Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 5: Believing God

There's a big fat elephant in the room, y'all. And I can't write another word on this blog site without talking about it. As a matter of fact, I'm breaking into the planned sequence of my blogs to discuss this. If you know me, you know I don't like changing my plans. But I can feel an urgency in my spirit. This has got to be said. And it's got to be said right now.

You guys have seen elephants in the room, right? You know -- the thing that everybody sees, but refuses to acknowledge. The thing that stomps its humongous feet right into the middle of a room, then plops its gargantuan rear end right on the floor. It might roll its trunk out into your lap or swat you with its mega-sized ear. It might even poke you with its ivory tusk or practically burst your ear drums with a trumpet call.

Now you'd think we human beings sitting around this elephant would do something about this situation. You'd think someone would point at the elephant, scream and call 911. But instead we sit around the elephant, conversing, having a good time, drinking chai and lattes together. No one wants to talk about the elephant. No one wants to recognize its existence. Well, I say enough is enough.

The elephant I'm talking about isn't sin, although sin is quite rampant in our society and our churches. I'm talking about Christians giving up on life and giving up on God. It's all around us. Think about all the people you know that have checked out on church, their families and everything that they were living for just a year ago. If you don't have anyone in your life like this, let me give you a few examples.

* The pastor and pastor's wife that live in the same household, but, practically speaking, ended their marriage years ago

* The young woman who has taken medication, gone to Christian treatment centers, had much counseling, and still struggles to live a healthy Christian life

* The friend whose disappointments in life and confusion over God's will and direction have her at the crossroads of walking away from God altogether

* The family member that called to say he was ending his life -- today*

And the list goes on and on.

Tears are flowing from my eyes right now as I ponder each of these situations. Everything in me wants to do something, but I don't know what to do. All I know to do is pray for these folks. And pray I have. But we've got to become a collective force as the Body of Christ. We've got to intercede for the hurting folks in our lives. We've got to call them, visit them, love them with everything in our being.

And we've got to get real ourselves. We've got to tell our stories. We've got to share our disillusionment, our failings, our imperfections. We've got to share when we too have considered giving up -- on ourselves, on our loved ones, on God.

I've been there myself. After suffering two miscarriages and an adoption loss, I didn't think God could possibly love me. As a matter of fact, I remember asking Anthony, "Why does God hate me?" It seems unthinkable now, because my heart is completely settled on His love for me no matter what comes into my life. But I couldn't see that then.

And I've considered suicide. A year into my marriage, I suffered a clinical depression so deep that for weeks I was plagued with thoughts of taking my own life. I didn't want to live. I couldn't see anything worth living for. The enemy had twisted my mind so far backwards that I couldn't see the multitude of blessings right in front of my face.

After both of these periods of my life, I went through Christian counseling. I shared my story with friends that I knew were praying for me. My husband, probably wondering where the strong Christian woman he'd married had gone, supported and prayed for me. But late in the midnight hour, I was on my own. It was me and God. And it really boiled down to this: would I trust my own head or would I trust God's heart? In other words, would I trust my own thoughts and feelings or would I trust God and His Word?

I decided to trust Him.

I chose to trust in His Word. I chose to believe Romans 8:35-39:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I hope you 're trusting Him too. And let's pray that our brothers and sisters around us will too.

Purposed For Him,

* An update on the family member mentioned above; he's alive and well, but still in need of much prayer and healing.


  1. Carla, this post gave me chills. You are so right, so accurate in our need to stop putting on our happy little faces, to be real in our struggles and to walk alongside those who are struggling better.

    Thank you for sharing your story, for holding on when you wanted to let go, and for pressing in to God's holy arms.

  2. This is why I liked you immediately! Authenticity.

    I'm fond of pointing out the elephant. It makes me crazy to watch folks dance around obvious hurts, troubles, etc. Let's be honest, like you said. It doesn't do the witness of our faith any good to pretend we don't have issues. In fact, it is the very fact that we have issues--but have been forgiven and given grace and mercy--that is our true witness.

    Good job, Carla! Thanks for your honesty.

  3. Oh Carla, thank you for sharing your heart. I hear ya! I'm so sorry to hear about your family member. I will be praying. The Spirit of God can be felt through this.

    I'm also so blown away by how the Spirit is unifying us as writers. All morning I've felt pressed to write about "Believing God" for tomorrows post. When I saw your title, It made me smile at God's steady hand moving on the hearts of His children.

    Thanks again for sharing so honestly.

  4. Couldn't have said it any better--thanks for bein' real!

  5. My cousin in San Diego (male, 50 yrs old, father of 3) took his own life in March of this year, and my husband's father took his own life 20+ years ago. So many regrets on the part of survivor family members! My husband is one of the elephant watchers (or ignorers) who doesn't like to discuss problems much, but I like to talk it out. So, since he's not a "talker" I have decided to talk everything out with my 24/7 best friend, Jesus, and ask that His Holy Spirit taps into my heart and mind for ways to get out of ruts or problem... but for people that ignore the baby elephant until it's huge... and worst, for those who don't think of discussing things with God in times of desperation? Intercession. Praise God that your relative's warning has been made public and all of us who have read your post (or you have talked to) can join you in prayer. May your relative, like you at that low point in your life, stay away from all of those lies and twisted mind-games of the enemy and look toward the light of our creator for clarity.

  6. The most difficult and most powerful part of healing is facing the truth - Thanks for the powerful reminder that nothing is too difficult for God!

  7. "would I trust my own head or would I trust God's heart?"...WOW! this is so powerful Carla! I am glad you took this turn and listened to the Holy Spirit!

  8. Thank all of you for your comments. It is such confirmation that the moving in my spirit was indeed the Spirit of God. I believed this had to be shared. So glad I did. And thank you all for sharing in the story with me. We can be change-agents when we're united. Love you, my Sisters.