A lot has happened in my life, from an abusive father to drug abusing family members to epilepsy and more. Plenty of reasons to be a Debbie Downer, losing faith in God or being angry all the time. For reasons I am honestly still figuring out, I am able to still stay engaged in my faith on most days. With the encouragement of some close friends, I am in the process of writing a memoir right now. The following is an excerpt, and will likely be the introduction to my book (once it’s finished). I’d really like to get your thoughts and reactions to this instance from my life.
I awoke with a start at 1:04 am, July 1, 2012. I heard the Lord say to me – “Go RIGHT NOW and pray for your daughter, and there will be healing. Pray until you feel My presence overwhelm you, and then you will know My work is complete.”
I am not a person who hears from the Lord with a great deal of frequency, and never this clearly. I did as I heard. I walked into my daughter’s room and prayed for healing for about twenty minutes. At that point, I felt an overpowering sense of joy and exultation ripple through my entire being.
I was so filled with joy, I came into the living room and danced a jig of freedom before my God. I just KNEW my daughter had been healed that very evening. As I rejoiced, I again heard the Lord again, just as clearly – “The testimony of My work here tonight will be the foundation for your future ministry.”
The next ten days were glorious, because my daughter was seizure free. She had not gone more than one day without a seizure until God awakened me to heal her. All was well in the Morris household, until the walls of faith and hope and all that is good crumbled in my life.
On the 11th of July, Cynthia had a seizure. Thirty minutes later, she had another. I cannot describe the pain and confusion and anger I had toward God on that day. HOW COULD HE DO THIS TO ME! He promised my daughter was going to be healed. I felt His presence overwhelm me. I rejoiced. He promised a new ministry would birth from her healing.
What the HELL is going on?
I stayed in this place of anger for the next three months. Then things got worse. My epilepsy, which had been dormant without any medication, resurfaced. I started having seizures every day. I felt cheated by God. He was doing exactly the opposite of what He promised. He wasn’t healing anyone — everything was getting worse.
My hope was shattered. I lost interest in God altogether. Only went to church so I wouldn’t get into an argument with my wife. Going through the motions in every sense of the word when it came to anything resembling faith.
If this is how God treats those He loves, I am better off by myself!
I stayed in this place of self-relegated exile from God for months. Refusing to engage in worship songs. Twiddling my thumbs and occupying my mind with useless trivia and word games to avoid listening to sermons. My anger had sealed my heart against God entirely.
What I didn’t realize was my anger had also segregated me from from everyone else. My heart was so bereft of hope, I was locked in a prison of pity. I had nothing to give or invest in anyone else.
Everything came to a head for me around Christmas-time. I was in the middle of another one of my angry moments and stormed out of the room. As I slammed the door to leave, I heard my youngest son ask my wife, “Why is Daddy so angry all the time now?”
I never heard the answer, but it didn’t matter. I knew something had to change. So I started to examine hope again: what it is, what it means, and why it matters. Will you walk down the path I walked to regain my hope and strength in God?