This post is an edited excerpt from my book, Desperate for Love. There are times when people reach out to help us through genuine love. And, because we don’t recognize that kind of love, we resist. We do have the choice to reach back or keep walking our way.
Photo by Daniel Monteiro on Unsplash
There was barely any light coming through the shutters that covered the double doors to the garden. Being snuggled down in Momma’s bed under her thick down comforter was a welcome change from the brick-like bed and the cold yellow leather sofa. I felt thankful to be at home and in my Momma’s bed for the first time since I could remember. It was like being two or three years old again and running to jump in bed with Momma and Daddy when booming thunder shakes the house and bolts of lightning streak across the room. It seems like light years before you get there, but when you finally do, there is this comfort you feel as they wrap their arms around you, pulling you in and holding you close. “It’s all right honey; Momma has you.” It just felt like home.
I lay there, thoughts swirling through my mind. Pulling the sheet over my head while burying my head in the pillow I wondered, what is so wrong with me? Why do I feel so lost and confused?
Darkness hovered. Not only in the room but deep inside me. About the time I was about to doze, Momma knocked on her bedroom door and sat on the bed beside me. In her cheery voice and with a loving smile she declared, “Mail call, sweetie. You’ve got some mail.” “Really?” I mustered with an ember of excitement. Someone must care about me. She handed over the piece of mail. I stretched long to reach the lamp switch. Light flooded the room overtaking the darkness. Blinded, I slid my finger between the flap and envelope, and then I noticed the return address. “It’s from my mother-in-law!” I didn’t know his mom cared. I thought we had a good relationship until I realized that if I didn’t do things the way she wanted them done, she was punishing.
“I have been thinking about you. When leaving my Bible study today, I stopped in the bookstore and asked for some good books for people who are depressed. I hope you are well soon. I love you. We all love you.”
I reached further into the envelope and pulled out two paperbacks, Healing for Damaged Emotions, by David A. Seamands and When the Saints Sing the Blues by Brenda Poinsett.
I began reading When the Saints Sing the Blues. That was the first moment I ever read a description of the Person of the Holy Spirit. Through the words and scriptures in this book, I realized the truth of the existence and profound role of the Holy Spirit in the healing of our deep wounds. One time earlier in my life, a coworker was trying to explain her personal experience to me and mentioned the Holy Spirit. I looked at her in complete confusion and considered her a little odd. After reading about the Holy Spirit in this book, her words resonated in my heart. I took my first sip. I was thirsty for more. The book described the exact way I felt – hopeless, unworthy, no self-esteem, never completely comfortable with my appearance and always striving for approval. I devoured both books reading all through the night and the next day.
I learned about Job losing his home and all his children. Except for his wife, he lost everything that had true meaning to him and became deeply depressed. Because he was a man who loved God, he continued in his faithfulness, even when his wife criticized and discouraged his faith in God. His best friends challenged him to believe God’s punishment was present because he was doing something wrong. He did not understand why all these awful things were happening to him, yet he stayed loyal to God continuing to believe for something better. I longed for God but did not understand why my world was crashing down. Job’s life was a divine connection for me. Naomi was depressed after death took her husband and both her sons. Left without any money or food to care for her two daughters-in-law and herself she became bitter and returned to her homeland in hopes of finding food. Even though she had become bitter in her mind, it was through her faithfulness and believing for a better future that she and her daughter-in-law, Ruth, who chose to go with her, were victorious. Paul was a man who killed people who believed that Jesus was the Messiah. He did this in the name of God! Paul was a religious man who studied under one of the most prominent teachers of the law at that time and thought his actions were right. But one day he was stopped in his tracks as he traveled the road toward Damascus. A bright light shone down from heaven and temporarily blinded him. It was at this moment that he heard the voice of God and turned from his old ways to a new way. He became a new person with a new mind no longer living in opposition to Christ, but in unity with His heart and thoughts. There were many other examples. They seemed so similar to my own experiences. I wasn’t alone! Someone else had gone through this trouble, depression, and confusion. And these were real people written about in the Bible! People God used as examples. The first words in the book spoke to my heart, “I can’t be responsible for all these people by myself; it’s too much for me.” Oh, my! That is just how I was feeling! I kept reading, not stopping until I finished. Then I picked up Momma’s Bible she placed beside the bed, and I began reading. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” What? Hold on; the Word was with God? Since the beginning of all time? I had a revelation! Jesus is the Word! I never understood these words before. I read another verse, and another and another. It was like someone peeled a blindfold from my eyes and I could see for the first time. I began to feel incredibly hopeful. Maybe I will get out of this empty place. I closed my eyes, drifted off to sleep, and began to dream.
Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash
I was in a dark pit down deep inside the earth. I was scratching with my fingers and digging in with my toes to cling to the side of the crumbling wall. Sobbing and struggling with every ounce of my strength to escape from the darkness, the void and the emptiness, I lost two steps for every three I advanced. I felt like I might not make it out, but I kept holding on tight, digging in more each time the dirt would scatter from my hands and crumble under my toes. All at once, I sensed a powerful presence over me, and I raised my eyes. Tiny pieces of dirt fell from my lashes and then there it was a Hand. A HAND in the brightest light! A Hand extended toward me to help me. I wanted to reach out and grab it. Petrified to let go of the still crumbling wall, I innately knew the Hand was for me. With every ounce of courage in me, I let go and reached high with my right hand. I stretched out until we finally clutched tightly to one another. I was dangling in the air, weightless like when I plunged into the pool as a child. I was drawn up out of that pit, out of the darkness and toward the light. It was like I was a piece of iron drawn toward a powerful magnet. Then as quickly as I was picked up, I softly landed on solid ground. It was a revelation. Light bulbs were going off in my head like never before. Was God trying to tell me something?
I know there were many times before this moment that helping hands were there for me. In my folly, I kept going my way and it took me further down until I had nowhere else to turn. Identifying with the people written about in When The Saints Sing The Blues increased my inspiration for my writing the story of what can happen to a woman (or man) who is desperate for love. Since my life direction changed 180 degrees by identifying with others who have experienced the same or similar challenges, I wrote my story to give hope and encourage others.
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