I’m happy to speak today with a figment of my imagination. She’s one of the narrators in the upcoming book release The Promised Plan. As the youngest member of that team of characters, Mercedes Bloom has the biggest responsibility in the plan spoken of in the title.
AUTHOR: If you could describe yourself with five words, how would you do it?
MERCEDES: First off, call me Merci. All my friends do. So, five words. That’s a hard one for someone who talks more than she should most of the time. (Hums to herself and tilts her head from side to side to the beat of her song.)
Twenty-three (grins), fun-loving, optimistic, directionless (frowns), burdened
AUTHOR: Wow, that’s a pretty diverse list. I would guess many twenty-three-year-olds feel directionless. Why do you feel that word describes you so well.
MERCEDES: I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science in Christian Psychology last May. Since then, I’ve been taking one class per term toward a master’s in Christian counseling. But…I’m not cut out for that. But if I don’t become a counselor, I don’t know what I will do. And my mom…
AUTHOR: Your family has had a rough couple of years. I’m glad to see that hasn’t affected your optimism.
MERCEDES: That’s not entirely true. I have been pretty angry at times since my parents got divorced. Not that I’m mad at them. They weren’t happy together, and since they weren’t happy, our home life could be pretty tense. I was away at college for the last few years, but when I visited, I could tell things hadn’t improved.
I’ve been angry at the people in the church where I spent the last couple years of high school. My mom taught classes there and lead women’s Bible studies and organized tons of events and fundraisers. But when she and Dad split, the whole church turned on her.
It’s true what they say. The Christian army is the only one to shoot their wounded.
AUTHOR: I’m sorry you had such a horrible experience. My parents are divorced, too, so I get how hard that can be. Even if their marriage is hardly perfect, we rely on them for a sense of normalcy and security.
What can you tell me about being burdened? Does that have to do with this church situation?
MERCEDES: (shakes her head) I wish. That would be a matter of prayer, and I could shift the responsibility onto God. But nope. This burden is all mine.
AUTHOR: I have an insider view of this since I’m the one who wrote your story. Could you explain it to the readers?
MERCEDES: I made a promise. And every day I don’t do something to keep it, the weight on my heart gets heavier and heavier. Some days, it feels like I’m carrying a sack of flour in my chest.
AUTHOR: You don’t have to share the promise, but can you tell us why it weighs on you?
MERCEDES: (purses lips) Because I made the promise to my grandma. At her birthday party. (Gulps) A few days before she died.
AUTHOR: (hugs the girl who melts into the embrace) I lost my grandmother, too. Worst day ever.
MERCEDES: Thanks for the hug. I wish more people would respond with that rather than trying to comfort me with words. (Shakes head) Anyway, Grandma hatched this plan to help my mom and aunt stop being mad at each other. But now she’s not around to carry it out. So I promised I would do it.
AUTHOR: That sounds tough.
MERCEDES: You have no idea. But even though I don’t want to take the trip Grandma planned without her, and I’m pretty sure I can’t head up the intervention she imagined, I have to do it. I can’t live with myself if I don’t give it my all. (Face falls) I can’t fail her. She never failed me.
(Shakes her head) Gotta run. My shift at My Plus One starts in a few minutes. (Waves and walks away.)
Well, that’s Mercedes Bloom, friends. You can see she’s got a monumental task ahead of her. Come back next week to hear from her mother, and you’ll learn exactly how hard it might be for Merci to keep her promise.