Stepping out in the dark - going home...
I stepped out of the building to go home

Stepping Out in the Dark
A Familiar Route, Unrecognizable Environment 

“Bye, now,” I called out as I waved to my colleagues and unfolded my cane.

I  left the bright red punch along with the flat sheet cake covered in red and blue flowers. Congratulations was crawled across it for the graduating class of 2011. The room still held several cheery well-wishers for our nine graduating seniors  at the Academy where I taught.  They had passed their exams and were prepared to face the world.

I took a deep breath and slipped out the door.  This darkness would test my cane skills as I made my way home. In the meager light, I oriented myself by facingthe street directly in front of me.

I mentally went through the directions I would take.

Turn to the left. Go four blocks to the library.  Cross the street. Go five blocks. I’ll be on my street. Cross it and find the sidewalk. The side street beside the house will be on the right. Cross that and I’ll be home.

My heart beat erratically as I swept my cane in front of me, keeping myself centered on the sidewalk. This was the first I’d tried to navigate the road by myself at night. No one needed to offer me a ride home. I could do it myself.

With that, I stepped into the dark.

It’s easy to second-guess yourself in the dark, especially when the sky was pitch black.

“Keep positive,” I whispered, trying to buoy my spirit. “Go on, you can do this.”

I visualized the environment as if it were still daylight and listened for traffic cues. My confidence grew. That is, until I came upon the barking dog. I mentally went through the location of each house. If my memory served me right, the dog should be on the left-hand side, not the right. The growling disoriented me. How close was it to me? Did I make the right turns? Did I wander off course?

I felt so vulnerable…

Maybe you can’t relate to a woman losing her vision as she  attempts to make her way home by cane for the first time in the dark. But I’m sure you can relate to the feeling of taking a step in an unknown direction and fearing danger.

Steps in the dark.

Leaving one job. Taking on another. Starting a brand new relationship. Saying goodbye to an old one . Or to a loved one. So many changes that appear in our lives…

All frightening steps in the dark.

Regardless of how you or I transition in or out of a new job or relationship, first steps in the dark are scary.

Just like  my vision fluctuates and an unexpected obstacle pops up in my path, so does my confidence in braving change. I know what it’s like in my head but I don’t know what the reality is going to be like. Or where I’ll go with it.

God clearly speaks on this topic. He says don’t worry about the next step and promised to guide us.

When I take a wrong step with my cane, my mobility instructor tells me to take a step back and explore my environment with it. He emphasizes the need to reorient myself. God acts in the same way. He’s going to back me up and give me another chance to better orient myself.

We all need to reorient ourselves all too frequently. Even people who travel the road of change all the time stumble in the dark.

I open my Bible to search for the words that will put me on a familiar stretch. I don’t that stretch but I find a now familiar verse in Isaiah 42: 6:

I will make the darkness light before [the blind]. And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them and not forsake them. 

I read through the scripture  a couple of times. Then I commit the words to memory. “Keep positive,” I whisper to buoy my spirit, “You can do this.” I lean on these words and stand upright; they’ve become my cane.

As I step out in the darkness, I can trust it and move forward, sweeping through my doubts and fears so that I keep to a straight path. Relying on God’s Word should come just as naturally as relying on my cane.

I don’t know what you’re facing today. Maybe you have gotten so far on the path by yourself. You think you know where you and suddenly you hear growling from the wrong direction, and your feel turned around,, trying to find your bearings. You know that you know this road. But in the darkness, you don’t really see in the same way.

God continually guides us  through the darkness  by His Word.

We all experience vision problems in the dark, you know.  And when that happens, God hands us a long, slender red and white cane to make it safely home. 

Take it.

Sweep  through your doubts and fears.

Hold firm.

God is faithful.

My hope is that this book trailer speaks to you on coping with vision loss. Or simply coping with loss. Or navigating the shadowy terrain of change. Whatever it is that  throws us off course. Grab your faith cane and move ahead.


If you know someone struggling, please share this post. My challenge is with losing my vision, especially in reduced lighting. But the roads we walk all meander and often it’s so hard to see in the dark what we know so well in the light. I think the cane God extends to us is versatile. The better we learn to use it, the more confident we feel.


Stepping Out in the Dark
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10 thoughts on “Stepping Out in the Dark

  • January 4, 2015 at 3:22 am

    You write very well. What a wonderful analogy! I’m glad you are using your current situation to bring others to know how God can use everything to His advantage and help us in the process. I’m wishing you the best for your upcoming book!

  • January 4, 2015 at 4:42 am

    Amy, what a beautiful post. I’m entering a new season of change in my life and this truly spoke to me. The Lord will make the darkness light and help me to brave the changes ahead. Thank you.

  • January 4, 2015 at 5:37 am

    I really admire your walk of faith and sharing your story. I have had problems with reduced vision and wear glasses now, but I can also relate to the analogy of walking on those meandering paths in the darkness. Thanks for sharing again!

  • January 4, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Goodness, you have me hoping you made it home OK! I love your writing Amy, it really brings the reader to the point of actually being there.

  • January 4, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you, Shellye!
    Life is fragile, but with God, we are not. He is there to ensure we don’t break! (Or, that we don’t get disoriented and get run over by a mack truck in the process of finding our way!)
    Thank you for your good wishes with the book. I sure appreciate it!

  • January 4, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Dear K. Lee,
    So glad you can relate! It’s difficult walking through cramped spaces as I discovered all over again this afternoon. In dim environments, passageways are obscure. So like life! The impatient, more temporal side to us wants to barrel through our lives but God helps us place our feet in the right places so that we can safely make it through without someone tripping us up!
    Thank you for coming back and reading my blog post.=)

  • January 4, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Thank you so much! I’m very happy that it spoke to you in your situation. God will absolutely make the darkness light and give you the strength you need to brave the changes. I will be praying for that.

  • January 4, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you, Patricia!
    I left out that important little detail, didn’t it?! I did make it home. I’ll be sure to add that in.
    Do you know that once in the darkness, just a few blocks from my house, I lost my way! I had to call my brother and ask him to look for me!! Sounds crazy … unless you can’t see!
    Your kind words really encourage me in my writing!

  • January 4, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Hi Amy,

    When the dog’s growling disoriented you in the darkness, it reminded of how the lion’s roar, the devil, can disorient us in spiritual darkness. But I like how you wrote that we must reorient ourselves. And I agree with you that God’s Word is our cane. “It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path” (Psalms). I have a metal tip on my cane, and when my daughters were younger, they would take my cane out onto our concrete driveway and spin in circles, giggling uncontrollably, while dragging its metal tip. Sparks jumped from the metal tip. I believe that’s what happens when we let God’s Word become our cane. It sparkles!

  • January 4, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    What truth in your response! Yes, there is definitely a similarity between the dog’s growling and the lion’s roar and disorientation! So well put! Your point is also so apt with the illustration you used with your daughters spinning your cane on the concrete in order to see the metal tip shoot out sparks. That analogy was perfect and amazing! Thank you!!! I’ll never forget it.

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