Friday, November 15, 2013

"Embers" by Melissa Driggers

Photo by Melissa Driggers


I never should have said it out loud.  

On a brisk Fall morning two years ago, I said to my mentor, “I really believe I have finally figured out what joy really means.  It’s not what I always thought it was.  It’s not always belly laughing or dancing – sometimes, it’s just knowing.  I think I’ve reached a place in my walk with God that, no matter what may come, nothing can steal my joy." 

Just a few days later, he sent me a text early in the morning that said, “Melissa, you came to my mind this morning.  Read some verses I believe God wants to seal in your heart. 
1 Peter 1:3-9.”  As I read these verses that morning, I reflected back in time over the previous two years.  They had been hard years, years of emotional and spiritual breakthroughs and learning how to dream again.  That morning, I read these verses through a joy-filled lens, and the words held me.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.  This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power, until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  Though you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 

A little more than 24 hours later, I got the phone call that would change my life forever.  "Melissa, you have cancer." 

My Protector, My Comforter, My Healer knew that I would need those verses, so He made sure they were planted in my heart.  I read those verses again, but this time through a grief-filled lens.  Again the words held me. 

I had said out loud that nothing could steal my joy, and that made me accountable to walk my talk.  Friends, it was SO much easier to make that proclamation on the “through” side of breakthrough than on the “break” side, or so I thought at the time.   

This week I celebrate being cancer-free for two years.  I have thought and prayed about what to post today, and He just keeps bringing me back to one central truth that I sense that someone needs to hear today.  Maybe it’s you. 

That thing I said out loud, well, it’s true.   

I now realize that years ago, when I invited Him into my heart, my soul, and my life, He took me at my word.  What I receive in return is an intimacy with Him so close that it's hard not to see Him, even in the midst of cancer.  His presence is so deep that it's hard not to feel Him, even when my heart is broken or my dreams for myself have appeared to shatter right in front of me.  His voice that is now so familiar that it's hard not to hear Him, even when He only quietly whispers.   

I have come to understand that faith is not always like a raging fire in my heart.  You know what I mean, those mountaintop moments when our felt connection to His presence is so thick and His goodness is so great that it’s almost too much to bear, but after the raging fire on the mountaintop has been smothered by rain or snow, when only a faint glow from one single burning ember remains … well, that's faith, too.   

That one tiny, glowing ember that remains still moves mountains.  I know, because it still moves me, and even though sometimes it isn’t the too much kind of faith, it’s always just enough to get me home.   

Maybe your faith is only a tiny ember today and not a raging fire.  You know what?  It’s OK.  I believe He wants to remind you today that even the raging fire began with an ember.  Remember…give Him what you have and watch Him restore and heal your heart.  He is faithful!

Melissa is an itinerant speaker/teacher, blogger and author residing in the South.  She is single (although she prefers the term “unclaimed treasure”) and lives with her two children, Henry and Hannah, who are “technically” canine (ssshhhh… they don’t know they aren’t human).  Her vision and passion for ministry is to shepherd others to the grace, hope, healing, and restoration found only in Jesus Christ!  Through her own life journey, God has transformed her heart, and she has experienced the true meaning of “beauty from ashes”.

You can connect with Melissa through her web site, at


  1. Praise Jesus! Thank you for sharing your story!! I have been blessed by your words this day! ginger smith

    1. Ginger, we are so glad you stopped by and are so happy that you found encouragement here. God is good, and He is oh so faithful!

  2. Truly blessed and encouraged!

  3. Those words are just what I needed to read today and where I'm at on His journey for me. Well done and I praise and thank God for the wisdom, strength, and love He gave, and continues to give you.

    1. Thank you - He is our strength and our comforter. We can place all of our embers together to create a let's do that. :) Much love to you on this day and know that you have my prayers and the prayers of the Church4Chicks team as well. May you feel His presence around you today like a big, warm, fuzzy blanket. :)


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