Fear Archive

The Apocalypse, Day One

Posted January 11, 2017 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Day One

Cherokee, Oklahoma to Moriarty, New Mexico

(This is part one of a ten-day trucking trip through the worst winter conditions I’d ever faced. Be sure to come back for the other nine days!)

It was supposed to be an easy trip. Pick up a preloaded trailer of chicken and run it up to Grandview, Washington. Between storms. I’d be in and out before the next one hit with thousands in my pocket and several days with 2016 disappearing further into my rearview mirror.

All hopes of the new year exploding on my scene were dashed at 2am. No fireworks. No Aud Lang Syne. Instead, the new year crepted in as freezing fog, its long fingers entangling me while it engulfed my truck like tomb. Little did I know it was only a prelude of things to come.

I inched along and made my way west. After all, I did have a delivery appointment, not to mention a very short window to grab a load and escape the storm. The fog turned to rain… then sleet. I had to assume the icy mix was covering the road the same way it was slathering my windshield.

I passed car after car that had spun out into the median or onto the side of the road. Some had overturned. Trucks were rolled over onto their sides or tops, their trailers oozing precious cargo.

It’s unnerving to drive through was resembles a war zone, especially under the cover of darkness.  I couldn’t help but wonder about those drivers, their families and whether they made it home to them in one piece, despite the metal carnage that sculpted the story on the highway.

The sun finally rose. The fog lifted. Oklahoma disappeared into Texas and the Lonestar State eventually yielded to the painted desert of New Mexico. I puttered along barely making it up hills. I was within a few pounds of being overweight. If I took on more than twenty five gallons of fuel at a time, I could not legally drive on any road in America. So I stopped often to get my little bit of petro, a very time consuming task.

By the time I stopped for the day in Moriarty, New Mexico, I was already exhausted and behind schedule. Tomorrow I would start up into the lower Rockies and I knew I would not make good time at all. There was nothing I could do, so I got ready for bed and settled down for the night.

Suddenly, I received an alarm. My refrigerated unit (Reefer) on my trailer had shut down. The chicken was going to melt. I got dressed and jammed my bare feet into my boots. Quickly lacing them, I grabbed a flashlight and bolted out of the truck, hardly noticing that it had begun to snow. For the next thirty minutes, I troubleshot. I ran through scenario after scenario. My heart sank when I finally discovered the cause of the problem. When the chicken plant loaded and sealed the trailer, they had not hooked one of the doors. It was my responsibility to check that and I had just missed it during my inspection.

Fortunately, the alarm was overridden remotely by computer and we got the refrigerator running again. My company decided to not unseal the trailer in order to close the door because the load was intact even with the door slightly ajar at the top. But, I would be paying about $30 a day in fuel just to keep it running this way. It was a very costly mistake on my part. One doesn’t make that mistake very often. 

Two hours later, my head hit the pillow again, though rest would not come. My mind vacillated between the open door I’d bundled, and the fact that I was behind schedule, and closer to not being able to get back out of Washington.

I prayed and somewhere in the darkness my troubled soul yielded to the Sandman.

(Be sure to  come back to see part 2 of the Apocalypse.)

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You Have Something to Say!

Posted January 17, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I know what you’re thinking. Me? Speak? Well, praise the Lord and pass the Valium. It’s a horrifying proposition for most people so you’re not alone.

I do quite a bit of speaking. Many of you have heard me speak either live or via live video feeds. It may surprise you to know that I used to hate and avoid public speaking at all costs. If I did have the opportunity to speak, my palms began to sweat about four weeks before the event and I didn’t sleep until after I’d delivered what I thought was a very shallow message.

One day I realized something that changed my life forever. I realized I had something to say that others wanted and needed to hear. Suddenly, I knew I had a purpose. I could sow into the lives of individuals in an audience and really, truly make a difference in their lives.

That revelation transformed me from a fleeing fraidycat to a bulldog that walked up on the stage and said, “Let me at ’em!” All I needed to know is that I could make a difference and the fear faded into insignificance.

Know what? You have something to say, too! All your experiences, life events, wisdom, blunders, mistakes, triumphs, tragedies are all precious golden nuggets that others need from you in order to prosper. Pouring yourself out and into their lives through your spoken word is the ultimate philanthropic contribution!

Yesterday, I was privileged to have a wonderful conversation with public speaking coach, Deb Sofield. I met her by listening to her radio broadcast on talk radio. She is filled with energy, and pours it out in the word that flow over the airwaves. I am always encouraged, enlightened and motivated with every broadcast.

