This week started out in a dark place.
Earlier this week, I was struggling to breathe. Storms of parenting beloved children from hard places seemed to be crushing hope beneath it’s unrelenting downpour.
Depression had again crept in and sucked the freakin’ life out of my lungs. Getting out of bed at 3am after another sleepless night of anxiety felt nearly impossible. I feel often like a huge failure. Truly, everything within my soul wanted to stay hidden under a pitiful cave of sheets where tears of deepest discouragement could silently fall.
Treasures in this dark place.
Some are surprised to learn that Depression has been a familiar companion of mine. Perhaps, it’s because I’ve learned that to cope, I must take one step forward and move on. Gratefulness is always the rope used to struggle my way back up out of this pit. Yet the truth is, our most invaluable treasures come from darkest places.
From within this dark place, a few glistening treasures- actual jewels- caught my minds eye:
David had been out of town for a few days. Hours of loving precious ones who struggle with symptoms which often include hours of screaming fits, off-the-chart-tantrums, and emotional detachment had me frazzled, exhausted and deeply discouraged.
In the dark morning hours as I ran to the screams of our youngest treasure, Liam flew into our little one’s room from behind me- “Mom, I’ve got him. Let me take care for him tonight.”
Seeing his determined face, this time, I hesitantly accepted.
Crawling back into bed around 1:00am, tears continued to quietly fall while gratefulness welled up. Liam, Ianna, Leora have been strong arms in this journey and even little Sierra has insisted on taking shifts with the younger ones who struggle during the day.
We are a team. Seriously, although we are in a season that isolates, somehow what we’ve poured out in the past is now being poured out as love- here within our hidden part of life.
These older treasures- these jewels- who once needed me to meet their every need, are running back to me as a piece of His strength. Yet, discouragement over how our reality is difficult for them to sucked life from my heart.
In that place, tears continued to fall. In the late of night as tears refused to stop from under the sheets, I shot off an email to a few praying friends asking that our children and family be buffeted in prayer.
Replies of encouragement felt like wind beneath broken wings. Offers to help, felt like cool water on my parched heart. And then, a friend came by later in the day with meals for two days. Priceless jewels- friendships like these- have grown out of dark places like this.
Our teens see these times as precious, not as discouraging.
Too often I hear “I could never do that…” too often I’ve heard “You are strong.”
Please know, I am exceedingly weak.
But these who are weaker are worth even our most broken efforts. They, and the ones who love them, are priceless treasures found in darkness. Friendships and miracles that arise shine from these hidden crevices.
Recently, I looked back towards the canyon behind our home.
Hell Hole Canyon backs up against a mountain looking dark and black in the early hours of morning behind trees that grow along her rim. It is common for us to see rescue helicopters hoovering above the canyons in summer, seeking to rescue adventurous hikers out of Hell Hole.
Yet, that morning, as white fog filled the canyon, obscuring any details of the journey below from sight, the sun came out.
As powerful rays of morning sun hit the dark canyon, the obscuring fog became an instant display of greatest light- illuminating former darkness.
Darkness was gone. Light not only filled the canyon, but gloriously filled and illuminated the sky above.
Darkness and fog, when filled with the Son’s light, becomes a place of greatest light.
Fear not places of darkness. Fear not an obscure path ahead. He is close in those places. Hang in there, Hope is coming. His light, in time, will reveal and redeem those darkest places into treasures of priceless worth.
Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.