Voice In The Dark

The world is dark and on edge and we seem to be a button away from annihilation. The world is very angry and for good reason and everyone is searching from their despaired lives for a miracle as hope continues to diminish. Father God, where are you? Please come to our rescue before the unthinkable happens…” This was my prayer before slipping off into my dream world two nights ago, but approximately two o’clock in the morning I was awakened by the voice.

I opened my eyes a bit startled, searching the room for the man who was calling my name, but no one was there. Suddenly, I heard him again, this time he did not call my name and the urgency coming from his tone grabbed my attention as I heard him say, “pray.” Then he repeated himself three times, very quickly as if it was a matter of life and death, “pray, pray, pray right now,” I knew then it was God! I began to question Him asking what did I need to pray about? He did not answer and with that, I got up, grabbed my Bible then started walking the floors not knowing what to pray about and immediately, I felt in my spirit that I needed to pray for strength. If you read my last blog you know I have been through hell and high water and from all that trauma I have been tender inside from all the brokenness. I definitely needed all the strength I could get.

After spending about an hour walking the floor, talking to God and asking Him to give me strength, I got back into my bed and fell fast asleep. I slept so hard and so long, I didn’t hear my son’s voice trying to wake me. When I finally cleared the blur in my eyes, I looked at the clock and it was noon. I have never slept that long and that alone upset me, but when I looked at my son who had a shaded expression etched across his face, a suit of somber if you will, I asked, “what’s wrong son?” He was very careful with his words when he said, ” mom I have some bad news.” I just laid there starring at him shaking my head letting him know I could not handle another blow in my life but it was too late, the tears already began to rain down my face and I braced myself:

I felt my heart speed up and the wringing of my hands told my son I was not up for this. He just stared at me and I knew he didn’t know what to do so I whispered to myself, “strength dear God. You told me to pray for strength.” I looked at my son and with a shaky voice I told him to tell me the news. He did! Very carefully he told me that my stepmother had died and all I could do was shake my head no. But that wasn’t all the news he needed to tell me, there was more. He continued to reiterate the problems his dad, my ex husband, was trying to stir up as he wanted so desperately to see me go to my grave. He is an evil man and so is his wife. I won’t go into details but the news was incredibly jarring and needless to say, my world flipped upside down. I felt my body’s defenses take effect and my response was nothing more that stress taking over. At this point, it was fight or flight.

My blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels and I swore my son could hear my heart beating out of my chest. I felt millions of butterflies in my stomach and a sudden urge to get to the bathroom to throw up. I sat in the floor by the toilet shadowed by shock and denial, then came the anger. I cried out to God reminding Him that He promised never to put on us more than we could handle. Haven’t I been through enough hell? I cannot even catch my breath, Lord. I cried! I cried so hard that it made me sore in my abdomen as if I had done a rigorous workout. I managed to pull myself up off the floor while my coping mechanisms began to kick in. I began to shut out my feelings and all those deficits of emotional responses became my front-line defenders. I had totally shut down! I felt nothing but numb, comfortably numb as Pink Floyd sung about. “A distant ship smoke on the horizon, you are only coming through in waves…” Yes, that was me and for the rest of the day I moped about saying nothing. I couldn’t. There were no words. I could not think. I could not eat nor drink. I had just officially been emptied of any emotions whatsoever. The only thing I felt was NOTHING!

Last night, after binge watching Escape To The Chateau, I finally laid down. I remember telling God from inside my spirit, please don’t let me wake up, I want to come home. Please let me come home I can’t do this anymore, I have no more life left in me.

At two o’clock in the morning, I heard my name being called yet again. My first thought was, this is it, God is bringing me home. I opened my eyes only to be disappointed that I was still where I was when I fell asleep earlier. This time, Milo, my youngest son’s dog was laying on my lap starring at me. I kind of chuckled and said, “Milo was that you calling my name?” I could have sworn I saw his eyes roll back in his head as if he knew I was going to say something only a dork would say. But at that exact moment, I heard that voice again. His voice. I knew it was God, the Bible says “His sheep knows His voice.” He begin to put in my spirit these words:

“You have gone through a season of loss, more than most can handle. You don’t realize it yet, but you will rise up armed with strength that I am putting on and in you. What you have lost this season, I will replace with something new and better. Out of this you will also receive a new identity and purpose. You are going to experience many miracles which you know not. I have been with you when you passed through the waters and they did not sweep over you nor take you under. I have walked through the fire with you and you were not burned, the flames did not set you ablaze. I was there with you through your many losses, I spared your life on that mountain and I spared your life through illness and choking. I spared your life in that automobile accident. I was also with you in your most traumatic innocent years, and I was there when you were betrayed. I was there when your heart was broken from the one who was full of lustful desires for someone else yet wanted to make you feel as if it was your fault, I was there nothing is secret from me for I know every heart, and nothing is said or done that I do not hear and see.

This is the time for you to fight and not be complacent. You will overcome and possess the spoils of the enemy. Your faith is your fight! And over the past four years, I have been growing your faith, stretching you and bringing you into alignment with what I have in store for you. The line has been drawn and you will stand and fight and contend for the cause of Christ and you will see complete victory! Your enemies will take a back seat as I am already putting guilt and shame in their hearts. I will prepare a table before you in the presence of those who have wronged you. I have a time of supernatural harvest, joy and happiness, no more weeping with a fresh anointing coming upon you and those who serve me with their whole hearts and who do not allow sin to rule their lives. I am going to restore what Satan has taken from you just like I did for my servant Job. Those dreams you have been carrying in your heart, I put them there because I love you and when I restore I will add value you will not only experience restoration of what has been taken from you but I will add value to your recovery. Get ready for recovery and acceleration, for I am your God, your Creator and my love for you is like a hurricane. Rise up my daughter from your ashes and live.”

