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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Brighter Colors

Back in 1986 I hurt my neck. The doctor gave me muscle relaxants and a neck brace and told me to take it easy.
Yeah, right. Take it easy. He said "Don't drive, don't lift anything more than five pounds, don't play the piano or do anything where you have to move your neck."

I had a husband, a kindergartner and a toddler at the time, and a full plate of life.

Most of my activies came to a screaming halt.
Bruce stepped up his household help. Friends, friends and more friends came to clean, do laundry, take the kids for whole afternoons so I could rest.
I felt so useless.
Depression oozed into my brain.
Worse yet, after months, the pain was so unrelenting that I began to consider suicide.
The Lord, in His incredible grace, reached down to me at my darkest hour and gave me a powerful glimpse of His never-ending loving presence.
He gave me healing. Not instantly, but over time, as I learned to cling to His Word He removed the despair.
The neck? Well, that injury is always reminding me that there will come a day when God will wipe away my tears.

Depression is horrible; I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
But, emerging from that dark pit -as if my world had just had a good rain and the dust and grit of the season has been washed away -I see, hear and feel in colors only guessed at in my former life.
The touch of a baby bunny's fur, the sound of my child's laughter, sunshine draping my head, the dappling of light through the maple leaves, my husband's face.

It's been twenty three years. Each year I am more and more delighted by the simple gifts that God so graciously places in my lap. Life is God's first gift.

Psalm 40 1-3: "I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God."


  1. I have felt your pain, Dena, though it wasn't as bad as what you went through. After hurting my neck, I did not feel normal 3 months. Hopefully, I have more empathy for what the elderly and hurting feel every day.

  2. Before that injury, I'd never had a pain that lasted more than a couple of days. Gave me a new compassion for chronic sufferers.