Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Novels podcast: Holiday Edition episode #19. Today we are reading chapter 19 of the novel “The Thanksgiving Letters” by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte.
Margaret Moriah had not been the same since her daughter left home. She sunk into a deep depression. Every day, she read the last letter Antoinette had left her.
“Look, Margaret, all we can do is pray for her, but you can’t pray for her effectively until you pray for yourself and truly accept God’s forgiveness for your part in the matter,” Mr. Moriah reminded her every now and then. “Am I upset over the whole thing? Of course, I am, but what is done can’t be changed. I’m not going to add to anything by taking you on a guilt trip over it. All we can do is pray for her safety.”
“I’m trying to go on,” Margaret said. “But each day without her is like a dagger being twisted further into my heart. It hurts so much!”
“And it ought to hurt,” Mr. Moriah said. “Let it hurt, then let God bring about healing in His time.”
“I just can’t bear another holiday season without her,” Margaret moaned.
Later that Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, she checked the mail, as she had done for the past three years hoping to receive something from Antoinette. One letter stood out; it was a pink envelope without a return address. The letter was handwritten. Margaret’s eyes quickly scrolled down to the closing signature. It was signed: Your long lost daughter, Antoinette.
The rest of the letter read:
It has been a long time — too long. I do not know where to begin. God has kept me and Clementine safe. Clementine is the child you thought I had aborted just before I left. When Barbara Fleming took me out to breakfast, her only reason for doing so was to try to talk me into getting an abortion. She told me both you and Clemen, after discussing it with the two of you, agreed that I should have the abortion. I asked her why weren’t you talking about it with me. She said that mentally you were not able to handle the pregnancy, much less the abortion. She made me promise not to say anything to you about it.
While at the clinic, something told me that what I was about to do was just to please Barbara Fleming and that it was wrong. I believe God warned me not to make a bad situation worse. When Barbara Fleming picked me up, I never told her that I didn’t go through with the abortion.
Enclosed is a copy of a check for $8000 made out to me and signed by Barbara Fleming from her personal account. She paid me $8000 to have the abortion and to remain silent about it. I still have the original check. I never cashed it. I plan on returning it to Barbara Fleming.
Please forgive me for withdrawing the money from my college fund account when I left. It did not go to waste. I used it to rent two rooms with an elderly couple. However, they allowed me access to all parts of their house. They became a mother and father to me and were my spiritual advisors. I enrolled in college with the balance and am now in my third year pursuing a degree in journalism. It has been tough, but God has given me grace.
Enclosed is a picture of your grand-daughter, Clementine. She has brought me much joy as I am sure she will when you meet her. I plan on being home with you all this Thanksgiving.
Please do not say anything to Barbara Fleming about this letter or my returning home.
True to her word, Antoinette Moriah returned home the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. It was a bittersweet reunion.
“Oh, Antoinette, please, please forgive me for my part in this: for the deceit and lies. If I had stood up to Barbara in the beginning, none of this would have happened. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me? Will you?” Margaret pleaded with her daughter as they embraced each other.
“Mother, I have already forgiven you,” Antoinette cried. “I forgave you long ago. It’s over now!”
On Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, Cambia was reading to Uriah when the doorbell rang. She hurried to the door. Looking through the peephole, she did a double take. Taking a deep breath, she swung the door open as all unresolved conflicts flooded her mind.
“Cassia!” she exclaimed surprised.
“Hello, Cambia,” her sister replied.
An awkward silence followed.
“Well, may I please come in?” Cassia asked.
“Sorry. Of course you can,” Cambia said stepping aside.
“Well, did you get my letter?” Cassia asked as she stepped through the door.
“I sure did.” Cambia was doing all she could not to cry.
Ever since she received the letter she had rehearsed almost everyday how she would apologize, and how things would get back to normal and they would go on with their lives. But now that Cassia was standing right in front of her, she was unsure of what to say. She did not feel like talking now. She heard Uriah calling her from the living room.
“Excuse me, Cassia. I need to go check on Uriah…my son,” Cassia said leaving the room.
Cassia followed Cambia to the living room and watched as Cambia bounced Uriah on her knee.
“Is this your baby?” she asked somewhat hesitantly.
“Yes,” Cambia said with a smile.
“He’s so cute,” Cassia said walking over to look at Uriah. Turning to Cambia, she said, “I’m very happy for you, Cambia. I really am.”
Cassia turned away abruptly to hide the tears that were beginning to form. She closed her eyes to stop them from falling. Her efforts were unsuccessful. All the guilt, the depression, the low self esteem, and her anger at herself for rashly walking out on her family was just too much for her. Being back home only brought those feelings back contrary to what she had thought.
“Cambia,” she said turning to face her sister, “I am so sorry. Would you please forgive me? I had no reason to get angry at you like that for keeping your baby. I was just jealous. You did the right thing in not going through with the abortion.
To be honest, Cambia, that convicted me, the fact that you had the courage to think for yourself and to do the right thing. That made me feel like I was a coward…a loser.”
Tears filled Cambia’s eyes as she remembered how she lived a lie before her sister, the one person who knew her better than anyone else. All she had to do was tell her sister her decision rather than hide it. She led her parents to believe she had nothing to do with Cassia’s sudden departure.
