Light

I read it again just this morning.  One of those quotes you hear all the time.  “There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.” 
 
I have pretty much believed this in a general kind of way most of my life. Sometimes maybe more than others.  But I’ve always thought everything would work out right.  That I would have a reasonably good ending to the story of my life, in spite of the horrible start, not so great middle and my now later-life difficulty dealing with all that has come before.  Yeah, we’re getting pretty far down the road.  The good ending needs to step it up.  But it’s still coming, right?
 
Truthfully, I didn’t even think I would just have a good ending.  I thought the middle part would be darned good too.  I figured if I worked at it, at overcoming all the “stuff” that happened to me when I was a kid, the abuse that nearly destroyed me, by the time I hit 35 or so, I would be doing quite well.  And by 40, I thought I would have surely found healing and be well on my way to changing the world!  I was married to a man who wanted me to keep all the pain and ugliness inside, far away from him.  That made it more challenging.  Going it alone.  But I still thought I would win well before the end of my life and that my marriage would then miraculously become what God intended it to be.  I just had to keep doing the right things, right?  It would all stack up and come out the way it was supposed to, wouldn’t it?  I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I believed I would emerge from the darkness.
 
But maybe not.
 
Today, for the first time, I have to confess, I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I thought about this supposed light at the end of the tunnel I’ve been traveling through.  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anything resembling light.  I vaguely remember what light looks like, but the memory is faded and worn.  The last time I thought I saw some light, it turned out to be the proverbial train and it hit me hard.  Took me some time to get up again, to start walking again after I took that hit.  In fact, I’m still barely staggering along.  For all I know, I’ve been going around in circles for the last 10 years.  Kind of seems that way.  If there actually is an end to this dark, foreboding, claustrophobic tunnel, you couldn’t prove it by me!
 
Lately, my heart has been seized by fear.  Maybe even terror.  It happens every time I start thinking about the darkness I’m trapped in, and the end of my life, which is coming up rather more quickly than I want to think about.  By any stretch of my imagination, I was completely convinced I would be doing well by this time of life.  And I’m not.  Not even close.  Which is terrifying.  Because I’ve put a lot of time, money and effort into healing.  And it still hasn’t happened.
 
My counselor assures me I’m making progress.  But at this rate, I’ll be dead and in heaven for half of eternity before I actually get to that magical point.  I don’t know if I can live with that.
 
The big question in my heart is simply, is there really light at the end of the tunnel?  Is there an end to the tunnel…one that I’ll reach before I die?  Will life ever actually be worth living?  Will I get to live…truly live…before I die?  I’m afraid, terribly, horribly, penetratingly afraid, that the answer to these questions may just be no.

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