DISCLAIMER: THERE ARE STILL FINAL EDITS AND DESIGN ELEMENTS THAT NEED TO BE DONE WITH THIS CHAPTER. IT IS NOT A COMPLETE, FINISHED DRAFT. Other than that, ENJOY. :--)
“I’d throw myself on the mercy of God. After all, he’s famous for great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to his surprises.” Job 5:9 MSG
Laughter in the street below fluttered into the heightened loft windows and faded into a distant murmur as it reached my ears. As the sun lowered in the sky, it was clear that the downtown party had just begun. The clinking of beer bottles, the yelling of pre-drunk maniacs, the sound of jewelry jingling, and the hammering of heels on the pavement echoed in all directions.
Next to me, a lighter flickered. I watched as a flame began to rise beneath a glass pipe that held my escape. The turn was soon mine to melt down my mind’s barriers and smoke what I believed made me sane. I continually looked into the hourglass of delusions where the sands of time defied gravity. Inhaling deep breaths of schizophrenic paranoia--exhaling all righteous judgment--the flame burned out.
“Want another hit, Lesa?” Chase asked with strung-out eagerness.
Shaking my head back and forth, I implicated indicated doubtfully that I had enough. Both of us knew however, that enough was never enough.
We wandered into the bedroom where our dilated pupils met in agreement. Surrendering my body to his, we descended into the silky sheets, the only place we could define our relationship. Never having to wonder if the love was real when the conscious mind was submerged, I kept defending the relationship that had always been on edge--teeter-tottering on the cliff of disastrous heartbreak. It was as if we had flown away to our own never-land. The violent strike of reality had a potent sting when the initial gratification was through. As he rolled over--high to the point of exhaustion--Chase’s eyes rolled to the back of his head as he passed out, leaving me to wage war against my arising thoughts.
Reflecting over the past five months, I realized that I was patient with Chase who had brought me into this surreal place. I always thought things were going to change in my favor however, he was always in a mood that would snap hard one way or another. I never knew what to expect. It was the excitement of the unknown that kept me from walking away.
The fights were physical. If things didn’t go his way he would yell at me, choke me, burn me with cigarettes, or even pour the alcoholic beverage he was drinking out onto me. How did I think I was happy in the midst of all this? Holding strongly to the few times he would make me smile made it me think it was all worth it. Who did I have if I didn’t have him?
Unveiling the truth that I rejected to see in my inebriation was that it hadn’t ever been my Never-land. I was living in his and it’s hard to live in a world that doesn’t belong to you. The only way to be happy would be to please the one who owned it. Not caring about my own well-being, this had been the life I held onto. The only life I felt I had ever known.
I stared at the ceiling and then gathered my tingling body up to make my way back into the room where we had started our promiscuous escapade. As I grabbed for the pipe that still held my desire, I lit up; I began to nimbly twirl the glass between my fingers and lightly breathed away the somatic sensation of discomfort that had started to catch up with my defeated mind.
Although I was alone, whispers filled the shadows. The sun peeked through the blinds that had been lowered and shut to prevent the concerns of the world from spilling in. As the light reached its hand into the gaps of every slat of plastic, it grabbed me by surprise.
A groaning from the other side of the thinned-brick loft wall kept me aware of Chase’s presence. I contemplated the fact that it had been another sleepless night for me. Had it been three days? Or or even a week since I had slept? Trying to decide what the outcome would be of his drug-induced slumber, I mulled over if he would remember the closeness that we had shared only hours before or if he would be furious that I had not stayed in the bed curled up beside him and then drown me in accusations of being unfaithful.
Creaky wooden floorboards harbored the exaggerated stomp of heavy feet. As the creaking had increased in intensity, so did my insecurity. As I averted my eyes to the floor where Chase would soon be standing, I prepared myself for it to become the all-too-familiar battle ground.
