Monday, September 7, 2015

Fighting My Way to the Distant Light

I have missed blogging....  This morning I ran into a woman who recognized me.  She follows my blog and told me how much she appreciated reading it. She shed tears for me, and I realized how much I need to get back to writing because of the good it does not only me, but others.

This last spring I found myself busy teaching a teen early morning bible study class and working on a grief website.  Both have been worthwhile endeavors, but I found myself feeling very isolated.  A dark cloud seemed to settle on me. I kept working, kept pushing forward, but the darkness seemed so oppressive that I found myself often breaking down in tears.  I felt myself withdraw in self-protection mode.  I knew that I needed to reach out, but I was struggling so much, that I was afraid that I didn't have anything worthwhile to share or that if I tried, I would only end up in a puddle of tears.  Fear was paralyzingly me.

How could I help others when I couldn't help myself? 
I felt like a hypocrite.

The only light I could see was a distant hope that things would be easier when my oldest son returned from his mission.  I held onto that hope and looked to that distant light.

This summer there was a parting of the clouds when Alex came home, but as his departure time for college approached, I began to fear another difficult oppressive year. I knew that I had a lot of work to do to finish my grief website.  So many hours and resources had been expended to do this service project, and I began to doubt my ability to finish it.  I worried that my negative emotional state would return and be detrimental to my teaching and to my parenting. I feared being alone again.

The more I feared, the more paralyzed I became and the more the dark clouds began to surround me.  One evening while walking, I got into an argument with Alex... He went inside and I continued to walk in the dark.

It wasn't just dark outside, I felt it everywhere inside of me.  It consumed me, and I'm honestly glad that no one could hear the voices in my head.  I was sobbing when my son pulled up in his car and opened the passenger door. He told me to get in.  Desperately wanting to escape the way I was feeling, I climbed in and began to sob.

It amazes me the strength that my children have at times, and how wisdom comes to them that is beyond their years.  I heard my husband's voice in his counsel and I know he was directed by the spirit to understand my feelings.  We prayed together and through his words I felt the light again.  It renewed my focus.

I'm keeping my eyes on that light and I am feeling a renewal of strength.  Ideas are flowing again, the crippling feelings of loneliness have abated, and I can see the direction I need to move.  The fear is gone now that I am moving forward with FAITH.

I heard a story in a talk given by Whitney Clayton about a little girl who was the sole survivor of a plane crash with her family.

"Last January, seven-year-old Sailor Gutzler and her family were flying from Florida to Illinois in a private airplane. Sailor’s father was at the controls. Just after nightfall, the aircraft developed mechanical problems and crashed in the pitch-dark hills of Kentucky, upside down in very rough terrain. Everyone but Sailor died in the accident. Her wrist was broken in the crash. She suffered cuts and scrapes and had lost her shoes. The temperature was 38 degrees Fahrenheit -it was a cold, rainy Kentucky winter’s night--and Sailor was wearing only shorts, a T-shirt, and one sock. 

She cried out for her mother and father, but no one answered. Summoning every ounce of courage, she set off barefoot across the countryside in search of help, wading through creeks, crossing ditches, and braving blackberry briars. From the top of one small hill, Sailor spotted a light in the distance, about a mile away. Stumbling through the darkness and brush toward that light, she eventually arrived at the home of a kind man she had never met before who sprang to her care. Sailor was safe. She would soon be taken to a hospital and helped on her way to recovery. 

Sailor survived because she saw a light in the distance and fought her way to it--notwithstanding the wild countryside, the depth of the tragedy she faced, and the injuries she had sustained. It is hard to imagine how Sailor managed to do what she did that night. But what we do know is that she recognized in the light of that distant house a chance for rescue. There was hope. She took courage in the fact that no matter how bad things were, her rescue would be found in that light."

I was struck by Sailor's faith as she moved through the dark that night.  Certainly the light disappeared as she went down hills and trees obscured her view. Yet she chose to move in the direction she had last seen the light.  She chose to have faith that it was still there.

There have been periods for me when that light has been obscured. It's easy to become afraid and discouraged when you can't see the hope of a distant light. Some times I have stopped walking and I have sunk to the forest floor to cry, but it was only when I decided to move forward in faith that the light came back into view.

