I’m standing outside barefoot at 3am on this 30 degree April morning. My feet going numb with the cold. Staring up into the dark starlit sky, I sigh, my breath flowing upward in little white wisps. I try to focus on the stars through my teary eyes. Hope. There is still hope. I can’t give up. Not now. I walk slowly across our deck still looking up and slam my pinky toe into a piece of wood. Tears flow easily now. I cry not for my toe pain but for lost dreams. For yet another thing not quite turning out the way I had envisioned it so many years ago. I talk to God the way I have since a little girl. “This whole thing kind of sucks right now. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to be here. I just want the pain to stop. Will it ever stop?” I’m sobbing at this point. The weight of my sorrow drawing me down onto my knees on the freezing cold deck. I am still gazing up waiting for answers. I can hear God’s voice so clearly inside my head. I imagine him wrapping his arms around me right there on the deck and pulling the tear soaked hair off my face and gazing into my eyes. “I’m here, sweet girl. You don’t have to do this all alone. You are always trying to handle this all on your own. It’s okay to lean on me. It’s okay to lean on people who I have placed in your life to love you. I know you’re scared. Try to trust me.” I feel calmer now though I am still crying. What a rotten awful stinky week. I’ve gotten through worse and this will not be the last of the pain here on earth. I know this. Somehow that comforts me. I may not be strong enough alone. And that’s okay. I’m not supposed to be. The whole lone ranger woman armor that I like to display needs to be put away permanently. It hasn’t served me well in recent years. I can get through this with a little help from my friends and a LOT of help from my Daddy up in heaven. I am gulping in the freezing cold air now and the tears are slowly abating. I pull myself up from the deck. And manage to smile just a little bit through my tears as I gaze one last time up at the sky before going back inside.
I’m going through some hard things right now. Things that are just too painful to talk about right out loud for all to hear. Things that only a few who have walked this path can fully understand. And in the way that only someone who is entirely too hard on themselves all the time, can understand, I find myself trying to figure out how this thing is my fault and let others gladly place the blame right on my already burdened shoulders. I question everything I have ever done. I wonder how I can be a light bearer for the hurting when I am always stumbling around in the darkness myself. It struck me;however, that perhaps that is the very reason I am a good light bearer and hope seeker. I know the darkness far more intimately than I care to admit. I have walked through pain and struggle and strife and have come out on the other side of it over and over again. I know what it takes to fight for the light of hope in my life. What it takes for it not to get extinguished by the weight of life’s sorrows. Perhaps this wisdom gained through pain is a sort of gift that allows me to hold out hopes light for those that haven’t yet learned to do so for themselves. To be honest, if I was to become an expert at something in my life I probably would have chosen daisy chain making or fairy forts or novel writing. Not perseverance through pain and holding onto hope. But I guess I will take what I can get.