I’m at the bottom of the pit again. My eyes strain to search for light.
At first, I panic. I claw at the dirt and my chest tightens in fear.
How did I get here? Why now? Why am I not strong enough to stay buoyant and light?
My body knows what’s happening, but my mind struggles to rationalize it.
Even though I’ve been here many times before, it takes me a while to realize what I’m doing. I try to scale the sides, only to slide back down. I wear myself out in self-exertion. I grumble and groan, wrestling around in the dark.
And then, a whisper:
Be gentle. You’re fighting so hard. There is grace here.
We are so generous in doling out grace to others, but stingy with grace for ourselves. We snack on it when we’re starving, instead of feasting on it in the full offering extended to us.
As I start to speak the depression out loud, it loses its suffocating grip. I cry to my husband on our way to pick up gifts for our kids. I text it to my best friend. I schedule a quick appointment with my counselor.
They all meet me with so much grace. And finally, bite by bite, I start to taste it.
They hand me light when I can’t find it. They point me towards Truth when all I can hear are lies. And they reach down into the pit to help raise me up, until I have enough grace inside to strengthen me and start climbing.
When we can’t see light, when we’re at the bottom of the pit, when we can’t taste grace, sometimes we need to find it from others. I’m thankful for those who help me chase after the light, climb out of the shadows, and taste what is good and gentle in this world.
If you’re wrestling with darkness right now, my prayer is for you to taste and see the grace of God who meets us when we’re empty, road-worn, and hungry. Be gentle with yourself. And keep chasing after the light. I promise it’s there.
P.S. I’m so thankful for God’s timing. This coming Monday, I’ll be sharing the final Take These Ashes episode of 2020, on chasing after the light when we’re living in shadow. Author and speaker Dorina Gilmore and I had this conversation at a time when I needed it myself, and it may be just what you need as we reflect on this year and prepare for the new year to come. Subscribe to Take These Ashes on itunes or Spotify to make sure you catch this one.