When I was a teenager, I had a dream that I was riding my bike down a highway. There were no cars, and I felt a delicious sense of freedom, almost as if I were flying. It was night, yet there was light all around me.
I still remember that dream over 30 years later. I have always believed the dream held significance for what God was doing in my life then, waking me up to the freedom of living in his love and light.
Over the years I have experienced periods of deep darkness from anxiety and depression. Two years ago I experienced such a time and found the darkness was blacker and more oppressive than I had ever felt before. I felt physically and emotionally unwell for months. While I sought medical help, it took time for the right solution. Meanwhile, I felt my prayers and the prayers of many who love me were not helping.
Feeling God is silent and distant is not a new sensation for believers. I felt surprised, though, that I would feel such oppressive darkness as a believer who had fed on God’s Word for many years. Like many believers before me, I read Psalms with hunger, seeking hope. One day verses from a long-loved chapter jumped out at me:
“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” Psalm 139:11-12, ESV
Despite the darkness of my depression, God was present and not intimidated by it.
I still had to wait for God’s healing and hope to brighten my life. One evening a bumped dinner plate spilled food on the floor, and family members were grumpy and looking to blame. As I knelt on the floor to help clean up the mess, I had a sense that God was with me, kneeling by me on the floor in my fatigue and sadness. His light was not overcome by my darkness.
One day I will fly on my bike in a new creation where there is no longer any night. Until then, I hope in him.
“And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:5
Nancy Holliday joined Sacred Story as editor in early 2021. A lifelong lover of books and writing, she has taught English, written marketing copy, and helped students and friends improve their writing. She enjoys interaction with children and adults, especially one on one. She loves to bake, bike and cross-country ski with her family and friends in Idaho.