Beloved, I want you to know there is grace and beauty to be found in the struggle. In little tufts of hope hidden in the pockets of the soul are the tiniest threads of hope and a spirit to persevere. They refuse to let us go. They propel us forward when we would rather stop dead in our tracks and quit the race. We’ve all been there.
I’ll be honest with you. The last few months have been stressful and overwhelming for me. There are many reasons for it, but let me share with you how there’s hope to be had even in the darkest of nights and fiercest of struggles. I don’t want to focus on the negative stuff, rather I want to acknowledge it and keep moving forward.
The crazy thing I have found about darkness and struggle is not just how they cloud and distort perception, but how they can also be a place where we find Light. I may think of these things as my enemy because I cannot see clearly. I don’t know about you, but when I cannot see what’s coming ahead of me, I freak out. When I cannot fathom an end to the trials and troubles, I grow weary from the ache of clutching tightly to life and hope. I may even hastily choose instant comfort to avoid the pain I might have to endure, but in the darkness I am finding there is light unearthed that leads me onward to healing and hopefulness. I have to focus my gaze, throw off fear, and not get sidetracked by the not knowing of how things will turn out.
It might sound odd to you, but think about it. The last time you walked through a valley or went through a trying time, how did you make it and what led you out of that place? What was that “thing” inside your heart that refused to let you waste away in dark, desert places? I don’t know about you, but I found a reserve of resilience and mustard seed faith that refused to leave me alone. They gave me strength to believe that I would make it through the trying circumstances. I’m of the opinion there is something within each of us that moves us forward. I do not think we were made to permanently inhabit the darkness.
I submit to you that valleys, shadows, and troubles are places where we have the opportunity to launch into who we are meant to be. Valleys can be places where we find deeper strength or places where we summon courage we never knew we had. Valleys and shadows are places we see our truer selves shine; we shed the gloom that weighs us down. Striped bare of pretense, we find our bearings in the darkness of the struggle. Strange how that is truth and dichotomy, but somehow it works.
The darkness is not a place to fear. My struggles of late have been in gloomy places where I couldn’t perceive a way out. I continue to muddle through and hold on to hope. While there is no easy way out, I’m choosing to go through it. I can’t go around it, not under it, nor over it – I’m going through. I’m letting go of what weighs me down and picking up gumption and drive. I do not intend to live in the valley for long. I was not made for darkness, so it cannot have me. You were not made for darkness, and you are not obligated to let it have you either.
These moments of struggle and valleys shall pass, and when we’re on the other side of them, we’ll be stronger and have a depth of courage to continue embracing the ebb and flow of life. I want to encourage you, beloved, to hold on, hold faith, and don’t give up. I don’t know when, and I don’t know how, but I do know that you and I are going to make it through this moment. Hold faith, and believe.