This is a rare occurence…two posts in one day. It is the result of my sister seeing that I was going to post in response to a synchroblog and she thought to herself, “why not me too?”. This is her entry….
by: Monique Carmichael
“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
(Eph. 5: 13 – 14 NIV)
17 years ago, I was asleep without realizing it. I was trudging through life, trying my best, doing what I thought was right, doing what I thought God expected from me. I had aches in my legs that made it hard for me to keep walking. I had aches in my head that made it hard to think. But the biggest ache was in my heart. It was an ache full of sorrow and defeat and increasing doses of hopelessness.
People around me would have said I was wide awake. I had a job that kept me busy. I had friends that I spent many hours with. I had a family who was supportive and loved me. There were words that came out of my mouth with some degree of passion. I could sing and dance with abandon. I could discuss the Christian walk with anyone who was willing to listen….and many who weren’t. Only God knew that I was actually asleep. He knew I needed a miracle.
So, His light shone on me. In the most unexpected, miraculous way. He woke up the sleeper and launched her into a life of joy by introducing her to his Holy Spirit. I laughed for days, I cried for hours, I worshipped with abandon and I became aware of possibilities beyond what I could see. I began to believe in God’s possibilities because His light began to expose me to something beyond what the world could offer. I changed my life radically because I just wanted to follow the path that He was leading me on…mostly because I just wanted to be where He was. He gave me a new voice AND a new song. Life became an adventure full of possibilities in Christ.
Not everyone was excited by my awakening. Some were offended. Some were confused. Others mourned the loss of the Monique they thought they knew. But I felt more alive….I felt actually awake….seeing clearly the road ahead of me…excited for the new adventure.
Years have passed since my awakening. Not all of those years have been so very easy. Life happened. Love, friendship, marriage, work. These have been the good things. But there has also been sickness. A struggle with severe asthma that slowly but surely began to rob me of my energy and my voice. Life began to feel smaller, centered around the four walls of my house, or even worse, around the four corners of my bed as I struggled through yet another attack. Unable to work, unable to sing, unable to speak. Unaware, I was slowly falling to sleep again.
I have not been alone in this struggle. A loving church family has not ceased in praying for me and with me. They have not ceased in believing for a miracle. They have continued to encourage me to use the giftings God has given me. But when you are falling asleep, you can’t always hear what people are saying.
I’m not saying that I was a lost cause. I still served God where He placed me…I had my place in the body. I still spoke to people about the love of God. However, the spark had gone out somewhat, the speech a little bit more subdued. As my eyes started closing in slumber, I began to lose my vision. I couldn’t see as clearly what God had set before me.
Thankfully, I serve a loving God, a patient Father, a merciful Lord. He began to prod at me even as my breath was slowing and my mind was slipping off into dreamland. He shone His light on my situation and began to speak to me about what I needed to do to stop the decline into deep slumber. He got me out of my bed, and had me begin to walk and then, literally, to run. He spoke to me of what He still had planned for me and encouraged me to take the steps I needed to get healthy so that I could actually have the energy to do these things. He encouraged me to do what I had done in the beginning…not to abandon my first love.
The thing is, I still had to make the personal choice to wake up. I’m so glad that I’ve started to rise from the dead. I feel blessed that my loving Saviour hasn’t given up on me and that He still has work for me to do. He is reviving my voice, He is renewing my purpose. My vision is clearing and I’m beginning to once again become excited about what the future holds, whatever that will be. I’m once more making the choice to have my voice be heard speaking not my own words, but hopefully His.
in response to a synchroblog at SheLoves Magazine
Monique Carmichael has been serving God as a worship leader and teacher in Clinton, BC for the past 17 years. She is happily married to Brian, sister to Michele, Kim and Nolan and auntie to many beautiful gifts from God.