I remember being five years old. The hallway down to my bedroom was long and narrow and flanked by 80s paneling. You remember the kind, right? I was convinced the knots in the wood were scary faces waiting to come alive and get me in the darkness when no one was looking. Eventually I got older, and that hallway didn’t seem quite as long or as scary. When you’re five, the unknown can be daunting.
Thirty years later, I have a five year old of my own and wouldn’t you know it… we’ve got a long hallway down to his bedroom. Not quite as dark or as scary looking, it is illuminated by windows near the ceiling that let the light shine through. But when the sun goes down, and the windows are dark, the fear begins to rise in that little five year old boy.
After many quick sprints down the hall to avoid the scaries he imagines are waiting, he one day threw himself into a puddle of tears on the living room floor. “It’s too dark, and I’m too scared,” he cried. I grabbed him by the hand and walked him to the edge of the hall. I flicked on the hall light. “See? Let’s keep going.” When we got to the bathroom, I turned on the light. When we got down to his room, I reached for the switch. I bent down and heard myself say, “It’s not so scary. Just keep going until the next light.”
Thirty years have passed since that little girl sat fearful at the edge of the hall staring into the darkness. And somehow even as a grown woman, I feel that little girl rising up in me. I look ahead, and everything seems so dark. I could keep walking, but I am not quite sure what’s waiting. The light is shining, but only a little. There are so many unanswered questions as I look out, and if I’m not careful, that fear begins to form a pit in my stomach that quenches my ability to move ahead into the unknown. I will stare out into that darkness and let fear grow greater than my faith.
I have to remember that fear is the enemy of all that is waiting when I move forward.
And so sometimes, I find the courage to trust. Sometimes I remember that every time before as I have walked along, God has always been faithful to illuminate the path in just the right moment. If I am simply brave enough to move, I can remain confident in the Light. It is always there when I reach for it. It always lights the path for me to move forward. Fear continually fights faith to keep us from moving forward, but oh what goodness is waiting out in the unknown.
We must be brave. We must be able to reach for the Light, and even when the darkness looms, we must keep walking forward in faith. You aren’t alone. The scaries will subside, and the light will shine through. Keep walking…