Walking back into the light

I've been walking in the dark. Honing my night vision, spiritually. Psalm 51 has been a great comfort: Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare Your praise. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart You will not despise. I am reminded of a time such as this when repentance healed my broken heart, so broken it felt dead and silent inside me.  I "turn my mind", words so similar to the definition of "repentance", the Hebrew word  שׁוּבָה transliterated "shubah", meaning a return or a turning away from.
I remember, too, that I counted gifts then, wrote them down with paper and ink so they were there, indelible, monuments of God's faithfulness to bless me even in the dark night. And so, again, I pick up notebook, the one with pages and pages of the sins I've committed, the one I wrote my heart out in this past week. Spewing sadness. On top of the new page I tape the template for the tattoo I got on my wrist on Monday, covering up scars: Choose Life, from Deuteronomy 30 - the chapter of Scripture with the heading "The Offer of Life or Death". And then I begin again, at number 2,000, to number gifts. My therapist calls this "accumulating positives". Life hangs in the balance, and I choose to pile more on the side of Life and Joy than on Despair and Death.
The sunlight streams back into my soul, and I have 3 good days in a row. (I whisper this, as if hope may truly BE the thing with feathers that perches on the soul, and perhaps would will take wing if startled.) I have chosen the long, slow road of faith. There are quicker ways to peace, but none other that lasts for eternity. In the carbon black days of depression, I pray the fire in my brain is forming diamonds. For today, I simply give thanks for a good day. A reprieve, a relief, like the sigh as you lay head on pillow after a hard day's work, muscles melting and pain fading as you rest.
Photo credit: Sarah Bessey

#2001 breakfast in bed
#2002 children's morning smiles as they serve it
#2003 skills lab with 50 eager students
#2004 laughing with my mama