Learning to lean on God in darkness

A lesson I learned as a little girl has served me well

Growing up, we had a long (to my perception), dark hallway in our house. As a child with a good imagination, my imagination could get the best of me in that hallway and leave me frightened. I’d hurry down the hallway to get through it as fast as I could.

When I was in third grade, my Sunday School teacher taught us the first part of Isaiah 41:10, “So, do not fear for I am with you.” (She might have taught us the entire verse, but that is the part that stuck with me.)

From then on, I’d repeat that verse over and over to myself when I walked down that hallway. I continued doing so for a year or two until I was older and no longer afraid.

For years, I didn’t tell anyone this story. I wasn’t ashamed of it, but it just didn’t come up. I first wrote about this story as a high school student for a church youth newsletter I started and edited.

After my mom read the story, she immediately told me she wished that I’d have told her and she could have put a light in that hallway. (In fact, later on she had put a light in that hallway.) I assured her it was fine.

In the years since then, though, this lesson has stayed with me. Isaiah 41:10 continues to be my favorite Bible verse. I’ve learned the entire verse and carried it with me through many situations much more frightening than that dark hallway in my childhood home.

Teaching my children to lean on God

Now that I’m a mom myself, I think about this lesson from a new perspective. Would I have learned to rely on God when I’m scared so early on without this experience? I’m not so sure. It was a small situation that was big to me and first taught me how when I’m scared I can turn to God.

I question whether I am instilling these lessons in my own children now. I am reminded that while I want to make their lives incredibly easy and without struggle, that isn’t always best for them because life doesn’t work that way.

Learning to lean on God when I’m afraid is a lesson I am so glad to have learned. Getting outside of our fear and clinging to the One Who holds us in His hand is sometimes quite difficult. I pray that my children will learn this lesson since our God can comfort and protect them in more ways than I can.

Feeling thankful for adversity

Paul tells us to be thankful for our adversities. That can be incredibly hard to do. I have had times in my life where looking back later, I completely understood and felt thankful for past adversities. This dark hallway fear is an adversity from childhood for which I am thankful. I learned how to lean on God in the darkness, and that’s served me incredibly well.

The darkness — both literal and figurative — can be such a scary place. We can feel alone and our anxiety can be intense. It’s easy to have our imaginations and thoughts spiral into a very dark place.

However, we do have One Who is with us in the darkness, even when we may not understand it or feel He is missing. He remains faithful and true in spite of our feelings. And God has given us His Word to encourage and remind us Who we most need to put our trust in, even in the darkest of times.

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