Dark Well of Decision
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by Anne Kimberly
Category: Young Adult/Spiritual/Religion
Description: In one frightening moment... after peering into the foreboding opening of an ancient well, thirteen-year-old Zoe finds herself pulled by a strange force down into its liquid depths. Trapped and completely alone, she cries out to a God she is not sure exists. Out of the darkness... a tiny balcony suddenly appears, softly illuminated by flickering lanterns. Where did it come from? It wasn't there before! And where does it lead? In the midst of another world... she is faced with the biggest decision of her life while pitted against a powerful evil that seeks to destroy her.
eBook Publisher: Highland Press/Grace, 2007 2007
eBookwise Release Date: October 2009
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [153 KB]
Reading time: 91-128 min.
"Zoe is looking down a well on her grandmother's farm; suddenly, she falls in. When she cries out to God for help, He sends Kristo and Kitia. Ophis is determined to steal her soul. Can she resist the temptations that he offers? Dark Well of Decision has strong Christian overtones. Anne Kimberly weaves a beautiful tale of fantasy. Dark Well of Decision uses biblical stories throughout her plot. In simple terms, she explains our relationship with Jesus Christ. I am reminded of the song "The Name of Jesus." Both adults and children will enjoy Dark Well of Decision."--Debra Gaynor,ReviewYourBook
"Like the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Dark Well of Decision is a grand adventure with a likable girl who is a little like all of us. Zoe's insecurities are realistically drawn and her struggle with both her faith and the new direction her life will take is poignant. The secondary characters are engaging and add extra "spice" to this story. The references to the Bible and the teachings presented are appropriately captured. Author, Anne Kimberly is an author to watch; her gift for penning a grand childhood adventure is a great one. This one is well worth the time and money spent; I will buy several copies for friends and family."--Lettetia,Coffee Time Romance
"This wonderful story is allegorical in nature and yet appears to be based on a particular incident in the author's life. (Intriguing, right?!) Basically, this is the story of a girl named Zoe who falls into a well. What she finds in that well. . .and who she meets. . .will determine the direction of the rest of her life. The story, which is both fanciful and (at times) mysterious, reminded me a little of Alice in Wonderland. It also put me in mind of several other fantasy/allegory-type books: Dante's Inferno, Pilgrim's Progress, Chronicles of Narnia, etc. There is a clear salvation message in this book, and I think it would be great for both upper elementary and teens, as well as adults. In fact, I think this one would be a fine addition to Christian school libraries and home school libraries. Well done, Anne!"--Janice Thompson,DoubleBooked
"Anne Kimberly's amazing novel Dark Well of Decision is a powerhouse of a novel. Zoe is an extraordinary girl, who struggles with her faith and her unfamiliar thoughts and emotions on becoming a teenager. Dark Well of Decision showcases this authors' outstanding ability to combine both the bible and its teachings, with a young girls awakening to adolescence and finding the courage to put it all together, the secondary characters really bring this poignant story together. Anne Kimberly's first novel is one I will treasure and buy; it shows one that believing in God can make our lives fuller and richer! This is a novel to buy for a loved one, even you, but don't just take my word for it, give it a try."--Chad,Book Cove Reviews
The motion of the rocker or the atmosphere, or probably a combination of the two, carried me back in time. The sensation of being held close in my mother's arms, safe, warm, and protected, came over me--something I hadn't experienced for a very long while. In truth the older I got, the less protected and more vulnerable I felt. I guess it's what growing up does to you, at least what it had done to me.
The nursery workers appeared to be about my own age and consisted of boys as well as girls. Watching them, I couldn't help but notice how attentive they were to the youngsters and from all appearances seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely--laughing quietly and playing along with the children as if they didn't have a care in the world.
The children themselves were fascinating--each of them quite beautiful in nature and appearance. The more I observed them, the more I realized that not one of them seemed selfish or ill tempered, but they naturally got along well together. There didn't seem to be need for scolding from the attendants either, just a purpose to enjoy the company of each child and keep watch over them.
How unlike the nursery at our church where I helped tend the children on quite a few occasions.
Kitia walked over and sat in the rocker beside mine, and I began to share my thoughts with her, telling her of the striking difference between the children in this nursery and those in the nursery at church.
