I’m afraid of the dark…

lighted candle

My entire life I have been afraid of the dark.  Terrified. Frozen. Heart beating as I stand there in the emptiness of night.  There is something about the dark that is both calming and frightening, all tangled into one velvety dark mess.

Am I afraid of the boogieman?  Maybe.  The creatures that lurk under the bed? Could be.  To be honest I have no idea, what makes it so scary.  Maybe it’s the idea of being all alone in the absence of light.  Light gives our eyes the ability to see and our body the nourishment it needs.  So what then is the darks purpose? Is is to bring rest? Rejuvenation?  Or maybe just the ability to quiet your mind and come in contact will all that encompasses the world around you.

On my honeymoon I went black water rafting in the glowworm caves in NZ.  The guide explained that the absence of light for too long of a period of time, could drive a person to insanity.  Insanity?! Not just a little crazy, but insane.  How can the dark have so much power and what control did it harness to be able to control our minds and bodies?

In my darkest days, I saw no light.  I laid there with the inability to move, eat, sleep or even interact.  I was a velvety dark mess.  My mind raced.  My body ran a marathon each day.  I could not see the light.  The absence of light caused me to spin into a dark deep “pit.” A pit that was so deep, I had no idea how to get out or save myself.  I fell deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole.  I thought I was going insane.  I thought this was the end.  Thoughts of suicide entered my head and nested to make a home.  I tried to see the flicker of light, a flame or even the dim light from someone’s lamp.  There were days where I called those chosen few a million times a day.  Just so I could borrow some oil from their lamp and their truth could set flame to the oil they shared.  I took more in this season then I could ever give back.  It was a season of taking because I could barely take care of myself.

I asked God if I was going insane.  Why was he doing this to me and I was frightened that I would never come out of it.  I was the lucky one.  I held onto the flicker of hope that I held in my heart, that this journey was not in vain.  That I would come out of this and cross into the promised land.  No one could help me out.  It had to be me.  I had to climb, struggle and break free of all that held me down and that which was strangling the life out of me.  I could not be pulled free, but just keep borrowing the oil from the lamps around me.

Often it was just me and God.  Alone for hours and days and months.  Just us.  He heard my cries, my screams and my fits of terror.  He did not abandon or forsake me, but gave me the tools to break free and journey another day.  The weaker I grew..the stronger I became.  Not physically, not mentally, but spiritually. I never knew how much I would need God, until I stood on the precipice of insanity.  That’s when Hell becomes real and the hopes of Heaven become the grains of hope that you hold onto.

I was the lucky one, because I was able to eventually see the light.  The absence of light drove me to the edge of insanity, but I chose to look towards the light.  The light of those around me, the light of what this journey might serve, the light of what it meant for my family and the promise of never falling backward, but only moving forward.

I chose to hold onto the light.  What will you do? You do not have to do this alone! Seek help.  Grab a map and a hand.  Borrow some oil and light your own lamp.  The absence of light is scary, but if we never had darkness…we would never be able to see the light!  For it is in our darkest hours, that we are made strong and it is in the darkest night, that the stars become our compass home.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

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