Earlier in the year we introduced you all to The Influence Commons. As a Network we want to give our members a chance to use their voice. We put out a call for pitches and today we are sharing the first piece written by one of our very own. We hope to share a new piece each week, so if you’re thinking about sending a pitch, don’t hesitate! Don’t forget that we plan on hosting a writer’s retreat and workshop in 2018. We’ll offer 3 scholarship positions chosen from the submissions of The Influence Commons.
As I stood in the shower, tears joined the steady stream of water falling down into the drain mixed with soap suds. In this private place, I cried out to God. All of my fears, all of my emotions and questions were poured out in that shower on a daily basis. It had been one week since our life had been thrown upside down and I felt as though I was gasping for air. Everything seemed to be covered in a blanket of darkness and I felt myself straining to see if there was any light – any good at all.
The trials of life can hit us full force and when we least expect them. Many times we are going about life as usual when, in an instant, life changes. For us, it was one Wednesday afternoon when my husband and I were brought to our knees as he struggled with a sudden onset of anxiety and depression. We entered into a season where every morning and every night we would pray to God together; huddled on our living room floor.
Everything seemed broken and messy. Our once steady days, shaken. Life had taken an unexpected turn that left everything that used to be clear, clouded and dark.
During this season, there was one morning I recall as a pivotal moment. I was sitting in my worn yellow chair, praying in the dim morning light. As the advent season was upon us, I had my study laid out in my weary hands.
All I saw around me was so much brokenness.
Everything had been stripped away and I could see our struggles, our pain, our fears laid before me. Darkness seemed to fill every corner of life. How can there be anything good in this, I wondered. Everything was just messy, confusing, and broken.
As the morning sun began to stream through our living room windows, I noticed the light illuminating my three children playing on the floor. Each child was doing their own thing in a land of joy and imagination. In a world that seemed to be filled with a deep darkness, there was suddenly light and I became overwhelmed by God’s goodness.
In that small moment, I saw God’s gentle reminder: there is always light, even in the dark days. In the fiercest of storms, there is good. In the coldest of winters, there is beauty.
Something in me felt compelled to write, so I grabbed my notebook that rested beside me. Turning to a white, crisp sheet, I began to write out all the good. As I thought back on the past two weeks, I wrote every little thing I could remember until the present day. When I finished, I set my pen down and looked at the list.
There, written out in black ink, were countless good things. There was the light in our darkness. From friends watching our kids, family traveling to visit and pray with us, to my sister taking me for lunch, friends dropping off notes and tea when I needed it most, to the friends who let us cry and rest with our brokenness laid out. Tears bubbled up and sprinkled over the paper.
Over the next month, I added to this list on a regular basis. The more I counted the good, the brighter our season became. Now, I look back on that season and read over the list on a regular basis. It is a beautiful gift to see God’s hand in our darkest hour.
My sweet friends, God is with you in every season. He is good, because it is part of His character and He is faithful. Even when you hear devastating news. Even when life does not turn out how you expected. God is good and faithful.
We can hold onto these promises in the darkest of hours. As you rest in your broken places, I urge you to count the fruit. It may seem hard at first, but as you get started, you will start to look for the good. Instead of focusing on all that is going wrong in your world, you will be praising God for the good that you see in the moment. There is always light, sometimes we just need to look for it.
Count the fruit, friends.
Keri Snyder encourages moms to cultivate lives of beauty, purpose, and joy in whatever season they are in. She is a wife and mama of three, and author of Why Just Survive When You can Thrive. Most days you will find Keri in her backyard with her kids and sneaking in moments to write. Keri writes at https://kerilynnsnyder.com and loves to connect on Instagram @kerilynnsnyder