In Journaling by Allison Byxbe

Dear Friend,

Please, listen.  Light will shine into this darkness and show you which way to go. While the valley is lower than you ever imagined and the pain more piercing than you knew you were capable of experiencing, this season will be your remaking.

As this season shifts from darkness to light once again, you will be marked and changed. Do you resent the scars? Do you loathe the remaking? I did.

Staring out my back door one afternoon, when the dark was wrapped so suffocatingly tight, I considered running away. Like a small child overwhelmed by all the things out of sync and out of control, I lied to myself that my people would probably be better off without me. Without the anger. And the listlessness. And the tears. And the fights.

Sobbing in my living room one morning because I just could not take one more disappointment. Not one more excruciatingly small or exceedingly large disappointment. I couldn’t catch my breath for forgetting what the experience of happiness was like. Hunched over, heart constricted, wondering if I would ever feel the warm trickle of joy spreading into the fibers of my soul.

But by the grace of God, my steadfast husband and my sweet children didn’t let me go. God didn’t let me go. Make no mistake. I came totally apart at the seams. My form totally unrecognizable.

One night last summer, in the depth of it all but pretending I was okay, I met up with my dear friend Lauren. We did the mundane of walking around Target and sipping coffee and tea. I can’t remember what words she offered that triggered the dam breaking. But right then in front of every poor, unsuspecting Target customer, I let out what I didn’t even know I’d been bottling inside. At one point Lauren even asked if I wanted to go sit in the car. I laugh now because I must have been a mess to see. But stooped by a weight I could no longer breathe under, I cried out all the self-loathing, the anger, and the grief that had been stitching me together for too long.

I do remember what she told me next: I know this feels like crap, the worst crap you’ve ever been through. But I know what’s on the other side of this, if you can just hang in there, is amazing and beautiful.

I couldn’t believe those words that night, but she planted a seed of hope, that has now pushed through the dirt, taken full root, and started to bear hope in my life. That seed has been watered by those who have continued to love me, by a therapist who knows how to listen and how to talk with me, and by a God who is in the business of resurrection.

So if you are in the midst of your deepest darkness, please let my words to you today be hope. The coming apart is the remaking of a life and purpose so beautiful.