I am not a fan of the dark, never have been and never will be. I’m a self professed wimp–no bones about it. I do everything in my power to keep some sort of light on in our house. There are night-lights everywhere! I make no apologies and admit it freely, I don’t like being in the dark, especially alone.
Several days ago I felt as though someone had turned the lights off in my mind. I learned that a college friend had died within hours of giving birth to her first child. To say it was a shock may quite possibly be the understatement of the year. It’s one of those things that you never imagine happening. I couldn’t (still can’t) wrap my brain around it. After learning about her passing, it was as if someone had turned the lights off. I just couldn’t shake the sense of loss I imagined her husband was dealing with and I struggled with thoughts of an innocent child losing its mother. I read recently, that when you become a mom it’s as if your heart is laid bear making it vulnerable to every crisis and tragedy you encounter. As though with each situation you feel the loss of that parent or that child. The most difficult aspect for me right now is the lack of understanding. I just don’t understand!
My mind has been so burdened and distracted by thoughts of her husband and son living life without her, that the last several days I’ve felt like I’m doing everything in the dark. You see, I’ve always been one who searches for understanding. If I can understand, then I can deal with any crisis or circumstance by focusing on the why behind it. However, the older I get the more situations I encounter where there are NO answers to the questions that haunt me.
As I sat at the table today playing Playdoh with my 4 year old, my mind began to wander and I started to think about how I’ve found my way in the dark before. I knew it wasn’t finding answers to the questions in my heart, but rather following closely behind the one who knows and sees all things. You see, God knows how to lead us out of darkness. It’s my relationship with Jesus Christ that brought me out of darkness many years ago, and it’s that same relationship that still does in moments like these.
I can reflect on his faithfulness, as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. His love never fails and it never waivers. His mercies are new EVERY morning. He promised, not an easy life on this earth but that He would never leave us and never forsake us, no matter what comes our way. He’s promised to take anything and everything in our lives, and if we trust him and allow him to, he will make them work for our good. He gives us beauty for ashes. He doesn’t leave us alone, but sent his Holy Spirit to comfort us, to guide us, and to speak peace over our restless souls. I have found all these things to be true in my life, and I know God has been and will be just as faithful to this new father and his son.
As I thought of all these things tears welled up within my eyes and I began to sing to the God who makes all things new. My young son heard me singing and looked into my eyes, and asked “Mommy, why are you singing sad songs to Jesus?” “Oh sweetheart”, I replied, “these tears are not sad tears, they’re thankful tears.” God has brought me through so much. God is right here with us. We are not alone and He helps us find our way in the dark.
“If my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear your voice
I hold onto what is true though I cannot see
If the storms of life they come and the road ahead gets steep
I will lift these hands in faith, I will believe
I’ll remind myself of all that you’ve done
and the life I have because of your son
Love came down, and rescued me, love came down and set me free
I am yours, I am forever yours
Mountains high or valley low, I sing out and remind my soul that
I am yours, I am forever yours…”
Love Came Down, by Brian Johnson and Jeremy Riddle