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  • Kristyn Madgwick

Calling All Angels



Christ is the anchor of my life, but it hasn’t always been that way.

I grew up Catholic. My grandparents raised 8 children in the Catholic church so naturally my mother followed suit. Growing up, I did all the things expected of a good Catholic girl; I went to Catholic school until the 8th grade, my family attended church every Sunday, I took the Eucharist, went to confession monthly, and recited the rosary every week.

In spite of all these things, I never felt like I had a deep and personal relationship with Jesus. I sort of felt like I was going through the “sit-stand-kneel” motions in a passionless, methodical way.


Fast forward to my 30’s, I found myself as a single mom raising a beautiful little boy with all the challenges that go along with it. Having a child changes everything. Before my son, I was like every other self-absorbed young woman, and naturally I didn’t understand the impact of motherhood until I gave birth to my one and only child. I’ll never forget the first time I looked into his eyes. I knew at that moment that everything was going to be different. This tiny, helpless little human no bigger than a loaf of bread laid in my arms and as we stared at one another, I knew that this was my greatest gift in life. From that moment, I was his fierce lioness protector; his pain was my pain, his joy, mine, his sadness, my sadness.


When my son was 8 years old, he experienced some personal things that brought him profound sadness and pain. For his privacy, I’ll leave it at that. I lazily prayed during his time of suffering expecting God to wave his magic wand to fix the situation. I always expected for God to have my back and I didn’t think I had to work really hard for His blessings. “A prayer here and there, should do the trick,” I thought. I never really fell to my knees to pray, that is until I did.


It was a bad day and I needed God to take the pain away from my sweet little boy. I had been fighting for my son for a long time at this point, and I was desperate for God’s help and guidance, so I fell to my knees in the middle of a parking lot. With tears pouring down my face, I looked up to the sky and begged out loud for God to have mercy on my son. I begged Him to take all the pain away from him, and I expected for Him to do what I asked. He didn’t, and it was on this day that I stopped praying. With a deflated spirit and a weary heart, I looked up to the heavens and I cursed at God. I told Him that He was cruel, and that He had a sick sense of humor. “HOW CAN YOU ALLOW MY SWEET, INNOCENT SON TO SUFFER,” I cried out. “I’ll never pray to you again.” And then I screamed out the words that nobody should ever say to God: “I hate you!”


And that was it. For two years, I didn’t bow my head to pray, not even once. I lived in darkness consumed with anger, hatred, and frustration. I had no faith, little hope, and I was mentally and physically exhausted. My son’s burden continued and although I fought the good fight, I was weary, and Satan has a stronghold on me.


On an unusually cool night in late June, I couldn’t sleep. It was 5:30 am and my heart felt like it was trying to escape from my chest. I had to expel some energy, and like the scene in Forest Gump where he jumps off his front porch and starts to run, I did exactly that. I was still in my pajamas, but I didn’t care; I threw on a pair of shoes, stuffed my iPod in my pocket, and I just started running down the street.


About 15 minutes in, I prayed for the first time in two years. I screamed out “Why have you deserted us, God? Why have you abandoned me and my child? WHERE ARE YOU?? WHERRRE. ARRRE. YOUUU??!! “SHOW ME YOU’RE HERE, DAMN IT. I NEED YOU, GOD!! I NEED YOU!”


I stopped to catch my breath and it was at this time I pulled out my iPod, stuck the buds in my ears, and without even looking at the menu, I hit play.


There were 4,000 songs on that iPod. 4,000 songs! And of those 4,000 songs, this is what randomly played:


“I NEED A SIGN TO LET ME KNOW YOU’RE HERE

ALL OF THESE LINES ARE BEING CROSSED OVER THE ATMOSPHERE

I NEED TO KNOW THAT THINGS ARE GONNA LOOK UP

CAUSE I FEEL US DROWNING IN A SEA SPILLED FROM A CUP.”


I stood there in the middle of the road, astonished. "Could God be speaking to me right now?", I thought. My heart was racing, I was so thirsty, and still trying to catch my breat, but I stood still in the middle of the road listening…


“I’M CALLING ALL ANGELS!”


I looked around me. I was alone and it was still dark outside. I kept listening…


“WHEN THERE IS NO PLACE SAFE AND NO SAFE PLACE TO PUT MY HEAD

WHEN YOU FEEL THE WORLD SHAKE FROM THE WORDS THAT ARE SAID”


“This can’t be happening” I said to myself. “This has to be coincidence.” But I quickly realized that out of 4,000 songs on my iPod, THIS was the song playing at that very moment. There is no such thing as coincidence, I realized.


“I WON’T GIVE UP IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP

I WON’T GIVE UP IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP

I WON’T GIVE UP IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP

I WON’T GIVE UP IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP”


I listened to the song again from the beginning and starting walking toward home. By this time, the sun was starting to rise in the sky. The warmth of its rays was touching my skin and it felt like a thousand hands were lifting me up and pulling me out of the darkness.


I raised my eyes to the heavens, and I felt a little bit of hope for the first time in 2 years. I walked home slowly listening to this beautiful message that God sent to me through music, of all things, and I knew that I wasn't alone.


“I WANT A REASON FOR THE WAY THINGS HAVE TO BE

I NEED A HAND TO HELP BUILD UP SOME KIND OF HOPE INSIDE OF ME

“I’M CALLING ALL ANGELS!!!!

I’M CALLING ALL YOU ANGELS!”


I started to turn the corner of my street and the song was ending


“I WON’T GIVE UP IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP

I WON’T GIVE UP IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP….”


That day in late June is when God and I started rebuilding our relationship. It took a little while to get to where it is now, but it’s stronger now than it’s ever been.


For some of us, we have to live in the darkness in order to see just how truly beautiful the light of Christ is. We need to see that stark contrast in order to grasp the awesome power of His love and never-ending grace. For some of us, we become complacent in our faith and our expectations of God are unreasonably high. We stand with our hand out saying, “give it to me, God, give it to me” and we take His blessings with little gratitude. I think sometimes He shakes things up in our lives, so we realize just how much we need Him.


I leave you with this, if you’re feeling helpless, hopeless, lost, alone, sad, afraid, or anxious, turn to scripture. The verse below is a great reminder that He is with you even if it feels as if he’s abandoned you. And remember, some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. Never give up.


Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

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