The hubby and I just got home from a relaxing, long weekend on the Big Island where we were celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. While we were there we did a little cave exploring. We had done it before and had a blast so we knew we had to do it again. It amazed me how even though we had gone almost a year ago, the moment we stepped passed the threshold and crossed into the part of the cave where light no longer reached, it was still pretty scary.
Before I go any further let me tell you about this cave. First and foremost it was DARK!! Like really dark. Like you can’t see your hand in front of your face dark. And it’s damp and cool and so, so quiet. The ground beneath your feet is covered with hardened lava and jagged pumice stones. It’s uneven and you have no idea how stable the piece of rock you are stepping onto is going to be. As you walk along you can’t help but think, “Man I’ve seen this movie I know how it ends, what am I doing here!”
So anyways, we are hiking along until we reach the part in the cave that gets really hairy. Large lava rocks cascading everywhere, the passageway begins to get really narrow, and you could almost swear you can hear the abyss monster crunching on something up ahead. So of course we figure it was time to turn around and head back. As we were walking along in silence enjoying the quietness of the cave it occurred to me that this was kind of like how life was like after Vance and Veronica passed away. The days, weeks, and even months after we lost them I felt like I had reached the very impassable end of a treacherous dark cave. Life was unbearable. I couldn’t fathom that the unthinkable had just happened to us. I remember laying in the hospital bed that first night sobbing, asking God why He didn’t take me instead. Dying would have been so much better than lying there trying to figure out how I could go on living without them.
It went on like this for days. Luckily for us my mom came and stayed with us for a few weeks and that offered some relief. But when she left it was back to the dark void that had become my life. I would find myself alone thinking that it would have been so much easier if I had died (the thought was overwhelming at times). Praying that God would choose to take me while I slept. I was living in darkness while life around me returned to normal.
Of course, He didn’t take me, that just wasn’t part of His perfect plan. As days turned into weeks, weeks into months, SLOWLY things got better. The pain eased slightly. I heard God calling me back to Him. Eventually I just couldn’t carry the burden any longer. I had to throw myself down and crawl to my Savior’s feet. It was at that very moment I began to live in the light again. I began to see the light at the end of my dark tunnel. The ground beneath my feet began to be a little smoother, a little firmer. I began to find joy again. I can proudly say today I am no longer in my deep, dark cave. Of course I still miss my Vance and Roni, I think of what they might look like and what they might be doing at nine and a half months old. But I take comfort in knowing they are secured in Heaven for eternity. One day they will come running to greet me, they will introduce me to Jesus, and show me all the places they had been while waiting for me. I know for now they would want their mommy to be happy and to live life to the fullest… So I will!
You maybe feeling like you are at the very impassable end of your dark cave. The path you are on my be shaky and jaggedly painful. But remember the Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a strong hold in times of trouble (Psalm 9:9-10). The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are His everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27). Cling to His word and promises because His word is a lamp for your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105). There is nowhere you can go that He hasn’t been and no place you can go where He isn’t right there beside you. And just as I slowly found my way back to the light at the opening of my cave (both physically and figuratively) I know with God’s help you will too.