Monday, April 9, 2012

The Girl in the Garden - Hannah's Story Part 1

If you've visited Walking On Water before, you're probably familiar with the Redemption Stories (see right side banner).

Today, is the beginning of a new series - Hannah's story.  Like the lives of Erin (Eve) and Gabe (Mike), I find myself amazed at the goodness of God in the lives of everyday people.  I hope you will find encouragement, inspiration and a closer walk with the greatest Father of all through this series.  As before, each new segment will be posted each Monday morning.

I encourage you to share this story with others and at the end, Hannah's identity will be revealed.  It's one you won't want to miss!  

Here's Hannah's story:

The Girl in the Garden
Hannah's Story

The sunshine felt hot against my neck as I swung the hoe deeply into the dry, dusty dirt. It hadn’t rained for weeks and the summer sun had turned my once, flourishing garden into a postage stamp of miniature corn stalks, rubbery cucumbers and tiny beefsteaks that could only dream of turning red.

I stopped for a moment to catch my breath, careful to keep the broken handle of the hoe from poking a sliver into my skinny little arm. He was coming tonight, mama had said so. I glanced over all I had accomplished, and grinned. Along the edge of the garden was a row of pink petunias and yellow marigolds. I hoped their happy faces would please him. 

Suddenly my brow furrowed. Perhaps I should have planted red geraniums instead. I never was certain which he liked best, still... My breath caught as my seven year old heart squeezed tightly inside of my chest. “Oh God, let him be happy! Let him love the garden! Let him... let him love me!”

The dirt between the two rows of potatoes had to be turned and the carrots desperately needed to be thinned, so I set back to work. The carefree laughter of my brother and sister echoed across the yard. I envied their joy, yet somehow their happy voices filled me with fear. Didn’t they know what was at stake?

Daddy would be here soon and if the conversations I’d been hearing lately were true...I... I clamped my teeth together and attacked the dirt with a vengeance. “No!” I shook my head vigorously. The slap from my ponytail against my cheek was soft, a contradiction to the pain welling up inside of me. Shaking my head harder, I drew a deep breath. I would not cry. I would not show weakness. I would be strong.

Daddy couldn’t divorce Mama. He couldn’t! He loved Mama! He... he loved me too. Didn’t he? I was sure it was all a simple misunderstanding. I just had to show him what a good little girl I was.

I chucked a rock across the ditch into a neighboring field and pulled a garden rake gently between the rows of vegetables. I found a garden hose and attached it to daddy’s favorite yellow sprinkler. Setting it carefully in the center of the garden, I ran to the back of the house and turned the spigot. Cold water dripped down, leaving dark circles on my dusty feet. Resisting the temptation to stop and enjoy the coolness of the water, I raced inside for my bath.

I had to be clean before Daddy came. I would brush my long hair until it shone and wear Daddy’s favorite color. He always said that green looked best on me.

Stopping in the kitchen, I rummaged through my backpack. There, tucked neatly inside my Strawberry Shortcake folder was my report card. Smiling, I walked to the counter, and laid the paper neatly near daddy’s plate.

Straight A’s! Again!

A burst of joy threatened to spill out of me, but I refused to let it take residence. What if I hadn’t done enough?

What if he still wasn’t pleased?

What if he didn’t like the garden?

What if he didn’t think my kelly green shirt looked as pretty as I’d hoped?

What if...

A tear spilled down my cheek at the thought.

What if, after all I’d done, what if, he still didn’t want to stay and be my daddy?

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