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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)

By Adetokunbo Oluwasanjo


It was in her eyes. You know, that look of surprise. Franca had just found enough, just enough courage to seek the help she so desperately needed. She’d started hearing voices and believed she’d begun to lose her mind. Her picture-perfect wall was crumbling and she knew if she didn’t seek help, it was a matter of time.

She was tired of donning her Sunday’s best which included the right clothes, attitudes and graces, when inside, she was falling apart.

Feeling a funny mix of guilt, vulnerability and disappointment, she decided against bottling it all up inside.

She’d begun to feel like a shaken can of soda that was waiting to explode.

“Eeh…I’ll pray with you and schedule a meeting with a counselor for you. But remember you’ve just got to fight!”

So Sister Franca was losing her mind.

“She’d better be strong in the Lord!”

“Oh, she should know, ‘It is well.’”

“She needs to have faith!”

“Isn’t she a believer?”

And though it remained unspoken, the “Hmph!” was louder than a scream and more palpable than an orange-sized lump.
Somewhere inside, she felt like a failure, ashamed.

She wasn’t a young Christian; in fact she often led the women’s meetings and never missed the monthly bible study.

She served as an usher and always had a brilliant smile and a warm handshake to give. She had also mentored a number of young women and was in the prayer band.

So what happened to Sister Franca?

Was it….
Loneliness?….She was a single parent.
Weariness?….She worked three jobs.
Frustration?….She had a pain disorder that she had to keep taking steroids for.
Grief?…..She lost her twelve year old daughter six months ago.
Insecurity?…..Sometimes, she felt that no one really cared.

Somehow, it seemed there was no place for her to lay it down.
Those feelings were for the unsaved and young believers, right?
What would the young women that looked up to her say?
What would the ones she had encouraged think?
What would the people she had shared the message of salvation with wonder?
Wasn’t she supposed to be on fire for the Lord?
Always shouting “Amen!”, “Halleluyah!”, “Glory to God!” and “Preach it!”?
Doesn’t it sometimes seem that our ministry is to the strong? And don’t they seem to be the ones God is proudest of?

Like a track event or a soccer game, it’s all about being in the lead and winning. There’s encouragement and cheering for the ones who stand strong no matter how fierce the storm……and a silent contempt for the ones who struggle and can’t walk by ‘faith’.

Would someone hold her hand and tell her it’s all right to fall apart sometimes?

When it seems weak for a Christian to admit she can’t go on, what will Jesus say?

“….And remember that I am always with you….” MATTHEW 28:20 GW

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.

…..He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted..... ISAIAH 61:1 MKJV.

For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities…… HEBREWS 4:15 MKJV

…..I have loved you with an everlasting love….JEREMIAH 31:3 MKJV

Do you know a Sister Franca…or are you one yourself?

If I could share a word with you, Sister Franca; if we could sit and talk a while, I’ll tell you, what I’ve learnt and the truth I now know.

Jesus is not ashamed of you. He wants you to be strong; but when you are weak, He won’t let you fall. He will run to hold and embrace you, and He will strengthen your feeble knees. For His ministry is not to the strong, but to the weak; no matter who they are.

Sometimes it’s hard to mend when you’re broken, but never forget what He longs for you to know….. …nothing….ABSOLUTELY NOTHING …..can separate you from His Love.

And you know in this race, when you fall; He’s cheering the loudest so you can get back up….to keep running.

…..My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness……................2 CORINTHIANS 12:9 KJV.

You have not made the weak strong, nor have you healed the sick, nor have you bound up the broken. …….. EZEKIEL 34:4.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/11/10
Words I needed to hear today, feeling a bit beat up myself lately. Thank you for your timely message.