"This is so different from my grandma's church nursery where I sometimes assist. The kids, no matter how cute and smart, cry, argue or do exactly what you tell them not to do. When the church nursery is filled to capacity, as this one clearly is, it can stress out even the most dedicated nursery worker. Most of them just try to cope--me included--hoping that the service ends early so the parents will come and pick up their unruly children."
"Of course, they are not alike," Kitia said with a kindly expression, very similar to the ones I saw on my grandma's face. "You see, these children are not born with a sin nature like you humans have. You are descended from Adam and Eve."
"A sin nature?" I asked, not fully understanding. I vaguely remembered the story of Adam and Eve in the back of my mind and told her so, but I didn't comprehend babies being born with a sinful nature. How could something so cute and adorable have sin?
"Let me refresh your memory," Kitia said with a tender smile. "God created Adam and Eve to walk in fellowship and innocence with him, and He created a beautiful garden for them to live in. But He instructed them not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that He planted in the garden. For if they did, He told them, they would surely die."
She reached down, picked up, and cuddled a little blonde, brown-eyed baby girl who'd just awakened from her nap and crawled over. Then she continued.
"Now our enemy the devil was craftier than Eve and he came to her in the form of a serpent and tempted her. He told her she wouldn't die, but she would be wise like God if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. That deceiving, crafty serpent got her to gaze upon the fruit on the tree, and when she saw that it was pleasing to the eye, she began to desire it. Finally, she took it, ate, and gave some to Adam to eat. When they had eaten, they were no longer innocents like these children before you, but because of their disobedience their very nature had changed. They took on some of the characteristics of the evil one who had tricked them. His nature was imprinted onto theirs."
She shifted the baby to a position over her shoulder; the little one looked at me, smiling a toothless, slobbery smile.
Kitia went on with her story. "God came in the cool of the day to visit with them, and when Adam and Eve heard Him, they ran and hid from Him, something they had never done before. When they told God what they had done, He was angry at the serpent and cursed him to slither on the ground forever. Then, because of their sin, He had to banish Adam and Eve from the garden that He had made for them. Humans born since that time have the same changed nature, but it was not God's intention for it to be that way."
"Oh, that is such a sad story," I said. "Why did Eve listen to the devil and eat the fruit when God told her not to?"
"Well, Satan is very clever," Kitia said. "His strategy is to confuse reality, to make evil seem good. He deceived Eve into thinking God was keeping something from her, and shifted her focus from God to that one tree. She had the most beautiful garden to live in and could eat the fruit from any other tree in the garden. However, he made her feel she had to have the fruit from the forbidden tree. That is what Satan does the best, twist the truth. That is his nature."
As I listened to her tell the story, an understanding began to grow and take form in my brain. I could see how sin had ruined and disfigured the hearts of the human race and in many ways, my own heart. The realization dawned that no one had to teach me to do things I knew were wrong. Those things came as naturally to me as they did to the little children in our church nursery.
An overwhelming feeling of sadness and despair washed over me and I began to cry.
Kitia stood and handed the baby to a nearby worker. "Come, Zoe," she said, and took me in her arms just as my mother would have. She wiped away my tears, soothed me, and talked tenderly to me.
She said, "Now you are feeling some of what God must feel. He loves us all so much and only wants what is best for us."
She continued to hug and soothe me until I stopped crying.
Kitia pushed me a little ways from her, still holding my arms and with a gentle look and a kind smile, she said, "Be of good cheer, dear one. You can be close to God because of His Son, Jesus, Who has made a way for you. You only need open your heart and let Him in. His forgiveness is what's necessary and He will give you a portion of His nature, so His imprint will be left on you."
Hope welled up within me. I wanted so much to change, but I knew I wasn't capable of it on my own. Before my very eyes, I could see the innocence of those who had not sinned, and the difference between them and my own race was profound. I realized that I was seeing something of great worth, something I was not sure anyone else in the surface world had ever seen before.
Again, something Grandma had said came to remembrance. "In everyone's life there is a moment appointed by God to make a decision, to give Him your life and live for Him or to keep it and live for yourself, your own way."