Deb recognizes that most people–individuals just like YOU–have a passion but become paralyzed in terror when asked to speak about it. In her book, Speak Without Fear, she gives practical advice on how to conquer the fear of speaking in public. I very highly recommend it for anyone who wants to speak but is sidelined by fear.

Listen. You have something to say. The world needs what you have to say. Period. Get over the fear and give us your wisdom. We’ll all grow through your speaking and you’ll gain confidence each time you share. One day, you’ll be that bulldog saying, “Let me at ’em!”

How have you reacted to being asked to speak in public? Have you had a negative experience? A positive one? Share it here!

 

 

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Go Boldly, or Wimpy… but GO!

Posted January 9, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I grew up as a die hard Star Trek fan. I couldn’t wait for the next episode: I knew the intro by heart and recited it with the announcer:

“…to BOLDY go where no man has gone before!”

I always wanted to be a part of that exploration. My heart yearned to head out to places unknown in search of… well, something. Some call it a pioneer spirit. Others, insanity. To me, it’s just who I am.

Heading Out at Sunrise

 

I wish I could say that I was like Daniel Boone or the astronauts who walked on the moon. Unfortunately, even though many times I did head out in search of something, I was pretty wimpy about it.

Know what I learned about that? Here are just a few things:

Whether I go wimpy or boldly, I still get where I want to go. That’s encouraging. And empowering. I also gain more boldness the farther I go putting my frightened foot forward.

Boldness is overrated. The emphasis should be on the “go” part. Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s moving forward in pursuit of your dream in spite of your fear.

Boldness slips up on you. Piece by piece, boldness is build. The mighty tower is constructed by each and every success you have, no matter how small. Suddenly, you discover you are a fortress of bold confidence.

2036_bmx

Everyone’s a wimp on the inside. It’s true. Underneath that strong exterior you see in some, they are afraid. The only difference between them and perhaps you is they felt their fear and pursued their dream anyway. They focused on the “go” part, rather than the wimpy feeling they had.

You have 100% total and complete control over that. You can put one step in front of the other. You can apply for that job. You can talk to that agent or editor. You can lay the groundwork for that incredible business you dreamed of owning. It’s completely up to you.

Success is sweet but it isn’t always reached with finesse. Sometimes even the greatest winners cross the finish line on their hands and knees panting and drooling. But they still cross first and win the race. When they’re standing on the podium getting the medal placed around their necks, do you think it mattered how they looked when they crossed the finish line first? Umm… no.

Victory girl by Photostock FDP

Look, bold is good. Going and getting where you want to be is better. Much better. Just do it. Wimpy or not, GO! You’ll be glad you did and the world will be changed. So will you!

When was the last time you set off to achieve a goal? How did you feel? What was the outcome? Share it here!

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Six Days…

Posted November 6, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I bet you’ve been wondering where I’ve been this last week. Well, I slept for forty-eight straight hours. Why? Because I was up and traveling across the country for six days without any sleep.

Me on a Mission

Me on a Mission

I left Florida, crossed two states and did something I had not done since 1971. I boarded a bus heading west. I had to go to Salt Lake City on very important business and I decided to meet women on the way. So I went Greyhound and left the driving to them. I was not prepared for what I encountered.

During my six days (that’s 144 continuous hours of consciousness), I met 128 women who were on the run from their significant other. One by one I sat next to them, or they sat next to me on a bus. They told their stories of abuse. The were literally running for their lives in the cheapest way they could find.

Wyoming. That White Stuff is Snow

Wyoming. That White Stuff is Snow

One women, Sabrina, had just been discharged from the hospital after a three month stay. Her husband had run her down with the family car, breaking both legs, several vertebrae and leaving her in a coma for weeks. The surgical wounds still had staples in them. She was in tremendous pain and riding a bus was the worst thing she could have done… except staying with her spouse.

She was such a trooper. My heart went out to her, particularly at 3am when the agony was so great, she called out for anyone to help her. I went back and prayed for God to ease her pain. Thankfully, He did.

I Discovered in Wyoming Why People Wear Coats!

I Discovered in Wyoming Why People Wear Coats!

I met Henrietta in St. Louis. She boarded the bus with two children in tow. I couldn’t help but hear them asking mommy why daddy couldn’t come. She had no answer. Not wanting to say anything negative about their father, she opted for a vague answer and quickly changed the subject. 

