My good friend, Brother Wendell Brown, gifted poet and author of the blog, Forever Poetic, blessed me with the Mystical Allure Award several days ago (Isn’t it pretty?), however, sadly, at that time, I was in a lot of pain, and I was weighed down with the heavy burden of depression, and so I thought to myself, “I’ll just respond to this when I feel better.”
It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate the award, because I did. The sad fact was that I was too consumed with myself to respond. Have you ever been there? I didn’t feel like doing anything… no writing… no cooking… no cleaning… no talking to anyone, not even my beloved family and friends. The worst part about all of this is that I didn’t even feel like talking to my Lord and Savior (I didn’t even realize this until I wrote the words!).
You see, with everything that’s been happening in my life, constant acute pain, pain medication (that I hate taking, but can’t seem to do without), losing my mom in February, being hospitalized in March, my daughter and her family moved hundreds of miles away in March, and my son and his family live 3 hours away, and somehow, in the midst of this, I lost my hope and my joy. I am a worshiper and a prayer warrior, but as I plummeted into the depths of despair, it became harder and harder to worship.
Holy Spirit was still with me, loving me and consoling me, and speaking to me through God’s word, and I would share the words He shared with me, but then, I would slip again, falling into darkness and gloom. I felt like a failure and a fraud…
How could I so clearly hear the Lord’s voice and not trust Him?
How could I read His word and be blessed as He revealed His heart and love for His people, and yet doubt His love for me?
How could I minister to others about the necessity of faith, when I had lost much of my faith?
I was so disappointed in myself.
I thought I was strong in the Lord, but I was weak.
I thought I was a woman after God’s own heart, but I was a failure.
I thought I had the joy of the Lord, and yet, when I needed it most, I couldn’t find it.
I thought I knew who I was in Christ, but now I questioned that too.
Quite frankly, I wasn’t in the mood to receive an award that I didn’t deserve, so I didn’t respond to it, because I wasn’t sure what to do. Monday when I got up, I walked over to my recliner, propped my feet up, and sat there all day, watching Little House on the Prairie, and trying not to think, only getting up to use the bathroom. I didn’t feel like eating, so I didn’t bother, and there were leftovers for my husband to enjoy.
Then, as I sat there, the Lord began to minister to me, telling me that I needed to start setting my clock so that I would get up in the mornings. He told me to get my shower first thing, and to have a plan to do a little each day, and to make sure I allot myself some time to write each day. That doesn’t seem very “mystical” does it?
And yet, this was just the push I needed. On Tuesday, I wrote my Psalm of Hope and Despair, because that’s where I was at the time, but my cry was not only one of despair. It was also a cry of hope, which was being rekindled within me.
Then, yesterday, I wrote Words of Jesus – Great Faith. Perhaps, given all that I’ve shared here, the title of that post seems ironic, but that’s what the Lord led me to write, and as I wrote that post, Jesus ministered to me through the words He placed in my heart. As I wrote, great faith was being conceived within my womb.
Then, today, I read a post entitled Daily Prompt: I Want to Know What Love Is, by Brother Ben Nelson, gifted teacher and author of the blog, Another Red Letter Day, and as I read, the Lord ministered His great love for me, but He wasn’t finished, because He knew I needed further encouragement. Therefore, He pulled out the big guns and sent healing words to me through none other than Sis Caddo-Jael Sterling, gifted poet and author of the blog, Grace Pieces.
Sis Caddo had written a response to yesterday’s post, Words of Jesus – Great Faith, in which she testified of her own struggle with faith, and her words ministered greatly to me. In fact, it was her testimony that led me to graciously accept this award from my beloved Brother Wendell Brown, without feeling like a hypocrite… Just look at Sis Caddo’s complete humility as she openly shares about her own faith crisis…
“Help my unbelief”–it’s amazing that I go along “thinking” I totally believe and trust in GOD. But in the last 48 hrs or so, I’ve been in a mini crisis–because I just can’t see that God is big enough to help someone I’ve come to care for. It’s a startling admission, I know–I can barely believe I’m saying it. But it’s not about WHO GOD is, or HOW BIG I know He is–it’s about my human powers of reason, that I can’t see HOW He’s gonna take care of this person/situation. And bless God–He knows me, He knows I come from a background of Worry–so He’s not even mad at me; just keeps telling me that I don’t have to figure things out for Him, to let Him be God and worry about the details. And I should just be me–the me He loves so much that He died so I could be with Him forever, in Glory, where there will be nothing more to worry about. Praise His Name, Jesus! God bless you, Cheryl–love, big sis Caddo (imperfect, but redeemed)
Sis Caddo’s testimony moved me, as I realized that I wasn’t the only one who had suffered a faith crisis, but it was through these words, from Sis Caddo’s pen, that my Father spoke straight to my heart, bringing healing and inspiration to my soul…
“… And bless God–He knows me, He knows I come from a background of Worry–so He’s not even mad at me… And I should just be me–the me He loves so much that He died so I could be with Him forever, in Glory, where there will be nothing more to worry about. “
I heard my Daddy speaking to my heart, “Beloved, though you’re disappointed in yourself, I’m not. I know you, and I know your weaknesses. I am not the One who is angry with you. YOU are the one who is angry with yourself. Beloved, stop trying so hard to measure up to impossible standards set by you and by man. Just love Me and rest in Me, Child.
“It is not faith in Me that you lack. What you lack is faith in yourself. Beloved, I knew your weaknesses before I called you, and still, I chose you and loved you. I knew this day would come, when you would lose hope, believing that you are not worthy of My love or My healing touch, but still, I chose you. Trust Me, Beloved, to do what is best for you. Trust in My love for you. Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened. Beloved, My love for you has made you worthy. Stop doubting this and look beyond yourself to Me.“
This probably seems like the craziest award acceptance ever, but I have to go where the Spirit leads. Therefore, it is with gratitude and humility that I accept this award from Brother Wendell Brown. Wendell, please forgive me if I seemed ungrateful and slow to respond, but at the time, my heart was not able to receive your gift. When I read the requirements for this award, I was even more humbled that you would ever think of me…
“This award is granted to poets who show a profound understanding of spirituality in their writings. An understanding so profound that it has an enchanting effect on its readers.”
I’m honored that you see these qualities in my writing, and all I can say is that any good qualities you see in my writing come from God, the Author and Originator of Creativity, while any errors you see in my writing come from me, a frail human being, who apart from Christ can do nothing.
In closing, I would like to nominate the following for the Mystical Allure Award…
- Sis Caddo-Jael Sterling, gifted poet and author of Graces Pieces… I know very well that Sis Caddo does not accept awards, but because her words, a gift from God, brought such healing to my soul, there is no doubt that she qualifies for this award, and her acceptance of the award is not what is important. What was important was for me to express my love, respect and appreciation for this gifted woman of God and her great God-given talent. Check out her blog — her poems are magnificent!
- Diana Rasmussen, gifted poet and author of the blog, Prayers and Promises… Diana’s poetry is also a gift from the Lord, and not only does she write poems that glorify God, she also writes and sings songs that uplift and glorify God. Please take the time to visit her blog. You will be glad you did!
I pray the Lord blesses each one of you, my beloved readers, and that He draws you close enough to hear and feel His every heartbeat.