After this encounter with God last night, everything is changing within me. I feel the healing taking place and I smile even laugh out loud with joy and anticipation of what my Father is doing and is going to do. I love His voice in the dark and the ways He speaks to me. All glory and praise belong to you, my Lord, my God!

JH

Just Breathe

Somewhere down inside of me there is still a rock-n-roll fantasy and today, I am feeling a bit nostalgia as I load up on some Def Leppard tunes. I opened my eyes this morning from a few hours of sleep with “Hysteria” forcing my ears to want more. Naively, I claim to myself that today I will be strong but quickly realize I am a failure in that department, thus my little tale begins….

This year is finally coming to an end and I am more than happy to accept that reality. I thought 2020 was one for the books, but 2021 made it bow down to her unfavorable events. The first half of the year started off with a bang as I dared to brave and embrace change in the form of allowing my hair to do its own dance. The dance was embracing the silver lining that was taking over my dark hair. For several years I fought that gray beast and Miss Clairol and I became a thing. But, I woke up one morning and found myself determined to accept those wisdom highlights and it so happened that it made me feel ever so extremely wise and off to the beauty salon I went to have my long dark hair chopped off to shorten my metamorphosis. Today, I am still loyal to my decision. There have been moments I have been tempted to go back to my long lost friend (Miss Clairol) but I have learned something about myself, I am good at retraction!

In June, my unemployment benefits came to a halt and I finally found a job only to become very sick in August with double pneumonia that was accompanied with Covid. My body began to shut down and death was lurking around the corner. I battled blood clots, severe dehydration and a cough that wound up disturbing nerve endings in my throat. For the longest, I could not talk and my doctor told me that it would take months to heal from that. I was also gracefully informed that I had long haulers symptoms that would also take months to get over. Not quite the outcome I was hoping for but I did survive! During the early stages of covid, my life began to fall apart. I lost my job that I fought so hard to get especially at my age. I could not even afford the medication needed to survive the brute that interrupted my life. Before I knew what hit me, I was facing homelessness which became reality. I lost everything including my car I was living in. I lost my cats which ripped my heart out, but they are fine as they have a good home until I can get back on my feet. I lost all of my art supplies which kept me sane since 2020 and ended up with absolutely nothing including my will to live.

So many events one right after the other slapped me in the face as if they were lined up awaiting their crowning moment. When I thought it was safe to breathe along came another punch. I honestly felt I was losing my mind. I kept that ole question close, “how can this be happening to me”? I have worked hard all of my life, have a good education and now, nothing to show for it. It’s enough to make anyone consider that dreadful alternative to life and therefore I secretly began to entertain those thoughts of my exit from here. But somewhere, somehow, God intervened and because of His love and compassion, I live today.

Even though I am learning to rise from my pit of ashes, I still feel life slapping me around. Yesterday, I was knocked down on a whim of trying to find out what the love of my life was up to since he last told me to go to hell which was a little over three weeks ago. For 10 years we have history most of it behind a keyboard being that we have a great big pond and 4,000 miles between us, but along the way, I developed this uninhibited overflowing affection, a feeling of being enraptured and utterly in love, but I had to wield that love many times rather than unleash it which was what I longed for. Yesterday was no exception. After three weeks of break-up, I ventured over to his Facebook wall only to see his profile pic with another woman and his status updated to “in a relationship.” If you want to talk about a blow below the belt, there you have it! Many questions filled my mind and a need to breathe. Just breathe, Jane, breathe.

I found myself crawling through the darkest chambers of my mind fighting back tears that were bursting through my emotions. This slap in the face felt like finality and of course, it is final and with all the fire and love I had inside for my “forever” and my “happy ever after” I realized it was time to let go. Letting go is never easy for anyone especially when that someone crosses your mind every single day for an entire decade, a constant not to be reckoned with especially in my crazy, wild, somewhat untamed yet tamed messed up mind. So, in my quest to find somewhat of a bit of thread to cling too, songs began to pour into my soul. Musicians are notorious for this and I am no exception. Out of the blue, those lyrics began to roll off my lips, ” out of touch, out of reach, yeah you could try to get closer to me. I’m in luck, I’m in deep, yeah hypnotized, I’m shaking to my knees…” I shake myself out of that moment telling self, “what are you thinking you dork, get a grip and let it go!” For hours while begging to fall asleep, I found myself caught up in the early years of our relationship where love was brutal, beautiful, never-ending, always ending, the soul-mate that knew my every desire and I knew everything about him until finally, I slipped into slumber.

Upon awakening this morning, the song Hysteria by Def Leppard was in full force in my head and therefore I felt somewhat renewed. No tears soaking my face, no need to check on the new relationship status or the happy faces adorning the couple in the photos. I could breathe and I felt like having a rock-n-roll kind-of-day in honor of my now ex rock-n-roll fantasy which is what I called my love being that he was a drummer for an 80’s rock band for years. Yeah, my rock-in-roll fantasy… There is no rhyme nor reason as to why certain songs show up when they do but there is no doubt about it, I’ve always been a huge Def Leppard fan as I totally love their music and I get it! So in retrospect, I am letting my hair down and gearing up for new plans for the rest of my days on this planet. I do not know where I am going from here, but England is definitely marked off the list now and searching for a new love? No way! Not me! I cannot just toss 10 years of history to the wind and say, “here I am guys, back on the market.” For me, those days are over. But I will find a new adventure and will move forward with what little dignity I have left and I know in my heart God has something bigger and better and I smile and wish the ex and his new love the best. No, really I do. Life is fragile in so many aspects it includes, and all we need to do is just breathe…….if you find true love, fight tooth and nail for it and stay true and loyal giving it all you’ve got.

JH