Two hours later, the bus made a meal stop at a local McDonald’s. Who knew they did that?! Fortunately, a convenience store was right next door. I ran over there and found a coloring book. I grabbed it and ran back to the bus and took out a pack of  colored highlighters from my backpack.

Mountains in Utah

Mountains in Utah

 

When Henrietta and kids returned to the bus, I gave them to her. She and I talked while the children colored in their book. 

During my six days aboard public transportation, I saw country I’d never seen before as we made our way through Wyoming and finally Utah. I also saw a part of society that is hurting in a way I’d never witnessed.

Sure, I’ve seen people running in airports, at rest stops along the interstate, at hotels and in restaurants. But never before had I been so close to hurting women who did not have the means to flee in style. They didn’t have money for meals, even the value menu under the golden arches. Their eyes mirrored hearts that were empty and without belonging. I ached for them.

Me After Five Days and 120 Women's Stories

Me After Five Days and 120 Women’s Stories

 

I prayed for them and thanked God that I saw this underworld of women who are more courageous than the brave souls who pushed west to settle the once wild land we rode though on a smelly bus.

If I ever am tempted to complain about sitting in a plush airport waiting for a late airplane that will take me from one end of the country to the other in a matter of hours, I’ll remember my six days on a Greyhound. I’ll remember Atlanta’s bus station that was locked down while all passengers were searched and guns, knives, blades and brass nuckles confiscated.

I’ll remember cries in the night as wounds tried to heal, and children who didn’t understand abuse. They only missed their daddy.

Six days…

 

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Blending into Nothing

Posted October 16, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Yesterday was a dreary day where I am. Clouds and drizzly rain with the temperatures in the upper 60’s were hardly the perfect photo op for a postcard. So I walked three miles to a local bagel place, pulled out my I-pad mini and got lost in a book.

Geese on the bike trail on a rainy day

Geese on the bike trail on a rainy day

After a while I noticed that I was being ignored, which isn’t a bad thing if you want to be lost in a book, but it got me thinking. What if I was needing help? What if I wanted people to see me? 

So I walked home, changed into my bicycle gear, hooked up my new trailer and pedaled back down to that same restaurant. I wheeled up right in front and leaned Dakota against the window. I walked in, ordered a bagel and sat in the same seat. 

Suddenly, folks began to notice this alien in spandex. Looks turned in my direction, many of them from the same people who’d ignored me moments before. 

What's not to notice!

What’s not to notice!

It seems I came out of the wallpaper to become a conversation piece. Men and women approached me. They asked where I was headed, how hard it was to pull a trailer, why I was doing such a crazy thing.

I was invited to join a group of women who took up most of a side room. They marveled as I told them about Road to Freedom. Interestingly, many of them had walked right by me without even a nod moments before.

It’s all about the spandex. Well, and loaded panniers, bicycle trailers on a rainy day doing what anyone in their right minds would never do. 

As I said farewell and headed back out to the dreary day, one woman followed me out. She had not been with the group. I’d seen her come in and tuck away in the corner on my first visit. 

Packing up, preparing for a Sunday departure.

Packing up, preparing for a Sunday departure.

“Are you really riding your bicycle around the country helping women who have been abused?” 

Did I detect a quiver in her voice? “Of course I am.” I handed her one of my business cards. “You can follow along on my journey if you’d like.”

“How do you get people to listen?”

“I wear spandex,” I said chuckling. “Would you like for me to listen to you?”

For the next hour we sat outside in the drizzling rain as Beverly told me the story of her abuse that started as a child, and continued to this day. Just like me on my first visit, the world passes her by without even wondering whether she was hurting.

I prayed with Beverly and recommended she take the bold step of getting some help. 

Through tears, she hugged my neck and said, “You’re the only person who’s taken the time to care and listen.”

As I rode off with cold drizzle hitting my face, it was a sobering reminder that women who have been victims of assault or abuse blend into nothing. They make it a point to not be noticed, all the while secretly pining for someone–anyone–to pay attention to them.

That’s why I pour my middle-aged body into spandex, pack all my belongings onto my bicycle and ride on a rainy day. Road to Freedom continues.

Trying to figure out what to pack is tough

Trying to figure out what to pack is tough

I’m putting the final brush strokes on my book proposal to get that off to those who have requested it. Then it’s off again. My departure date will be Sunday! Where I’m going only God knows but to be sure there will be women just like Beverly who need an alien in spandex to listen, to care, and to help.

God blesses the broken road that leads me to hurting women.

