It happens like a slow fade, transitioning from the brightness of light into the darkness of night.
I feel so alone. I’m scared. Fear of the unknown lurks in every corner.
Confused…I’m unsure of what’s to come. I don’t know when, or even if, the light will ever return. I have faith that it will, but then again nothing in this life is guaranteed.
Everything is dark. I cannot see a thing. My mind is numb, overwhelmed by the pain, and unable to concentrate.
So I close my eyes, there is nothing else to do. In this deep, dark place, there is nothing I can do. I have lost my sense of control along with my sense of sight. I am vulnerable, powerless, and dependent. In this moment, in this place, I am reminded where my strength and help come from.
Eyes closed, lights out, I feel my head lift up and I point to You.
Have you ever felt like this before?
Helpless, alone, lost, confused, blinded by the light or trapped in the dark?
I wasted years of my life believing I was in control. As a control freak, I was convinced I was driving the direction my life was headed in. Likewise, I bought into the world’s lie that I should only look out for #1. Me, myself and I were all I needed to achieve the hopes, goals, and dreams that occupied my heart and clouded my judgment.
So I stayed in the darkness and hid from the light. I stuffed my emotions, along with my spiritual gifts and untapped potential, into the way back of that dark place. I was afraid to face the person I was but was more afraid of the possibility of the person I could become.
The imagery of being stuck in the dark has haunted me in recent weeks. What I described above is both a figurative depiction as well as a true description of what a dark place may feel like. While the latter account relates more to a person’s spiritual, mental and emotional darkness (which I personally have experienced on more than one occasion), the former portrays a more literal darkness pertaining to vision.
What has been plaguing me and throwing me in a dark place over the last few weeks (and truthfully, over the last decade +) is the reoccurrence of debilitating migraines. The migraines I battle knock me out for hours on end. They can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an entire day. I completely lose my sight and black out. I haven’t had a migraine in nearly a year, praise the Lord, but I have been hit with two in the last three days of writing this. They are both the worst thing and the scariest thing I have ever experienced. But when they do occur and when the darkness closes in, I find myself alone…with God.
I never know how long the migraines will last and more importantly, I never know if my vision will ever return. I feel helpless because there is nothing I can do to change my circumstance. I feel dependent because I know I cannot do much by myself. I get confused as to how or why this is happening. As mentioned above, there is no guarantee I will get my sight back. There is nothing owed to me that would offer a cure.
Chances are good you do not experience the literal darkness of permanent vision loss or a temporary vision loss from a migraine or something similar. I pray that is the case. But, whether you care to admit it or not, there is a likelihood that you do know what a dark place feels like. You can smell it, touch it, see it…whether in your mind or in the raw, real, physical place that exists somewhere in your life.
Maybe it is the death of someone close to you. Maybe it happened after a job loss or in the chaos of unpaid bills piling up on your counter. Perhaps it is an unexpected tragedy or an unplanned circumstance, event or situation. It could be devastating health results or an unfortunate diagnosis. It could be a broken relationship, chronic depression, or an addiction.
The dark places are seasonal – they come and go and some may even come back again. We’ll find ourselves wandering in some dark places and stumbling haphazardly into others. We may even fall head first into some dark places because we’re too busy focusing on what is ahead of us rather than in front of us.
Regardless if we find the dark places on our own or if they find us, the important thing is how we will find our way back out and into the light.
“For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.”2 Corinthians 4:6 (CSB)
Jesus is the Light. He is the way out. He is our help, our strength and our living hope. He will lift us out of every dark place and will lead us back to Him, but it begins with seeking Him first. We need to call out His name and believe He is there. Jesus is waiting to rescue us and save us from the darkness of this world…and the darkness of our selves.
So when all goes black in my life, literally or figuratively, I remind myself I am not alone. I point to God and ask His son to carry me through this in His Spirit’s strength and not through my own.
I have faith He will.
I know He will.
Because I can’t do this life alone.
“The light shines in the darkness,John 1:5 (CEB)
and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.”