Updated: Nov 25, 2018
That morning, because I wasn’t paying attention, I exited the development of Green Lane Farms, the wrong way. Meaning I needed to go North, but I took the South exit, putting me even further behind schedule. It was only 3 minutes further, but I was furious and then strangely, I burst into tears. Hiding my late night and large amounts of drinking was becoming harder and harder. I’d even switched to vodka because a fellow partier told me, other people couldn’t smell it the day after. I cut my hair hoping it wouldn’t show the shakes/sweats so much. I kept a bottle of blackberry brandy in my truck in case the shakes got too bad. The house with a pool in a development, good job with clout, big mouth and no nonsense approach, new SUV and circle of friends veneer couldn’t’ hide what was happening to my heart, more importantly my soul. I was damned. I was tired of pretending to not be that little girl from the projects.
So as I drove the extra minutes, I started to yell at God. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d uttered his name. I’d come to accept he forgot about me or denied me long ago and I was on my own. I said:
“God, I’ve had it, either you show me that you are real and that I matter, or I am going to kill myself after work tonight. I don’t mean any dancing butterflies across my windshield or stupid rainbows, I mean something real. I will put a sign on my door warning my ex-husband not to bring Colton in from his visitation, because my brains will be splattered all over my bedroom wall. Call the police and leave, will be my sign. I’ve had it!”Then, I said something that still amazes me today. “God, if you show me you are real and that I matter, I will follow and obey you all the days of my life unashamedly.”
I wept violently. I could barely see through the steady flow of tears from my eyes.This ultimatum certainly doesn’t sound like a deal per say, but a plea for my life. Permission to end it, is what I thought I wanted. I wept as I said that last part. I was so struck by the pinpointing of what was wrong with me, for my entire life. I didn’t believe I mattered. I’d never put words to it or pinpointed it like in this cry for help. Many experiences confirmed this belief.
So still driving, I turned onto the highway and maybe just seconds after I got on, I saw a digital billboard, one that you would see today, you know huge, LED, lit up like a Christmas tree, but not in 2004. It said something about Joyce Meyer, Giant Stadium, Hershey, Pennsylvania, etc,etc. – I was struck by this billboard, first for its brightness and second because no billboard was ever along this stretch of 83 North. Still aren’t any to this day. And because I drove that stretch several times a day for years, I couldn’t understand how I wouldn’t have noticed it. It was impossible. My heart leapt with what I now call and came to realize as HOPE.I began to almost panic, thinking that maybe the God of The Universe, heard ME. I started talking aloud, saying, No Way, there’s no billboard there…. Never has been, I’d of seen it. How was that thing so lit up? Do I really matter? Is this the sign I asked for, could it be true, DO I MATTER, IS HE REAL? – I wept and hit the gas, the next exit was only a mile or so away and I was gonna get off and come back to look at that billboard again. “Joyce Meyer- I thought, she is that deep voiced Christian lady on TV that I watch once in awhile when I’m drunk and can’t sleep. I like her. She doesn’t talk a bunch of the “I love you with the love of the Lord bullcrap” - I got off the exit ran the red light, went under the overpass, ran another red light and got back on now 8:3S, I must have been driving 100 mph. I was shaking, crying and wondering…. When all of a sudden, the thought entered my mind “You dumb %$#, you never mattered to him before, what makes you think you do now!” - My heart exploded with despair, but I kept driving.
I exited the Limekiln Road exit and ran that stop sign, and the next light as well. I got back on praying, pleading, hoping, that billboard wasn’t there. If it wasn’t that meant he answered me, and I’d deal with the likelihood of things appearing and disappearing later. To my absolute delight and fear – The Billboard was gone!!
Today this scripture is one of many that comes to mind:
Jonah 2:2 NIV2 He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry."
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