The night the darkness tried to snuff out the light

I wrote this post on April 14, 2015 from my hotel room in New Jersey while traveling for work. The words are raw and honest. My weary heart poured out emotions late in the night as I tried to process what I was learning about myself and the flaws in my character that glared at me. I knew better than to post it while 3,000 miles away from my husband. He would have been worried and longing to soothe the ache within me. I needed to process it within myself first.

These private thoughts seem somehow appropriate to share today, because I’m in a season of self-evaluation, as well as a season of seeing some light at the end of the tunnel in my journey of mothering two adult children. Perhaps my words describe you on some days. Have hope. God never gives up on you.

April 14, 2015, Mt. Laurel, New Jersey:

This is sacred space, this box of white where my thoughts become words on a page. It’s been too long since I have visited, sat with my heart full of inspiration, thoughts flowing out, coloring the spaces and feeding my soul.

The truth is, this space is empty because I am empty. I have nothing to say, or so it would seem. The rigors and demands of my daily life have sucked the spirit right out of me, and I have watched helplessly as it drains my life’s blood from me.

Soon. Soon I will get back to “normal.”

But what is normal anyway? This is now my normal, the daily demands, this constant grind. How do I survive? No, how do I thrive? How do I find my way back to that place where feeding my soul is a staple in my day? How do I push the negativity aside and come back to the place where life is demanding, but not overwhelming?

I am tired… physically and emotionally. Nine days away from home. Three more to go. And when I get back? All the work and demands will be waiting for me, bubbling up like lava from the earth, hot and oozing its contents all over my ragged soul. I’m not ready. But ready or not, I must go.

Today was hard. Training intense. Soul exposed. Flaws revealed. I am disappointed in myself. I punish myself with harsh words and angry accusations. Bitter tears fall silently. I am tempted to give up, to give in and let someone else rise to the challenges. I’ve failed. It’s a bitter pill I have to swallow.

I turn to the only source of comfort and sanity I know, my Savior and His Word. I land on Psalm 32;

Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be — you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean. Count yourself lucky — God holds nothing against you and you’re holding nothing back from him. (MSG)

And then I see this from Ann Voskamp,

Only speak words that make a heart grow stronger.

The words I speak to myself… they do not make my heart grow stronger. Perhaps the change in the tide of negativity starts with me being kinder to myself; with me stopping the flow of negative words within me first so that the negative words I’m tempted to speak out loud never make it past my lips.

I struggle to be kind to myself. Maybe you do too. I have grace for everyone else, but for me? The measuring stick is short. I deserve everything I get. I reap what I sow. The consequences, harsh as they may be are justly due.

Tonight, though I’m not sure of anything else, I am sure that my slate has been wiped clean, my failures have been forgotten, if only by the One who loves me most. Can I trust that he not only holds my days, but holds me in the midst of my mess and shame? Yes, he reminds me that I can. No magic fairy dust to wipe away all of my troubles, just a quiet assurance that he is here. For tonight, that is enough.


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