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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)

TITLE: Restoration
By Norma-Anne Hough


Over the past 30 years, we as a family have had many moves. Each move I get rid of unnecessary junk, but I battle to get rid of things created by my girls when they were young. I have three briefcases filled with poems, cards and letters. Each case belongs to one of my three girls and represents their love for me, when perhaps at times I really didn’t deserve it. At times I want to put the special ones in a scrapbook, but have just not gotten around to doing it.

Recently I had cause to go out into the workshop to look for something for my gardener, and on the shelf I saw Molly and Joe.

Molly and Joe are a pair of Toads, lovingly created and made for me as a gift by Jacquie, my daughter. She had done art, after school when young and Molly and Joe were presented to me at Christmas. For many years they held pride of place on my mantelpiece, holding up my many books. Sadly as we moved, they too were moved, but no longer were in my bedroom, they had been put in a cupboard and forgotten!!!

For a moment I wondered how they had gotten from the study cupboard indoors, to the window in the store room. Then I realized that the workmen, who renovated the study and had to empty the cupboard, must have put them there.

As I looked at them I felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit. I picked them up, they were a bit battered and scarred yet still in one piece. Paint was chipped and peeling, Molly’s foot broken but somehow they both were still in one piece. They were covered in dust, and cobwebs.

“What are you saying Lord?” I asked.

“Look at them. Forgotten and broken, just like you were. Yet I sought you out and cleansed you, washed you and made you whole again.” He gently whispered.

“Isn’t that what I did for you?”

Nodding with tears in my eyes I held them tightly as I allowed the tears to fall. I too was battered and scarred. I had been abused and in turn had turned to alcohol. My girls were heart-broken watching their mother battle her demons.

When totally broken and about to lose all, Jesus called my name. He reached down and pulled me out of the darkness of the pit. Lovingly He washed and began to restore me. It took time, but slowly I began to heal. The girls healed watching me heal.

The love that Jacquie had put into creating those toads for me, spoke to me of the love God had when He created me. Yes, I believe He had allowed the circumstances into my life to happen, as they led me to Him. He took my filthy robes and exchanged them for robes of righteousness.

Holding them close to my heart I took them inside to begin a work of restoration. Yes, it will take time but soon they will be restored to their full glory and once again hold pride of place in my bedroom. Perhaps I will leave the foot broken as a constant reminder of how He takes the broken and makes it whole again.

Portion of a poem given to me by the Lord some years ago came into my mind.

“You have washed away the dirt and dross
Your forgiveness flows over my soul
I have been washed in your blood
Clothed in my robes of righteousness
You are my Lord and King
I offer myself anew to you”

True story.

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This article has been read 252 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/06/14
Oh my goodness! Wow - what a beautiful and loving testimony, Praise God.

I have chills up and down my spine at God's grace and His ability to heal and mend the broken and lonely. Whenever I hear someone's testimony it moves me beyond words. And, you have managed to put into words what you have been through, with eloquence, grace, class and a have shown your heart for God so well with this moving piece.

Thank you for sharing your story, and may God continue to guide you and hold you in His arms.

Excellent job with the topic as well.

God bless~
Larry Whittington02/09/14
A nicely written life story full of emotion.

I feel the regret was not an anchor to hold you down but a stepping stone to the future.

Three scrapbooks might be the right birthday gifts for three loved girls.

Enjoyed the read.
Francie Snell 02/11/14
This is a great story how God will use tangible things in our life to expose a greater spiritual truth.
I do have a few suggestions:
*You don't need to use an exclamation mark three times in a row. One time gets your point across.*Watch your comma usage.
Punctuation is a weak area for me, so I am focused on improving my own a lot these days. Last, work on writing tighter. I'm not sure you needed to explain how the bookends got to where you found them in such great detail.
Overall I really enjoyed this story and could feel the tender heart of a mother.
Colin Swann02/11/14
Absolutely wonderful testimony story - so well written and inspiring.
Toni Hammer02/11/14
Thank you for your honest story. May God continue to bless you.
Wendy B McLain 02/12/14
Your story touched my heart and made me think about a project my son did in school over 20 years ago. My eldest son molded a plaster bible and painted it.

Through the years and the moves we've made one corner of it broke away just like your toads. I wrapped it and put it away so it would incur no further damage.

Guess what? It's time to pull it out, unwrap it and set it on the mantle!

Thank you for sharing this story. I'm sure my son will be surprised when he sees it next time he visits.

God bless~
C D Swanson 02/13/14
Congratulations Norma!

I thought this story was so powerfully moving...so glad it got recogntion. Amazing!

God bless~