Love fights the negative voices (part 3)

by Craig on February 17, 2011

1 cor 13, love thoughts, love verse, corinthians love, love verses, faith love, love believeWhen I last left you my emotions were being cracked open and beaten like a Sunday morning egg.

Yeah

Kinda like that  

In part 2 the voice was winning.

“You are going to fail!”

And the only way to fend off this voice

would be to guarantee success.

Nobody can guarantee success.

Can they?

The short answer is

yes.

I promise to get you to that yes. The answer is that Love can guarantee success. It really can. But to get to the “yes” I have to first take you back – to one of the darkest moments of my life.

Thursday, May 7, 1998

The short story was that I had graduated Seminary, was given tons of light by Our Lord, and had not lived in that light, but shadows instead – not darkness – but shadows.

I was never one for darkness. Even before Our Lord took over my life I never plunged headlong into the seedier side of life, drugs, alcohol, and even my sexual virtue for a non Christian male wasn’t so bad.

I’ve never shared this with anyone.

I had encountered disaster and was facing the abyss. The words are from my journal.

I have been back in the hotel room for about an hour now.  Holding the swell of tears until I returned to the room. When I got there they escaped.

Short of breath,

the tears just escaped.

I entered the room with them streaming down each cheek.

Boy do I understand how sometimes, suicide can be tempting.  There is no way I would take my life but I told God that I was ready to go – a fatal car accident, a fatal (but please quick and painless) disease, a comet striking the planet.

I would be free of this and alive with God, my mom and in peace with no more messing up.  Suicide, no.  But death?  It seems inviting.

I’m empty now. Resigned.  Most of what has been secret will now be lain bare.  At home, it is going to be embarrassing – they will all still love me but I am now going to wear openly and admittedly the label “Failure” – and it won’t be taken off any time soon

At church, the place my “out of the box” faith has never fit well with the Southern Baptist box – well I’ll fit less well now.

I have disqualified myself from my dream – to be a leader of a church, a pastor.  I have been a very poor steward of money, lacked discernment and wisdom, lied, wandered.

I will ask anyone I can for a job.  I use the word “job” for a specific reason.  It is because the career, the vocation, the calling is now officially on very, very long-term hold – if not utter extinction.

There will be no bride, no dating – I have absolutely nothing to offer and I will not lie about it.

I am still hoping against hope that something will succeed, having already failed so much, so often, so completely!

The prayer still remains, and will until the bitter and cruel end, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will, but yours be done.”

Of course I have been tempted to “curse God and die”. Not too long ago I heard it loud and clear. But I say now as I did then, “I WILL NOT”.  The one bright spot is that being brought to the brink, I have not let go.

No bargaining.  No blaming.

And as I lay here typing, the tears streaming from the eyes and quietly rolling down the cheek, into the ear, and dropping like a waterfall onto the pillow,  I say out loud, “Yes, I’ve done good, I’ve affected many, I prevented suicides, yes more than one. I was there to reset my mother’s path toward heaven so that she is alive right now and with God.  I may have done some good things.

But

I

Am

Nothing!

People around me seem to benefit from me being there, but I don’t have the same effect on myself. And no one has had that effect on me.

*

Now you know a little more why “You are going to fail” is such a tough opponent.

The answer to how this voice is defeated is actually mentioned in my journal from that day.

But it’s easy to skip over.

Funny, how I knew this answer all those years ago – yet didn’t.

Tomorrow I promise to spell it out.

Light is stronger than darkness.

Love fights the negative voices

and love wins.

In God’s love

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie February 17, 2011 at 2:34 am

Well . . .I wish I wasn’t the first one here, for one thing. What if I fail to say the right thing? Is there a right thing to say? Maybe not . . .but to pray? Yes. Always.
I don’t know exactly what happened. I imagine it was hard enough to share this. As someone who attempted suicide twice before knowing Him and then getting pushed to a point of wanting to die but knowing it wasn’t His will for me to . . .I understand to the extent that I can how that feels. How feeling like I had messed up so badly that I just didn’t want to keep messing up, keep failing any more. It looked like that was all I was here for . . .to fail and mess up. I’m so glad that I just hung on to Him through those really dark days. So glad you did too. Is it getting better for you? You didn’t leave us at exactly a comfortable place yet in knowing.
Sorry . . .this is too long. Why can I keep my posts so short but not my comments? God bless you as He sings over you with delight today. :)

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Craig February 17, 2011 at 8:46 am

Deb – in a word – YES. The period between then and now was the darkest period of my life. But YES things are very different now. The voices still need battling – but I needed to be crushed to be made usable. Ia am thankful for that darkness. Wish I hadn’t needed it or created it – but YES – much better now.

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Michelle February 17, 2011 at 5:18 am

‘I am nothing.’ True, and because we are nothing, God is everything.

That’s something the Lord showed me recently, ‘I am nothing, I have nothing, but all that I am is His!’

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Craig February 17, 2011 at 8:47 am

Amen Michelle – we are nothing to the universe – a speak on a dot – but everything to Him. Amen. God Bless. and thank you

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suzy February 17, 2011 at 11:59 am

A really courageous post. I think a lot of people will relate to the feelings you describe here at least once in their life. By sharing these experiences, and the insight God has given you through them, you reach out with God’s love and hope and that is an amazing thing.
Thank you for leaving such a nice comment over at my blog.
God Bless

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Craig February 17, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Suzy. writing wasn’t so brave – but believe me I really hesitated pushing the “publish” button. Thank you for your kind words – they mean a lot. God Bless.

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JennaFarelyn February 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm

bravery, courage, vivid descriptive storytelling, raw emotion, brutal honesty. The crushing. Letting your readers in and sharing the feeling of being crushed. Wow. Something many of us can identify with. Your willingness to hit publish in obedience, through trepidation, will be used to inspire courage in others. Thank you for sharing your heart.

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Craig February 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I still almost want to take it back. But thank you Jen. thank you.

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Debra February 17, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Craig, I’ll echo the words that Henri Nouwen once wrote to a close friend. “All I want to say to you is, ‘You are the Beloved,’ and all I hope is that you can hear these words as spoken to you with all the tenderness and force that love can hold. My only desire is to make these words reverberate in every corner of your being – ‘You are the Beloved.’ “
Appreciate the image of those Sunday morning eggs – perfect analogy for emotions cracked, beaten, and scrambled all around:)

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Anonymuss February 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I am so grateful God was with you in all this, Craig, because dark places can be very, very painful for any number of reasons, and it sounds like yours was.

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Craig February 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm

and A. it was darker. This is the edited version. God is good – and not in that trite way – he really is GOOD.

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Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home February 23, 2011 at 5:51 am

What to say? You have just described my life in the last 3 weeks. and it hasn’t been the first time. I am almost dumbfounded that you are writing on this topic and I just stumbled on another blog where the person related the same thing. So I know God is with me in this. Sorta glad I am so late to comment here, fewer will read it.
I have a tough time seeing others benefitting from me being here, it is a lie too easy to believe, far easier to believe the negative than to “see” the positive.

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Craig February 23, 2011 at 8:23 am

First of all – and I’ve said this before – having you comment in this space is special to me – you’ve been here since day one – you were here when I almost shut down in the very first week – you have been here throughout. The words you write are some of the best I read. And your comments here have all been joys to me. And I just prayed for your negative voices – I want them as gone from you as I want them from me!

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