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Battling the Dark Places

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The dark places keep pulling, tugging, trying to drag me over.  Most times I can step back, carefully tip-toeing away from the edge of this bottomless abyss…  Once in a while, though, I get lost, unable to turn my mind from the flickering images bursting forth, assaulting me with their clarity, punishing me with their pain…  

I’m most vulnerable to this nightmare gallery when I’m extremely tired.  Truthfully, I’m tired all the time.  I go through the motions, forcing myself to paint an illusion of living: working, writing, tennis (weather permitting), roles of wife, mother, friend; Grace keeps pushing the envelope, our back door is revolving with teens, Beth and John are bickering again, I cannot rest.  For just one night, I want to sleep without dreams, without waking every two hours, and without crying an ocean of salty tears as I drift between what was…and what is…  

Still, I have found one shimmering moment of hope…  I think I’ve managed to steal the sting from one of these haunted memories.  As I worked today, translating my broken notes into more than a stream of crazy nonsense, I faced the picture of Brian’s mangled car over and over again, reliving it in excruciating detail.  Just when I gave up and decided I couldn’t look at it one second longer, I remembered something I read by St. Frances de Sales: “He will either shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it.”  I could suddenly see the scene from a new vantage point, in the context of being spared…  I imagined a tremendous hand, God’s hand, reaching in and snatching Brian out of his car, an instant before he would have endured certain agony.  In His wisdom, He knew Brian wouldn’t be able to bear the pain, leaving us to cope with it instead.    

I’m sure this whole thought process sounds insane, but it makes perfect sense to me, especially since Philippians 4:13 has kept me going from the very beginning…    

One tiny shaft of sunlight breaking up the gloom; it’s enough to keep me going, at least for now…

Wishing you hope…tg

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator

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