So, occasionally over these past few months, I have had these mega weird allergic reactions in my eyes. Out of nowhere, my eyes will begin to swell to the point where my face is unrecognizable. There is no great timing for extreme eye-swelling to occur, but when you are trying to make your flights back home and are held up at the doctor getting a steroid shot and prescriptions so you end up missing your flight…that is definitely not ideal.

Today was long and frustrating. And it’s okay for me to say that. How weird is it that I am so fearful of what others will think of me if I admit that today was long and frustrating? Well, that’s a blog for another day for sure.

This difficult day with unsolicited darkness came at an appropriate time as I am currently reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s Learning to Walk in the Dark. Funny how God times things out like this. In her book, Taylor shares how we are all trying to find the best way, any way we can, to avoid the inevitable darkness in our lives. Instead of trying to run from it or avoid it all together, Taylor dives deep into the darkness to see what it can teach her. She comes to accept the natural rhythm of darkness in her life, leading her to immense peace and growth.

While I am looking for something large, bright, and unmistakably holy, God slips something small, dark, and apparently negligible in my pocket. How many other treasures have I walked right by because they did not meet my standards? At least one of the day’s lessons is about learning to let go of my bright ideas about God so that my eyes are open to the God who is.

I resonate with this so deeply today.

God is not predictable. He does not give us all we want or expect in a day. He blesses us with unexpected challenges and sufferings that will always lead to joy. He teaches us in these rhythms of darkness and we need not run from them. I am learning that I can simultaneously accept and validate how hard something is, while also leaning into the peace of the unknown.

The temporary darkness and set backs I experienced today humbled me to remember how little control I have over my days. And even though it may not have gone how I’d wished it to go, God knows what I need. Darkness is scary and something natural to want to avoid, but today, my eyes were opened to a God that still loves and is ever-present in the midst of darkness. When darkness enters your life once more, I encourage you to accept it for what it is and be open to what it will teach you. Perhaps you might even find a way to be grateful for the dark.

Oh, and if anyone has any good allergy doctor recommendations in Memphis…hit a girl up.

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