January 15, 2011

A Moment of Despair (with a little hope mixed in)

As I look at the chaos all around me, how it seems to be playing out everywhere in my life, I have to ask the question, “Is it me?” I am the common denominator in all of it after all. Should I be taking a longer look at myself to try and figure out how I could be the one to blame?

I sit here in the dark and wonder how such a beautiful morning turned into such a bleak afternoon. The day couldn’t have started out any better. I had a brief conversation with my husband on the phone while I lay still in bed and he was gone to the shores of the river to fish, moments alone in Bible study, and a real meaty conversation with God. Yes, the day started out great, and I was looking forward to all it might hold and all that might get accomplished. Then unexpectedly, the thoughtless planning and carless words of others sent me into a tailspin. The camel’s back broke. Hours later, I am sitting here, still in my pajamas, un-showered, tearstained, and alone. Withdrawing myself from those around who mean well, but only seem to make things worse, I'm missing my fishing hubby terribly; I find I feel more alone than I have ever felt in my life.

My phone rings and I see the name of my Bible study leader on my caller Id. I hit the reject button. I don’t feel like talking. I don’t ever feel like talking about personal things or prayer requests, but especially not today. I shove my phone to the side and continue to sit with shades drawn. I knew I was going to have to call my parents and explain to them in some fashion why I wouldn’t be meeting the family for dinner. It wasn’t an easy task, and I hate burdening them when they are already so frail and heavy laden. As I tried to talk to my Mom without unloading my brokenness, I realized how much I miss my parents. How much I miss having them take my burdens, help me carry them, and sometimes carry them all by themselves. My parents are my best friends, but they can’t take care of me anymore. Who can take care of me now but God? He truly is and must be my all and all.

The word despair comes to mind. Despair. What does that really mean anyway? I get out the dictionary and look it up. Despair – complete loss of hope. I realize because of Jesus I can’t possibly be in despair. Maybe I have moments, but not a life of desperation. Somehow he has made sense of it all even when I see complete nonsense.

I pick up the phone to listen to the voicemails that have been left. My Bible study leader had left a message. Her chipper voice broke the darkness as I listened to the hope in her voice that spread through the room like a ray of sunshine. She doesn’t know what she does for us, for me. As usual, she left a verse for me. How did she know what I would need to hear? God must have whispered it in her ear:

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Grace for yet another day.


  1. Thank you for your honesty. Even David poured out his complaint to the Lord, but thank God, EVERY day, He carries us in His loving arms!

  2. So very good to read your heart spread over the page, my sweet friend. I have walked where you walk and can confirm what you share here. The despair is simply momentary...just a walk in the valley of life. You will pass through this and be stronger and more prepared to comfort others.
    Continuing to pray for you and your parents during this time.

  3. XOXOXO Love You Stephani.

  4. Somehow he has made sense of it all even when I see complete nonsense. I have this this too...Stay strong okay.

  5. I learned a while ago that in our brokenness is when we really find our peace and place with God. Sometimes it harder than others for me. I kick and scream.
    I have been there too and more than once or twice.
    Glad I stopped by and was very humbled to read your words of honesty and cry for help.
    I know what its like.

  6. I love the branches and the fruit.

  7. Dear Friend, pouring out your heart to the One who is your refuge brings the insight you received today.
    "Maybe I have moments, but not a life of desperation." So true; moments happen. Grace sustains us in those moments.

  8. I really needed to read this today. I have been fighting despair all day. I didn't want to get up, get dressed, tend to my kids. Financial woes are looming and it's very scary. Yet I know that God is able. Thank you for this timely post.

  9. Dear Stephanie, As I read this post, it is Sunday morning and I am praying for you. In Him we have our hope and our refuge. So thankful that our despair is temporary. I will continue keeping you and your parents in my prayers and hope fishing hubby got home safetly!

  10. Sending hugs your way. Hope things get better.

  11. How I appreciate your honesty in putting into words what we all feel or have felt at one time or another AND THEN for your bible study leader to speak the very verse that you needed into your life! Oh, see how very mindful He is of us and our struggles, Stephani?
    Praying for you, dear one. ((HUGS))

  12. Stephanie:

    As others have said, I appreciate your honesty. We've all (if we are honest with ourselves) had those times. How wonderful that your Bible study leader chose that particular verse to share with you, but of course, I believe she was allowing the Holy Spirit to work through her to administer the message God had for you.


  13. Praying for you and asking our Lord to wrap His arms around you and continue to squeeze you tightly as you rest in Him and He restores your soul. Love and prayers being sent your way.

  14. Stephani,
    It's been a while since I've been here and I'm so glad I stopped by today. Sorry to hear your sorrow but so glad you poured it out to the Lord--and He answered.
    Isn't it amazing how He can use something as simple as a voicemail to encourage us and wrap His loving arms around us?
    Praying you are doing better,

  15. What a quiet prayer you wrote for all who were meant to read it. Your day may have been sad to you but by sharing it you may have given hope to others. Life is not static it is ever changing and I thank God for that. Take care.

  16. I think the scripture from II Corinthians was a perfect ending to this post. I see there are a lot of comments here. I have the feeling that God is using he comments you made to help others who have similar feelings and concerns. It is so true that in this life we will have tribulation, but how thankful we need to be that He has overcome the world. And - all these trials are temporary. The older I get the more I realize how short this life is.
    Blessings and prayers for a joyful week for you.

  17. I appreciate your honesty...and have had many moments like these too. This weekend I was filled with anxiety driving through a freezing rain, but something on KLOVE (the Christian radio station) calmed my nerves as they talked about facing your fears with prayer. What a help that was. I'm glad God whispered in your friends ear! I will continue to pray for you.


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