Dear Bill

Activated - - NEWS - By Iris Richard Iris Richard is a coun­selor in Kenya, where she has been ac­tive in com­mu­nity and vol­un­teer work since 1995.

Bill and I are old friends. When we met up for coffee re­cently, he told me about his dif­fi­cul­ties. His wife has de­vel­oped a chronic con­di­tion which has left her bedrid­den, and Bill is strug­gling with her care. Mean­while, he is over­whelmed by the de­mands at his work­place and the fear of los­ing his job. This has led to a cri­sis of faith. I had found my­self bat­tling with sim­i­lar emo­tions not long ago. We prayed to­gether, but later I felt I had more to share, and this is the let­ter I wrote. Dear Bill, It was nice meet­ing with you, even though it sad­dens me to hear of your set­backs and hard­ships. Re­cently I went through a rough spot in my life. Per­haps what brought me through could help you as well.

When I lost sight of God, I came to re­al­ize that I had to be­come quiet—like early in the morn­ing, when only the birds are up and chirp­ing, or in the quiet of night when all ex­ter­nal com­mo­tion has ceased—calm­ing my men­tal pro­cesses, to be able to hear from God clearly again.

Talk­ing with a trusted friend about my heartaches helped me process the dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions. I learned not to be afraid of tears.

Read­ing a va­ri­ety of spir­i­tu­ally feed­ing ma­te­ri­als did won­ders, as I found pas­sages that turned my key. As I kept search­ing for hope, it did even­tu­ally spring forth.

Find­ing even small rea­sons for grat­i­tude kept the nag­ging voices of neg­a­tiv­ity and mis­ery at bay and helped me to keep open the door to re­gain­ing my faith. Since then, I have made some com­mit­ments: • When­ever I find my­self too worn out to pray, I pray any­way—trust­ing that God will hear my plea. 1 • When feel­ing too weary to read the Bi­ble, I read it any­way—God’s Word is liv­ing and pow­er­ful. 2 • When too im­pa­tient to find my in­ner still­ness, I seek for it any­way—re­mind­ing my­self that God mends bro­ken hearts. 3 • When my thoughts are down­cast and sad, I look up any­way—trust­ing that the fog will lift, for God re­wards those who seek Him. 4 To end this let­ter, dear Bill, I wish you all the best and prom­ise to keep your sit­u­a­tion in my daily prayers. Your friend, Iris

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