About nine years ago, I found myself in a bottomless pit of despair and hopelessness. Prior to this experience, I was a wife and an active outgoing mom of four. I loved the Lord and served Him in various capacities in my church and community.
A few weeks before this journey in the pit, I had several weird dreams. I didn’t understand what they meant. I prayed and trusted the Lord with them. Then, one day I woke up to a personal 9-1-1. I felt like I was sinking into a dark bottomless pit. It was a drag to get out of bed and function daily. I had never experienced anything like this before. Trying to understand what was happening only made my head hurt worse. I wanted to fight the darkness but it seemed all my energy was sapped. This tsunami was brought on by midlife crisis, stress and marital conflict.
Prior to this experience, I thought I was a strong person who could achieve anything I set my mind to accomplish. This pit which marked the end of life as I knew it, laid me on my back for days in despair. I couldn’t help myself, much less of my children. They saw a different mom…a weaker mom. They would come to my room and ask, “Mommy are you ok? Can we get you something to eat or drink?” Not being able to take care of my children made me sink deeper into the pit. Hearing the enemy’s whispers in mind, “what kind of a mother are you? You cannot even take care of your own children.” This did not help either.
After about two weeks of being in this hole, I started to pray. I asked the Lord to take me because I no longer had the will to live. Instead, I heard a gentle voice in my spirit telling me to get up and go for a walk. After a long time, I dragged myself out of bed and put on some clothes. My kids were surprised to see me out of my room. I told them I was going for a walk. One of my daughters cheerfully volunteered to walk with me.
That day marked the beginning of my slow journey back to wholeness. I started walking every day and as I gained strength, I began running 2-3 miles every day. Running lifted my spirits so I stuck with it. My running time became a sweet time with the Lord. He began to speak (not audibly) to my heart.
Reflecting on God’s attributes during my run helped me weather this storm and kept my hope alive. My appetite for God’s word increased significantly. I noticed that the words seemed to jump off the page of my Bible. It was as if my eyes were suddenly opened to understanding the scriptures better.
Meanwhile, God showed me in dreams that this pit would bring Him glory. I was to remain steadfast and trust Him. This was not easy at first, but as I learned to let go and obey Him in little things, I gained inner strength. I wasn’t as bothered by stress and conflicts anymore.
In the last four years, the Lord has given me more assignments. My orders were, “be real, and share what I am doing in your life.”
Sharing my struggles helps others know that it is ok to be vulnerable and that they are not alone. As I obeyed, He opened doors that allowed me to share His love with broken and hurting women in the U. S. and abroad.
My struggles are far from over, but I have His perspective and a new lease on life. Lately, it seemed the more I followed Him, the more intense the sufferings I encounter. However, I am learning that God does not waste our suffering. He uses them to refine us to be more like Him.
Today, I look back with gratitude and see that the pit which was meant to destroy me has helped to unfold His beauty in me. I am learning more about patience and forgiveness. He is teaching me to be empathetic with others in their own journey, and He is also giving me the strength to persevere under trials.
How can I keep from singing His praise?
I waited patiently for the Lord, He heard my cry…..He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to my God. (Psalm 40:1-3, NIV)
Friend, are you in a pit? What pit are you facing today?
Has He lifted you from a pit?
Prayer: Father, thank you for holding us close in the pit as you put our lives back together again. Thank you for the many ways you reveal yourself to us as the Repairer of broken walls and our Living Hope.