Here is the next installment of "Consecrated to God". I know this doesn't have much of a "following" so to speak, but that's okay. That's not why I wrote it.... But, I do have a surprise for those that do read it... and I'm not sure as to whether or not it will be a good one, I suppose it depends on the person..... Let's just say that I'm thinking of (in a chapter or few) turning this story into a Cordano. Soooo... there's always that possibility to keep you interested.... Let me know what you think of this idea.... : )

Review if you read it... Please.

~Natalie~

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Anna Logsdail woke up in an unfamiliar setting, and it took her awhile to realize where she was: The Hospital. Her head ached as she listened to the steady hum of the monitors surrounding her. This was the first time she'd actually been admitted to a hospital. At first, it had frightened her, but everyone was so kind that what small fear she had in the beginning quickly subsided.

Her thoughts turned to Dr. Corday. She liked her quite a bit. She was friendly, and kind, yet there was something missing in her eyes, some sorrow that Anna simply couldn't place. Anna did, however, completely understand that Dr. Corday had a hard time comprehending why Anna felt the way that she did, why she had no anger, why she asked for forgiveness for the man that had so trespassed against her. In actuality, even the strongest Christians might not understand, even those with the most faith would question her. But, that was okay with Anna. Her faith was strong, and while Anna didn't know why this had happened to her, what she did know outweighed what few questions she had.

She knew that her Heavenly Father wouldn't give her anything she couldn't handle, and though she didn't yet understand the reason for this ordeal, Anna knew that a reason existed.

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Elizabeth awoke to the incessant buzz of her alarm clock. She rolled over and pushed the 'sleep' button down. She didn't feel like waking up. But, nine minutes later the alarm began again, and Elizabeth surrendered, forgetting her dream of Mark, and rolled out of bed.

She lazily got ready for work as the rain fell outside.

Soon, she remembered Anna, and her anger returned. As much as she couldn't understand why Anna wasn't upset or angry over the situation, what she couldn't understand even more was why God had let it happen. Why had God, a God who proclaims to be so loving, allowed a young girl to endure such a tribulation.

And she didn't understand how such a "loving" God had taken away the only thing she ever loved.

With that thought, she stopped.

Mark.

She couldn't bear to think about Mark, so Elizabeth blinked back the tears that had formed at the idea of his name, and headed off to work.

The day was relatively uneventful, she "saved lives", and trudged through the day. She finished her shift and made her way to the ICU.

She entered Anna's room and the girl's face lit up "Dr. Corday!"

"Hi, Anna." Elizabeth said with a smile "How are you feeling?"

"My head hurts a little, but other than that, I'm fine."

"That's good."

A silence fell over the room, Elizabeth was unsure of what to say.

Anna broke the silence "So, you're from England?"

"Yes." Elizabeth said, still smiling.

"Do you like it there?"

Elizabeth let out a small laugh, remembering the last time she had visited.

"Yes, I like it there, but it's so different from here."

"How?"

"Well, aside from the obvious, there's quite a bit of sexism in England." She stated, referring to how she was treated while employed at her father's hospital. "Everything's quite a bit more gender-oriented there than it is here." Anna nodded at this. "You see, in England, the Spice Girls actually needed to advocate "Girl Power", in America, it was just for show."

At the mention of the Spice Girls, Anna let out a loud laugh at which Elizabeth smiled.

"I used to LOVE them." Anna announced.

Elizabeth lowered her voice as though she were conveying a conspiracy theory, "So did I." she said and gave Anna a smile as they shared a laugh.

"So..." Anna began, "are you married?"

At the question, Elizabeth tensed and felt the tears pricking at the back of her eyes as memories of Mark flooded her mind.

She gave a sorrowful smile and said "No... not anymore. My husband, Mark, passed away."

Anna saw the sadness in her eyes and noticed the tears welling up.

"Oh." She stated softly "I'm so sorry."

"It's all right. It just hurts sometimes." Elizabeth didn't usually admit anything of that sort, and generally, she wouldn't even consider remotely opening up to a 16 year old, but there was something making her feel as though she should open up to Anna Logsdail.

"That's understandable." Anna said, "But, you just have to remember, he's with God now."

Elizabeth scoffed before she could stop herself.

"Do you not believe?"

"No, I do..." Elizabeth hesitated.

"He didn't?" Anna questioned.

"No. No, his faith was very, very strong."

"Then, what's the problem?"

Elizabeth again hesitated "It's just that after what I've witnessed lately, it doesn't seem as though "With God" is necessarily that wonderful of a place to be."

Anna was not fazed "Grief sometimes blinds us to this glory, and to his will, but your husband, a man of faith, will never die."

"But I don't believe there is a "will" as you call it."

"That's also understandable, but the Lord knows what he's doing... what happened to me happened for a reason, and though you may not be able to see it now, your husband's death also happened for a reason."

Elizabeth was about to reply when Anna's parents entered. Elizabeth smiled and stood to leave.

"Dr. Corday, will you visit me again tomorrow?"

She, again, wanted to say no, but she was compelled to say yes.

"Yes, of course Anna." She acknowledged Anna's parents and left the room.

When she was gone, Anna smiled widely. Her mother leaned over and kissed her on the forehead "And what, my little angel, may I ask, are you so smiley about?" Her mother questioned.

Anna continued smiling "I've just realized why this happened to me."

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Elizabeth arrived at home and sat down to think.

Anna was right, though she didn't want to admit it. God had a purpose, sure, but that didn't mean she had to like his "master plan".

She was grieving, but that was understandable. The only man she'd ever loved was dead, and he wasn't coming back. She had a damn right to be upset, angry and grief-stricken.

She though of Anna, the girl had so much faith. It amazed her. She had been through so much, yet she was still strong in her faith. It perplexed her as well, how? Elizabeth wondered.

She sighed. Why couldn't God's plan have included her and Mark being together forever?

She made her way upstairs and climbed into bed. Her thoughts turned to Anna, and then to Mark. She didn't like the plan, and she despised the reason.

But... maybe... it existed.

Outside, a steady drizzle fell down over the city of Chicago, as God watched his hurt child, exploring the possibilities of a love that would never fade.

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"Jesus said to her: I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." John 11:25-26.