A few months ago, I bought a lantern. I was dusting the other day and I realized that I had never bought a flameless candle to put in it. A lantern without a light? That’s interesting. I sometimes feel like a lantern without a light. I feel as if I’m stumbling around in the dark trying to find a light switch that isn’t within my reach.
Last year I had 3 anxiety attacks. I couldn’t get out of bed and I couldn’t stop crying. Walking across the house took every ounce of strength that I had. Anxiety came when I started focusing on the darkness. All I could think about was our girls uncertain futures. The “what if’s” and “what do we do’s” were tormenting me. I was focusing on their disorders, deficits, behavior problems, and everything that they can’t do. And life became dark.
Since Brett works nights, we have dark shades on our bedroom windows so that the room will be dark while he sleeps during the day. One afternoon I found myself lying on the bed crying. And the room was dark. Really dark. Our bedroom was dark even though there was sunshine in every other room in the house. I chose to be in the dark. As I was having a really good cry thinking about how everything in life seemed dark, I remembered the scripture Micah 7:8. ~ When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me ~
This verse says “when” I sit in darkness. It doesn’t say “if” I sit in darkness. We will all go through dark times. It’s just part of living in this world. But the promise of Micah 7:8 gives us hope. When we are sitting in our darkness, the Lord will send us light.
I realized that I had to make a choice. I had to start focusing on the light (Jesus) so that the darkness would disappear. I had to stop hiding in the dark bedroom and start living in the rooms that had light. I had to start celebrating the things that the girls can do and stop fixating on the things that they can’t do. I had to stop worrying about the future and begin to focus only on today. I still have bad days when I cry and eat chocolate. But anxiety no longer knocks me off my feet and makes me hide in the darkness.
Light shows up when the girls do something that they have never done before. The girls used to hate to color. I would try to get them to color and they would refuse. This is what our living room looks like right now.
There are over 100 pictures on our wall that the girls have colored. Last Wednesday night Hope didn’t want to stop coloring to go to church. And that girl loves to go to church. Every picture is special and must go on the wall. We’ve got a couple of crazy coloring girls on our hands and it makes me smile.
My mom fell and broke her shoulder a few weeks ago. The first time Mikayla saw her she very sweetly said “Grandma….you be better for my birthday party?” Her heart is tender towards her Grandma and it makes my heart smile. Every night she asks to pray for Grandma to get better. We pray for Grandma right before we pray for our cat and gerbil.
Light came last week when we went to a doctor appointment. We were sitting in the waiting room and Hope burped really loud. I said “What do you say, Hope?” She very sweetly said “Excuse me!” Then she said at full volume “Mommy, mommy that was a really big one!” And suddenly light and laughter filled the waiting room. Oh, how I love my Hopey.
Light comes during bedtime prayers. One night I asked the girls what we needed to pray for. Hope said “For Kitty…she has a cold.” Then Mikayla said “For Perry….he has a cold too.” I pray for stuffed animals to get over their colds and I have trouble not giggling while I’m praying. The girls used to not have imaginations, but now they are developing imaginations. And it’s wonderful.
I’m so thankful that light makes darkness disappear. I’m thankful that a lantern can light our path…..if we just remember to put a candle in it.