“What a beautiful morning!”
The early morning sun broke over the mountain range and its radiant light shown upon Cheyenne Mountain. This ten-mile run does not diminish the beauty of the morning. Cold air is better breathed through the nose, so I focused on my breathing to help me power through this part of my physical exertion.
“Lord, you are an artist! Look at the colors of the morning sky! It is Denver Bronco orange out here!”
Somewhere on this run, I realize that my journey through darkness has come to an end. I can smell the food cooking in the dining facility, the perspiration taste like salt as it falls upon my chapped lips, the colors of the morning is vibrant against a pale blue sky.
“Yes, finally my chains are gone! God you are my chain breaker!”
Tears pooled in my eyes, I lower my head so that no one can notice my sudden burst of emotion. My heart pounds furiously in my chest. I am elated, and I am also fearful. The change in my perspective has occurred so suddenly, that I am baffled as to when it actually happened.
“It doesn’t matter when, where or why. All I know is that my depression is no longer in control of my life. I feel light!”
Completing our run, I walk toward my vehicle, and I notice that I am no longer angry about everything. There are new emotions in place of anger. Fear for instance, is suddenly popping its head up concerning my exit from the military.
“What am I going to do? Will I be able to find work? How will I make ends meet on my disability?”
However burdensome these questions are, I am looking forward to retiring from military service. Perhaps, it will all come together. After all, the Scripture proclaims, “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord and is called according to His purpose.” I do not go to church, but I do love Jesus. It is difficult to tell with the profanity and off-color conversations that I choose to engage in, however, none of that diminishes my love for God. Right?
In many ways, I feel that if my career is over, so is my life. I have sunk all of my energy into cultivating my career and everything else has been placed on the back burner. There was a word that is thrown around to describe people like me, workaholic. It is painful for me to take leave, but now that I am retiring, I am looking forward to some serious downtime. Maybe I will go fishing. However, at this juncture I am busy celebrating my exit from darkness.
The smell of fresh cut grass on the football fields tickle my nose, the vibrant colors of the leaves enchant my senses, and the clean mountain air taste good after suffering from depression and the constant beatings that life has handed out to me over the last few years. It feels great to be alive.
Driving home from work, I realize that I had not given thanks to God for walking with me through this difficult period of my life. Tears stain my cheeks as I drive down I-25.
“Thank you, Jesus, for not abandoning me when I needed you the most. Thank you for not only being my Savior, but my friend as well. I love you.”
In this moment of prayer, I feel the presence of Almighty God. As if He had come to say that He would never leave me nor forsake me. My journey has been completed and I doubt that I would have survived without His grace and mercy carrying me through.