The Light in the Dark

Five weeks into the new year has come with its ups and its downs.  I will blame the low moments on sleep deprivation and the gloomy, gray skies that winter brings.  It really is amazing the healing power the sun possesses, especially in the winter months.  Even more amazing is the God that created it…he understands our limitations.  Too many gloomy days in a row is hard on the soul – and then He rushes in a morning filled with beautiful, warm sunlight.  Its effect is a feeling much like a hug from someone you love when you have been stuck in a very dark and lonely place.

My life up until this moment has not been without dark and lonely times.  As young as six years old I remember struggling with depression.  My parents divorce brought on a long and lasting sadness that I carried with me for a period of several years.  Having three children in three years has left me physically drained and on an emotional roller coaster.  In some moments I am overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities that come along with caring for small children, and in the next moment one of them says or does something so wonderfully precious and innocent that my cup just overflows with gratitude for their presence in my life.  Ups and downs have become normal and honestly, in this life, I don’t think that will ever change.  What is changing is how I let myself react to the downs.  Romans 5:3-5 has sustained me over the last several weeks:

“We can rejoice when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  This hope will NOT lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

My problem was that I had never rejoiced through my suffering before.  And it explains my feelings of hopelessness throughout the lowest points in my life.  Joy in the midst of suffering is what gives us hope – no joy, no hope.  So how do we rejoice when we find ourselves in the dark?  It is essential to spend time alone with God.  Baths have become really important to my emotional well-being…it is a time for me to be alone, completely by myself with the Lord.  And I pray.  And I meditate on what is to come.  I ask God to allow me to clearly see the big picture and not to be swallowed up in the troubles of today.

I don’t know who is reading this.  I do not know your struggles or what you are trying to deal with all on your own, but if you find yourself overwhelmed and empty, as soon as you can find a way to get alone with God.  Take a walk around your neighborhood, go for a drive, take a hot bath.  Go to him with your troubles.  Ask him to fill your heart with joy.  Your darkness will fade away and your hope will be in the promise of an eternity in heaven.  The outside world might be dark and gloomy, but if your heart is dependent on Him your light will shine.  And it will shine bright.

Our January in pictures…

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Lisa Haislet - What beautiful words! Thanks for sharing your heart. I am passing this on to my dear friend who is in the midst of testing for cancer. Love your heart Nicole!

Lisa Haislet - oh…and the pictures are pure bliss! xo

Caitlin Sullivan - Such a beautiful soul. You are a light to so many and your photos are proof of that. Can’t believe how big sweet Abram is since I saw him last. Hope to meet your sweet girl soon 🙂

Lisa Haislet - What beautiful words! Thanks for sharing your heart. I am passing this on to my dear friend who is in the midst of testing for cancer. Love your heart Nicole!

Lisa Haislet - oh…and the pictures are pure bliss! xo

Shalmai Orama-Keim - Love your words! You have become such a great friend to me and I hate knowing that you feel this way at times. But, I am glad that you are able to find the light every now and then. I agree that taking time to pray and go to him with our problems is essential. It has definitely helped me thru. But, I am here for you when you need to talk and I hope you know that.

Pam Bechtel Prough - Love your pictures….and love your thoughts. You speak from the heart and it really hits home. God Bless you as you raise your sweet family!

Jamie - Thank you Nicole, I love this…hope and joy in the darkness!

Sheryl 'Buckmaster' Adkins - I’m sure your words are encouraging to others! I understand the struggles of a young mother as I was in your shoes at one time. It always helped to have YOUR own time to meditate. I found my time in the simplest things like picking up sticks and leaves in the yard, time to reflect and seek guidance from God. Your family is precious! God Bless you and your family.

Nicole Mehl - Thank you Pam! <3

Nicole Mehl - Thanks so much Sheryl 🙂 I really enjoy following your daughter’s blog…I can tell she had a really awesome mom and is following in her footsteps!

Nicole Mehl - Love you Shalmai!

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