Recently, my husband and I went roller blading for the first time in a decade. Shockingly, the rollerblades still worked, and so did our balance! What didn’t work was our estimation of how long it would take to complete the route we’d chosen for our date night: a 5-mile local lake where we’d skated many times before.
Apparently, as fall stretches toward the holidays, it gets dark faster. Which would have been great to realize BEFORE we got half way around the lake. Personally, I think it was God’s grace and sense of humor—having these two out-of-shape rollerbladers take on the cracks and pits in the pavement on faith since we couldn’t even see them coming.
After 35 minutes, we’d made it around the lake with only a small road-rash to show for it since we’d taken turns being the “Woah! Big rut on the right!”
trip look outs. As we got in the car, a thought occurred to me:
Darkness is only scary when we feel alone.
It’s true for real-life somebody-turn-on-the-lights moments, and for those days, weeks—maybe full-blown seasons—of darkness we face in relationships and circumstances.
When’s the last time you landed in a dark place in life? Think about what got you through it. Or, more specifically, who got you through: maybe it was God—through prayer, listening to inspirational music, or reading scripture. Maybe it was people—a friend, family member, coworker or neighbor.
Maybe it was nobody. Maybe it was just you.
Even if you feel like you faced it totally alone, may I challenge that? I’ve been in seasons that felt this way and if I look back on them, I realize that even if nobody else was or could be there for me—even before belief and recognition of God in my life—I was never alone. I was always surrounded by people. Through quotes that resonated in good books. Through the lyrics of a song on the radio. Through words I remembered said by a teacher long before in school. Through an encouraging conversation overheard at a store or park.
We are never truly alone.
Even if we find ourselves stranded in a desert, we’re not alone. A sunset sings joy to us. Birds high in the air extend hope to us. Waves beating on the shore remind us that even the harshest landscape—internal or external—can be breathtaking, transformative.
There is always someone ahead of us, from whom we can at least be alerted to life’s potholes… even if it is just as we trip over them. There is always One who will not only be in the darkness with us, but walk through it and light the way.
No matter how dark a season you’re in, don’t let your heart convince you you’re alone in it. Don’t let your eyes to get used to it, or your heart be weighed down by it. Reach out your hand to community—to finding that skating buddy for those dark stretches of road that find us. Reach out your hand to the One who says “I will never leave you,”* and let Him skate along the path with you.
You are not alone, friend.
Linking up with Jo Ann Fore and others today as we all continue to find our voice.