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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Light at the End of the Tunnel (01/23/14)

TITLE: My Tunnel Dark - (non-fiction)
By Stephanie Eckenroad


“Momma, come play with me!” Slowly, I pushed myself off of the couch, beyond my despair, and went to my daughter. I picked up the doll and started brushing the mangled hair. Looking but not seeing. In the room physically but mentally, I was lost – so very lost.
Many events got me to this place. We all have them – losses, disappointments, failures – they all led me to this black, endless tunnel. My tunnel’s name was depression. It wasn’t a tunnel I wanted to enter, but ever so slowly, with each circumstance that was out of my control, I stepped deeper into the darkest depths of this menacing beast. I no longer had the strength to fight the call of this tunnel. In some strange way, allowing the blackness to have me was easier than resisting. So I sank further into the blackness of depression, until one day I wondered if I could ever find my way out, even if I wanted to.
For years I battled entering this dark tunnel. I hated the weakness that it represented. In my Christian world there didn’t seem to be a place for this kind of tunnel to exist. “Pray more. Read your bible more. Go to church more. These are the secrets to finding your way out of this tunnel.” So I prayed more, read my bible more and sat in church every chance I got. The black tunnel traveled with me. I didn’t know how to escape the grasp this tunnel of depression had on me. I sank deeper, praying, “God, please do whatever it takes to take me away from the darkness of this tunnel.”
The name of the tunnel was depression, but the name of the light at the end was Jesus. Please don’t confuse Jesus with religious activity, there is a very big difference between the two. I didn’t need “good stuff” to fill my tunnel and bury me. I needed Jesus’ light to fill up my tunnel and lead me out.
The process of exiting the tunnel was a slow one. I saw the light at the end, but I had to choose to travel toward it. With that choice, came the reality that I had to allow Jesus in – really in. It required me to look into the mirror of my soul and get honest with myself and God. In order to fully grasp the light at the end of my tunnel and exit, I had to grab ahold of Jesus’ hand in the most real ways imaginable. And the truth is, if you intend to hold onto the hand of Jesus, you must let go of every comfort that is found in the darkness of the tunnel.
Occasionally that tunnel beckons for me to return, and I stand firm in the Light and sing the praises of my Light Bearer. I realize that this is a tunnel that will never leave, yet I am confident in the Light, who promises to never leave me. Therefore, I am able to see my tunnel dark and know that it no longer holds any power. The Light at the end has set me free!

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This article has been read 53 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 01/31/14
Thank you for this intense story that holds out hope for all. The light is there for everyone, and there are no bounds to what can be accomplished through Christ, who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13)

God bless~
Toni Babcock 02/01/14
This is the account of so many a wounded and despairing soul. Thanks for sharing your moving testimony. Lord, keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and keep us in the light of your love.
Sheldon Bass 02/04/14
Yes, Jesus is the light, who dispels all darkness. One of the toughest aspects of my job is when I must counsel victims of depression. I have witnessed its destruction, but also God's deliverance from it.

Keep writing and sharing, the Lord is using you to minister to others. Blessings!