 

 

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Quest for Freedom

Posted October 14, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

On Saturday, I rode Dakota to a nearby eatery and met one of my favorite people in the world: Jane Young Hill. We embraced in a long awaited reunion and grabbed a table outside. Not only was the weather breathtaking, but it was much more quiet than inside the restaurant.

We caught up on each other’s lives over pumpkin bagels and regaled each other of our adventures, Jane with her family that is growing up too fast and me with the Road to Freedom Tour that has taken on a life of its own. 

LCSW Jane Young Hill and Me. What a Joyful Reunion

LCSW Jane Young Hill and Me. What a Joyful Reunion

The conversation naturally turned to the reason Jane and I met. She is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Jane and I worked together for a couple of weeks but she soon realized I needed intense help. She arranged for me to be admitted to Focus by the Sea, in St. Simons Island, Georgia. 

Once stabilized, Jane continued to work tirelessly with me to overcome the terror I faced. I found my way to freedom thanks to her expertise and willingness to see me through my quest… the quest for freedom.

We sat in the morning sun reminiscing about those weeks together and I admitted I know full well I would not be where I am today if God had not placed Jane in my path. I’d been to another therapist who, even through she was young and vibrant, fell asleep during our first session together. It was also our last.

I am happy, emotionally healthy and whole today because of Jane and Saturday morning, I wanted her to bask in the sweetness of the fruits of her labor. 

Dakota and my new Bob Trailer. The men in my life!

Dakota and my new Bob Trailer. The men in my life!

I asked her if she ever got discouraged or felt she was not making a difference. Of course she does. We all do. I told her the next time she felt that way, to think of me and know she’s doing a good work.

Two hours passed like a flash of lightening and all too soon, she went back to her therapy world and I mounted Dakota and pedaled west. The memories of our days together and the gravity of Jane’s efforts tugged at my heart. She gave all she had to contribute to my personal quest for freedom. Now it’s my turn. 

Can't Life Your Dream Because of Fear? Get my book on Amazon!

Can’t Live Your Dream Because of Fear? Get my book on Amazon!

Helping women along the Road to Freedom Tour is just my reasonable service. It’s my way of paying it forward. To show others the way to the freedom I enjoy and have had for several years.

Thank you, Jane and so many therapists, social workers, doctors, nurses and others who dedicate their lives to helping others find the way to freedom. May God multiply blessings back to you for your labor of love for humanity. 

 

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So Why Are You So Passionate About Your Tour?

Posted October 8, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Early yesterday morning, I hugged my great friend and author, Roxanne Sherwood Gray, goodbye and Dakota and I pedaled off into the morning mist. I wound my way into Orlando through a series of roads and trails. 

Saying Goodbye to Friend and Author, Roxanne Sherwood Gray

Saying Goodbye to Friend and Author, Roxanne Sherwood Gray

At one place on the Cady Way Trail, two men road toward me on bikes of their own. Suddenly, one of them stopped and asked me to stop as well. He said he wanted to talk to me about what I was doing. His friend rode on while Don began asking all sorts of questions about why I was out on a bicycle alone fully loaded with gear.

Don wanted more information so I invited him to join me for lunch. I’d already planned to stop by a local eatery and visit one of my favorite waitresses, Donna. I didn’t expect him to but Don showed up right on time.

Lake Baldwin at Baldwin Park

Lake Baldwin at Baldwin Park

Over chips and salsa, I explained Road to Freedom to him. He was intrigued and asked if he could ride with me. He offered to show me a less congested route through Orlando. When ominous clouds opened up and dumped on us, he found us refuge in a city park.

We sat on picnic tables as he asked question after question. He just couldn’t figure out why I was so passionate about Road to Freedom and the women I serve. I tried the best I could to explain it but, in all honesty, I don’t quite understand it my self. All I know is those women are suffering and I must go to them. 

When the rain finally stopped, we said out goodbyes and headed off in different directions. I turned, and rode, backtracked and improvised my way through heavy Orlando traffic. A second wave of storms roared through. I stopped put on my Burley rain gear and pedaled on, grateful for my 100% waterproof panniers.

Up in the distance I saw a woman walking with a small child in tow. Neither she nor the child had any protection against the storm. I rode up to her got off Dakota, took off my raincoat and put it over the child. It drug the ground. Through the raging storm, I asked her where she was going. Fortunately, they were going to where she worked, right up the street. 

