Good morning my dear one,
As always, I try to impart to you my spiritual journey with honesty. We all face life’s challenges and when Jim died, I could not write a word. For several months there were no messages. When I started writing again, I could not bring myself to use the word Joy. My messages were entitled Weeping May Last for a Night or Practicing the Presence, but certainly not Joy in the Morning. As I write this devotional, I still use the word Joy trepidatiously. I grieve and will always miss my Jim.
On June 4th, our 56th wedding anniversary, I had a complete shutdown. I did not want to live without Jim beside me. I desperately needed to feel God’s presence with me in my suffering. I felt no peace from scripture nor from listening to traditional hymns which had always soothed my soul. I was drowning under the continuous waves of grief and struggled for a breath I wasn’t sure I wanted. I share the following very private struggle with you, dear one, in case you are ever drowning in a sea of dysfunction and are unable feel hope for the future.
I determined that desperate struggles called for desperate measures. I called a psychiatrist and was able to see her the very next day. Perhaps, she recognized my agony. As I shared with her that I was diagnosed with three cancers in two years, Jim had cancer, a life-threatening bacterial lung infection, and had suddenly died when all indicators were that he was doing well with his treatments. In addition, we had been isolated from support because of our immune-compromised conditions during the pandemic. After listening for hours, she determined that I was suffering from severe depression and PTSD. I was put on two, for me, life enhancing medicines. As I returned to scripture and devotional practices, I remembered that in Genesis, God calls out to Adam, “Where are you?” I have come to understand that the noise in my head, the racing thoughts in my mind were crowding out the still, small voice of God. God had never left me alone in my suffering and was in fact calling to me saying, “Just be still and know I am with you.” With my new medications calming my terrified mind, I can be still long enough to feel God’s presence. I read the story of Jesus reaching down into the swirling waters and pulling Peter to safety and daily I ask Jesus to reach down into my sorrow to pull me to sanity and serenity. I need the presence of God to give me hope, to show me a way through this dark valley.
Dear one, if you are suffering with an addiction, troubled relationships, fear or grief, and are unable to feel God’s guidance and peace, reach out for needed support and help. Perhaps, seek medical attention. God wants to be your safe refuge and uses all means, including doctors and medications to heal you. Be willing to reach out for help. God’s calling your name, come out of your hiding place and seek help for your suffering soul.
Loving you too much not to share my sacred, truthful journey,