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  • Writer's pictureWalking In His Light

The Darkest of Days

Updated: Jun 23

The Oregon Coast is beautiful every day no matter what the weather may be bring. Some days the sun is shining brightly with just a light breeze, other days, the clouds roll in and multiply. On these days, the clouds press against each other until they become thicker, darker, and filled with so much rain it creates a lake at the end of my driveway. Our lives can often mimic these dark periods, flooding us with emotional days, or possibly even seasons. I, like you, have had my share of dark times.

After 35+ years of marriage, I lost my husband to one of the meanest afflictions one can encounter, ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, or more specifically amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. When my oldest son was a young 25 years of age, he passed away, along with two of his friends, in a tragic car accident. I have also endured the loss of many close relatives, several of them happening within a short time of one another. It seemed just as I would begin to recover from one loss, I was hit with another.

I cannot begin to describe the heart-wrenching pain I felt when I was given the news about my precious son, no parent should ever have to endure such agony. When my husband was diagnosed with ALS, it was another gut punch; the prognosis was bad... "terminal", they said. We could only stare into each other's eyes, there were no words that could ever express what we were both feeling. For the next thirteen months I watched this horrid disease rob him daily, eventually, stealing his last breath.

What do we do when we are faced with so much pain that we feel we will never survive? When we feel like we don't want to survive? Even now, as I write this, the wounds are still raw, and it feels as though I am picking at scabs, blood beginning to seep from the edges. I know this is hard to read, it is hard to write, but we cannot run from any of it. I cannot run from it, although I have tried.

My path through this maze of darkness has been difficult and I have made so many bad decisions throughout. I have made terrible choices for myself financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I struggle with addiction and for many years it had a firm grip on me and my life. I have been to the bottom, or at least, close to it. I clawed and scraped against the walls of a pit so dark and deep I was sure I had been forgotten by all. Even my family was turning their backs on me, they had seen and heard enough. I couldn't blame them.

Then I began to scrape even harder, dig my nails in a little further, drive my toes in deeper, and slowly tried to pull myself up, each movement more exhausting than the last. I believed this pit was of my own making so I believed it would be my own making that got me out. I was wrong. As I lifted my head upward, I could see a small but distant Light. As I reached for the Light, I felt something smooth and firm, it was a rope. I tried to pull on the rope, but my strength had dwindled, I was too weak to pull, but I couldn't let go of that rope. I knew it was my only lifeline. My last lifeline.

I could feel the smoothness of the rope in my palm. I could see it was made of three strong strands, twisted around each other. As I held the rope, I felt myself getting stronger. I just needed to hold on. Eventually, I was able to get a better grip of the rope, then slowly I took the rope and wrapped it around my waist. I didn't need to pull myself up, I wasn't strong enough anyway. As I continued to wrap the rope around my body, it began lifting me up; the Light was getting stronger, I was getting stronger.

I had fallen a long way into the pit, and it took a great deal of time to reach the top but reach the top I did. Now I know the rope that saved me, the rope that appeared seemingly out of nowhere and had been there all along. My gaze followed it to where it was anchored and Who had sent it, for it was anchored to a wooden Cross on a hill. I came to realize those three strands were God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They had been with me all along, but I had refused to reach up for the Rope.

Now, as I walk along my path each day, I keep that Rope tightly wrapped around my waist, I don't ever want to let it go again. It is my lifeline. He is my lifeline. He has been there all along, I only needed to grab hold.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.

Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you.

I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

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