It came on slowly… I didn’t notice it right away…. this crawling into myself and hiding my soul away. Then soon… I was in this dark cave of spiritual hibernation. Curling up in a ball, covered in a heavy blanket of grief and crying dry tears. I’d slowly begun to pull away from people and places that loved. Partly, out of sheer exhaustion and enablity to funtion as I was, and partly out of self-preservation. My soul, my mind and my heart were steeled against emotional overloads and the hundreds of questions and kindly meant encouragement. I didn’t want to feel or think, and… I didn’t want to cry. This hibernation was keeping me from living fully, being present in the many moments and having hope. The darkness poured out dark thoughts and my soul slept a fitful sleep. It was so dark I couldn’t see God’s goodness and my soul had become lethargic. My view point of my performance on this part of the journey was less then satisfactory… somehow, in my mind, I was supposed to still be strong and function normally.
I see now…. that none of that matters anymore.
As I am coming out into the light, His holy light. My soul is squinting and the tears have begun to fill my dry, parched eyes. After an adjusting time, I could finally look back into the cave from where I had emerged. And… I realize, the dark shadow I was under… was His mighty wing… I had been protected in the depths of my grief… not adandoned, not crushed. Darkness was never really dark, His great light was behind the shadow lands I laid in. And when I walked this living death, curled into a ball and gave into my pain… He gathered me into His arms. I was held firmly as my soul fought to live again, I was carried to the green pastures beside still peaceful waters, and He laid me there charging His angels to guard my very soul. There I have been finding rest and healing.
When my soul awoke, I saw hands, His hands… scars on them… one resting over my heart and the other holding up my head. He gently whispered to my soul, “awake soul of my beloved one, and know me.” Weak and weary, this soul of mine, cried and ached. But I reach up, from where death has brought me to… and I ask for hope again. He drew me, heart and soul, to His arms and whispered His love in something more then words. And, this hibernating soul… asks its heart to beat again. I look into eyes, that hold the depths of love in them. Eyes that reflect my face the way He sees me. Oh the tears that fall from dry desert eyes. Washing away the souls slumbering weariness. Jesus takes my hand in His big, strong one… He leads me to the top of a mountain. And shows me where I have come from, the path that wandered and twisted through the valley floor was mine. He showed me places I didn’t remember, those were the places He carrried me. He showed me the small oasis where He poured into me living waters and where I woke from the shadows death left. As we stood there hand in hand, the sun painted the cloudless sky pink and gold. He looked into my eyes, wiped away my tears, took my face in His hands…. and I knew His goodness had filled my soul.
Now I stand here, blinking in the light. Wanting His hand to never leave mine. My soul, renewed in His goodness, rests tonight. Hope restored in the grace of His love, for this journey and all of its many steps ahead.