Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: NEWS (07/05/18)
TITLE: Voice Delivery
By Rachel Rudd
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Yet Elizabeth knew she had to go. There hadn’t been an earthquake telling her to move to Thailand, but that quiet whisper could not be ignored.
What will my parents say? She knew now was the time to break it to them.
Elizabeth entered the kitchen asking, “Mom, where’s Dad?”
“He went to the store. What's up?”
“Just wanted to talk to you both.”
“I'll...I'll tell you later. Can you let me know when Dad gets here?”
Megan noticed every strain in her voice. “Honey, you can talk to me.”
“I know Mom, but I just need to wait, okay?”
She sighed, “Alright, I'll wait, but you know it’s not my favorite thing.”
Elizabeth smiled at the inside joke. Her mom always had to wait for her, but she never complained.
An hour later Megan called up the stairs, “Elizabeth, he’s home. Do you want to come down?”
She sucked in a deep breath and breathed out a fervent prayer, “Help me to explain, Lord.”
The kitchen table held a spread of coffee and homemade cookies.
“Hey darling, what did you want to talk to us about?” Her dad's calm voice felt peaceful.
She took both their hands in hers. “Well, first I want to say that I really appreciate all you did to help get me through college. I'm thankful for parents who made it possible for me to be debt-free.” She paused and breathed deeply. “I know that you were hoping for me to start on my Doctorate, but I really believe there are other plans for me.... I've decided to move to Thailand and work as a counselor for an organization over there.”
“Thailand? Counselor?” Megan just about dropped her coffee mug.
Mark's voice deepened, “What kind of an organization, Liz?”
“It’s a Christian organization reaching out to those living on the streets.”
He rubbed the afternoon stubble on his chin, “So our daughter thinks she should be a missionary.” The edge had definitely crept into his voice, but it was from hurt and not from anger.
“A missionary? In Thailand?” Megan stared at her in disbelief. “Where did you get this idea?”
“Last month, a couple came to my church telling about their work. They really seemed to make a difference during their time there.”
Slowly sipping his coffee, Mark stared at her for what seemed like an eternity. “Liz, you know we have always wanted you to find your own way in life and decide for yourself what you believed in.” He paused and grabbed her hand. “But I will not support my daughter trying to convert “heathens” in a country halfway around the world.”
“Dad, I'm not expecting you to support me. I’ll get funding on my own. I just wish that I could make you understand how important this is to me.”
The silence was as thick as the walls surrounding them.
“I don’t expect you and Mom to believe in God like I do....I would love it if you did, but I hope that you can...can see how I really need to do this.”
Her mom whispered,”How long will you be there?”
“It’s a five year posting.”
The labored breathing twisted a knife in Eliabeth's heart. Lord, are you sure I shouldn’t be here honoring my parents and showing them the way to you? She noticed the wrinkles around her parents eyes as she waited for an answer.
A gentle peace caressed her heart. Trust me.
She grabbed her dad's arm. “Do you remember how we used to play that game, “hear my voice”? The one where you changed your voice while I was blindfolded and I had to guess where you were and find you?”
“Yeah, you never could figure out the big bad wolf.”
“I remember that! You knew how to do all the voices. Well, I always knew I could trust you to lead me without me getting hurt,” she paused. “I’ve heard a voice that I know and I love. I know it sounds crazy...but I have to follow what is being spoken to my heart.”
They looked at each other, “We don’t understand what you are talking about, Liz, and we can’t choose for you. But we do trust you.”
“Maybe you could come see for yourself?”
“Only if you don’t try to mission-ize us!”
Elizabeth winked, “You have to choose yourself, too!”
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