I Am So Glad I Stayed
This week I have been stressed and quixotically overwhelmed with life. I had a stress attack that forced me to take the stronger medicine to calm down. My sleep has been broken. I felt out of control and out of touch with the CEO. I felt cast adrift and moving through darkness without hope. I couldn’t figure out what had triggered all these wild emotions. As I sat on the side of the bed this morning, the CEO brought to my remembrance October 2016.
I was in Oklahoma City planning my suicide. I was in a hotel room thinking the things people think when life seems more than they can bear. I built up reasons why I wouldn’t be missed, why people didn’t need me, and why my life wasn’t worth living and never would be. In the midst I had the first meeting with the CEO. He spoke to me and challenged me to stick it out with him through the night and he would bring me through. There is something about the name of Jesus.
Something in that moment reached beyond my wants and saw my needs and touched me at the point of my deepest hurt and pain. At 1:30am in the morning, as I slept, there came a calamitous pinging on the third-floor windows facing nothing but air. The sound was frightening, and I covered my head. The pinging resounded even louder. I gathered enough curiosity to peep through the curtains. There was a massive hailstorm where the sun had shined brightly the day before. I could see nothing but the hail hitting the window. I jumped back into bed and covered my head and fell back asleep as a means of self-protection. If I was going to die, I wanted to sleep my way through it.
I awoke the next morning and Joel Osteen was on the television preaching you will make it through the darkness. The CEO talked me through going home and continued to shed the light that I would make it. This is not to say there was a miraculous turn of events that everything was rosy, and all the problems hurts, and disappointments went away. Actually, things worsened before they got better. God allowed the buffeting, wars, struggles and defeats to bring His and my relationship closer. He told me in 2016 to be still and learn that he was God. From all these struggles he wanted me to know he loves me and cares for me and nothing will separate me from the love he has for me. In God I am enough, I am loved, and he is my savior and protector.
So, this week has been my subconscious replaying some old tapes. The current pressures and challenges I have been living through forced me to attempt to reach back into the past to use what won’t work to carry me through what I need today. God can still be found at the Ole Rugged Cross and his blood has not lost its power. With tears streaming down my face I have so much gratitude for his mercy and grace.
My life is full. I have seen and done somethings that could only come through the middle passage of my journey. Chains have been broken. I am learning to love and be loved. I am learning I can be imperfect, and everyone won’t hate me and leave me. I am learning to ask for what I need, give what I can and preserve what I can’t. I have learned the power of No, period. I have reached out in faith and been reached out to. I have helped and been helped. I have laugh and cried with others and others have come and done the same with me. All this because one lonely night I heard the voice of a loving God that asked me to stay with him just a little while longer.
As I turned my face to the CEO this morning and he showed me life since October 2016, I saw change and growth and joy and happiness that only could have been mine because I stayed. Choosing to live was the hardest thing I had ever done and the best thing I have ever done. In closing I hear my mother asking me, “Aren’t you glad you stayed?” Yes, I am so glad I stayed. To those who are struggling with the question, will you stay, will you live, will you trust God one last time…stay.