Trying to escape the taunting voices, I took refuge on the cold linoleum floor. The rhythmic beat of my tormentors' accusations hammered savagely in my head as I lay curled up in a tight ball.
You're all alone.
Everything you thought was safe is gone.
It's always going to feel like this.
There is no hope in your life.
"Stop it, stop it, stop it! Oh God, please make it stop."
The relentless waves of despair crashed repeatedly on my broken spirit. With each insult, the intensity increased like a rising tide destroying sand castles in its path.
Look at you
Your family would be better off without you.
You're ruining everyone's lives around you.
Your parents would be so disappointed in you.
Exhaustion enveloped me and eventually gave way to sleep as I laid my head on the fluffy rose-colored bath rug.
Moments (or maybe hours) later, I was awoken by an insistent knocking on the door.
"Honey, are you okay? It's almost time to leave for the Watchmen concert."
"I'm not going."
"But you've been looking forward to this, and I think it'd be good for you." Unaware of the spiritual battle I was fighting alone, my husband's gentle encouragement only aided the enemy by initiating a fresh onslaught of self-condemnations.
You can't go your face is all blotchy. You look awful.
The songs will make you cry, and you'll look stupid blubbering.
It's been well over a year. Get over it already.
Silently I begged God to quiet the voices and help me get to the church. Wanting to hold onto my anger and self-pity, I insisted that I wasn't going for me; I was only going for my family. And I further resolved not to enjoy a minute of the concert. Joy had been viciously stripped from my life the day my parents died in a car accident.
A short time later, I entered the sanctuary, determined not to talk to anyone. I had already been through the "how-are-you-oh-I'm-fine" façade earlier that morning. Intense sadness painted my heart black, and no one was going to break through.
When the concert began, I begrudgingly let my toe tap, ever so slightly, to the upbeat gospel music. But I refused to laugh at any of the comedic attempts of the quartet; choosing instead to languish in my suffocating despair. I stared intently at the fidgeting hands in my lap, willing the night to be over.
"I can just see them, walking on the shores of heaven "
What? Did someone say something?
"Oh, how I miss you so "
Someone understands me. Who is that?
"you miss me too, and 'til then you'll be praying for me."
Mom? Dad? Are you there? Can you see me? Are you really praying for me?
"Wish you were here, it's such a beautiful place "
Is it prettier than June Lake? Prettier than Hawaii? I want to be there with you.
"I can just see them, walking on the shores together "
Oh, I can see you holding hands. I hope there's not sand Dad hates sand.
"They're talking with Jesus, safe and secure in His love "
I see Him. I see Jesus with you. You look so happy. How can you be happy when you've left us here like this? Don't you see what's happened to me?
"And I know if they could talk to me now, here's what they'd say "
Please, God, please. I want to talk to them. I want to hear their voices one more time.
"We're having a great time wish you were here."
Hot tears cascaded down my cheeks, accompanied by heaving sobs. Miraculously, I felt a minuscule pin prick of light penetrating the blackness of my soul. For the first time since the accident, I saw faint colors returning to my world.
And at that moment, there was no one in the church except God and me and my postcard from heaven.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 NIV
Author's note: "Wish You Were Here" was originally sung and recorded by the Kingsmen in 1994, and later by the Watchmen Quartet.
Sheri is a Christian, wife, and mother who is daily growing into the woman God called her to be. Through tragedy, depression, and illness, Sheri has come to have a very intimate relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ.