Story Sunday #2: The Forsaken One

And… we’re diving right in!

Before we get into the post I know we’ve all been waiting for, I want to say thank you so much for 50 followers! That is just so many readers, and I’m so appreciative of everyone who has subscribed to the blog and joined this little family. From your subscriptions to your likes to your comments, it’s just wonderful. I am amazed that so many people want to join me on my journey through writing and life. So thank you.

And welcome to Story Sunday #2!

I’ve been insanely excited for this post all week, and now it’s finally here! I’m sure you are all very curious how you voted on Story Sunday Survey #1 last week?

Unfortunately, you’ll have to stand the suspense just a little while longer! First it’s time to discuss all the details of how my writing went this week.

Number of words I wrote: 12,489 words this week!

What I did: Edited the first three chapters of The Apostle’s Sister. Worked on some character development for Temira and Paul, for both TAS and The Anointed.

Highlights: The third chapter of TAS is my favorite so far. It’s so intense and so packed with action and emotion. In that chapter, Temira’s feelings toward her newly-returned, strangely-transformed brother aren’t very affectionate, to say the least. Paul is desperately trying to reconcile, struggling with what he will do if Temira remains determined to keep him out of her life and Reuben’s life. And a ton of other stuff happens… but I’m afraid I cannot divulge. Let’s just say the third chapter is like a marathon and I’m a little exhausted after working on it. Especially one scene in particular.

Any profound thoughts? Actually, yes.

*drum roll*

I had the following epiphany. And I’m sure a lot of you have thought this already… but it really affected me when I thought of it, okay?

It’s this: Selfish people are selfish because they’re terrified of death and need to have everything they want before they die.

Selfish people are selfish because they’re terrified of death.

How did this profound thought come about?

So I was thinking about how Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:19-22: that if there were no eternal life Christians would be a people more deserving of pity than anyone else. And then in 15:30-32 he restates that his life of suffering would be worthy of all pity if he had no hope in the resurrection. Paul claims that if there were no resurrection, we should all just “eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (15:32).

I was thinking about those verses and how incredibly true they are. Then I thought about people who believe that once they die, that’s it. That’s the end. This life is the only one for them. There were so many of those people in Paul’s time, and ours, too. I realized, “I know why so many people are selfish and hardened. They have to be. They need to have everything they want before they die, because they’re terrified of coming to the end without being as happy as they could in this life. They need to hurt others in order to have peace of mind that they’re not wasting their life, because every unhappy day equals a huge waste of a very short time. They absolutely must eat and drink, for tomorrow they die.”

Once again Paul amazes me. Honestly, I learn so much from him every day, and through writing The Apostle’s Sister and The Anointed he teaches me more and more. Another incredible thing about writing.

And now for the part for which you’ve all been waiting on the edge of your seats! How did you all vote on Story Sunday Survey #1? Which diary entry was chosen?

*drum roll*

Wait for it.

*another drum roll*

I cannot stand the suspense! I’ll just say it now.

The majority voted for a diary entry from Temira about Seth’s adoption. So here is Temira’s diary entry, written on the day of Seth’s adoption.

Definitely let me know how I did with it. I’m not sure how it turned out since I’m not very used to writing diary entries from my characters. If I didn’t quite pull it off, definitely let me know how I can make the diary entries better in the future!

Just one more thing, then I promise you’ll get to read it! I meant to limit these diary entries to just 500 words, but silly me went 382 words above. Please be merciful, as this is the first diary entry, and word limits can be hard for me because I just have so much to say! (Or rather, Temira had a lot to say!)

Anyway, I hope everyone really does enjoy this first diary entry despite its flaws. So here is a diary entry from Temira, written on the day of Seth’s adoption.

It was just a normal meeting with the deaconesses. I stayed for a matter of moments and left with a baby. No, not a baby; a three-year-old the size of one. And I could not be weaker with joy or more overcome with love.

I loved the little boy the moment I laid eyes on him, whimpering ceaselessly, screaming in the rarity he stopped coughing for a moment. The women told me his mother had left him; he was an orphan in her eyes, and she had heard Christians were famed for their obsession with orphans and widows. No one wanted him any more than she did, and Abigail had been prevailed upon to hold him distastefully away from her in her hands.

