I began 2016 in a bad place. Oh, I’m pretty sure I put on a good face. I smiled and laughed my way through the holidays, but the dark places don’t always engulf you at first. Sometimes, it’s a slow, insidious crawl through the light until all that’s left is a tiny pinprick of flickering luminescence in the distance and your eyes have already adjusted to its absence.
It usually is the little things. Like child training going well until a little, repetitive irritant starts to escalate a situation until you find your voice is hoarse and your children look at you like you’ve just stolen the most precious thing in their world. And they ask why.
Or the quirks that endeared you to your husband become a creeping, crawling noise that shatters your stillness and you want to blame him for all that is wrong in your world.
Or family and their obligations that would normally fill you with unceasing joy, but now become another task on your to-do list that you desperately hope to check off.
Or time spent in the Word that used to feel so sweet and precious, but now feels like an unpleasant, additional hurdle you have to cross after you just broke the tape at the finish line.
And you wake up one morning wondering where all your joy went. More importantly, you wonder where that inexplicable peace went that you know you experienced just a few short weeks ago. When all was calm and bright and your nights were restful and your days a fountain of smiles and giggles and beautiful little gifts in the form of four foot and under pixies and a handsome, hardworking, amazingly patient man who treats you like the world revolves around you.
All the things that used to fill you with overwhelming pleasure, feels tired and exhausting. Or maybe those pleasures are still there, waiting for you, only YOU are too exhausted to care.
You don’t care.
But somewhere, in the darkness, that pinprick of light is still there and it whispers and sings to your heart.
Call me. Come to me. You, who are heavy laden. I AM your rest. Let me carry you.
So you answer. You reach out and take hold of that whispering melody and it washes over you in a flood of tears and pain and an agony of soul that you find difficult to describe to anyone who has never experienced it before. But your limbs are infused with strength and your heart feels the beginnings of something that seems very close to the peace you desperately seek. And you find the tenacity and will to hold on as the waves break over you and you try not to drown in them.
For me, the pinprick of light is a direct link to my Savior. My Lover, my Hope, my Truth, my Friend. His song, plays in my heart, whether it be through the beautiful voice of a precious friend or a song of worship reminding me of His amazing grace or a verse that I’ve passed over a million times before, but suddenly it awakens and stirs my soul on the million and first time.
I fear the darkness. Not that such fear is healthy and I would not recommend it. Fear of the darkness often keeps me firmly rooted in the middle of it when I should be reaching out to grasp the Light. I’m not saying it’s a good thing. Just stating a fact.
What I fear more, however, is losing the Light. My soul, my shattered heart could live without so much, but without the Light, I am nothing. I have nothing.
And that is not something I can ever bear to contemplate. Instead, I take a hold of God’s grace and His mercy and let it wash away the darkness. I grasp onto Him with all the desperation of a drowning woman and He refuses to let go.
In the end, as peace fills me once again, all I can ask is,
How can it be?
If I never know the answer to that question, I’ve discovered that I can be content in knowing the One who holds the answer.