“No, Cassia, I’m the one who should be apologizing,” Cambia said trying to control the tremor in her voice. “Come on. I know you’re probably tired and want to rest, but I feel we need to talk. I really don’t want to wait another minute to clear things up.”
Cassia nodded and joined her sister on the couch. “You go first. That will give me time to stop crying.”
“You know, I never said anything to Mom or Dad as to why you left. They still don’t know. Mom let me have it when she found out I was pregnant, but after I gave birth to Uriah, she accepted him. At one point she said she was glad it was not another girl. Dad has been an absolute encouragement through everything. I really don’t know why, but I decided to just stay here. Maybe I knew deep down, or at least I kept hoping that you would return home and I wanted to be here when you came.”
Cassia laid a hand on her sister’s arm. Cambia had always been the most thoughtful of the two.
“Now, I’m glad I did,” Cambia said wiping away a falling tear with her sleeve.
“Oh, Cambia, thank you so much for waiting for me,” Cassia said. “I had no intentions on coming back, but after two years of running away from my guilty feelings and thoughts, not accepting the situation as my fault, and God dealing with me, and surrounding me with Christian friends, I started to see this whole situation as it really is.”
Cambia reached over to get the box of Kleenex off the side table. “I have a feeling we’re going to need these,” she said with a smile.
Cassia took a few sheets. “God used one guy in particular — Bruce. He started praying with me and got me to the point where I just opened up and shared all I’ve been going through. His advice was for me to return home and clear things up. I took his advice and I’m already glad I did.”
Cambia hugged Cassia. “I’m glad you did too. I kept hoping you would come back.”
“You know, Cambia, you’re not to be blamed at all for my leaving. I started feeling guilty and ashamed over the abortions and hiding it from Dad in particular. That’s really the reason I left. Your deciding to keep the baby only convicted me more.”
“I’m so glad you’re home,” Cambia sighed. “I’ve felt guilty about my abortion also, but I didn’t want you to know I was hurting badly on the inside. I kept hoping you were not experiencing the same feeling. I faked happiness around you and others so as not to reveal the inner turmoil I was going through. Your leaving actually helped me to face myself in the mirror.”
Cambia wiped away more tears as she continued. “I threw myself into my college work. I still stuck with pursuing an education degree, but I switched to special education — you know — working with handicapped children.”
“Really? I’m doing the same,” Cassia said. “In fact, that’s really how I met Bruce. He teaches at the school I decided to do my hands-on training with. He invited me to his church and, well, the rest is another chapter of my life — a beautiful chapter, which I’ll tell you about later.”
“Later? No! Tell me some of it now,” Cambia said with a smile.
“Well…Bruce and I are married,” Cassia confessed. Her eyes sparkled.
“What? And I wasn’t invited to the wedding?” Cambia said with a laugh while hugging her sister again. “I am so happy for you!”
“How about you?” Cassia asked.
Cambia knew what she meant. “Well, no such luck. I keep asking myself, where are all the good guys?”
“Well, don’t feel badly. God blessed you with a beautiful, healthy son,” Cassia said.
The sisters fell quiet for awhile before Cassia spoke up. “Don’t get me wrong, Cambia, but we’ve always been open with each other. You know, Bruce and I have been trying to have a baby for over a year now, but the doctor told me I may never get pregnant because of the abortions I had. He said my womb got damaged in the process. I must admit, I felt more than a tinge of jealousy when I first set eyes on Uriah and I wished it could have been me who gave birth to him.”
“Oh,” Cambia began, “In that case, I have to confess something too. Just now when you told me you got married, I felt jealous as well. I’ve always dreamed of getting married and having a big wedding.”
Both sisters embraced again and shed more tears before Cambia spoke up.
“Your room is ready. I fixed it up the way you like it with your lavender sheets and butterfly curtains. There’s so much to talk about, but you should eat and get some rest. Mom went to one of her social meetings. Of course, Dad is at his office right now.”
As they walked into Cassia’s room, Cambia asked, “When do we get to meet Bruce?”
“I almost forgot,” Cassia said. “I’m to pick him up from the airport on tomorrow. He decided to visit his parents seeing that he would be spending Thanksgiving here. He’s always spent Thanksgiving with his parents. I have to be at the airport by ten o’clock in the morning. Will you drive with me there?”
“Of course,” Cambia said.
“If you don’t mind, I’m not ready to face Mom yet, so I think I’ll just sleep on into the night.”
“Don’t worry about a thing. You just get your rest,” Cambia said. “How does a ham sandwich and vegetable soup sound?”
“Great!” Cassia yawned.
“I’ll bring your travel bag up,” Cambia said. Stopping at the door, she turned and said, “Cassia, welcome home. It’s good to have you back.”
“It’s good to be back,” Cassia replied.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of Whyte House Family stories. You may purchase a copy of this novel and any other Christian fiction books read on this podcast from Amazon.com.
Now, dear listener, please know that God—the divine Author of all things—wants to write a great story with your life as well. But first you must give Him the pen by trusting Him with the life He gave you and surrendering your heart to Jesus Christ as Savior. Here is how:
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
May God bless you until next time.