The path I have walked has been dark and fraught with peril. Not straight, it winds and dips. It curves and rises. Branches reach up and grab at my face. The dirt and mud cause my steps to falter, become unsure. Still I trudge on. Loss. The grass becomes an impenetrable wall and doesn’t part before me. It clumps together to trip me, making me fall to my knees. Pain. The air is thick with oppression, a deep sense of dread and fear threatens to overtake me. Grief. Insects swarm about my head and face, stinging and biting they draw blood time and again. Doubt. I can’t see the light above me, around me or in front of me…wait…what’s that in the distance? Could it be? Is it possible? I focus my attention on it, ignoring the traps and pitfalls. It calls to me, beckoning me to come. Hope. I’m running now, a complete disregard for where my feet fall. I’m reaching out to it, grasping at the air, desperation gradually giving way to strength. Hope. It’s growing, larger and larger, brighter and brighter. I’m cut from head to toe. My clothes are ripped and torn. I’m bruised and battered. Yet I persevere. Hope. Finally…finally…I break free of the forest. I break free of the burdens. I break free of the darkness. Light.
“But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult…” Matthew 7:14
Lately, my posts have had a sadness and a painful air. I’ve written what God has given me to write, as I always strive to do. Even though they have been a reflection of the grief inside me, they have taken me where He has wanted me to go. And I am so grateful for all of you who have been praying and encouraging me through this season. It is with some trepidation, therefore, that I take this timid step…my first foothold on my climb to the mountaintop.
I always try to have my wife read my posts before I publish them. She’s my biggest fan and is the source of a lot of my desire to write. However, she said something to me after “On Struggles…” that made me stop and think. She said that it was a good piece, but it’s the same thing that I have been writing for a while now. Pray. Blah, blah, blah. It’s tough. Blah, blah, blah. It brought back to life in me one of the biggest reasons that I began blogging…to build our relationship with God. I was doing a disservice to you, the readers, but, and more importantly, I was doing a disservice to my wife. Lena has needed me now more than ever, and I was too caught up in my own miseries. I was selfish. I wasn’t sharing what God has been giving me. That stops today.
I want her to know that even though we have been in the valley, we are finally coming to the mountaintop. God, the Almighty, have never left us nor forsaken us. In spite of everything we are going through, He has never been far from our sides. I BELIEVE that we are finally coming to our Spring…even though we’re only a month away from Mia’s Angelversary (the day she received her angel wings). “How’s that?” you might ask. Well, I’m glad you did…
This new job that I have been led to is an old friend that I’m so very familiar with. I’m back in law enforcement, which is what I know and can do without even thinking about it. It’s led me to a new city and new friends. We spent this weekend with them, and Lena met them for the first time. They are kind, generous, fun-loving, and genuine. She immediately felt right at home, and I saw something in her that I haven’t seen in a very long time…I saw my wife.
She has been in a funk since Mia passed away. Understandably so. I have been in and out of one myself. This weekend, though, she laughed. She enjoyed being around other people and her family. And one of the women we spent time with is a bereaved mother, having lost her five-month-old daughter not long after we lost Mia. Hmmmm…I wonder if God brought them together for a reason. Ya think?
This weekend made me realize what I need to do for her, and for anyone else in the valley. I need to let her, and you, know that there is a light at the edge of the dark forest. No matter how faint it may seem while you’re in there, never lose sight of it, for it will guide you and straighten your path. It will make the briars and insects fall away as you pass. It will ease your burden so that you will no longer plod along. Instead, your steps will become easier and you’ll feel as though you’re walking three feet above the ground. It will widen the way before you until you can see the mountain and begin that last climb.
“‘Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me. There is more than enough room in My Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am. And you will know the way to where I am going.’
‘No, we don’t know, Lord,’ Thomas said. ‘We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?’
Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me…’” John 14:1-6
He is the way through the darkness. He is the truth of our lives and will remain faithful no matter how difficult it may be. He is the life that ensures we will one day get to enjoy eternity…with Mia and all our other loved ones that have gone before us. He is the Light.
I’m climbing way way to the mountaintop…won’t you come with me? (Mountaintop by The City Harmonic- a must-watch!)