Highly Commended

The following piece is the first one I wrote for FaithWriters at the intermediate level. My next goal is to get a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place finish at the intermediate level so that I can move up to advanced. This is a deeply personal piece for me as it chronicals my life. The prompt for this piece was “Shhh.”

Be Still

The young woman knelt beside her bed. “Dear God!” she cried out. “My heart is broken. Will anyone ever love me?

“Shhh, my daughter. Be still and know that I am God.”

She rested there in his arms and peace flooded her soul. When she arose she knew there was a plan for her. Confidence filled her frame and she stood erect, ready to face whatever the future held.

A few years later, she basked in the love shining from her best friend’s eyes as she walked down the aisle to meet him. They exchanged their vows, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. It was a day like no other filled with excited anticipation for their future.

Six months later, she held his hand as he lay in a hospital bed. They took in the doctor’s words. “The tests show that you have End-Stage Renal Disease. Your kidneys have shut down. We’ll need to start dialysis immediately.”

She stood by his side as the doctor inserted a perm-cath into his chest. He was fully awake with a shot of Lidocaine to deaden the pain, but each jerk of his body and squeeze of her hand told her otherwise. She felt powerless to help him and anxiously waited for the procedure to be completed.

That night, she lay alone in the dark. “Dear God!” she cried out. “Help my husband. He needs you now.”

“Shhh, my daughter. Be still and know that I am God.”

She awoke the next morning, determined to walk with her husband through whatever trials the future held. She knew that God was carrying them.

Three months later, they sat across from the transplant surgeon. “Oh, you’ll be totally infertile within six months,” he said. “I’ve seen it happen time and time again. You probably won’t be having children.”

Hit by this blow, she struggled to breathe. Not have children? “Dear God!” she cried. “Will we really not have children? Will this too be taken from us?”

“Shhh, my daughter. Be still and know that I am God.”

She rested in God’s comfort and held to the dream that she would one day be a mom.

The journey was long and hard. Three years later, she stood by her husband’s side again as he awoke from surgery. The transplant had gone well. His ankles were no longer swollen and his color had returned to a nice handsome olive. Hope swelled within her.

A year and a half later, she held their first born in her arms. She had never known a love so great. God had blessed them beyond what they asked or imagined. Through watery eyes, she looked at her husband and smiled, communicating more than words could say.

Slowly her husband’s health deteriorated. There was a new diagnosis around every corner, and she felt overwhelmed. He could no longer work and depression reared its ugly head. She walked under a cloud of darkness. When a sink full of dirty dishes sought to push her over the edge, she cried out to God, “Please Dear God! Help me! I’m drowning here, and my strength is fading.”

“Shhh, my daughter. Be still and know that I am God.”

A few weeks later, she found herself sitting across from the counselor, pouring out her heart and soul. Anger and depression consumed her. Her husband’s chronic illness was a huge, jagged, rock in the middle of her life. When she looked around her, all she saw was that hideous, rock. She couldn’t move it, her husband couldn’t move it, the doctors couldn’t cure it, and God had chosen to leave it firmly in place. She was cut, bruised, and bleeding from its existence, and she had given up hope. She collapsed along side the rock, weeping in pain.

“God!” she screamed. “Do you not see me? Do you not care? Help me, please!”

“Shhh, my daughter. Be still and know that I am God.”

After two years of grueling emotional work, she embraced the rock and heaving sobs gave way to peace. She looked at the rock and saw a hammer and chisel. She picked them up and two nail scarred hands wrapped themselves around hers.

“Now my daughter, we’ll carve a masterpiece.”

 Today the rock is still there. She knows not what it will be or how long it will take, but under the master’s direction it is destined for beauty.

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3 thoughts on “Highly Commended

  1. I had already known your story; you shared it with me. However, reading it here gave new light to the emotional dimension. You are a good writer. Keep going.

  2. Dear Lisha,
    Today I printed a picture of you, taken in May while you were here. I put it in a frame and placed it in the livingroom. I was so moved by the beautiful person you are. Tonight I read your blog and once again know I am blessed to be your mother.

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