Yesterday I was part of a great celebration. The ceremony marked a milestone reflecting countless dark days, difficult nights, and emotional nightmares. In the context of the celebration, the negatives were incredibly relevant! They reminded everyone of how far the journey had been. Many wondered if we would ever reach this day. Others openly expressed their doubts along the way. With optimism or fear, the reality is that we were able to marked a milestone that will always be with those involved. Together we were able to laugh and cry. We were able to break bread and celebrate. We were able to party, embracing hope.
As I look back, the dark nights now have a context. It is hard to remember just how painful they were, because I know the joy that I am now able to hold. It is difficult to sense the lows given how I am overwhelmed by the highs. Even the scars look and feel different. They no longer point to the past, they tell of the future. Life is filled with hope, wonder, and possibilities.
I walk into the unknown. It is overwhelming me. I sense that today’s dark nights have a context. I do not know what it will be. It is hard to understand how good emerges from chaos.
I understand I am not the first. The celebration was a recent reminder. Paul’s experience was another. He encountered a mob intent on evil. “After beating them black-and-blue, they threw them into jail, telling the jailkeeper to put them under heavy guard so there would be no chance of escape.” (Acts 16.23) As dark as it looked for Paul then, the night had a context that was beyond Paul’s imagination.
I struggle to deal with my fears, knowing that my community can help.
I hide from my demons, knowing that I need more than what I have inside.
I run from what I desire most, fearful that the darkness will win.
God and the family is here, ready to help. While the night is dark, the Light is present.