Yesterday at the end of my 3 day Telesummit, Choosing Joy! Conquering Life’s Challenges and Coming Out on Top, Joshua Home Edwards was interviewing me and asked me if there was any time I felt hopeless and if there was what it was that I would tell someone who was feeling hopeless if they were in that place and couldn’t get past that feeling.
One of the things I would tell them is “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel”. I had some very abusive relationships in my teens and into my 20s and at one time was even raped. “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel and keep going” is something that my sweet sister said to me after I was raped many years ago. I didn’t understand how something so horrible could have happened to me. I guess I used this statement a few times with my adult daughter, Mandy, as she was growing up because Mandy, has a really good friend, we’ll call her Stephanie, whose husband left her for another woman after eight years of marriage. She was devastated and didn’t know what to do with herself and had even become suicidal. My daughter had become very distraught over the whole situation and not only were they friends, but my daughter was also her boss. She sent a text to my daughter one morning and said she was on the bathroom floor crying and had been there most of the night and couldn’t get up and didn’t want to go on. My daughter told me that normally she would just text her back and say, “Why don’t you take the day off, take care of yourself, stay in bed, you’ll feel better tomorrow.”, But instead, she told her to get up, wash her face, put some cute jeans, get in her car, stop at Jamba Juice, get a drink with extra Vitamin B and come into work.
My daughter called me and was very upset. I told her she had done the right thing! A few minutes later, my daughter sent me the following text: It said, this is what I sent Stephanie: Imagine your life like it’s a train. Sometimes it has to work SO hard to get up the mountain. Sometimes it’s going so fast that the time just flies by! Sometimes there is GREAT scenery and sometimes it’s just blah. Sometimes it needs to stop and get refueled. And sometimes it goes thru tunnels. Sometimes these tunnels are straight and it seems scary, but you can see the light at the end. And sometimes the tunnels have twists and turns in them like a kinky curl… It makes it hard to see. You just keep going but don’t know when it will end or when you will see the light at the end… But Stephanie… There is an end! And at the end of this dark, creepy, cold winding tunnel is going to be the most beautiful scene your eyes have seen! There is an end and Heavenly Father has SO much in store for you!! This too shall pass. Trust me Stephanie. This is NOT going to last forever. I promise! You are just around the corner… Keep going! If you shut your engine down and just stay in the tunnel, you won’t get to see the beauty!! “I think I can. I think I can. I know I can. I know I can. Hey! I can!” That is what we taught my 5-year-old sister fighting a brain tumor and everything that went with it. Now toot your horn and keep going!
So I sent Mandy a response: “Can I just say you’re amazing! She’s so lucky to have a good friend like you and I’m extremely lucky to have a daughter like you!”
She responded: “Thanks mama. I just wish I could reach down there and pull her up. I would hold onto her until she found the strength to climb up. My heart is just breaking because I know the pain she is feeling and I just want to make it go away.
I said, “I know. But this is her own trial and it’s making her into the daughter of God He intended her to become!”
I was so proud of Mandy, but I was so thankful that I had a sister who was so wise to share with me that amazing analogy that not only helped me, but helped my daughter and helped her friend who had also become suicidal. Her friend, by the way is doing great now!
I hope we can find hope when we feel hopeless, and know that there is a God who cares deeply for us and never wants us to give up, that want us to endure to the end, and eventually, we will see that light at the end of the tunnel and it will be worth it – I promise!