Weeping Willows at Baldwin Park Before the Rains Hit

Weeping Willows at Baldwin Park Before the Rains Hit

I asked her if I could sit the child on my bike, and offered to push him to her place of employment. She almost melted in gratitude. I zipped up the rain gear around his ears, hoisted him to Dakota’s seat and off we went. When we finally got to the store where she worked, I pulled out my camp towel from my pannier and dried her son off, then handed the towel to her.

As she wiped away what raindrops she could, she asked me what I was doing on the road in the rain. When I told her about Road to Freedom, she told me how she and her son escaped domestic violence at the hands of the child’s father. Things are unbearably difficult for her but it was better than the abuse.

I told her I was out there to help her…to give her the courage to keep moving forward in spite o

Thirty Years is Too Long to Wait

Posted October 7, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Dakota and I made our way south from Orange Park, Florida on Friday to the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine. I arrived in the late afternoon, just before rush hour. I rode past the Castillo de San Marcos, the town square and the Bridge of Lions, all standing as reminders that once La Florida was under Spanish rule. 

Florida School for the Deaf and Blind

Florida School for the Deaf and Blind

I walked Dakota back up St. George Street and felt like I was walking the Spanish streets in Guatemala. The aroma of calamari beckoned me as I walked past the Columbia Restaurant.

St. George Street in St. Augustine, FL

St. George Street in St. Augustine, FL

 

My warmshowers hosts, Hugh and Elisabeth, live right in the old city so I spent the night right in the middle of all things historic. We had an amazing meal outside. They listened in awe as I told them of the Road to Freedom Tour and the adventures I have had along the way.

Pink Tacos

On Saturday, I got into central Florida in the early afternoon and decided to stop at a local place for lunch. I sat outside at Tijuana Flats and was served tacos in pink shells. As I gorged myself with chips and salsa, a group began forming around Dakota. Finally, one member of the group found the courage to ask me what I was doing. 

The group listened as I explained about the Tour. They were intrigued but quickly walked away. A few moments later, a lady approached me and sat down at my table. Ginger unloaded thirty years of fear, anxiety and shame as she told me the story of being abused at the hands of her father. 

She’s lived a very tough life, bouncing from one job to the next, in and out of relationships and from one corner of the country to the next. Her eyes had that unmistakable sadness I’ve seen in so many women across our country. I told her thirty years was too long to wait to find her freedom. 

Tuscawilla fountain

Ginger and I talked for hours about her life and I provided her with names of professionals I knew in the area who could help her get free of the tyranny of her past. We hugged our goodbyes and as Dakota and I pushed off, I could not stop thinking about the thirty years she’d spent suffering in silence.

I was still thinking about Ginger yesterday as I visited a church in Orlando. At the conclusion of a wonderful service, I met a lady named Kim. When she heard about the Road to Freedom Tour, she said she’d known someone for–you guessed it–thirty years and did not know her father had abused her as well. 

When her friend finally told the story, they cried and prayed all night. Her friend said she now felt like she could fly. She’s so light and carefree now. 

That’s why I’m on the Road to Freedom Tour. That’s why I pedal with purpose… Because thirty years is too long to wait to be set free!

 

 

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What Are the Chances?

Posted October 2, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Today I rode over to have lunch with my great friend, Regina. She knows I love Mexican food so she insisted we eat at the local Mex place. Of course, I didn’t put up a fight. I’m just glad I didn’t tear down the door trying to rush in for my chips and salsa!

While we eat our enchiladas, I regaled her with stories of the road. She was amazed but not the least bit surprised. Regina and I met when her husband (a career Navy Physician’s Assistant) was deployed to Kuwait after 9-11. She’s watched all my adventures over the last decade and known what I will do to help others.

Jacksonville, Florida Skyline from the River Walk Trail

Jacksonville, Florida Skyline from the River Walk Trail

During our conversation, she asked how I got in touch with all these women who have been violently assaulted or sexually abused in their lifetime. I sat back and said, “With 1 in 3 women victims in the US, what are the chances of me NOT coming across them?”

She’d already gotten the message. She’d been looking around the restaurant, realizing that 30% of the women in there statistically were victims. Dreams they once may have had were destroyed by a senseless act by a heartless perpetrator.

Dare to Dream Cover

We said our goodbye’s and I set out to complete my errand-to-run list for the day. I stopped at what has become one of my favorite places on the road: Dollar General. No matter what my traveling need, I can always find something there that will do. I needed bungee cords and of course, they had them!

