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?
I can’t wait to read the book. Your story is real, important. You drew me in and I was sorry to reach the end…
That’s a perfect introduction! I want to read more.
This is a good indicator then. I have to be honest. I worry a lot about whether my story is worth writing about. I’m not a spy or a missionary or a recovering meth addict or a converted satanic priest, so sometimes my life feels boring. Thanks so much for telling me it’s worth reading
Well, there will be more where that came from, I promise. I so appreciate your encouragement Christa
I felt the same way before. After reading so many others’ stories about their lives mine seemed boring but I addressed it in the Tribe Writer’s group and they all made me realize that my life isn’t boring not mundane to them. So those who have never been in your shoes are curious what it is like to be you. Those who have been in your shoes will find the encouragement that they may need to carry on from your life written down.
I guess everyone’s lift seems boring to them. I can imagine James Bond sitting down with Q. “Come on, Q. Do you really think my life is interesting enough for others to want to read it?”
Now that’s funny! I’m going to have to think of James Bond now whenever I write my book. Maybe have his theme song playing in the background. Next dirty diaper I change just another grenade in the arsenal of my book. LOL
Wow, what a start, when do I get to read the rest of it?
Once it’s written — haha.
This is a teaser of sorts, to gauge the interest level, since it’s written a bit less ‘happy’ than some of my stuff
Yes, Chris, I am ready to walk that road! Wow. Cannot wait to read the rest of the story. You inspire me, my friend.
I am glad to be able to return the favor. Your Unafraid Manifesto gave me courage to push through on some things when I was wavering.
James – this is a wonderful start. I can’t wait to read the rest! My grandniece, when she was a baby, had several surgeries for hydrocephalus. They installed a shunt in her head. I first saw her when she was three months old and I thought I was prepared, but her head was so large for a baby her size. I came home that night and prayed. I was laying in bed, asking for her healing, when I heard God speak “I HAVE HEALED HER.” It was so clear to me that I didn’t pray again for healing. Now it took some time to see the evidence of that healing, but in fact she was healed. She graduates from high school in May.
Who’s James? 🙂
The story of your grandniece is a very helpful perspective. Sometimes healing takes time to be worked out. I do try to hang on to that; it’s tough most days really.
Truthfully, putting this story up in the motivation / kick in the pants I need to push through the rest of my book. See you and others interested in my story puts some pressure on me to get it out…which is exactly what I need.
Let me edit that! 🙂 I had just responded to James on Facebook. Tax time has me brain dead. There are some pictures of my niece on my Facebook page. (Look in my iOS photo album for March 13. She is in the one with my brother.)
I was just teasing you. I hope you know that. I understand what you mean about tax time. We always do our taxes as early as possible, specifically to make April more enjoyable.
I saw the pictures. Thanks for sharing
Yes, I know you were teasing. (I’m a procrastinator – intended to do the taxes early, but waited until almost the last minute.)
You’ve begun on a strong note of emotion, a combined high and low of each. Good hook to keep the reader wondering and wanting more.
Thank you Shelley. I take your words to heart. Now to tweak the rest and get this to market right?
This is an awesome intro. Thanks so much for sharing, Chris! Can’t wait to read more.
This means a lot coming from you. I often feel like I am a hack when I consider your artistry, your education, and your creativity
Thanks for sharing your journey. I’m glad you included a link to your story as well. I know that epilepsy is not in a category by itself, but that all parents and patients with chronic diseases and conditions know the pain, the sorrow, the frustration of things NOT getting better.
I really appreciate your encouragement and kind words. By the way, sorry for the slow response. Your comment ended up in my spam for some reason, so I missed it until just now.
Great intro. You drew me in immediately. I love when people are transparent in their writing. I also love that you show it’s perfectly acceptable to be real before God, to be angry. After all, he made our emotions, he knows. I believe your book will resonate with many.
Thank you Anne. I know that transparency is a key part of my voice. It means a lot to have your encouragement on this. I am still working on the format for this book, but I am making good progress on it now
Let’s back each other in prayer as we work on our projects. I’m 10,400 words into mine. And finding that sometimes I just find other things to do instead.
I’ll lift yours in prayer, please lift mine.
I completely understand about finding other things to work on. This sounds like a good plan
Great stuff Chris…really draws you in, really grabs your attention…excellent beginning.