Enjoy this devotional written by a FlourishWriter’s Student…
The door closed behind me with a resounding click. I was locked out. Reluctantly stepping into the stillness of the dark parking lot, I turned and glanced up at the faint light glowing from the apartment window. No movement. My son had insisted I leave.
I strode to my car, opened the door and collapsed into the seat. Hands clenching the steering wheel, I blankly stared ahead. Relaxing my grip, my shoulders slumped. All evidence of the bravery I had shown in the apartment evaporated. I felt exhausted. This battle had been waging for years.
Have you ever felt like this? Drained after fighting a situation that had unexpectedly worsened?
I mentally reviewed, moment by moment, what transpired between my son and I. In my mind, I was still there.
In a quiet voice, he shared news that jarred me to the core. Several weeks earlier, much to his surprise, he had found himself alive after taking a massive dose of medication. I struggled to make sense of his words.
He calmly explained that he knew without a doubt that it was God who had saved Him. My son knew with equal certainty there was a reason he was spared.
I thanked God for His love and His action that saved. I thanked the Lord for making His presence so alive to my son that he was no longer in the depths of depression.
Outwardly I remained calm. Below the surface, my emotions clashed. I was stunned. He had seemed to be doing so well. I experienced waves of recrimination. The refrain “a better mother would have known” played in my head.
After a short time, Tim firmly requested that I return home. I went through a mental checklist. He did seem at peace and not depressed. He was an adult. He did not seem to be at risk. Agreeing, I slowly left the apartment.
Descending the stairs in a fog, I struggled to process what had just happened. Have you ever experienced an event that made it hard to think straight?
I was truly thankful. I knew that it was through God’s grace alone, that my son was alive. Yet now, numbness permeated my mind and body. So, I sat in the car, embraced by the well-worn seat, staring straight ahead. I did not anticipate the hope I would receive in just a few minutes.
I pulled out into the deserted road. Alone. Driving the familiar route, I called out, tears streaming down my face.
LORD, how much longer? How much longer will my son have to suffer?
No sound except the strains of music from the radio. Darkness punctuated by glistening stars enveloped the car. This had been a long journey. I was worn and weary. Prayer, medication, psychiatrists’ appointments, counseling appointments, and more prayer had resulted in a pattern of a few steps forward followed by several steps back.
When would this happen again and with what outcome? I was afraid.
My ears picked up a strain of music that I heard daily on the radio.
“When the night is closing in, It’s falling on my skin. Oh God, will you come close?”
Exactly! I reached forward and cranked up the volume. “Light Up the Sky” by the Afters flooded the car. Perfect!
Just moments later, a familiar sound broke through the music. Glancing out the side window, over the expanse of fields, the sky exploded with light. Starbursts and brilliant colors showered down, accompanied by the unmistakable thud of fireworks.
I lowered the window. The cool late-night air billowed through the car. Enhancing the light show, the lyrics declared:
“Light, light, light up the sky. You light up the sky to show me that you are with me,”
A huge smile broke out across my face. The same face that was wet and salty with rivers of tears. I laughed and sobbed simultaneously, overcome by the goodness of God.
He saw I was afraid and discouraged. He knew I needed encouragement and He provided it extravagantly; beyond what I could imagine or request. His Presence flooded the car. He saw me, He was with me and He knew my needs. He sees you, He is with you and He knows your needs too.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)
The truth of that verse reverberated in my bones as never before. Although I had felt alone, I was not. God was with me. He always would be.
He knew what I was going through. I did not have to fear what would happen in the future. I did not have to be discouraged.
The God of the universe would lead me and never leave me. A sensation of peace filled me, displacing the loneliness, fear, and confusion.
Did this mark the end of our journey, with complete healing tied up with a bow? Far from it! God knew that there would be several more challenging years, with many struggles. But He also knew the end of the journey.
I remembered this experience in future struggles and called out more quickly. Are all of God’s answers as dramatic? No, but that night He knew my despair was deep, and He lit up the skies.
He knows what you are going through and what you need. God will reach you in a way that is unique to you. He won’t leave you – ever.
Is thinking about God new to you? He wants to be found. He is not hiding, just call out. He tells us:
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
You have nothing to lose. Just call out.
Along my journey, I began to really understand that God loves me. It was like a lightbulb snapped on in the dark changing everything. Problems did not disappear but I was able to live a richer, more peace-filled life than I had ever imagined. God wants the same for you.
After crisscrossing North America, I am enjoying living in Montgomery Alabama with my husband Dan. We have two grown sons living far afield. As you can imagine, I am very thankful for the technology that keeps us connected between visits! I love reading and visiting with friends. Oh yes and coffee. I wish we could visit over steaming cups of coffee right now.
You can find me at https://cathydonald.com/