His face was purple and swollen, his little veins popped out, and his big dark eyes were red and watery. I thought him only one year, he was so scrawny; and was shocked to learn he was three. The women said he would die either way. I cannot describe it, but all I know is that I loved him. He was the most beautiful thing in the world to me from the instant I saw him, and when I took him in my arms he ceased to cry. I was told I would regret it. I knew then, and I know now, that I would never.

I carried the baby to Luke, who took him from me to bathe him. The poor little thing screamed until I feared he would tear out his own throat, howling and wailing and thrashing in the water. I nearly wailed along with my son in his distress, and begged Luke not to kill him. The good physician handled the child gently and placed him against my breast. He was quiet and restful only when I held him; if anyone else touched him he screamed as though being laid on the altar for sacrifice.

While I rocked him and tried to warm his sick, fevered little body, Luke said to me: “I fear this will bring you further heartbreak. I’ll be surprised if this child – dangerously malnourished as he is – lives through the week without a miracle.”

His words chilled me as he explained that my son’s lungs were slowly bursting, which accounted for the excessive blood ejected from him. But I could never cast him away, not after pledging to the Lord that I would do all in my power to keep his heart beating. I rocked him and prayed. And, like a little girl, there was only one thing barring me from faith; I desperately wanted my brother, more than anything in creation. I wanted to feel his warm hand on my head, hear his deep voice in tender counsel, know what he thought of the child.

In God’s mercy, Paul arrived home within that hour, but something held me back from him. In fact I was horrified, being able to find no difference in my brother and new son; both starved, emaciated, and sick. I didn’t want to burden Paul with something more, but I came to him trembling and said, “I suppose you’ll be seeing your nephew for the first time.”

I expected the child to cry upon leaving my breast, but while he had wailed at anyone else’s touch, as soon as Paul took him into his arms he snuggled there contentedly. A peace settled over the child that I had never seen in him before, not even with me. Paul didn’t need to say anything; I saw in his eyes how deeply he loved the child. He let the little boy cling to his finger, then he very lightly passed a bony hand over my hair, the gesture I so needed. 

I explained everything to him as he held the child. His face betrayed pain from fever and torture, and I hated to think what they had done to him this time. But his eyes held no hint, and I saw in them no pain but the pain of love for his new nephew. He let me talk, then said any expense would be paid from his own account. His voice caught when he added, without looking at me, “I never thought I would be an uncle again.”

I understood, laid my hand on his and pressed it. I never thought I would be a mother again – yet today Paul and I became adoptive parents. Reuben is still very, very dear to us, but he is a man and not a child.

We called the little one Seth. Well, I did. Paul only looked upon his nephew with the eyes of a worshipper, being a man of few words. I don’t think he cared what we named the child as long as Seth belonged to us. He and Seth are already divinely connected, as he and Reuben were so many years ago. Seth brings a difference to my brother’s face that is almost too miraculous for me to believe. I haven’t heard Paul really laugh in many years, not until today.

Seth’s name means anointed; compensation. For Mother Eve called her third son Seth after Cain murdered Abel. It is fitting. Seth will be healed, and he will bring healing. For hasn’t he done so already?

I hope you enjoyed that! Hopefully these diary entries will get better as I become more accustomed to writing them.

All right, it’s time for Story Sunday Survey #2! I can’t wait to see how you all vote for next Sunday’s diary entry! Click HERE to complete the survey.

Also, I forgot to mention this last week, but the Story Sunday Surveys close each Thursday at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. So make sure to hit submit before then if you’d like to vote!

Now it’s time to chat! Be sure to tell me all your thoughts in the comments! Also, I’d love to hear how your own writing is going, and just how your lives are going.

You know the drill – eat, pray, write, repeat!

