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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

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)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Saved From Suicide

Some of you have already heard the story of my encounter with God. But if this testimony is new to you, I encourage you to read on. Perhaps my story will bless you today:

Years ago I hurt my spine and was in such unrelenting pain that I spiraled down into a deep depression.
I prayed and cried out to the Lord for help.
But I could not feel Him near.
It seemed as if He'd simply gone out of the room and shut and locked the door.
For weeks, as I lay on my bed and tried to recover from my injury, I prayed.
"Please, God. Please let me feel that You are near. Please answer me. Where are You? Do You even hear me?"

Friends prayed for me.
Other friends helped me clean the house, and took care of my young children.
But the Lord...where was He?

After many weeks, I woke up one morning and wondered how I could die.
I saw no end to my suffering. And God had abandoned me.
In the middle of my black thoughts,  a voice intruded.
It said, "Get up and praise me."

What? Praise the God who had abandoned me?
I could barely walk. But I got up and hobbled down to my piano.
I thumbed through one of my praise and worship songs and started to play.
My neck was so tight from severe muscle spasms that I could barely sing.
But I tried.
I sang  a song adapted from Psalm 139: Where could I go from your presence? You know everything about me, when I rise and when I lie down. I praise you because I'm wonderfully made.

In the middle of my song, I felt a Presence enter the room. There are no words to describe the transcendent sweetness and goodness of the Presence. I turned from the piano and saw nothing.
But I didn't need to see Him. I knew instantly Who was approaching.
The Presence hovered over me, then enveloped me.
He spoke into my brain three things that I will never forget:
"I love you. I've never left you. I've heard every prayer that you prayed."

He stayed for only a few more seconds.
If the piano had not been in front of me, I would have fallen flat onto my face.
Instead, I fell onto the piano keys and wept...joyfully.

If anyone ever tried to tell me I had imagined all this, I would say that there's no way my puny, mortal mind could have conjured and experienced the magnitude of such a Presence.

That was the day I began to heal.
Not my spine—that is still in progress—but in my depressed spirit.

That was over twenty-five years ago and I have never forgotten the day that the Lord visited me.
He could have strengthened me through a reading of His Word.
Or He could have encouraged me by the presence of my husband and children and friends.
But in His great mercy, He gave me a very special gift, one which I shall cling to the rest of my life: the physical sensation of His Presence.

In this season of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share with you my wonderful memory.
Whenever I'm sad or discouraged, I remember the day of my encounter.
And give Him thanks.

(I even put this encounter in my latest book about a young woman who suffers from panic attacks.)

My prayer is that my experience will encourage others who feel that God has abandoned them during their crisis.
He has not.
Sometimes He is silent.
But He is always with you.
Don't ever give up crying out to Him.
He hears you.

 "Never will I leave you.
Never will I forsake you." (Heb. 13:5 NIV Bible)


  1. Hi Dena -

    Thank you for sharing your testimony. I had not heard it before. I know it will inspire and encourage others.

    Susan :)

  2. Dena -- What a wonderful story! Mine is not as dramatic as yours, but I will never forget waking in the middle of the night, hearing a voice saying, "You are not alone." I don't even remember why I had been so worried, simply that the voice gave me an incredible comfort. I never doubted whose voice it was. Only God could have provided such comfort. --Amanda