The problem with darkness is that it blinds you. Things that once brought joy can cause pain in darkness. Your favorite chair, when tripped over in the middle of the night, will leave bruises.
I didn’t realize I was walking blind. I had no idea. It seemed like everything was banging against me. Leaving bruises and welts. And I didn’t understand why.
My relationships were in tatters. Why was everyone coming at me with clubs? I grew angry because I couldn’t figure it out. I had no idea that all those poor people were just standing there, helpless, while I tripped and fell over them. I was trying to act like I could see- and it wasn’t working.
It took one brave person to change the tide. My mother. She showed up at my door, sat me down at my kitchen table, looked me in the eye and said, “Tasha, you’re depressed.”
Have you ever heard the story of Helen Keller? Deaf and blind from the time she was an infant. Anne Sullivan worked and worked to teach her sign language. Finally, one day, she thrust the child’s hand under a flow of water and spelled the letters into her palm, W-A-T-E-R. Light entered darkness. Helen understood her first word.
That’s what it was like.
My sight didn’t change. But I knew I was blind. And my journals started to reflect the opening of my heart. The willingness in me to acknowledge my pain. To put it bluntly: they became real.
“So, there you have it-
The ugly, nasty me-
Angry at the perfect, loving you.”
There wasn’t much else that changed. I still got bruised. I still felt intense pain. I still cried millions of tears. But I understood that I was in the middle of a battle and I started calling on God again.
“Lord, teach me how to wage war on this flesh of mine.”
I was still angry. I can’t tell you how many journal entries included the phrase, “I just want my body to be normal.” I still cried about going to church. I still cried about, well, about most everything. I still felt completely abandoned. I couldn’t seem to hear God or feel him.
But I called out to him. Day after day. I asked him why. I whined at him. I threw my pain at him. My crushed dreams. My building sorrows. Everything.
“It’s all right—questions, pain, stabbing anger,
can be poured out to the Infinite One.
Our wounded raging will be lost in him and we will be found.
For we beat on his chest from within the circle of his arms.”
I didn’t recognize it at the time but parts of me were coming back to life. I started looking for answers to my physical problems and found things the doctors had overlooked. An issue with my thyroid. A sensitivity to chemically altered substances (remember the metallic taste from the meds? It came with artificial sweeteners, colors, overly processed foods, etc…).
I still felt like something precious of mine had been snatched away. I spent many nights staring at the ceiling, wishing I could go back to being eighteen years old, healthy and full of dreams.
But I was determined to do my best. To follow God despite.
It was soon after this that we left for Haiti. I walked on the airplane with a backpack full of empty journals, notebooks full of information on natural healing and a heart that was desperate to be made whole.
The first sentence I wrote in my new home was, “Lord, I want to see.”