JC

24 thoughts on “Story Sunday #2: The Forsaken One

Add yours

  1. WHOOO!!! So glad you had such an awesome writing week! 😀
    Wow, your thoughts on selfish people are so true! I’ve never imagined it that way before and it really gave me a lot of new thoughts on it.
    Awww, what a sweet diary entry!!! I LOVED seeing how much Temira and Paul loved Seth! ❤
    Also….I started To Kill a Mockingbird!!! I'm just on chapter 3, but so far it's really good and I LOVE reading it through a Scout's POV! It makes it a whole lot more interesting and funny seeing the book's events happen through a six year old's mind!!! XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It was pretty good!
      Yay! I was kind of wondering if my “epiphany” made any sense… lol. Glad to know it did. And honestly, Seth’s relationship with Paul and Temira is one of my favorite parts about TAS, if not my favorite. I feel like the story gets even more fun and interesting to write once he makes his grand appearance!
      AH MY GOODNESS! I am literally smiling so hard right now, I’m so happy you’re reading it! You’ve gotten pretty far. The first 3 chapters are so funny when Scout goes to school. She’s completely hilarious, I agree.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Joy!! I love reading your posts and joining your journey!! This was an awesome entry, so heartfelt. I loved that quote, so true. And woohoo! that’s an awesome amount of writing.
    My life has been honestly been kind of stressful, but I have decided to focus more on what matters and the path God has given me. I haven’t been able to do a lot of writing, and I decided to take a break on actually writing and focus more on the plot itself. How about you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I love having you here on the blog. And I’m so glad you liked the entry! Thank you so much all the way around!
      That’s a really wise decision, and oftentimes a difficult one to make. I’ve had some stress going on in my own life lately. I think it’s great that you’re taking a step back and figuring out a few things before jumping into writing again. I’ve had to do that a lot of times with TAS. There are still plot elements in the second draft that I think I may change in the third. We’ll keep supporting each other and see how it all turns out!

      Like

      1. You are so welcome!! Aww!!
        Thank you!! Yeah, it’s definitely hard, but your right, keep supporting each other!!
        Also I just wanted to say this: I am marking an actual word press account now, so the email will actually be different, but “Trixie” will be the same! I’ll comment a hi on here after I go make it!!

        Like

  3. 12,489 words? That’s fantastic! No wonder you’re wiped!
    You’re spot on regarding those who are selfish. My family and I were talking about this the other day. This world is the best unbelievers will ever experience, and the worst Christians will have to endure. They’re trying to fill a God-sized hole with worldly gain, something that can never compare. It’s sad, but to be expected.
    I love Temira’s journal entry! Adoption is very close to my heart, and while I experienced the feeling from a sibling’s view, I could definitely empathize. The love, awe, and fear that something will happen to the little adoptee is something every adopting family experiences. And add that in with Paul’s appearance…This was wonderful! Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’m always glad when Saturday comes and I get a little break in the action!
      Oh my goodness, that’s so poignant. “This world is the best unbelievers will ever experience, and the worst Christians will have to endure.” That’s a great way to put it, and I’ll definitely be keeping that in mind.
      I’m so glad! I really hope this part of the story – when it someday gets published – will be one that families of adoption can connect and empathize with. I know some adoptees personally, and the things they’ve told me about their experience have greatly helped me in writing about Seth. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. WOOHOOO!!!!!! Over 12 thousand words is AMAZING!!!!! *passes you cookies and choclate* SO happy for you!!!!!! I LOOOVED the diary entry. You did an INCREDIBLE job with it, girl!! It was soo much fun to read about how Temira adopted Seth and all. <333 You've got some real talent, for sure!!!!!!!!! Can't wait for the next story!!! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  5. CONGRATULATIONS on reaching 50 followers!!!!!!!!🎉🎉🎉 *high-fives* That is amazing, girl!!!!!!😃 Also, I love how you put it about selfish people! So true!
    Beautiful story!!!!💗 I LOVED it and ENJOYED reading it soooo much!!!!!!! It was so touching and heartfelt! I loved that Paul and Temira loved Seth and became his adoptive parents!! It was so sweet!!!💗 You did a great job!!!!!!!
    Amazing job writing 12,489 words this past week!!!!!! WOO-HOO!!!!!!!👏 I wrote 261 words this past week. I’m rewriting Chapter 4. I think it’s going good.

    Like

    1. Thank you! And thanks to you and the rest of the TWN team for being so supportive when my blog first launched. You really helped get the word out there.
      I’m so glad you enjoyed it. The adoption scenes in the book were certainly some of the most tender. I feel that storyline really helps us to see Paul as a flesh and blood being. I know it did that for me, so I hope it does the same for readers.
      Great job! I’m actually working on my chapter 4 now as well!

      Like

      1. Aww, you’re welcome, girl!!!!!<333333 You are truly so nice and encouraging!!! I don't know where we would be without you!!!! *hugs*
        Thank you!!! 🙂 Oooh, cool!!!! I hope everything goes well with your writing!!!!!!

        Like

  6. Okay, so I’ve had a busy couple days and just got around to reading this now, but oh my gosh I love the diary entry! Temira’s voice shines through each sentence, and the opening paragraph is a great hook! Nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

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