I remember one night this past summer...standing out on the deck. The stars still shone. The lights of the community below still flickered. Cars never slowed down. Sirens could still be heard. It was the weirdest moment for me.
My world had stopped. Every beat of my heart was something I marveled at. Sometimes they actually hurt. Breathing felt like effort. Controlling my mind was ... extreme discipline. The questions haunted me. My new-found knowledge tore at my soul.
And yet... the world went on.
It seemed so...wrong.
Not that the world revolved around me. Of course not. But that my personal world had stopped. And yet...no one else's did.
The moment of being keenly aware of everything around you. Seeing the joy on random stranger's faces...knowing they had not just discovered what we had.
Seeing some faces that looked hollow and sad and wondering what pain filled their world.
The moment when everything around you is loud yet so ... eerily silent. The pulse in my temples so deafeningly loud as I stood out on the deck in the dark.
A few years ago I remember blogging about our friend that took his life. Something that never left me was said by his family member at his memorial service. "Never make decisions in March." He went on to explain that too often we make life altering decisions in a moment of darkness. Just before the sun comes up. Just before the flowers bloom and the world becomes bright again.
I remember my close friend, after finding out a student at her school had taken his life, said "if only he gave tomorrow a chance..." and that line stayed with me ever since.
During this journey...some of the longest months...longest days...longest minutes of my existence, I've thought about 'tomorrow'.
In my story...the immediate tomorrow did not bring hope. Tomorrow felt dark and hopeless. And daily I would tell myself "just give tomorrow a chance..." b/c tomorrow was the bigger-picture-tomorrow.
I share this, because I'm not the only one going through deep, dark trauma. Maybe it's financial. Maybe it's marriage. Maybe it's a family crisis. Maybe it's relational. Maybe it's medical. A diagnosis that has left your world spinning.
Giving 'tomorrow a chance' won't be immediate. It sure wasn't for me. But tomorrows run into more tomorrows. And I can tell you ... there comes a moment when you realize you have somewhat survived the darkest days of your life.
When you look out at a beautiful sunny day and it doesn't look as dark anymore. Tomorrow does hold hope. Maybe not just one tomorrow...but many in a row...do.
Just choosing to give tomorrow a chance. As robotic as it might feel...just putting one foot in front of the other. Regardless of what you feel. There is hope.
Some of my 'tomorrows' brought worse news. There were days that I had to reach out to friends and tell them to simply remind me if they saw hope. Because I didn't. I had no problem acknowledging that my vision was skewed. My heart too shattered to be counted on. My mind blurring days and weeks and months. Sleep fled. Gone. There were times I just longed for a heavenly touch....that would put me in the most peaceful, DREAM LESS (please!!!) sleep. Rest.
Giving tomorrow a chance isn't light hearted or silly or shallow. It really is profound. But each tomorrow...commit to giving another tomorrow a chance. Just one decision at a time.
And surround yourself with people who can remind you of hope...because it's there. It's always there.
“In times of trouble, may the LORD answer your cry. May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm. May he send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem. May he remember all your gifts and look favorably on your burnt offerings. Interlude May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the LORD answer all your prayers. Now I know that the LORD rescues his anointed king. He will answer him from his holy heaven and rescue him by his great power. Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the LORD our God. Those nations will fall down and collapse, but we will rise up and stand firm. Give victory to our king, O LORD! Answer our cry for help.”
Psalms 20:1-9 NLT