As I got ready to put an old purse into its dust bag, I ran my hand through it to make sure it was empty and found a small business card with some simple words in my hasty cursive script: The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide. Reading it transported me back to when these words were written. A dear friend was visiting and together we wandered the streets of Virginia Highlands as she listened to me as I told her of the difficulties I had recently endured. I remember how I felt that day. Bruised and broken. Lost and spinning into an abyss. Walking into a shop, she pointed out to me a quote on a necklace dangling in the store, the lowest ebb is the turn of the tide. I wasn’t certain if this was true, but the quote gave me goosebumps. I tried believing in it. Just as I tried holding on to the knowledge that He is closer to me than my jugular. That even when I feel like I am alone, I am not. But it certainly didn’t feel that way. Things had seemed so tough for so long I wasn’t sure it would ever get better. I was at the lowest ebb, and yet I saw no sign of a tide turning. Still I clung tight like a stranded passenger clinging to a rope in the middle of the dark forbidding ocean, I struggled mightily to hold on. Around that time I wrote in my journal:
I am sitting at a writing table in a cabin atop a mountain in Asheville, NC. It is late at night and I am looking out the large window. This morning, during the day, I looked out and saw beautiful green mountains framing the window in every direction. I saw the firm etching they made into the horizon. The Smoky Mountains as concrete and real as the fingers that type these words. Tonight at two o’clock in the morning I stare out in the darkness and see nothing. No silhouette. No etching of mountain side. In this darkness, if I cannot see the mountains do the mountains still exist? As I consider this darkness while I struggle with a different darkness like a blanket over my soul I cannot tell you the truth with 100% conviction.
Because that’s when its hardest. When things are good its easy to believe. To believe is to know. And you know because you can touch the blessings that abound. Faith, on the other hand, its believing when when you feel you have no reason to believe. It’s believing even if you’re not sure you know anything anymore.
The lowest ebb is the turning of the tide- Longfellow