We are excited to add another poem by writer Cambrin Daniel to our Poetry Showcase.
We are looking for original poetry by new poets and spoken word artists who are passionate, thought provoking and honest. To showcase your work and register to win cash to help launch your writing career, send your poetry or spoken word video to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Message from an Overachiever with a Restless Heart for God
So often my friends and colleagues ask me, “Do you sleep?” This question is understandable because I can sometimes appear to be constantly working on a new project instead of enjoying my life. Therefore, I always pause before answering because I don’t know if the person is applauding my effort to accomplish my goals, questioning my ability to find peace and contentment in this life or if I look tired and weary from my work. Either way, the question ultimately leads me to think about Christ and his time on earth.
In only 33 years, Christ healed the sick and fed the poor. He counseled people in need and taught those who sought knowledge and understanding. He worked miracles that changed lives and fought for what was right. He loved people who didn’t love him back and he sacrificed his life for our sins. In 33 years on earth, Christ accomplished more than I or anyone could ever accomplish.
So, do I sleep? Yes. Comfortably. Because the things God has asked me to do with my time on earth is worth the sacrifice. It’s worth the long days writing, running my business and nonprofit, and taking care of my family. It’s worth the hard times when I’m unsure of myself but refusing to quit. Don’t misunderstand my work ethic or the work ethic of people in your life like me. I have an amazing life that I want to live like Christ. I’m just focused on one thing, and one thing only – hearing God say to me, “Well Done!” Then I will rest with him in peace for eternity.
Michelle Jackson is an entrepreneur and nonprofit leader and author of fictional novels The Heart of a Man and From Darkness to Night. To learn more about her work, visit http://www.authormichelledjackson.com.
We are excited to announce the launch of 1stmorningthoughts.com Poetry Showcase. Designed to highlight the work of indie writers who are inspiring the world around them, the showcase will periodically post work that speaks to the heart, mind and soul of poetry enthusiasts. Our first poem is called NOW by writer Cambrin Daniel from Birmingham, AL.
To submit your work, email email@example.com.
I saton the edge of my seatduringthelastchurch service oftheyearstaringat theoversized crossabove thebaptismpool. Painstakingly at peace,I’dturned off the hundreds of undone tasks that ranthrough my mindbefore entering the sanctuaryandhitpauseon the demands the world had thrown at my feet.I was present and without distractions. Surrounded by myloving husband and twelve-year-old son,I was readyto be engulfed in the word of Godandunusually giddybecauseno matterthe difficult times thatcame my wayduring the past year,the cross– the very one Christ carried formy salvationthrough the streets ofJerusalem–had beenmyrefuge,and I was thankful.
As thepackedchoir bellowed the second verse ofthe song, ‘I Got A Testimony’,my son tugged at my blouse sleeve.Heasked, “Momma, what is a testimony?”A bit caught off-guard,I sat with his words for a moment before beingreminded ofall the wonderful things– including my son –God had given me.See, it wasn’t whatheasked thatmade me reminisce;it was what he called me. He called me “Momma,” atitle I’d prayed many days to hear,andlooking into his beautiful face;I knew it was time to sharewith the worldhowGod had transformedour lives.
Mytestimony startedwhenthe first of seven doctors told me that I would never give birthto a child;the countless nights I cried when I thought of allthe bedtime stories, pillow fights,and Christmas mornings I would never share with myownson or daughter,andwhen Iwas forced to acceptthat Imayhave to give up onmy desire to have a family.Ifeltrejected, excluded, and pushedaside.Despite my desires andprayers, God had other plansfor me,and it wasn’t motherhood.
For a while,thisreality severed my faith. I was different and not because I wanted to be,but because GodbelievedI had the strength, patience,and fearlessness to overcome thechallenges of infertility.However,I didn’t agree at first. I wasn’t fearless or strong;I was hurt and confused.
Being a mother was important.My mother was wonderful, but God took her too soon,andI was surrounded bycaringwomen who were blessed toraise a generation of children.I wanted to be like them and to experience motherhood.I wanted to give back to this world and I thought becoming a mother was the best way to do it. But when infertilitystruck, my husband and I had to re-think how we would create our family. And in our darkest moment, someone special in our lives reminded us that it is not the blood that builds a family, it’s the love.
WhatI learned during thischallenging periodwas the importance of trusting Godand not leaning onmyown desires. I also learned thatGod gives us what we need and creating a family through biological means isn’t the only way to do it.
God has each of us on a path–thedestination is the cross, andthe journey to get there is as unique as a fingerprint.Throughout our lives,weoftenfindourselvesat a fork in the road thatforcesus to decidewhether to walk with Christand let him leadus inthe rightdirectionorturnaway and godown an opposing path.
For years,Ithought I was makingallthe right moves. I got marriedto a wonderful manandhad a great career.My health was good, and my spiritual walk seemed solid.The next step was to havea child. That was the paththe worldwanted me to beon,but God had other plans.God selectedmyfamily tobe an example to other familiesstruggling with infertility,and to remind the world that each of our journeys are stepping stones towardshisgreatermissionto savemankind.Hisplanfor howwe created afamily wasneveronlyabout meor my husband. Infertilitywasn’t a burdenwe were cursed to live withnor waschildlessness;instead,it wasour journey to find andhelpa beautifullittle boywhoneededahome. A little boylike thousands ofchildren around the countrywho are looking forparents to love and care for them. Our sonwasbroughtinto our lives to give us themeaningful purpose that God wanted us to have.
FINDING PEACE IN THE WAITING ROOM
For eleven yearsI waited for God to show up in my situation unknowing that he had been there from the start.When I look back, Irealize thatfor eleven years I’dpacedthe floor ofthe hospital waiting room anticipating good news from the doctor.While Iwas waiting for man togivemea positive report,God had already givenme the victory.Although I woredown the sole of countlessshoes andtroubledmyself with fearand anxiety overmy infertility, it wasn’t until I stopped worrying andstarted trusting God that things changed.
When I stopped wanting what other people had and started asking God to give me what hedesiredformy lifemy journey took a positive turn. I walked out of the waiting room, felltomy knees,and opened my heart toChrist. And what did he do? He delivered,restoredandhealed.
I didn’t get the time backthatI lost. I didn’t give birthto a child. I didn’t get all the answers I wanted but what I got was a son. He calls me “momma” and helovesme,although I didn’t birth him, or rock him to sleep when he was a toddler. Ineversaw his first steps or heard his first words. Nevertheless, I’venow had years tohug,holdand lovehim. We’ve shareda million good times and expressed our happiness for findingand creating abeautifulfamily.
So,when he asked, “Momma, what is a testimony?” I hugged him tightlythen explainedthat a testimonywasour proof of God’s presence in our life; proof of his unwavering love and sacrifice. It’s our story of victory– we have a story of victory.
Michelle D. Jackson is theauthorof the inspirational novel, The Heart of a Man. Follow her on Facebook @AuthorMichelleDJackson.
My husband and I would like to thank the Three Rivers Adoption Council for helping us experience parenthood and giving us a beautiful testimony.