I have experienced some difficult and dark days recently.  Dark days of my heart and soul.  I'm not able to divulge all of the details at this time.

I'm not even sure the details of the dark matter.  The fact is, I'm convinced that we all have dark days.

Plans crumble.  People Disappoint.  Dreams fade.  Hearts bleed.  Loss steals.  Promises are broken.  Life happens.

The dark comes.  And if we are not careful, it can engulf.

As I am working to the other side of these days, hope is beginning to shine through once again.  I stand back to survey the situation and I am almost shocked at what I find.

My personal quiet time remained intact through it all.  Not because I am some saint.  Not because I am super spiritual.  Not because God was moving in amazing ways during this time.

The fact is, He has actually seemed quite silent.  Nothing.  Perhaps that is what makes my discovery even more amazing.

Even in the perceived silence I continued to seek Him out.

As I have thought on this, I believe I have stumbled upon some of the secrets to remaining faithful during dark times.

Develop the Habit in Good Times

It has been proven that muscle has memory.  I have watched as my own daughter learned spelling words using sign language.

As she was then verbally asked to spell the word (in addition to using her signs) her mouth uttered the wrong letters while her hands continued to spell the word using the correct letters.  Muscles have memory.

I had focused on establishing my habit of meeting with God every morning.  When the dark days came, it just happened.

My body woke, brewed the coffee and found itself sitting where it had been every morning for months before.  It was the standard routine.  It remembered what to do when my mind always couldn't.

Have a Plan

I knew exactly what I would be spending each morning in quiet doing.  At the time I was reading through the Bible in 90 days.  There was chapter and verse lined out each morning.

I did not have to use any energy to think through what I would do from day to day once I sat in my chair with coffee in hand.  I knew what to do and where to head once I settled in.

I honestly believe these two things kept me from spiraling so much deeper during those days.

This side looking back, I believe wholeheartedly that God met with me each and every morning.  I believe that finding myself in His Word daily, even though I felt nothing, kept me grounded... even if it didn't seem that I was experiencing that.

What about you? 

Have you established the habit?  Would your muscles know exactly what to do and where to go to continue to acknowledge God as Lord in dark times, even when your mind could barely muster the energy to think of what to feed your family that night?

Do you have a plan?  When you do sit to meet with God, do you have a plan or do you just choose from day to day?  Are you studying a book of the Bible?  Are you working through a devotional?  Is there a Bible study you're doing?

I have learned that when I near the end of my current plan, then I need to begin thinking as to what my next plan will be.  To be left without a plan leaves me in danger of doing absolutely nothing.  And that is not a plan I want to consider!

What other secrets have you found to remaining faithful during the dark times?

March 7, 2011

Donnetta Cole is a wife, mother to two teens and a toddler, and works part time as a registered nurse. She also serves in various ministries of her church from working with the youth to ministering to young moms and leading the music. Sharing Christ through friendship and relationship is a highlight for her. You can visit Donnetta's blog, "My Quiet Corner," at www.mqcorner.blogspot.com or contact her at mqcorner@hotmail.com.