Tag Archives: spiritual dryness

Post 70. Grace


India was still very much in our conversation but I was struggling.   I had two beautiful daughters and an amazing husband, but something had died inside.  I just couldn’t pull myself out of it.  There I was, living my dream, being a pastor’s wife but I wasn’t happy.  Life was full and I was busy with kids.  I had made the decision to breastfeed any and everywhere so I wouldn’t miss out on anything, but that didn’t help either.

I had lost all spiritual passion.  There just didn’t seem to be time to sit and pray or read the Bible; and if there was time, I had no idea where my Bible was.  I hadn’t read it for about two and a half years.  There was no desire.   Tony would ask me to pray with him and I didn’t want to.  He started to wonder if he needed to stop being a pastor.  It just didn’t seem to be working.

There wasn’t really anyone to talk to about it.  Everyone was busy and there wasn’t much they could have done anyway.  I couldn’t explain it and I couldn’t get out of it.  On a couple of occasions, I went up for prayer after a meeting and the only way I could explain how I felt was, “Something has died.”  I was holding things together, counselling people, having friends around for dinner and was generally a nice person in public.  With Tony and God, I was cool and indifferent.  We just weren’t connecting.  We were living on different planets.

On one of our trips to Durban to visit Wilf and Val, Tony “dragged” me to Victory Faith Church to hear a man,  Michael Eaton.  I really didn’t want to go.  I was so switched off,  but as I listened to him speak about the grace of God, something started to change in my heart.  It started to warm up and I felt a movement that I hadn’t felt for a long time.   Grace was the thing I needed.  So much of what he said cut deep.  Simple things like, “If you never read your Bible or prayed again, God’s love for you would still be the same.”   I had become hard on myself and forgotten the love of God for me.  I had put too much emphasis on me doing instead of me being.  If I couldn’t do, I couldn’t be. I had it all wrong.  I cried all the way home in the car.

I was running a ladies coffee morning for moms with young kids.  I had all the right words for them and they always left encouraged.  I always left feeling empty and spent.  I invited Jean Guthrie to do an “Inner and outer beauty,” talk on one of the days.  She did make-up demos and talked about beautifying our inner parts.  After the demos she prayed for any ladies who wanted prayer.  I watched from a distance; happy that my friends were getting touched, but feeling that God had left me forever.   I had asked for prayer many times before and nothing had happened.  It wasn’t for me.

I was clearing up cups, trying to look busy.   Jean called my name and I pointed at myself and said “Me?”   There was no other Linda there.  She asked me if I wanted everything that God had for me.  Like a good pastor’s wife, I said, “Yes.”  She looked at me in the eyes and asked, “Really?”  My eyes welled up and she gently put her hand on my head.

My mind went back to Pastor “Banana Fingers” who would lay hands on us and push us to the floor.  I would firmly put one foot in front of the other and resist falling down with all my might.   Somehow, I knew this was different.  As Jean prayed, I felt a warmth go from my head to my toes.  As that happened she said, “See, Linda, that is the Holy Spirit.”  I knew it was.  I had missed Him.  It had been so long and my heart had been so cold and hard.  I relaxed and took it all in.  He gently put me on the floor where I lay, unaware of anyone or anything else.

It was as if all my fighting had stopped.  I held up my white flag and surrendered to the grace of God.


See Post 66 for more background on my spiritual struggle.

Post 66. Paying baby off


Tony had his heart set on an Ovation guitar.  They weren’t available in Johannesburg so he got another make he liked.  Around the time Asha was born,  he went back to the music shop to have a look around.  The guy was surprised to see him.  The exact Ovation Tony had been looking for had been brought in the day before.  He had no way of contacting Tony to let him know.

It was good and so pleasing.   It just wasn’t perfect because he didn’t have the money for it.  It was R 1,500. He told the guy he would get back to him.  It was taken off the shelf and he was given 24 hours to decide.  That day someone gave him R500.00 and Peter bought his old guitar from him for R500.00.  Another friend gave us R500.00 towards our hospital bill but he was happy for us to use it however we needed to.  We were on the lowest rung of income earners so the hospital agreed that we could pay R 50.00 a month.   That meant that Tony could go to the music shop and pay for the guitar.   It all happened in 24 hours and Ash was going to be paid off in instalments.

Walking out of the hospital with our baby was one of our proudest moments.  Tony, known for driving on the wild side, drove about 20 kms an hour along the highway.  I sat there smiling and wondering how long it would last.  It lasted until we got home.

Tony took two weeks off work and people from the church brought us meals every day.  We were so spoilt.  We didn’t have a TV but we watched the series “Roots” from beginning to end whenever Ash was asleep.  The midwives had taught me how to get her to sleep four hours at a time by fully feeding her.  I never fed her without my clock right next to me and I was determined that she was going to sleep through the night by 6 weeks.   Between bouts of mastitis and happy hour every day from 5-6 pm we didn’t give up.  When she struggled to sleep we put her in her carrycot on top of the tumble drier.  She thought she was in the car; it worked every time.  She was sleeping through the night, in her own room, by the time she was 6 weeks old.  It was nice to have our room back.

Life was stretching.  Tony got busy with his prison and church work.  He was a great dad but somehow I got resentful of his freedom to come and go as he wanted to.  I wasn’t used to being left out of anything.  Suddenly I couldn’t attend meetings and when I did, I had to take my crying baby outside.  I couldn’t see the point.   I started to withdraw and lose my intimacy with God.  I was consumed with feeding, bathing, consoling and sleeping.  I loved it all and I loved my baby, but I just couldn’t seem to love anyone or anything else.  I became more and more negative and spiritually disconnected.

The community in Buccleuch wasn’t working.  No one was prepared to really commit to it so we shut it down and we all went back to Waverley.  We had made some good friends.   It was good to experience what it was like to start a new community but we were very aware that there was so much more we needed to learn before we tried it in India.