Losing the Glimmer

In my deepest depression, I thought often how much easier it would be if I was dead. The unbearable pain never seemed to let up. But I didn’t consider suicide. Instead I slept. If I didn’t have to be anywhere in the morning, I slept until 11:00, getting twelve or thirteen hours of sleep. I’d nap if I got the chance, even after a long night’s sleep. Sleep was my escape.

Each night before I went to sleep, I held onto a glimmer of hope that when I awoke, everything would be better. It was a tiny glimmer, but a glimmer nonetheless.

As surely as one can move mountains with faith the size of a mustard seed, one can stay alive with the tiniest glimmer of hope. Because hope is a powerful commodity. Just as a nanogram of a deadly toxin holds the power to kill, a glimmer of hope has the power to give life.

So I held onto my glimmer of hope with all I had. Until one day when I awoke and the glimmer was gone. Hopelessness threatened to strangle me. That was the day I planned my demise, my exit from this cruel world, in a most calculating way. My plan involved mentally counting all the pills I had in the medicine cabinet.

Truth be told, hope remained in that dark place even though I couldn’t see it and felt certain it no longer existed. Hope didn’t depend on me. It came from a place greater than I and it kept me alive even when I desired more than anything else to leave this life of pain and suffering behind.

Hope found me, held me tight, and kept me alive.

If you are in that dark place of deep despair and depression, feeling all hope has been snuffed out, cling to the truth that hope never dies. Hope never lies and never lets go.

If you have a friend or loved one who is struggling with depression, realize you might be the hope they need. They might need you to find them, hold them tight, and keep them alive, until they can see the glimmer of hope they need to hold onto themselves.

Posted in Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

God Has a Way

Way back in 2011, I posted on poem on this blog titled “The Way, the Truth, and the Life,” inspired by John 14:6, my favorite Bible verse. Like much of what I’ve written here, I didn’t think a lot about it after I’d posted it.

Then this past January, a young man named Douglas Byler contacted me through my author page on Facebook with a request. He wanted permission to use the words to my poem as the lyrics for a piece of choir music he had been commissioned to compose. I granted permission, on condition that he give me credit for the lyrics, and them promptly forgot all about it as I went about my busy life.

In early March, I received an email from Douglas with a draft of the sheet music, a .wav file of the music, and a contract setting out how the commission for the piece would be split!

In April, I finally heard the song, which Douglas titled “You Are the Way,” sung by the Elnora Bible Institute choir. I could not believe my ears! It is so incredibly beautiful, even with little babies fussing in the audience. And I had to chuckle at the choir director’s introduction explaining how the song came about with Douglas finding the lyrics on my blog, especially when he quipped, “So, there are good things on the internet.”

I am delighted to now have available a link to a better recording of the song on SoundCloud to share with you all. You can listen to it here.

Awe and delight best describe how I feel about what God has done with my simple poetic offering on this blog. I look forward to seeing what else He has in store. Already, Douglas has expressed an interest in setting more of my poems to music that will bless many. To God be the glory.

If you are interested in obtaining copies of the sheet music for “You Are the Way” for your choir, contact me on my Facebook page and I can put you in touch with Douglas to make arrangements.

Posted in Music, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Praise Like a Psalm

The other morning, I read Psalm 148 at the beginning of my prayer time. As I began to pray, this poem of praise was inspired.

Praise the Lord!

Praise Him, red dirt road
iris beginning to bloom
Praise Him, purple bearded
iris with buds galore
Praise Him, bleeding hearts
for your beauty
Praise Him, lovely lavender
with scent so soothing
Praise the Lord, lilac blooms
your aroma wafting on the breeze
Praise Him, giant dogwood tree
filling the sky with pink blossoms
Praise Him, ancient rose bushes
lining the road with your elegance

Praise the Lord, bees and hummingbirds
for life-sustaining nectar
Praise Him, O butterfly
you have a second life

Praise Him, seedum succulents
carpeting the ground
Praise Him, bright azalea
with blooms never failing
Praise Him, lantana for
color-changing beauty
Praise Him, maple tree
praise Him, plum
Praise Him, mighty fir
still standing in the storm

Praise the Lord!

