I love to read.
We each have that ONE thing that we would do more of, if only we had more time, right? For me, that would be reading. I guess that's why I get excited when I find out about a new book hitting the shelves!
Today I'd like to pass along this little gem. My friend and author Micah Maddox has generously shared an excerpt from her new book Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World.
Micah is a pastor's wife and women's ministry leader, and this book would make a great fall book club read. It releases September 5th. For more information about Anchored In, click the image below. Enjoy the sneak peek!
There is a desire inside every little girl to be loved, cherished, and adored by her daddy. Just the word “daddy” makes me want to cuddle up with a warm blanket and listen to a deep voice tell a story of a princess being captivated by a winsome prince on a white horse. When the story is done, and there are no more words spoken, daddy swoops up his little girl, and they twirl through the kitchen to the sound of their favorite song. Every good daddy-daughter duo has a song, at least that’s the way I imagine it.
My story doesn’t take place in the kitchen. There’s no dancing and I don’t remember cuddles with my main man. Although I longed for a dad who would love me and be proud of me, I never really knew my biological dad. My memories consist of him going to the church early to prepare the sermon. He would study long hours and return home long after I was in bed. I don’t have memories of sitting in his lap, but I do remember watching him. He would hold the Bible the same way every Sunday. When the music began for the invitation, he would bow his head, rest his elbow on his other arm and pinch the top of his nose as people flooded the altar. I knew my daddy was the best preacher ever. He would proclaim the Word of God and even my little five-year-old mind and heart would be pierced with conviction. He was the closest thing to God that I knew.
One Sunday morning, after Dad headed to church, the rest of us loaded into the old gray Oldsmobile. We pulled into the church parking lot and noticed Daddy’s car was not in the normal spot. As we surveyed the parking lot, we realized his car wasn’t there at all. Mama swiftly headed toward the church office, my brother and I following closely behind. We opened the big wooden door and I skipped over to the couch as my ruffles fell softly on the leather cushions. I looked up and saw Mama reading a note that had been left behind. I watched as Mama put her shoulders back and dried her tears. She found the head deacon and told him he would need to preach the morning service. That was the Sunday morning that Daddy abandoned the church, mama, brother, and me. There would be no fairy tales and cuddles or deep voice telling a sweet bedtime story. Daddy was gone and he was not coming back.
I’m sure you’ve heard other stories much like mine where a man of God makes a big mistake. Or maybe for you it was a mother who walked out of her children’s lives not realizing the forever impact on those little lives. Perhaps a leader of a big corporation was caught stealing money or the nice man down the street was convicted of sexually assaulting children. Difficult stuff is everywhere. It affects each of us in one way or another. Living anchored in God’s power doesn’t take the difficult stuff away, but it does allow us to walk through the difficult days without drowning. When I think back on that day and the way my mom put her shoulders back and lifted her head, I now understand where her determination, resolve, and confidence came from. She had the power of God within her. It wasn’t her own determination or resolve to survive and thrive beyond the choices of another, it was God’s unimaginable strength that lifted her chin and calmed her shattered heart.
I don’t know what pain you’ve experienced in your life, but I do know we all have a past. When we tuck it away and pretend it never happened we waste something that God can use. Pretending our problems away doesn’t do away with them, it only compounds them. What if God can take that broken childhood, that difficult event, or that shattered piece of your heart and help someone? I know it’s hard to look at trials through a lens of “helping others” but it’s become a way of life for me. When I get my eyes off of what happened to me and onto what God has done for me, I begin to be able to share my story with a slice of hope rather than horror.
My past helps me pursue God more. When I remember all God has done, I know He is able to help me, to hold me, to anchor me in my hard times. - MICAH
Micah Maddox is a women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, writer, blogger, and author of Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World. She is passionate about helping women find purpose, peace, and calm in our chaotic world. As a pastor’s wife and mother of three, she contributes her time to MOPS and her local church – including serving as a women’s ministry leader. You can learn more about Micah and her new book at micahmaddox.com. Connect with Micah on Facebook.