Have  you ever reached a point in your life where maybe one day you woke up…

or were taking a walk…

or rocking a baby…

or sitting in the middle of a crowd…

and you realized that everything in your life had changed?

And when you tried to think back to when this change actually happened, it all seemed fuzzy and confusing?

This happened to me recently.

I was walking home with my girls pushing one in the stroller and holding the other’s hand…and just walking with the biggest smile on my face completely content with our little life.

It was on this walk that I thought to myself,

“What changed? Why am I suddenly so happy? Where did this smile come from? Is it living in this new city?”

I don’t think there’s any one particular answer and I don’t think it has much to do with the city at all.

I have looked back over the last few years of our lives, trying to make sense of the fuzziness so that I could share it with others.

But if I had to describe it, I would say that the last 3 years of my life (wow…3 years. That seems like such a long time when you’re typing it but so short when you’re living it)  remind me of very dark tunnel.

We used to drive through tunnels in the mountains quite often when I was child. We kids loved how it would get dark, the only light coming from your headlights, and then BOOM the light from the end of the tunnel would appear!

The day we received our little boy’s prognosis, I remember feeling numb like I was entering into one of those dark tunnels except this one was completely unfamiliar.

I couldn’t see what was ahead for us as a family, and I was confused. But I knew I had my Heavenly Father, and he was my light in that tunnel.

I really had no idea what each day would hold. I just knew that I couldn’t see the way without him.

I also remember the day we went to the hospital to have our baby. I felt numb to it all…just walking through the tunnel… my eyes fixated on his light… praying so hard that he would guide me through it.

And the moment he was born, his light was so bright that I still couldn’t see what was ahead due to the magnitude of it. It stopped me in my tracks, and for the 12 hours that my baby was with me, I felt the most indescribable joy, the most amazing grace, and the most incredible peace that I have ever felt in my life.

Then, there was his funeral. I felt lost… like the brightness that I had experienced just days before had disappeared, and I was left squinting trying to see the tiniest of lights.

When my husband asked me if it was okay to leave for China just 2 months later, I said yes because I just wanted to escape and forget it all. I was running…trying to get out of the tunnel faster by running faster than his light moved. But I couldn’t see, and when language school and culture shock were thrown my way during our first year on the field, I found myself stumbling over and over again.

With the light out of sight, I made so many mistakes. I fought adaptation. I fought being happy. I was lost in the darkness of it all.

But after what would have been our son’s first birthday, I remembered the brightness of his light and found myself on my knees asking to see it again. I started to experience unimaginable healing and although it was really small, I started to see not just the light in front of me but also the light that could possibly be the end.

Throughout my third pregnancy, the Lord started to do a major work in my life. He started tearing down walls, showing me my stubbornness, the parts of my life that I wasn’t handing over.

The light at the end still seemed so far away, and I became tired of trying to reach the end.

But he always had grace that sustained me.

The day I brought my third baby home…I could almost feel my heart grow bigger and his light become a little brighter.

From that day forward, I could see him radically, sometimes painfully, changing my heart and the light at the end growing brighter and brighter.

And that day walking to our new home in our new city, I felt it. I saw the BOOM of the light, and I was running towards it. It was and is completely in sight.

And I knew….he had been molding me. That this dark tunnel…valley…this time of fire…was and is being used to change me.

Riding through the tunnels as a child, I remember thinking it was fun riding through them but was so relieved when we made it out and so happy when I saw the sun shining again.

Outside that day, I felt that happiness…to see the sun shining again.

To see the joy and contentedness shining through my face.

 I also realized how much my life had radically changed since I carried Wesley.
It had changed for the better. He had worked it all for good!

Looking back at the tunnel, it looks darker now than I remember it being while I was walking through it. When you’ve been in one for so long, you tend to forget how bright the light used to be and what life was like before you entered.

I know I still have a long way to go.

Isn’t it funny that a lot of times when we look back and see how far we’ve come, we can also look ahead and see how far we’ve got to go.

I still have a LONG way to go.

But with this light…I feel like I have a fresh start.

To work harder…To grow more. To do more. To love more.

 

 

 

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