. I especially liked: She wiped her tears and gripped the pew as her body rose with conviction. She felt the hand but shook it off.

I loved your interpretation of the "river" topic. The ending gave me goosebumps. Great work!
This was so compelling! I SO hoped her parents were coming into her room to say they'd reconsidered! The end took me by surprise, and was wonderful. Much to think about here!
Wow! I felt a chill up my spine from the ending! Such a compelling story. I can understand her parents' concerns, but also her unshaken conviction. It really makes you think.
A thought provoking ending that is still with me days later.
'River' was woven all through this outstanding piece!

The ending was very sobering......

You highlighted an interesting point about the price parents pay ... and even more so when there are grandchildren involved.
Many good things going on in this piece. I like the way you wove river into it in different ways, surprises throughout, and it was realistic yet sobering. Good job.
Wow! This is awesome! Strong and powerful - and a warning to parents. GREAT writing!