"I do so much just so I can feel valued.....so I can feel like I have a purpose. I'm afraid that if I stop, I will have to stop breathing too, because if I'm not constantly on the move, I feel dead inside. Stopping means that I die. But I'm dead anyway because I give my life to you ungrateful people and get nothing in return!"
The angrily shouted words had been hard to hear over the rising hum of excited feminine voices that had grown curious at the spectacle in the center of our prayer circle. Mere seconds had passed after Tamela Hayes had burst into the room, interrupting Sarah Hoffman's gentle supplications with the loud, angry clicking of her stiletto heels as she stomped across the linoleum floor.
We all watched with gaping mouths as she dragged a chair into the middle of the circle and defiantly stood beside it . Tears were running down her smooth, pale skin, her lips trembled, and her hands were fists at her side, but her eyes were fierce with suppressed anger.
She was a legend at our church, mostly known for her seemingly limitless supply of time and energy to devote to various ministries and projects. Tamela was the one we called when we needed help, advice, and encouragement so to hear her speak with such exhaustion and ire was a shock to us all.
"Can everyone please take a seat," I called out, my gaze fixed on Tamela who had now decided to stand on the chair and glare down at the closest woman next to her. Unfortunately that woman was Jamie Wilson, a new believer that I'd had to almost beg to come. Already Jamie was starting to stand and lean her body toward the exit.
"O my," said Rosa Perkins, Sunday School teacher, military spouse, and stay-at-home mom to two of the meanest toddlers that had every entered our nursery.
"That's a little harsh," said Jennifer Lewis, our piano player that moonlighted as a waitress when she wasn't attempting to get her Christian acting career off the ground.
One-by-one I could feel the ladies' eyes turn to me: Deacon's wife, church secretary, full-time pastry chef, and apparently a now unsuccessful Women's Ministry leader. My husband had been right. I wasn't prepared for this.
Lord, please give me the words.
"Phoenix Rising" is a short fiction, 3-part installment series. I will post a new part to the story once a week. As the story progresses my prayer is that it will inspire you, reader, to look deeper within yourself and to draw closer to God.
Until the next installment, here is a thought to ponder:
If God can raise Jesus from the dead, he can call out the dead that is in you. Jesus is the life-giver, the hope-bringer, the change-maker. And He cares for you! Trust Him.
And a verse to meditate upon:
John 10: 10
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."~Jesus
Please visit the "Blog discussion" thread in the Forums to post your thoughts on the story so far.