Our lives can become bleak.
I have felt like a fish in the bottom of a boat, out of the water, gasping for air even though I am surrounded by it. I have felt like the gray, filthy days of winter will never leave, that the trees will never bud, that the sun will refuse to ever shine again.
Some of the most powerful moments in my life have come when I've nearly given up hope.
My husband and I had some really, really rough spots in our marriage. Honestly, we should have gotten divorced, twice. But, and when I say this I'm not being flippant or pious or holy, I really mean it, God literally held things together.
Because we were both doing our best to destroy our family.
One of the darkest moments happened when he was actively drinking and not sure he wanted a family anymore. We'd been separated and he had come to visit the kids, and as regularly happened, he and I fought.
The baby started to cry. I was so ticked, I started to cry. He flipped both hands in the air in angry surrender and headed to the door, to escape. Our three-year-old began to weep. "Don't leave, Daddy!" He wailed over and over. My husband walked out the door and shut it behind him and didn't look back.
How could we come back from that? It was the ultimate statement.
My life was a bleak gray, filthy mess. No sun. No singing birds. No smiles. No joy.
But the next morning the sun did rise. And I got out of bed. And the following morning the routine happened again. Eventually, a small flame of hope ignited in me. And even though it was so hard, life was put back together again.
That wasn't the only hard time. And I'm not a remarkable woman. I just did what I had to do to survive and eventually, beauty grew and God painted something amazing.
My blessings overflow. And God has created a family that basks in His love. I need His love like I need the air I breathe.