I wrote this piece of prose three years ago after fighting a lingering darkness left me weary and discouraged. The Christmas Season is often lonely and sad for people. Within my close circle of friends, seven of us have lost grown children in the last few years. The memories of their childhoods often haunt us at Christmastime. May these words bring hope and light, and a promise of quiet acceptance in what is now our lives without them. 

 by Cathee Poulsen

For days I wallow in dark shadows

all thought of pushing back the darkness gone.

I can only cry one thing, over and over and over.

How long, O Lord? How long?

It’s not a good question.

No answer ever comes to that question.

“As long as it takes,” someone quips and I frown.

Don’t hand me clichés right now.

They’ll never stoke my wavering flame.

But I know it’s true – that answer is true.

Is it that I don’t have what it takes to push back the darkness?

If I don’t push, will I be engulfed in blackness so deep it swallows up what little light is left?

Can darkness extinguish light?

What happened to the Dragon Slayer?

She used to travel with drawn sword ready for battle, relishing the very idea of it.

How do I get my fight back?

I need a breath to blow on the small flicker that’s left

A holy bellows that can ignite the few sticks that remain of my hope.

So breathe on me now, O Breath of the Spirit.

Set me ablaze once more until I can see the beauty shining through

And I watch the darkness flee as you carry me on the wings of your light.

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