Do you believe in seasons of darkness, seasons of light? I once heard spiritual friends talk about seasons of their lives this way but I guess I had never experienced a long season of darkness. At 17, I battled severe depression, but it passed in about 6 months time; I only needed time to process some life changes and redefine myself. It wasn't that the sadnesses didn't return, but they didn't stay or have the same impact. I has hope. I was excited about my life. And I'd say there have been other, brief time periods of darkness spread out over my lifetime.
My husband and I spent about 14 years of marriage together in a period of relative light. It wasn't without issue or strife, don't get me wrong. In that time period, there were three years somewhat consumed by a diagnosis of a brain tumor and potential brain surgery, for example. We had three miscarriages. We took a couple financial risks and lost. One of us hated our work vehemently. Our son was born and refused to sleep. Ever. But this: we were happy. We were together in the hard stuff. We were best friends. We had hope. We had dreams. We lifted each other up; when one was discouraged, the other encouraged. There was a positive life energy around us. I'm aware that sounds cheesy but it's true.
I'd say we've been in a period of darkness since we decided to sell our home and live full-time in an RV. A lot of folks would say, "duh, why'd you do that?!?" Our reasons were many and complicated; suffice it to say that it seemed like the best way out of a financial mistake and we really thought God led us to this decision. So, here we are, with little option out at this point, and over one year to go.
This has been, hands-down, THE most challenging time of my life. I find myself praying desperately every morning on my drive to work with tears in my eyes, and doing the same on my way home. The point I really want to share with you is this: God is with me. He is with you. Always. I never actually knew this before. I knew it in words but not in my heart. He has brought me to my knees in grief and fear and moments of hopelessness, but I have felt His role in all of this without doubt the entire time. I can visibly see His work on my character. He is scraping away my pride, my idols. He is teaching me to depend on Him and to glorify Him. This work hurts and I would love to cry "Mercy", but I know it will be in His time.
"Never doubt in the darkness what you have seen in the light." I have that quote up on our wall and I look at it on the really rough days, like today. Lord, help me to hold on to the direction you gave us nearly 2 years ago and remain steadfast in this direction, despite the obstacles. You urged us out of the light and into the darkness. We are afraid of the dark. I am like my little boy who, tonight, whimpered as he walked a few steps in the black night from our car to our home. I took his hand in mine and assured him he was safe, and then we were back inside. Im grasping your hand tightly, Lord, and listening for the comfort of your words.