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His Footsteps of Mercy: A Poem of Healing and Hope Through God

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Lori Colbo loves to write about her Christian faith and the Bible to encourage and inspire others.

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We are told not to live in the past, and that is good advice. But I have found reflecting on the past for the purpose of seeing how far you've come and how God showed up for you, even when you didn't know it is a very good idea. Such reflection brings about a heart full of gratitude, a confident hope for the future, and rejoicing for the lessons and spiritual growth born from that journey. When we can do this, we can move forward and traverse the mountains and valleys ahead knowing that God is with us through every season of our lives.

This poem is a testament to my journey to wholeness after years of struggle with PTSD. How did I get there? It wasn't easy because I was so broken that I couldn't see God through all the mess. It's not that I didn't believe in God or know Him Christ as my Savior, I most definitely did. I just got lost in my searing pain and anxiety. There were seasons of numbness, where I just existed. I went through times of depersonalization and derealization - a state of detachment from who I was and life around me; something that is too difficult to describe. Those were in the early days when the onslaught of memories assaulted me. I am grateful beyond words for the friends who came alongside me, prayed for, and ministered to me. They saw God and hope when I couldn't.

I made some bad choices along the way. I went through a passive phase in therapy. I didn't try the tools given to me. "Fix me," was my attitude. I had a wonderful therapist who finally had to say goodbye because I was not working at recovery. A few months later I sent her a thank you card. I had attention-seeking moments, I had some physically destructive behaviors. Slowly but surely, I began to work at things, to advocate for myself, to care, to struggle in a positive way. Climbing a mountain is a struggle. But you have a goal, a purpose, a victory ahead, and you trudge your way, step by step. The missing ingredient was trusting God, calling out to Him. Four years ago I had a life-threatening emotional crisis. Alone in my house, I said "Oh God help me, save me, send me someone to come alongside me." It was a simple prayer. I didn't need eloquence and long drawn out petitions, just "help." Despite the severity of my despondency, there was also an inexplicable sense of God's presence. The bible says to rejoice in our sufferings (Romans 5:3), and to count it all joy when you face various trials (James 1:2). Many people find those verses baffling. How can one rejoice when they are suffering? That certainly was unfathomable to me until that day I said "Help me, God." The joy was not of the "whoopee I'm suffering" variety. It's not that my suffering left me in that moment. It was as acute as before I said that simple prayer. The joy was an inexplicable, tangible knowledge of God's presence. A sense of hope.

Wouldn't you know it, in the next 24 hours, God answered my prayers in amazing ways. Absolutely took my breath away (why do we always marvel when God answers prayer?). I was not healed or relieved of my pain, but God sent two people to come to my aid. I had asked Him for a specific therapist to come back into my life, or someone like her. But He used another person I barely knew first. He was a professional and I reached out to him via email. He called me and shared his struggle with depression. It settled me down a bit and I was deeply touched. The very next day, the therapist called me. She had left the clinic 18 months before. Turns out, she returned and it was her first day back and she was on the crisis team. The man I spoke to the day before called the crisis team at the clinic, not knowing who she was, that I wanted to see her. He was just calling for help for me She was a believer and was able to give me spiritual counsel as well as regular therapy. With God's help, I found freedom in a few years. I am no longer in therapy. I feel whole and healed.

Thanks be to God.

His Footsteps of Mercy

Memories came out of nowhere

While I was just living life;

They battered me, shattered me,

And I lost who I was;

"I am someone else," I told them;

But I did not know who.

I was numb, outside myself;

"Oh God, Who am I? Where am I?"

I was lost at sea,

And I wanted to say goodbye.


Harrowing dreams night after night,

And I cried out, "Let me go."

They ravaged me, they shackled me,

And I could not flee;

"I can’t see You Father," I said.

"Are You there? Anywhere?"

I was afraid, I was alone.

"Oh God, answer me, come arise."

But I could not hear,

I did not think I could survive.


Recollections of little me,

A tiny girl only four;

They abused me, they misused me,

And I was so helpless;

I went someplace else, in my mind;

I flew up to the sky,

I went beyond, outside of time;

"Oh God, reach for me, take my hand."

The sky was so blue,

I was in God’s heavenly land.


The journey to wholeness was long,

Struggling through blood sweat and tears;

I faltered much, I clawed and clutched;

One day my eyes opened,

I saw His footsteps of mercy,

A vessel held my tears,

Cherished like sweet sacred treasures;

"Oh God, You’ve been here, all along,

You’re my living hope,

And my life is a brand new song."

© 2021 Lori Colbo

Comments

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on January 04, 2021:

Thank you so much, Denise. Happy New Year to you as well.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on January 02, 2021:

What a beautiful story of hope and healing. I'm so happy you are well through God's help. Happy New Year!

Blessings,

Denise

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on January 02, 2021:

Happy New Year, Bill.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 02, 2021:

I love messages of love, strength, endurance, and conquest. Thank you for sharing yours, and Happy New Year to you!

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on January 02, 2021:

Oh Eric, nothing selfish at all in your message. My whole entry here is to rejoice in the past work of God in my life, and the work he'll do for the rest of my life. Happy New Year back at you.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on January 02, 2021:

Dearest Ann, I don't know about brave, but we weren't meant to waste our pain. You share to give hope to others. Happy New Year.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on January 02, 2021:

Manatita, thanks for your kind words.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on January 02, 2021:

Oscar, that is the truth.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on January 02, 2021:

Pamela, these trials have strengthened my faith and endurance immensely. I know there will be other trials to come. No matter how difficult, I know who to turn to. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on January 02, 2021:

Your poetry is magnetic. What a great way to start a day. I am using it for my devotional.

I don't mean to be uncaring and selfish, however as I read your story I was thanking God for your journey. It has made you what you are and that is a blessing to so many.

Eric

Ann Carr from SW England on January 02, 2021:

What a terrible journey you had but it's good to read that you had the strength to pull through, finally with help you accepted. A strong faith helps many. Your poem reveals the bad and the good, from despair to salvation and hope - well constructed. You are brave to share this.

Happy New Year, Lori!

Ann

manatita44 from london on January 02, 2021:

I always love people who keep it real ... who show that we are human and do not get lost in books. In that sense, I love your article, like I do Bill's stories also.

The poem is beautiful and the whole thing, especially the 2nd stanza, could easily be a benchmark for 2021.

Sometimes the tears are necessary to feel this:

"Oh God, You’ve been here, all along,

You’re my living hope,

And my life is a brand new song." - Lori Colbo.

"Prayer begins when human capacity ends." - Sri Chinmoy

Happy New Year!!

Oscar Jones from Monroeville, Alabama on January 02, 2021:

He is always near when you call on him!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 02, 2021:

You come have certainly come through the storm, and it is good to realize God has been there all along. I believe when we come through tough struggles we come out stronger on the other side, and that is you, Lori.

Your story and your poem touched me as I know how tough it was for you to live through those years, and I am glad you are in a much better place.

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