[Guest Post by Wendy van Eyck – When my good friend from South Africa told me that she published her first book–Life, life, and more life–AND is giving it away for free at ilovedevotionals.com, I asked her to share with us. Enjoy and be encouraged.]
How God found me in my darkest time
I was 21 when I realized that I did not want to kill myself anymore. After months of struggling with depression the darkness was beginning to lift.
For months my soul had been in a place where light didn’t penetrate and I couldn’t see hope.
When I was growing up–blowing bubbles, climbing jungle gyms and jumping on trampolines–I never imagined that by 21 I would be unravelling like the hem of my trouser leg, and needing to crawl home for some love, and repair, and hope.
I was broken and shattered by all I had seen and done, in the preceding year as a paramedic. I was unbalanced and confused and bewildered, because my life was so very different from my dreams.
I was depressed. I did not know what to do next, or who I was, or what life meant. I was undefined.
I recall sitting for what seemed like three weeks but was probably only three days and writing the same words over and over. I wrote these words in big letters, I wrote them in small, I wrote them in journals and on the walls. I scribbled these words in pencil and painted them in scarlet red, I typed them and printed them and wrote them on my heart.
These are the words, that I stole from a shepherd boy who became a King*:
“God, you know when I can’t get up and when I spring out of bed; you recognize my thoughts from among millions. Nothing about me is strange to you God. You could start my sentences you know me so well…there is nowhere I can go to get away from you God, no where I can crawl that you could not find me and follow me into…You created me, stitch-by-stitch, moulded my arms and legs and liver and placed jewels in my eyes…all the days that you have given to me were planned before I drew a breath.”
I knew only one thing at the time. Even today there are times when I know nothing else but this one thing. I do not understand it. I cannot explain it easily. The one thing I knew then, that I still know now, was that when I was stumbling through my life Jesus was with me and he liked me very much.
I do not know how Jesus happened to be there, and I do not know how he found me, all I know is that he was there, and that he whispered light into my darkness.
Through that dark time of my life when my mental health hung in the balance I learnt that:
- God will find me in the darkest place my soul can go.
- God doesn’t abandon me because I’m feeling down or hopeless or desperate.
- When I’m in a dark place, God crawls into the darkness with me and then holds me till hope begins stirring again.
- God doesn’t leave me in a dark place. God gently exposes my hurts, pain and heartache to his light. And as God’s light shines it reveals his plans to take care of me, to never abandon me, and to give me the future I hoped for.
Maybe you’ve been in a dark place before?
Perhaps you feel like you’re in one now?
Maybe your circumstances are different but your feelings are the same. Despair, sadness, loneliness, anguish, hopelessness are just a few of the feelings that characterize dark places. If you feel this way I would encourage you to not only seek God but to seek out professional help.
* David was a shepherd who became a King in the Bible. He wrote the words my paraphrase of Psalm 139 is based on.
Wendy is married to Xylon, who talks non-stop about cycling, and makes her laugh. She writes for anyone who has ever held a loved one’s hand through illness, ever believed in God despite hard circumstances or ever left on a spontaneous 2-week holiday throug a foreign land with just a backpack. You can follow Wendy’s story and subscribe to receive her free ebook, “Life, life and more life” at ilovedevotionals.com. She would also love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.
[Photo: tyreke.white, Flickr]