As I exited the store, two woman stood on the sidewalk, one older and the other younger. Both had jail tattoos on their necks, shoulders and arms. They’d been standing there when I went into the store. The older woman called out to me, stating they’d been waiting for a cab for over an hour and asked if I could give them a ride to their apartment a short distance away.

Main Street Bridge from the SouthBank

Main Street Bridge from the SouthBank

While I wasn’t able to give them their much needed ride, I did take the time to speak to them and to help them figure out a solution to their problem. The older lady became curious about what I was doing so I explained about the Road to Freedom Tour. 

Tears stained her cheeks as she explained how she had been abused by her father. He gave her drugs to calm her down because she fought him. The drugs wore her resistance down. This went on for years, until she finally struck out on her own. She had no skills, no education and no hope of finding a real job. With her back against the wall, Sarah turned to prostitution.

The experience was so painful, she did what her father taught her to do: drugs to mask the pain. She wound up in prison and has had a rough go of it. As I listened, I tried to imagine what she looked like thirty years ago with her long, black flowing hair, dark skin and a smile that reflected something other than empty holes where teeth once were.

My anger kindled against this father and what he had stolen from her… a lifetime of happiness and in her case, freedom.

Just moments before, Regina said two words came to mind as I spoke of the Tour: Freedom and Soaring. Sarah had experienced neither but was in desperate need of both. I asked her if she would be willing to go back for her GED if I could arrange it for her. She agreed. I made a call to a friend who heads up a charity. The contact was made.

Before we parted ways, Sarah hugged me and said no one in decades had taken the time to care about her. Decades! What’s more, the younger one had been silent and stood away from us during the entire conversation. As I walked away, she ran to me and said those inevitable words: “It happened to me… too.” She asked if I could do the same for her so I made a second call and asked for the order to be doubled. 

The organization sent a cab to pick up the ladies and take them home. Tomorrow, they will be picked up and taken down to the organization headquarters so their needs can be determined and met. 

Reba in Jail

Whether these women and those like them are incarcerated or not, they are imprisoned by their own emotions. They live a life in fear, devoid of the freedom we take for granted. As I rode away and back into my day, Regina’s question reverberated in my mind. So did my answer: What are the chances I won’t run across one of these women? Indeed…

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Light in the Midst of Darkness

Posted September 19, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

After I tore the ligament in my knee and was picked up on the side of the road and taken to the farm outside Henderson, Kentucky to recover, my host warned me about it being very dark at night. She helped me up to my room on the second floor and said goodnight.

Oh, that hurts!

Oh, that hurts!

The pain in my knee chased away any hope of sleep so I opened the blinds overlooking the backyard and endless cornfields. She was right. The pitch black reached out to choke out any hope of the light of day. 

Miles away across the fields, a beacon of life flashed. Somewhere in a distant field, a bright white light warned pilots that a tower was beneath it. For the next two weeks, I fell asleep staring at the light in the middle of nowhere.

Though I was not concerned about my knee or what would come of the Road to Freedom Tour, there was still uncertainty. God used that light to remind me to keep my eyes fixed on him when darkness comes. Though my knee hurt, nothing had changed, really. I was still on the Road to Freedom. I still ministered to hurting women. And I didn’t know where I’d go next, how long I’d be there or what would happen while I was there. 

We all face darkness in our lives, times when we are engulfed in blackness that is palpable. You’ve felt it. Maybe you’re feeling as you read this. But there really is a light in the midst of the darkness.

the farm2

It reminded me of when I was a police officer. Because I worked rotating shifts, every January, April, July and October I landed on the midnight shift. I hated it. There was a time in the night that became so dark, I just knew it was going to choke out all life and hope of tomorrow.

But, only a moment later, I was see just the fainted hint of life creeping over the eastern horizon. I soon learned to look forward to the darkest part of the night, because I knew dawn ran right on its heels.

The darkest part of the night is just before the dawn. No matter how dark our circumstances become, there is ALWAYS a light in the midst of darkness. Always.

Heading Out at Sunrise

Had I not positioned myself to see the light in the dark fields on the farm, I would have missed it. I would have looked out into pitch blackness in the pain of my circumstance: a torn knee ligament. But I looked for a light. When I found it, every night I fixed my eyes on it and let it draw me near. The darkness only served to brighten the light.

No matter what your circumstances are right now, there is a brightly shining light in the midst of your darkness. Focus on that. Draw near to it and don’t take your eyes off it. Soon enough, the darkness will surrender to the dawn of a new day and you’ll be filled with hope! 

Are you in a dark time right now? Or did you just come out into the light? Share it here!

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