In which a light becomes a message and miracle.

So… in case you missed it, this really strange thing happened on Wednesday morning.

And… well… I thought about rather not posting this, because I know it’s controversial, but I’m going to anyway. Why? Because it’s the truth and I realized how damaging it can be to a blog when the author lies, even when it’s by omission. This post will contain religious overtones and more than just a little testimony. So if you’re not interested, you might find reading one of my Wattpad stories more interesting.

Okay. Taking a deep breath here. While crying like a baby.

What I didn’t tell you on Wednesday:

You know how Job felt when everything got taken away from him? Well. I can safely say I think my family and I got a great taste of it. Except for the bit where his entire family died. And where he lost everything basically in a day or two.

I’m not going to go into the costs for everyone in my family, but to give you an idea of my score card for 2014:

1) Publishing deal went SPECTACULARLY wrong by January.

2) My and my mother’s business, which had taken a hit at the end of the year, didn’t bounce back thanks in a large part to some laws our government wanted to pass.

3) The farm we’d moved to, which had been such a huge source of hope, despite the business taking a hit, soaked up our savings and offered pretty much nothing back. I am not going to talk about what had to be sacrificed as a result of this, because it’s not pretty.

4) All of my hopes and dreams have basically been shelved until such a time that we could bounce back from all the spending on the farm. A farm, incidentally, that we were led to by God. 

5) Sacrifices and dream shelving aside, the person with whom we’d signed the buyer’s contract basically sold it out from under us in September. Yes, we could have fought this, but after already spending so much and still getting nothing back, we just couldn’t see a point to fighting for the farm. Besides which, we kinda realized that if God could open doors no one could close, and close doors that no one could open, it’s pretty dang obvious from the way these doors were closing that God did not in fact want us to stay on this farm.

6) We’d spend to the tune of $200 000 on the farm, which we ain’t getting back. To give you an idea of the magnitude of this amount. Until my salary went into said farm, my monthly salary, which put me in the upper-middle income class, was about $1500 per month.

7) Then… the shoe biz, the source of hope we all so desperately needed, went pear shaped due to actions taken by others. Actions completely beyond our control.

You know about breaking points? 

On Tuesday, 4 November, I’d officially reached mine.

The result was that I… well… I lost it completely. I had some seriously strong words with God. Testimony one: That He didn’t strike me down for at least a quarter of what I’d said, is more than proof enough that yes, He does love us as much as He says.

Anyway. So I get into the car and me, my mother and four of our employees go to Cape Town to unpack and count 5000 pairs of shoes.

God has sort of fallen silent as I left the room. (Yep, ours is very much a two-way conversation. No, that’s not at all an insane thing to say.) Then suddenly out of the blue, He says:

“Friday.”
Me: “What happens on Friday?”

Silence. With me sort of growing carefully optimistic that maybe something’ll get sorted for us before the weekend came. But even so, I had some niggling suspicions. Why now? After a whole freaking sucking year. Why now?

After dinner, we spoke and I sorta carefully ventured what I’d heard, then found that both my brother and uncle had gotten the same message. And my grandmother, that something would turnaround soon, but without a specific deadline.

Despite this, by Tuesday evening, I was doubting again. Not proud to say it. But there you go.

I didn’t doubt that something would happen on Friday. I just didn’t really think that any of it would really have a bearing on actually helping us get out of all this… well… crap.

So… yeah…

Night terrors. Waking often. Sorta, half lucid, half delirious praying… Yeah. I sometimes do that, if I drift off while praying.

Problem with this is that with sleep comes lowered inhibitions.

As such, I suspect (no way that I’ll ever really know) that I said something like: “It’s like You’re not here anymore.”

Because honestly, it’s something that’s been in my thoughts for some time, but that I haven’t actually been brave enough to actually put into words.

Nope. That isn’t when God turned His back on me forever.

That had to be the moment when He quite audibly said: “I’m here.”

And just in case I didn’t buy it this time: 

HE
TURNED
ON
THE
LIGHTS

Which, needless to say, more than got my attention. But of course, I didn’t think it was Him, because why would He? 
Except, the more you guys commented and I thought and prayed about it, the more certain I became. And you know what? There’s a reason why He’d do something as outrageous as defy the laws of physics and make lights burn without being “switched on.” He loves me. And He didn’t want me to worry for a second more that we were alone in all this. 
So what made me post this today? Well… It’s Friday, see. And I realized that I have an amazing Holy Father, who I don’t always understand, but whose love for me and everyone else defies understanding. 
Because starting at around noon today, EVERYTHING turned around and although we aren’t getting the farm, we’ve been given a chance to move on. Which, given that I can only assume it’s what God wants, is probably going to be only a million times or so better than anything I can come up with. 
So today, this seventh day of November, 2014, I proclaim in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that this year has officially been turned around thanks to His profound love and mercy. 
You might wonder why I’m sharing all this? The answer is simple: I know that 2014 is a rough year for MANY of us, and it’s my hope that this post will bring you to a place of peace, comfort and blessings as well. And a place of knowing that, no matter what, God does love us, and He always will. Even when we say stupid stuff in our sleep. 
Thanks to those of you who read this! 
I’m feeling the need to pray for some of you, so if you have any needs that you think needs some prayers, please feel free to let me know in the comments. Or mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(dot)com
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50 States of Pray: South Africa

Lord God, Father,

Tonight, the night before Christmas, I want to thank You for giving us Your Son. The truth is that His short life on Earth was a game-changer. Your love for us goes so much deeper, so much further than we can even begin to imagine, and without that love, my life, everything I could possibly achieve… everything would have been meaningless.

Thank You, Lord, for the many blessings you’ve sent my way, and across the way of my loved ones. And thank You for the many opportunities You gave for us to bless others. I pray that next year, I’ll learn how to use those chances even better.

Tonight, I want to pray for my country, still settling into a new era now that President Mandela has joined You in heaven. I ask that those appointed to lead our nation do so to the best of their ability. I pray that You guide them, Lord, and guide each of us as members of the nation to find ways to build it into something even stronger, more united than it is today.

I also ask that you be with people who lost loved ones this year. Christmas is a difficult time when those we love are missing from the feast. Please wrap them in Your love, and be with them in noticeable ways as their wounds heal.

Lastly, I want to pray down Your blessing on my family, my friends and their families and friends, and theirs. And theirs. Lead us, strengthen us, and open our eyes to the amazing things You do for us.

I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Amen.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life

John 3:16

Moments

This might sound rather strange, but I’m stealing time to spend with God. 

It’s just as if… with everything going on in my life, my mind flies everywhere at the same time. So when I’m supposed to have quiet time, I spend more time trying to get myself to quiet down than I do actually praying. 
BUT. Sometimes, when I least expect it, there are these moments of clarity. Of just wanting to share something with him. Like… “Wow. That’s such a beautiful sunset.” Or… “Right now, I feel very lonely.” And then there’d be this wonderful conversation that comes from it. 
I love those moments. They make me feel like writing sonnets or just singing. Or… like I can go take on the rest of my day. They’re wonderful. 
It’s truly a blessing that God gives those moments for me to savor. And I thank Him from the bottom of my heart. 
Do you also get spontaneous moments of just spending time with God?