The darkness is weakening…debilitating…crippling…ever-oppressive. It threatens to consume me, wrapping me in its cold, mind-numbing embrace. She won’t let me see the Light. She’s a jealous and possessive mistress. Will I ever be able to breathe again? Will I ever find happiness? Will I ever find joy?
“…I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” -John 15:11
There! A pinprick in the blackness! I can see it. Just a small glimmer. Like Peter, I focus my eyes on it…and walk on the water! But, like Peter, I don’t have the discipline to stay there. My sight invariably turns to the black waters surrounding me. I sink again.
“…For you are God, my only safe haven. Why have you tossed me aside? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies? Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” -Psalms 43:2-5
This time, it hits me like a thunderbolt from Zeus. The darkness shatters into a million points of light. There He is. I can see Him so clearly now. He is looking down on me, His hand outstretched. I reach up and take it in mine, tentatively at first. But then I feel the warmth in that hand. I feel His presence begin to fill me again. My grip becomes strong…the strength born from the One who carries the weight of a universe on His shoulders. And I rise above the water again…
I’ve come to accept this as the nature of the loss we’ve experienced. Mountain highs and valley lows…at least this early in our grief journey. There are days when Lena and I feel as though we can conquer the world. Days when we feel Him all around us, wrapping us in His arms. Then there are other days…well…not so much.
Today, He has blessed me with a chance to share our grief and, more importantly, the climb up out of the pit. I know that He will hold us in His light if we can continue to keep our eyes firmly fixed on Him. I have faith that He will always give us every opportunity. This is one of them.
I’m sharing these verses and this song with the prayer that you find some measure of hope no matter what valley you’re in. Mainly, though, I’m sharing them for you, Lena. He has you in His arms and will bring you true joy again. Of this, I am certain. He loves you even more than I do (if that’s remotely possible), and He will not let us go.