My bout with depression drove me to write this elegy. Even in despair, I knew God would send help. This was my journey written by M. J. Napper 2011. At the bottom of the page you’ll find a foreword about what I was thinking and feeling at the time I wrote this.
by M. J. Napper 04/30/11
Sometimes the journey seems rough and long
and most of my days are without a song..
The skies are dark the world seems gray,
dim light breaks through the weary day.
It looks like hope will not survive,
while burdens, cares and struggles thrive.
Each day becomes more and more of a chore,
the music has ceased and joy is no more.
How did I come to be in this place,
of sadness, heaviness and losing this race?
I started out strong many years ago,
accepting God’s call to reach the lost souls.
But now I am weak and losing my strength,
I’ve listened to lies that cause me to sink.
And who can tell me why I am here?
So little accomplished as death draws near?
As all of my failures stare back at me,
shouting, “You’re hopeless, you’ll never succeed!”
“You’re not important and never will be,
so give up now and live with defeat!”
Those words like arrows piercing my soul,
shall I yield to these lines from my foe?
Deep in my heart I cry out in pain,
“My Lord and my God, I call on Your name.”
“I know I have failed You and Your cause,
extend me Your hand or I shall be lost.”
“Free me from self, doubts, worries, and fears,
give me comfort from the loss of loved ones so dear.”
“I ask You to forgive Your servant today
lead me back to the light, and show me the Way.”
“For back in Your presence and in Your embrace,
I will find joy and sing of Your Grace.”
The Journey (foreward)
I wrote the poem called, “The Journey” back in April of 2011. It was at a time in my life when I had lost my focus for a season. I was looking at all the works that I had done and seen very little accomplished from it. I felt overwhelmed for all I could see was more and more that needed to be done in the ministry. I saw no “break” in sight. Sadness and hopelessness began to creep.
To make matters worse, at that time in my life I felt cheated. My kids and grand kids all had moved so far away. My daughter, Dana, and her husband, Steve, had moved to New York state several years prior to this time and we were only able to see them about once or twice a year. My son, Joshua, and his family were living in Port Arthur, Texas and I knew frequent trips would be out of the question for us to see them on a regular basis. I missed them so much. I felt life wasn’t fair! Why did I not get the pleasure of being with my kids and grandkids like so many other folks around me? Why me?.
I felt little or no joy in anything that I did, including ministry “duties”. I had allowed the enemy to take my eyes off of God and instead, onto what I lacked . I was definitely not a happy person much of the time. I knew I shouldn’t be feeling that way, but it did not change the fact that I did.
Finally, after some time passed, I opened up to my “Hubby”, (as I refer to my husband often), how I had been feeling. He was able to help me see more clearly and to be able to put things back into their proper perspective. He showed me that my situation is not as bad as it seemed. He helped me to focus on what I have and not on the negatives in my life. My road to recovery began at that point.
I would like to mention, after I had talked with my husband, I also asked my church family to pray for me. (A loving church family is so important in a believer’s life). I felt so loved by them and by my God. Though I cannot explain how, God just “changed” my heart. I couldn’t change myself. I had tried and failed. Knowledge wasn’t enough to “fix” my brokenness. I needed His divine intervention and that is exactly what God did. It took the “Master’s touch” to do the impossible and now I am no longer the same! He gave me Hope in place of my despair! That is a powerful tool we can use against the enemy of our soul. To God be the glory for great things He has done!
Though it has taken some time, I have learned there certainly are some things I may never have in this life that I desire, but, this I HAVE been given, God’s Grace, His Mercy, His Love and His Hope for each and every day! This makes all the difference in my life. Only God can fill the empty places and the thirsty soul forever. If I base my happiness on anything other than Him, I set myself up for disappointments.
Situations change, people change, but God is our constant. He certainly is our refuge in time of trouble. He is the healer of broken hearts and battered bodies. He is indeed the only One who can bring peace in the time of a storm. He is the provider of all that I need! He is good all the time!
So, instead of dwelling in the valley of despair like I was, I hope all those who read this will learn from my mistakes and learn to be grateful for what one has been blessed with and be content with such things that he/she has. God loves us so much that He gave His best for us. In exchange, we are to Honor Him and give Him the best that we have to offer Him and trust and obey.
Well that’s my story of how I came to write the poem “The Journey”. My husband took the time to help me tweak it a bit. As for the rest of my story, now, after over three years later, nothing has really changed much in the natural. I still don’t see my kids and their families much, and I continually have lots of work in the ministry that I would like to accomplish, I still have failures and shortcomings. But, the difference is, NOW I don’t have long-bouts with hopelessness and unhappiness. I choose not to dwell on my losses, but instead, I keep praying, and focusing on the prize that is set before me. I seek to do God’s will and though I am not perfect by any means, I have a new lease on life, and I have much to live for!!! I want to bring honor to my Lord wherever I go and not bring shame upon His holy name.
I thank Him for His daily provision and blessings! Someone once said, “For to the world I am one, but to You (God), I am the world.” I believe if I had been the only one that needed saving, He still would have sent His Son to die for me. “If that isn’t love”, as the song says, than I don’t know what love is.
John 3 :16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.