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My English Garden

Is it really a walk if the farthest you get is your own backyard? I say yes, yes it is. And a beautiful walk indeed when lavender and candytuft, bleeding hearts and lilac trees, are in bloom, iris are promising color soon.

Besides, my little dog doesn’t like to go out to the yard alone so we stroll together across the deck, down the stairs, and onto the patio. I step gingerly into the grass to check out the blooms around the grassy area. I survey each plot of dirt, plucking “little damn-its” wherever they have sprung up since my last trip around the yard. Then I make my way up the winding paver pathway to the other set of stairs, plucking the feverfew daisies popping up between the stones. I love their tiny white flowers, but since my pup is allergic, and I love him more, I pluck each sprout resulting from the many seeds I sowed last year.

I hear a scratch at the back door. My indoor-loving cutie is ready to go in. I saunter up the short stairs to where he stands, impatiently waiting for me to open the door. The walk is over.

A spring ramble through
my lovely English garden
delivers God’s peace

_________________________________

My Haibun for dVerse Poets Pub today. Head on over and see what other walks dVerse poets have taken us on today.

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Abide in His Light

This is my second poem inspired by a one-minute devotion from Charles H. Spurgeon’s Faith’s CheckbookMar 10–Walk in Light.

The Bible verse Spurgeon began with is John 12:46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”

My favorite quote from this devotion is, “A cloud may sometimes hover over us, but we shall not abide in darkness if we believe in Jesus.”

The word contained in both quotes that resonated with me is abide, which means to remain, continue, stay, dwell, or reside. As I pondered what it means to remain or dwell in Jesus even as we reside in a world filled with darkness, I came up with this poem.

Abide in His Light 

I see a darkness abides
across the land
born of sin in a broken world
where innocence died
selfishness allowed to putrefy
into chaos

Though darkness will come
This He has warned us
Though darkness will come
Abide in the Light

Abide in the Light
to obliterate the darkness

It seems a darkness abides
deep in my soul
born of pain inflicted
innocence stolen
anger allowed to fester
into bitterness

There’s a darkness within me
This He has shown my wounded soul
There’s a darkness within me
I must abide in the Light

Abide in the Light
to extinguish the darkness within

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Gathering Treasure

Once upon a time
I gathered grievances like treasure
stored in my heart pain without measure
I held tight
to my rights

I learned in time
to gather forgiveness instead
like leftover pieces of miracle bread
when the 5,000 were fed

True treasure beyond measure

______________________________

For the Quadrille Monday prompt at dVerse Poets Pub today, Lillian wants to gather our 44 words into a poem. And the lovely thing about a Quadrille is that it’s easy to find just the right 44 words to get it done.

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Nina, Tiny but Mighty

Between Good Friday and Easter of this year, a sweet young woman from my church, the daughter of a dear friend, went home to be with Jesus. She fought a week-long battle with complications from the flu that infected her heart. And yet her heart shines brightly even still.

Last week at a celebration of her life, hundreds of people packed the auditorium of her high school. It was literally standing room only, with close to 25 people in each of the entryways.

Nina loved and was loved. She loved because she knew that she was loved by Jesus. She would have loved how clearly the Gospel was preached in remembrance of her.

I wrote this poem for her parents, who said it was okay to post it here.

NINA

Nina, with her heart of gold
will be forever missed
Stories of her grace be told
her love will ever persist

Immanuel has called her home
before we were all through
Watching as this earth she roamed
her dreams to still come true

Never will she be forgot
her memory kept alive
All the music that she brought
will continue and thrive

Although she is no longer here
and tears our eyes now stain
We know the Lord holds her near
so we’ll see her once again

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