It’s in the room with me. It’s always there. Always closed. Taunting me with its bright, shiny handle.
The handle that won’t.
It won’t open. Won’t let me in. Won’t grant access to the other side. No matter how hard I try, it will not open. It isn’t locked. I know this because it turns. It turns. For some reason, I keep trying it. Surely one of these days it will open, and I will finally find freedom.
Freedom from the darkness that surrounds me. It’s been dark for too long. I have wrestled the darkness. I have willed it away for fleeting moments, but it has always returned.
It always returns.
I can see the light seeping through the edges of the door. It’s black on my side, but I know the light is on the other side.
Do you have a door? A door right there, in your sight, within reach, yet not. Do you weep in desperation because the light behind the door is off limits? Do you wonder if the door will ever open? Or do you wonder if the other side will forever be off limits?
Sometimes the door becomes translucent enough that the room fades from black to grey, and sometimes even to light grey. The darkness is like a heavy fog and thick, humid air. It’s hard to see, and hard to breathe. But the grey? In the grey, I can see. I can breathe. Grey never quite becomes white, but I can take a deep enough breath to survive.
Enough to survive. Ugh.
That’s not enough. Not for me. I want so much more than that.
I believe a lot of things. God. Jesus. Holy Spirit. It’s real. All of it. And I believe it – all of it. I know that I am loved and protected. I know that nothing is a surprise to Him, and that He can handle everything that I cannot. I know that He will show me how to use all of this suffocating darkness for His good. I know all of this. Without any doubt, I know it.
None of that erases the pain. None of that means that it will all go away. Knowing does not equal healing. Believing does not equal a problem-free life. I still hurt. I still struggle. My days are still filled with too many bipolar-related things. I don’t think I could believe anymore than I do, yet here I am, still smack in the middle of the darkness.
And so I wonder…
Will He remove the darkness this side of Heaven? Does His plan for me require that I continue to carry this cross? I don’t know. What I do know is that my only job, when the door becomes black and closes out all light, is to breathe. One breath at a time, all I have to do is keep breathing, and He will do the rest. Every breath will probably hurt, and I may even wish them away, but as long as I don’t stop, the door will loosen, and the light will return –
Or at least the grey.