I have heard many times in my life that it is always the darkest before the dawn. When you are in that darkest place, that quote can either bring comfort or irritation. I have experienced both as we have traveled through a bit of darkness in our lives. Today it brought comfort to me.
I have been seeking understanding for the current journey we are on for quite some time. I have prayed for this understanding to lighten my load and bring light to a spirit that has felt dark and alone. The times when I have felt irritation with the darkness is when I have felt a hardening of my heart, the uncertainty of the future and the desire for the dawn to come earlier than it is supposed to.
Over the past few months there have been brief moments of understanding that have come into my heart. I know that they are not my thoughts, but whisperings of someone who knows far more than I do. They have come as tiny rays of light filling my heart and allowing me to see what was necessary to give me hope and direction.
With each dawn, the light comes almost imperceptively and gradually strengthens as it approaches. It is natural. It is quiet. It is life-giving. It is beautiful, especially after a particularly dark night.
Darkness brings with it a myriad of experiences. It is near impossible to negotiate in darkness without tripping, getting smacked at various locations, running into things and feeling hopeless. There is a special, exquisite feeling of loneliness that comes when we cannot see where we are going or feel what is ahead of us. It can feel as though we are screaming into a void, with nothing coming back.
Yet, the darkest of nights give us the opportunity to see the brightest dawns.
I love being in the mountains to watch the sun come up. I see the first evidences of light in the sky. As the sun begins to emerge over the top of the mountain, the horizon becomes clear. The shadows gradually creep back, retreating before the beauty of the light can overtake them. And then, the world has opened up.
Our dark night has begun to yield. We are seeing the faintest evidences of the coming dawn. Just as it is with the mountain, we have been able to see things on the horizon first. The shadows continue to do their best to keep hold, but they will retreat as the light grows stronger. I have prayed for this moment time and time again, knowing that the dawn will come at the time Heavenly Father knows it will be the best for us. I have tried over and over to speed this process up, however His timing is always perfect.
I am forever grateful for this night we have passed through. I have never reached out so deeply and strongly to my Savior. I have never relied so much on Heavenly Father’s love and mercy. I have never seen so many daily blessings that they give us, which we can take for granted. I have never felt so close to my incredible family.
To be grateful for the dawn, we must be grateful for the night.