You see, the darkness chases me.
Sometimes I skip ahead of it, like jumping out of the path of waves on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The sand is in my toes, not a cloud in the sky and my warm skin is cooled by a gentle breeze. Then the waves bring the picture into focus. And I can be fooled into thinking that the tide of darkness is my friend.
But the tide waits for no man.
When it starts to rise, I pull on my jacket, wrap myself up to compensate for the loss of warmth. And I keep going, hoping all the time that the water will recede and the light will come back.
Usually it works. I keep moving, working, caring for my babies. Go to bed early at night. Take long walks to boost my serotonin levels. I have a safety net. I do yoga, play my favorite music, practice piano and put that diet on hold. I don’t look at the darkness. I’ll do anything to pretend it isn’t there. If I don’t give it validation then it’s not part of my life. I tell God my troubles and hope that none of them cause the waters to rise.
Sometimes it’s touch and go. I feel the water lapping at my feet. I try to jump out, to run faster, just to keep moving, to see if I can outrun the flood that is coming. Sometimes it works and I walk back into the sunshine breathing a sigh of relief.
And sometimes nothing is enough. The tsunami covers me. Then there’s no more running, no more hoping, no more beaches. Just me alone in my kitchen with a life that doesn’t always belong to me.
Then I pull up a chair, sit myself down and say “Oh God, is this what you want me to do?” And yes, in these moments it’s as much a curse as it is a plea to my Lord and maker. I slip on my baggy grey cardigan, then I put myself into bed and I pray for the Ark.
Because under the water there’s only me and Him.
Because I know as surely as He sends the darkness, He’ll send me a way out.
Even if He has to split the sea.
And every time I go under, I get to know Him a little better. So that even when the sun is shining, we’re walking hand in hand.
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