It was 7:05 am and I had barely managed to drag myself out of bed, wake the kids, dress and feed them and see them off to school. While the rest of the world was bustling and well on it’s way to the start of a productive day of work, chores, and meetings; I was sluggishly ensuring my front door was locked, and my phone turned off. Four hours later I awoke to find myself in dark room, buried underneath my covers. “This is where I want to stay forever”, was my only coherent thought.
I was in the middle of the darkest time of my life and I honestly felt I was better off in isolation. The thought of dragging my body out of bed to go anywhere, let alone see anyone seemed almost more than I could bear. In those dark moments, I wanted nothing more in life than to hide myself away in a dark room in my locked house and to be left alone….. at least until I came out on the other side.
It wasn’t until months later I would come to realize that “alone” was the very last place I need to be. In fact, anytime in life, but especially when going through dark times; what our souls need more than anything outside of God himself, is the life found in other human beings.
I had done a remarkable job at pretending I was okay when forced to have contact with others, and ensuring I was remained disconnected from the rest of the world that I would indeed, be left to fight the war raging within my heart with no back-up.
During this time of refusal to let my brokenness be seen and known by others, my husband’s tender presence and his loving words of affirmation became like an IV drip of life to my soul; my link to God, and life. I remember waking up many mornings to life-giving words written across our bathroom mirror such as this:
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. -Hebrews 4:16
Because of what it means to me and the gentle breaths of life it breathed into the darkness of my mind, this and many other words will always be precious to my heart.
I think back often to that time, and others in my life; and painfully acknowledge my tendency to cut myself off from community with others when I’m going through a dark time. And I wonder how or if I would have found my way out if my life hadn’t been blessed with the light found in the good man I call my husband.
Why do we do this? Why do we isolate ourselves from the wisdom and life found in others just when we need it most? Why is it all too tempting to run the opposite way when running into the arms of life-giving community is exactly what we need? These are question I ask of myself often.
I believe there are a number of reasons life prompts our drift away from community rather than towards it.
These are just a few of the blows most of us will endure many time over the course of a lifetime that will chip away at our original human design to lean into community rather than away from it.
But despite what we “feel” during the storms of life, we must make a determination to press past the voices in our head and allow ourselves to experience exactly what we were created and hard-wired to live within-
Oddly enough coming from a girl who was raised up in the church, I’m just really beginning to let myself experience the wealth and richness of life found in true, authentic community; and my own need for it. And so over the next little bit here on my blog, I will be talking more about the whole topic, and sharing my personal journey from a time of loneliness and isolation to the light and support of community.
It’s a journey I’ve just begun. And this is little ole me, inviting you to lock arms with me, and walk beside me.