Nine years ago this month, I started the day by getting on my face before God and saying, “Lord, I’m getting down on the floor because if I get up, I’m afraid I’ll do something stupid.”
I had good reason to be concerned.
I was making poor choices left and right, and I wasn’t thinking clearly. My closest friends were there for me, trying to help me get back on track. But whenever my friends weren’t around, I started itching for some more self-destructive excitement. And sadly, that morning was no exception, even as I prostrated myself on the floor before God.
When I finally got up, I took out my journal and wrote a prayer. I told God that I knew I was living through one of the darkest hours of my life, and the scariest part was that I was starting to like the darkness. I ended the prayer by writing, “Jesus, if You ever loved me, please send help now.”
What Help Looked Like
My heart remained heavy that day, as it had been for weeks. I had always been such an optimistic person, but for the first and only time in my life, I wondered if I might be better off dead. I couldn’t trust myself. Plus, because of some of the choices I had made, I felt unworthy, unlovable, and undeserving of marriage, which I had hoped for since I was a child.
Despite my depression and an intense storm that ripped through the city, I decided to go to a hat-themed dance party at a friend’s house that night. While I appeared to be having a good time in my Panama Jack beach hat, I was aching with shame. And then, shortly after the party started, my whole life changed.
The front door opened, and an unusually attractive woman walked in (the photo above was taken right about the time she walked in the room). She had dark brown hair, dark skin, brown eyes; and she was wearing a red, velvet cowboy hat with white, fuzzy trim. I kept my eye on the woman, waiting for her to find her date.
She didn’t make her way to any of the men in the room though. Instead, she moved to the edge of the dance floor and looked slightly uncomfortable standing by herself, so I came over and introduced myself.
I found out she came from a Puerto Rican family. She found out that I had just returned from Puerto Rico, where I had a number of friends. I asked if she wanted to practice Spanish with me, and the next thing you know, we were on the back porch having a fairly deep conversation in Español.
Within a week, we went on our first date. Within four months, we were engaged. Within nine months, we were married. And eight years later, we’re still very happily married.
In a Moment
Maybe you’re going through a dark time right now. Maybe it seems like all is lost. Maybe you’ve failed big time, and it feels like all the momentum in your life is headed in a negative direction.
It can turn around in a moment.
Maybe you feel disconnected from God. Maybe your most significant relationships lie in shambles. Maybe you’re sick and tired and hardly have the energy to pray.
It can turn around in a moment.
Maybe you’re tired of crying until your head hurts. Maybe you’re right on the verge of throwing it all away because your life seems meaningless.
I’m telling you: it can turn around in a moment.
The Lord stands ready to answer the desperate prayer, “Jesus, if You ever loved me, please send help now.” You may be too disoriented to immediately recognize His answer in the pain, but His name is Comforter, Helper, Advocate, Friend, Counselor; and you can trust that He is responding. He is providing.
No matter how you feel right now, He is your “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1), and He is more than able to turn it all around for your good (Romans 8:28). Give Him a chance. Cry out to Him. You never know — He may just turn things around in a moment.