I remember hearing dry grass crunch beneath my feet. How long had it been since I'd heard my own footsteps? It's a sound too many of us take for granted. Maybe, the sound of stress wrapping its cold fist around our hearts, forcing us to detour away from the life we were meant to live, simply drowns them out. Whatever the answer might be, at that moment, they sounded heavenly.
After the discovery of my footsteps came the realization that the cemetery I was standing in was everything my life was not; peaceful, serene, calm... the list could go on and on. I had stopped by to pay my friend a visit and somehow found myself on a mini vacation.
The bill collectors, married boyfriend, angry ex, judging strangers, empty cupboards and my own worries about the life I was modeling for my five-year-old daughter were, for now, distant memories.
My life, quite simply, was a mess. But, in that cemetery, staring out at a small lake filled with pink sunset light, everything had just stopped.
I'm not sure how much time passed as I stood, frozen at my friend's tiny memorial. Inside my head a flood had been unleashed. Suddenly, all the challenges I had been juggling seemed to fuse together, threatening to crush me beneath their weight. I no longer wanted to go back to my life. Why couldn't I just stay and be at peace in that beautiful cemetery?
This seemingly innocent thought was a snowball rolling swiftly down the mountain of self pity. I was painfully jealous of my friend. What did he have to worry about? Why couldn't I share in his peace?
There were no voices from above to pull me away from these tempting thoughts. No mystical beings surrounded me with love. There was only relief drawing me toward eternal slumber. I didn't have to keep dragging myself through life. I could just leave.
I closed my eyes and imagined how good it would feel to let go. How easy it would be to.....
Before this thought could take hold, a cool breeze kissed my cheek, drying tears that had, until that moment, fallen unnoticed. A crane lifted itself from its spot beside the lake, startling me and saving me from myself.
The light reflecting off the lake was now a dim purple. Orange and brown autumn leaves covered the ground like a blanket. The crane that had startled me just moments before had now found a friend and the two seemed to dance as they flew. It was a sight too beautiful to express with mere words.
I pulled my attention from the beautiful work of art in front of me and glanced back down toward my friend. I found myself wondering if he could feel the wind on his cheek? Did sunlight dance on the lake for him?
The enormity of what I had been contemplating chilled me to the bone. I left that cemetery as fast as my legs would carry me. My daughter's face was all that I could see. What would it do to her to lose her mother in such a selfish manner? So, I was tired?! Big deal! It was time to show her that life could be more than feeling trapped by your mistakes and wallowing in self pity.
Four years later, I look back on that day and can't help but feel ashamed. Every one of the difficulties I had allowed myself to become trapped by were solved by spending an hour in my Pastor's office and a steady build up of self-esteem by finding the faith in God I had somehow misplaced. I was almost prepared to end my own life over problems that were created simply by my point of view.
So many books are written to teach you how to "find God". They use metaphor after metaphor in an attempt to simplify the explanation. I'd like to give you the simplest explanation of all... He's with you. Right now. You don't even have to turn around. There has never been a time when he hasn't been with you.
We get caught up in living our lives and it becomes more difficult to feel his presence but, he's always there. The hardest thing to explain to someone who is searching is how simple God's love really is. We make it complicated.
Close yourself in a quiet room for a few minutes. Go for a walk on the beach and let the sound of crashing waves replace the thoughts in your head. That's all it takes. The answer is literally right in front of you and it comes without strings.
There are no magic words when it comes to faith. The only way we can truly experience this relationship is by opening our hearts and looking inside ourselves. This journey is personal. No-one can walk it for you.
Jesus has proven his existence to me time and time again. Because I trusted him and followed his voice in my heart, I have found my happiness. I see him every day; in my daughter's smile, my new step-daughter's silly dances, my husband's loving eyes and in the picture God has painted right outside my door.
No matter what life has thrown at you... Whatever you have done wrong... He's there waiting and his arms are open. Fall into them and allow him to take over. I have no doubt that he will take your problems and turn them into amazing opportunities. All it takes is trust and prayer.
I absolutely love when the Lord allows us to turn our mistakes into something that gives Him glory. What a great God we serve. "The joy of the Lord is our strength." A hearty welcome to Faithwriters Tammy. Thank you for blessing us with your beautiful writing. The Lord Bless You.
A very heartfelt and touching account of a walk from wanting to die to finding the will to live.
God's light is there no matter what we are going through in our lives.
This story can reach many encourage those who are truly feeling like giving up on life.
Good job! Keep on writing for Him!