Ever hear that southern phrase? ‘It’s just the pits.’ Honestly, this Atlanta-born girl isn’t quite sure exactly what it means or how it came into being, but I do know it’s supposed to imply that whatever “it” is is not good.

There are also phrases like ‘pit of despair,’ or ‘bottomless pit.’ No matter how much I rack my brain, I can’t think of a good reference to a pit. Perhaps some are void of anything close to moral symbolism, like NASCAR and pit row (no, really, please don’t send me emails about the origin of pit row. My dad would be the only person who’d care).

So, in the pits we find ourselves, right? Well, I feel like I’m in a pit and I’m reading a great book that solidifies my fears, but I am beginning to see how to get out of this pit.

We were thrown into our pit; not slipped into it or even jumped into it knowing full well there would be consequences. No, we were thrown like Joseph, not by our brothers, but by tragedy. It’s dark. It’s suffocating; feels like the walls are moving in on us. Is it raining now? Oh, great, now we’re muddy and sinking down into this pit further.

Have you ever walked in mud? I mean, “really wet, been raining for days” kind of mud? I remember when I was about 12 we lived at the end of a culdesac. Behind us was an open field that eventually led up to a main thoroughway. They eventually cleared the land to ready it for building cluster homes and that Georgia red clay was unearthed as far as you could see. It rained for about five or six days straight. My brother and I ventured out in our grubbiest play clothes on our ATV, which we then parked and decided to walk. Yeah, right.

Working my way behind Jonathan and carefully trying to stay upright, we huffed and puffed up an incline. As I cleared the crest, all I saw was Jonathan’s head and then it quickly disappeared. He’d been sucked into a mud pit and an entire leg disappeared in the earth. I’m not sure exactly how we eventually got him out of that pit of mud, but I know he lost his shoe and we were covered from head to toe in red clay.

When you’re stuck in mud, it seems the more you move and work to escape, the more you sink and the more stuck you get. Or, if you’re the one trying to pull someone out of the mud, you usually wind up covered it the stuff too. The same is true when you’re in a spiritual pit. YOU can’t do anything and neither can your buddy. God is the only one who can pull you out of the “miry pit.”

This pit that I find me and Danny in is so deep and so dark, so muddy and slimy. Danny is chin deep in the mud and I just keep on pulling trying to get him out on solid ground. The last few weeks, since Danny’s nightime spiritual awakening (see earlier post), I have been in turmoil. Like I wrote before, Satan works at destroying what I see as the core to this whole journey, our marriage. Danny and I have bickered more and been agitated with one another. We’ve just lived with this tension, at least, that is what I feel. There is no name for it or no obvious origin, but I guess it’s stress almost embodied.

And, I hit the wall on Friday. It wasn’t any huge fall out or arguement, just a comment said in a defiant, disrespectful manner that put me over the edge. Perhaps I was more sensitive since me and Corbin had been sick all week, but the tightness in my throat came and tears began to sting my eyes and I had to get out of there; being Shepherd. I left Danny there with his assistant to complete his therapy and for a couple hours found safety in my car. I cried, sobbed, screamed, yelled and hit my fist on the steering wheel. It wasn’t enough so I drove. I ended up at a bookstore; don’t know why. I hadn’t been there before and absent mindedly wandered right into the Christianity section and right in front of my eyes was the infamous “pit” book that got me here. I didn’t pick it up though, yet. I wasn’t in a pit; at least in any pit a book was going to get me out of of. I decided to write and I did, pages really. The tears were still there and I’m sure I got more than one second glance as I sat up against a window, writing with my sunglasses still on my face. I bought the book. Why? Well, it’s a familiar author, had a comment about God’s deliverance on the cover, but it was what was on the back cover that made me pull out my wallet.

Psalm 40: 1-2 reads “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

God is powerful enough to change our hearts and he knows exactly the best way to do it. He will lift us out of this pit and in Jesus’ name He will place both our feet on solid ground where both of us will stand. Looking up when you’re in a pit, you begin to see the light. Thankfully, I needed a reminder that Danny is God’s child and it is not by my might, power or my strength, but His. Isn’t that freeing?

Please continue your prayers on our behalf, but lift up praise for the video below is a brief glimpse in how well Danny is progressing. This video was shot ironically enough on Friday, 2/20.

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