I almost felt like defecting.
(the forces that led me there have been badgering my soul for years)
I'm okay now. I'm actually doing really well.
But it wasn't on my own accord that I reached this higher ground.
There were hands that led me back.
My husband extended his hand by listening when the dam broke. It was late at night and I finally realized I couldn't shoulder the weight of my demons alone. He didn't try to fix me. He didn't throw pithy God-cliches my way. He respected my burden and made me feel a bit less crazy. A bit less alone. He promised to love me no matter where I landed. His grip was the first pull I felt towards sanity.
Solomon extended his hand to me in the form of his writings. His prose, once depressing to me and self-indulgent, became oxygen to my suffocated soul. I found comfort in his honest assessment of our condition. I found a way forward in his admonition to embrace the brokenness and love life and serve God.
Margaret Feinburg extended her hand in her spiritual memoir. The essence of a woman known by Jesus bleeds through her pages and I was reminded, once again, of my own journey thus far. The same voice that Margaret spoke of is one I know, one I've known, once without which I would lose my only identity. Her reminder of intimacy made God seem safe again.
Beth Moore extended her hand to me with her studies. The first day I felt strong enough, "back enough," to try some real academic Bible study, she met me right there, on the first page. She spoke of the conflict the disciples felt when Jesus appeared to be something he was really not. She asked whether I would run when human logic told me to, or if I would stay near Jesus, even then. Even now. Her challenge helped solidify my new-found footing and I was able to move forward a few more steps.
My good friend, Sarah, extended the last hand I needed to finalize my journey. She initiated our conversation and I let her in on the craziness that had been plaguing me. When the final broken thought had been shared, she and I stood in awe of a God who doesn't let go. Who can handle it all. Who just might have wired my mind this way, that I might search for him and experience him in the darkness.
But it wasn't on my own.
There were brothers and sisters who helped lead me to this safer place.
I'm not sure there's any other way.
Who has helped you through your dark places?