Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Thanksgiving (04/18/05)
- TITLE: If---
By Cheri Hardaway
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Though the tiny child napped frequently, her favorite pastimes when awake were swimming – floating, actually – and gymnastics. The water fascinated her, and she enjoyed discovering the new things her rapidly growing body could do.
The small girl had initially been reluctant to leave her father and come to this new place. Upon her arrival, however, she felt immediately comfortable; she belonged here. Her father had done well in his choosing.
Meals came regularly and she grew bigger and stronger each day. She grew accustomed to her new surroundings, especially the voices of those with whom she now resided. There was a boisterous little boy, with whom she would eventually enjoy playing. The man’s voice was deep and resonant, and he was often with the woman. And the woman – so far, she felt closest to her.
She was always nearby. When a loud noise frightened the wee one, causing her to jump, she would nestle close to the comforting sound of the woman’s heartbeat near her ear. The woman’s daily presence gave the little girl peace, and as time passed, the little girl’s world became one with the little boy’s, the woman’s, and the man’s.
She loved it when the woman sang lullabies and hummed joyful little ditties. She also had a fondness for hearing the nursery rhymes the woman read to the little boy. Whenever the man, the woman, and the little boy giggled happily together, she felt as if she were in heaven.
So in tune to the woman’s emotions was she, that whenever there was frustration or upset, the little one felt it too. Once, soon after she had come to this new place, she had overheard a conversation between the adults. She hadn’t understood the meaning of the words, but caught the momentary tension between the two.
“You make no sense!” the woman had complained. “I like to exercise. Why shouldn’t I go to class?”
The little one had wondered why, too, since the lady always took her along to aerobics class, and they both enjoyed the workout time.
The man had given no clear answer, but after a few of these discussions, she and the lady no longer attended the class. (That hadn’t stopped the little girl from doing her gymnastics in the pool, though!)
In the beginning, the little girl knew only warmth and security. Lately, though, there had been some uncomfortable days in the new place; the walls sometimes seemed to close in on the small girl, making her feel claustrophobic, making it hard to breathe. These times left her feeling panicky and scared. She thought maybe the confusing feelings would go away, but instead the feelings seemed to come more and more frequently. She even heard the man saying to the woman after one such incident that this was happening way too often and that he was concerned. The woman told him he worried too much.
Eventually the three of them went to the doctor’s office. The doctor took pictures of her. Something was very wrong; she could sense it.
The unfamiliar voice spoke, and she heard the words “bed rest” and “second opinion.” She felt the woman’s rapid heartbeat and perceived her fear and anguish.
“You are 100 percent effaced and have begun to dilate,” the doctor pronounced gravely. “If you hadn’t heeded your husband’s wise advice, Mrs. MacDonald, and discontinued your aerobics class, the baby could well have come weeks ago. As it is, we will have to move quickly and be very careful, if we’re to save this baby.”
After a surgery to stitch her cervix closed and a three-month stint in bed, the MacDonalds, along with their son, welcomed their new daughter into the world. They celebrated the event with much joy and thanksgiving.
If God hadn’t spoken to Mr. MacDonald through the power of the Holy Spirit—
If Mr. MacDonald hadn’t listened to the inner prompting of the Spirit and insisted his wife stop exercising—
If Mrs. MacDonald hadn’t submitted her will to that of her husband—
No one was more thankful than little Janie MacDonald. She had known and loved her mommy and daddy from the day the Father had placed her in the womb of her future mama. She hadn’t wanted to be taken away from her family before she even met them.
Even her big brother, Jimmy, was thankful she was here. Now he had someone else to join him in his mischief-making – and someone else to blame it on, too!
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