For me that light is my Savior, Jesus Christ.

When I choose to trust Him, 
walk in obedience to the truth He taught, 
and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, 
then the light comes back into view, 
and it fills me with hope and the power to keep walking. 

A teacher told of being caught in the worst snow storm she had ever seen. The road she was on was narrow and had no shoulder on which to pull over. She could not see very well and knew the cars behind her were dealing with the same situation. If she stopped, she knew they would not see her in time, so she kept creeping along. The only thing that gave her hope when she looked up ahead was a small, far off, distant patch of blue sky. A spot in the heavens, where the clouds had parted, gave her a clear view of blue. She realized that if she kept driving eventually she would make it out of the storm.

Somedays we get glimps of that blue sky and then the clouds may crowd over the light again. We have to remember that we saw the blue sky and it is still there, just obscured. As we keep moving forward in faith, we are gradually creeping out of that storm. When we remember there is always blue sky above the storm clouds, then we can find the strength to just keep going.

"In those moments, however dark or seemingly hopeless they may be, if we search for it, there will always be a spiritual light that beckons to us, giving us the hope of rescue and relief. That light shines from the Savior of all mankind, who is the Light of the World."- Clayton

Remembering that the light is there and knowing the source of the light gives me the strength and courage to move forward in faith despite my fears. 

1 comment:

  1. I feel so sad for you and all you have been through. I was from the beginning. I know I kept in contact with you, and your light inspired me, and It was wonderful. I had my son and his family if 7 living here, and he was once again going through drug issues, and he had been doing so well, even taking temple classes with his wife. He finally adopted her children, which they were waiting for, so the could all be sealed together. They have now mowed away, have jobs, but do not go to church. I was going through so much. My daughter finally came home from her mission, and things started to fall apart even more. For the last 7 years, I have gone through regular trials, not the over the top, constant, trials I had been through for 30 years!! Now It has been back to that. for 2 months, my car was hit by a drunk driver who left the scene. They found him, he showed his insurance card, but when my husband went to pick it up, and had to pay, because that driver;s insurance had expired. Yes, they are trying to get him for that money, but we will be the last! I have a wheel hair lift outside on my deck, because when You come into my house, it is upstairs or down, and I am unable to walk, so that is impossible. The day after we got out car back,I was going with my husband. I was on the lift, pushed the switch, and landed 5 feet n a second very hard. I was glad it did not do terrible damage, but I did have bad whiplash, and neck pain. I have had sever abdominal pain, had 2 surgeries and they found nothing, great, but what i going on? The day after my car was crashed, a close cousin died in a car wreck, as his car went off the side of a cliff as the sun was in his eyes. a month later, my youngest son;s best friend since kindergarten, committed suicide, and he is the one who found him hanging in the closet! It has been very hard for him. That guys mom has lost two sons to suicide in 2 years. Her life is so much like mine. she is an angel, does everything for the church, and all but 1 of her children, is inactive. I have 2 who are active, Her close sister has many kids, too, and they are perfect. Their lives are the same. That is like mine, and I remember it is God's choice to send them to us for a reason. I know we will be blessed. I have been sick for twi=o months. I know stress aways made me feel worse, but now hat I am older, have fallen apart, it is so much worse. I am not complaining, just explaining. That is how my life was constantly for 30 years. If I begin to explain even a short time, or a small amount of trials, people say how am I able to handle that. I think I wish you only knew everything, but I do not meed, or want everyone to, because that does not help anyone. It does now help me to be able to share on faceook with my friends, and receive support. You are an angel tome, having to go through what you ave, While so much of my life has been close, it has not been so much at once like that. If I had to all of a sudden handle everything, without my lovee, I would sink. Yes the first 39 years of my marriage, I really had to handle everything myself, and only got criticism from him, and had to go through so much alone, basically. Now he is my friend, does everything for me, and zi know God knows us, has a plan for us. I just wanted to come on and say hi, I have missed talking to you, and you are an angel to me. I know when we feel that dark, Satan, is overtaking us, and that is hard to see, or stop. I just want ya to know my prayer are for you, and I think you are such a great example, HUGS