Chapter One, Part Two

Anxiety was evident in her every breath. She didn’t know how to still her soul. She wasn’t even sure how to assimilate this verse. What could Jesus do for her just by her stillness? So many times she had gotten angry and she had acknowledged God. She knew deep down in her heart that Jesus was real but she wanted to push this information away. She wanted to pretend she had never heard it. He had allowed so much evil into her life and it seemed that He had never answered any of her pleadings for mercy. How could Jesus save her when she was so full of despair and anger? Bible verses started coming to her, one after another. They seemed to quiet her questions with answers. Didn’t He reach down and pull a fearful Peter from the Sea? Didn’t He help the doubting man save his son, who asked Jesus to help his unbelief? He took the hand of Thomas and placed it in His side then told him to stop doubting. He had mercy on the prostitute, Mary Magdalen and saved her from being stoned. There was even the prostitute, Rahab in his family line.

Perhaps Jesus was the answer to her doubtful and condemned heart. More questions started to arise from her soul. But they seemed to reverse her doubt. Her thoughts spoke compassion to her. Am I not as important to Him as those before me? The words of a legalistic pastor who preached, “Faith without doubt or you’ll get nothing from the Lord?” seemed to become obsolete in light of this revelation. The Bible was not a set of rules, but a book of stories of God’s mercy and compassion for His people, no matter how small or weak or insignificant. She felt very insignificant at the moment. There was no child to care for who would make her want to live. There were no siblings nor were there any parents who loved her enough to stand by her side. Her mother was dead and her father had disowned her. It would not matter if she ceased to exist. It would not affect anyone else’s life if she ended hers. Her thoughts were pulled back to God and more questions arose from the conflict within her soul.

How could God require faith in such a frail moment of life? Was it possible that He saves because of His compassion, and not because of our perfect ability to believe Him? Jesus was the only person who ever lived with perfect faith. The Psalms were full of verses that said to cry out to Him and He would answer. Was this enough of an act of faith to move His heart in her direction? She did believe, but the doubts seemed to cloud her faith and block her view of God’s answer. She didn’t know what to do with all of this emotion. There were so many questions and so few answers. She was now worried that her doubt would keep God from acknowledging what little faith existed in her being.

“What brought you here?” she heard from the depths of her heart.

Thoughts came to her mind, “People, events, and circumstances are why I am like this.”

“Is Jesus not enough?” Again she felt the comfort of words spoken directly to her heart. It felt like her own voice speaking within her, but soft and caring. This was not something she was used to. She wasn’t used to anyone, even herself, caring about her.

She began to piece together those words. The message was clearer than her own thoughts, so she knew they weren’t her own. Jesus died for the sins of the world. That covered her sins, the sins committed against her, and the events that stood in the way of her living life again. She didn’t need anyone else to help her. Everything that Jesus did during His life was enough to cover all of humanity. Seeking Jesus was the way out of her pain and misery. He wanted to be the Father she didn’t have. He wanted to guide her when she was lost.

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John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Chapter One, Part One

The room seemed almost as dark as her soul. The only light visible was a small light, plugged into the outlet, under the wooden night stand. Her sheets were worn and her blanket was hanging halfway off of the end of her bed. She sat crumpled on the rug next to a pile of dirty laundry, with her forehead leaning against the side of her bed. Despair was her drink and she was gulping it down.

The darkness was so thick that it seemed to seep from her spirit. Feelings of dread had settled on her entire being and she no longer had the strength to fight them. She could no longer find any good in the world. The rejection she had experienced in both church and the world was too much for her to endure any longer. She cried but found no relief. She wept bitterly over her loneliness. With nowhere to turn, she reached for the safe under her bed. In her confused mind, it contained the solution to her problems. She was so desperate for peace. Nothing would silence the accusations of the enemy of her soul like death, or so she thought. But would she be able to pull the trigger?

She stopped for a moment. Tears streamed down her face and her mascara burned her eyes. She rubbed her hand across her face, but only managed to smear it more. With blurred vision, she glanced down at her phone and clicked on the Bible icon. She felt a tug in her heart, distracting her from her current misery.  The voices outside were louder and tried to pull her in different directions. She was torn.

“Why keep trying?” Resounded against her skull so loud that it echoed in the room. “Hope in God is futile! It is a waste of time.”

“Her heart shouted back ‘NO!'” and she threw off the negative thoughts like a blanket that was suffocating her. They came back like a strong wind, unwilling to give up the ground.

Storms were eminent in this life, but were her storms visible to God? Weren’t her storms exaggerated far beyond what one person’s soul could bear? Did He even care about her struggles? Did He know how desperately lonely she was or how she just wanted someone to love her? She had become so weary of this God fabricated by human minds and hearts that seemed to merely represent judgment and condemnation for her sins.

Where was the real God of the Bible, who parted the Red Sea before His unbelieving people? She had been searching for the mighty God who brought down the walls of Jericho. She needed the faithful God of Elijah, who sent a chariot to get him at the end of his life. She needed a wise God who was able to detect her tiny faith in the middle of a great sea of doubt. She needed the compassion of a God who forgave her for her sins. No one could help her except for the Son of God who had enough compassion for her that He died in her place so that she could be forgiven. Where was He? Was He still real? Was He ever real? How could she know He was listening to her?

She looked down at the verse. The simplicity of it shook her to the core. It read, “Be still and know that I am God.”