A feeble, translucent face covered in rough lines of agitation, complimented by an indefinite number of scars from a confined experience, appeared in the doorway. I remembered when that once healthy, glowing face would look at me with eyes of adoration. Previously where his eyes had conveyed enthusiastic excitement—now gleamed rampant. His cracked lips tightened. Adjusting to the light that now entered the room, he fixed his stare from me onto the pipe that held a notably smaller amount. Biting his lower lip, he started to scowl.
“Who was here?” He questioned irrevocably.
“Just me.” I answered quietly.
Repressed rage turned his face scarlet as he slowly turned from me and went back into the bedroom. A dissonant sound clamored and then quickly began to proceed in my direction.
A dresser drawer is all I saw before the quick opening of blinds and a flick of hands. In a fluid like motion, Chase had happened to run past me with the dresser drawer that held all my belongings--what little I had--and he dumped everything out onto the pavement below. Shocked, I stared. Anger burned in my heart. As he smiled smugly, walking past me, I jumped up and grabbed him by his ears, pounding my fists as hard as I could on his back, chest, and face. I couldn’t stop. I wanted to kill him.
Screaming, I was thrown off his back and onto the floor. He laughed because he knew what control he had over me. I had no where else to go. If I left here, I would be back in my car. He certainly knew how to finish the game, almost too easily, his lips spoke two words that we both knew would eventually come…the two words that in the end, would release me from my prison…
“So, what a blessing when God steps in and corrects you! Mind you, don’t despise the discipline of Almighty God! True, He wounds, but He also dresses the wound; the same hand that hurts you, heals you. From one disaster after another He delivers you; no matter what the calamity, the evil can’t touch you--” Job 5:17-19 MSG
Do you feel like you have gone from valley to valley--hurt, depressed, unconfident, confused, angry, bitter, to attempted suicide or succumbing to an addiction where you see no way out? Sometimes things seem to go from bad to worse in just a matter of months, days, or even hours. We wonder why the enemy is attacking us so hard or why God is letting this happen! ? Yes, by enemy, I refer to the enemy of our souls, Satan. Sometimes, it may seem as though the situation we are facing goes from difficult to impossible.
- • What Calamity or disaster are you currently facing?
- • Does it seem difficult or impossible to come out of?
- • Have you looked for help or are you trying to face these challenges on your own?
- • Do you feel like you are being attacked in every aspect of your life?
When you feel discouraged, depressed, irritated, doubtful, or fearful...realize that the enemy is getting scared and trying his hardest to keep you right where you are. Don't let the difficult circumstances paralyze you. God is working behind the scenes so He can do a miracle in your life. You may seem stuck but I promise if you keep on moving and chasing after God than you will see him. He will come through for you. Your situation may have gone from difficult to impossible because God knows you can handle difficult, but He wants you to trust HIM to do the impossible. Nothing can stop Him from conquering evil. All must bow at the presence of our King.
Read 1 Samuel 1:1-28
Hannah's situation of wanting to be a mother went from difficult to impossible when God had closed her womb. It wasn't Satan who had made her infertile, it was God. Hannah wasn't the first woman in the Old Testament who couldn't bear children on her own. There was Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and the mother of Samson. The sorrows of these women were great. The many tears that were cried cannot be numbered. However, all of these women who had been unable to conceive were used by God. Their children, born not out of ease or comfort, had been prayed for and then the Lord blessed them through the tears that the women had cried.
Trust that when God delays something that you want, He has something in store far better for you than you could ever imagine. He wants you to pray to him with the faith that you will receive. If you lack faith and you complain through your suffering--all the while God is trying to give you a miracle--you ruin for yourself the grace God is attempting to show you. If you complain through it, than when you finally get the thing you've been needing, it gives Satan the opportunity to make you feel guilty for getting your blessing because you had been undeserving with all the whining. So don't let him undermine God's miracles for your life. Understand that whatever you are going through, whatever the suffering, let it cause you to praise and look to God in faithful prayers--just like Hannah did. If God can restore her, He can in turn do it for you.
We can rejoice too when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character and character strengthens our confident hope in salvation. And this hope will not lead us to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Romans 5:3-5