We all get the chance to walk through darkened tunnels in our lives. Periodically life happens and things get crazy. Trials descend without warning and it becomes difficult to continue forward. To get from where it’s dark and scary, we have to keep walking, step by step, through a shadowy maze of pain. It’s not a pleasant experience. In fact it’s often one of the most difficult challenges we will ever face. And for each one of us, it’s a different test because we have unique lessons to learn.
At times we can catch a glimmer of light twinkling ahead—enough that it gives us hope and an idea of where we need to be. The other lesson learned is that during our darkest moments, we need to place our hand in the Savior’s to find our way. He will truly guide us through those treacherous times when nothing seems certain and the adversary would have us believe that all is lost.
I may have shared the following dream before, but I feel like I need to share it again. My hope is that it will give others who find themselves walking through a time of tribulation and pain a little glimmer of light.
This particular dream surfaced during a challenging time in my life several years ago. I know that most dreams are silly nonsense. But I also have come to realize and know that we can receive guidance and needed counsel through that format.
In this dream I was making my way through an extremely dark tunnel with some family members. It was dark, and scary, and the way ahead was uncertain. Together we continued to push forward, hoping to find our way out of the pain-filled maze. Eventually we came to a large opening. But as we stepped forward we saw that a steep cliff lay before us. As we peered over the ledge, our hearts filled with fear and uncertainty. It was agreed this was a dangerous route. And yet, for some reason, I knew in my heart it was the way I needed to go.
My family members did their best to talk me out of it. They assured that I would be cut to pieces if I tried to climb down, since the cliff was made of sheer glass. But I couldn’t ignore that continuing forward, despite the pain, was what I had to do. I was assured that I was less than intelligent as my family members turned to find a different way through the tunnel.
Gathering my courage, I stepped to the edge of the glass cliff and stared down. It made no sense, and yet, I couldn’t ignore the impression that this was the way out of this tunnel. Slowly I began the descending the glass cliff, finding handholds along the way. I received a few minor cuts as I touched the glass, but nothing like everyone had feared. It wasn’t until I reached the bottom that I spotted something that wasn’t visible from above—the way out of the tunnel. The opening was visible after climbing down the glass cliff. Sunlight poured into view as I made my way out of that darkened place and was greeted by close friends who had been waiting for me there.
I’ve never forgotten that particular dream. It was so vivid and full of imagery. I’ve thought of it often during days that were less than fun. A silent mantra of “I just have to climb down the glass cliff,” will often go through my head as I face a challenging time. It gives me the courage to continue forward even when I can’t see what lies ahead.
This current time is full of uncertainty for everyone. I’m getting so I don’t even like to watch the news anymore. And my heart aches for those around me who are enduring difficult trials. But even when the skies are grey and stormy, and the way ahead is filled with challenges, I know that we’re not as alone as we sometimes think we are. Hope does smile brightly before us, as the popular hymn states. (Hymn # 19)
This coming weekend is a chance to fill our spiritual buckets with the arrival of General Conference. I am looking forward to hearing wise and inspired counsel from the leaders of our church. The hope and light that they will extend can help us survive any darkened tunnel that lies ahead.