There was complete darkness. I couldn’t see anything. I was sitting on the hard cold ground. I couldn’t see anything but a small light up ahead. I was entangled in some sort of rope that I could feel wrapped tightly around my wrist and ankles. My heart was pounding. I was terrified. I couldn’t get in reach of anything to free me. I had to pull my wrist as hard as possible to break free. I was pulling with all my might feeling blood drip from my wrist. All the while I’m screaming out for Jesus to help free me. Suddenly my arms covered in blood are free and able to untie my feet and without a thought I ran toward that small light. I was running. Fast! I felt I couldn’t run any faster but I was trying. Behind me was complete darkness and it was terrifying. The darkness felt inches from my heels. In front of me I could see a light. I knew I had to keep running. Eventually I reached a tunnel. It wasn’t so dark anymore. It wasn’t so terrifying but it was getting more difficult to continue running. The light looked bigger, brighter so much closer. I felt so tired. I felt like sitting down just long enough to catch my breath but something in me knew that if I stopped, the darkness would swallow me up again. So I continued to run. Toward the middle of the tunnel was a crowd of people cheering me on. I couldn’t see their faces.
You can do it. Don’t give up. Keep pressing on. Fight it. You got this.
Tears streaming down my face while I fought to continue running feeling so encouraged and full of hope.
I can do this! I got this.
I continued running while I thought about how I have fought so hard to be free from the darkness behind me. I can’t give up now. I ran and ran my feet barely touching the pavement. At last, I collapsed to the ground, but scared, I quickly used my hands to scoot myself away from the darkness behind me in fear of it swallowing me up. However, there was no darkness. I couldn’t see the darkness anymore. I woke up as a smile moved across my face. A sense of relief filled my chest. I was free. I wasn’t scared. There was a breath of fresh air and peace. I could breathe. I was free.
In the middle of the night, years ago I opened my Bible and flipped to Hebrews 12:1-3….
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
My dream suddenly made so much sense.
My childhood is filled with darkness. I’m not quite sure I’ll ever be ready to share it with the world. I fought hard to escape that darkness and be who God has called me to be. I didn’t ignore it. I didn’t pretend it was never there. However, I fought hard to not allow it to determine my future. It took a lot of time to allow Jesus to stop that part of my life from defining me. There are moments in my life when I feel like the darkness is still snipping at my heels but I’m always running toward the light…His light. I won’t lose heart now.
I had a counselor once tell me,
“You are no longer that scared little girl who had no way out!”
At first I was angered by her statement.
She was right though. That day I left feeling empowered and thinking to myself, “I am safe! I am free! I have choices!” It was after that counselling session that I was able to let go and with God begin to heal from the events of my childhood.
So many of us are trapped in yesterday’s darkness when we don’t have to be. I didn’t choose to ignore the past or say it never happened. I chose to not allow my childhood to define me. I chose to move past yesterday and enjoy the now. I pray this encourages you who are haunted by yesterday. I hope it encourages you who still have nightmares because of yesterday. I hope it encourages you who still feels they are fighting the darkness.
Mostly I hope it encourages you to know that you can walk away from yesterday and not allow it to define you. Your past might be dark but your future can be bright.