“The best way out is through,” said Robert Frost. These three tips for getting through the darkest season of your life will show you what this quote means and how to actually apply it. This quote has also been expressed as “the only way out is through.”
Sir Winston Churchill added yet another twist to this cliche: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
No matter what version you prefer, the bottom line is the same. The best way to get through the darkest seasons of your life is to keep going. If you sit down and give in to the darkness, you won’t get up again. If you let the dark forces of despair prevail, you’ll never taste the sweetness of survival. If you allow yourself to stay stuck in the pit of hell, you’ll never grow forward into the new season God has planned!
The good news is that you get to choose. You have more strength than you think, more smarts than you’re using, and more creativity than you’re aware of. And if you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you have access to more life, light, love and power than you could ever amass on your own.
How do you get through the dark seasons of your life? By choosing to grow forward when you can’t go back. And by learning from other people who have survived dark times of their own.
3 Ways Through the Darkness
When I bring up the biblical character Joseph, you may automatically think of his coat of many colors or even the technicolor dreamcoat musical (which I’ve never seen, sadly! If you have an extra ticket for an upcoming Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat show, let me know in the comments section below. I’ll buy it from you.
This article, inspired by Joseph’s stint in jail in Genesis 40, is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project. You don’t have to believe in God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit to benefit from my tips on getting through the darkest season of your life. Just keep an open mind, and look for nuggets of gold in my tips.
1. Remember that quotes are famous because they’re true
Let’s forget about Joseph’s “coat of many colors” and focus on his stint in jail. He was sold twice and worked as a servant for years. In What to Do When You’re Unhappily Married I described the “crime” he committed. Unfortunately for Joseph, jail was one of several dark seasons of life. Fortunately for us, we can learn at least three ways to get through the darkest seasons of our lives from his experiences. The first is this: you will survive intact if you stop fighting reality. Joseph accepted everything that God allowed into his life, good and bad. Joseph settled into every situation he faced — including the darkest seasons of his life, knowing his brothers hated him and he was a slave. Joseph lived long before Sir Winston Churchill and Robert Frost, and is the true source of quotes such as “the only way out is through” and “if you’re going through hell, keep going.”
What is carrying you through so far? Hold on tight to the people, places or pets that are helping you get through the darkest season of your life. Cling to that which is good! If your faith and hope for the future God has planned is your foundation, then you are on solid ground. If, however, you believe in God but don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, then you will never experience true light, love, and life. You won’t learn how to get through the dark seasons of life because you aren’t dipping into the Holy Spirit’s power. Who and what do you believe in?
2. Stay alert to changes in the wind
“Why do you look so sad today?” Joseph asked his fellow prisoners — a butler and a baker — in Genesis 40:7. Check that out! Joseph was a prisoner who was sold by his hateful brothers and unfairly accused and imprisoned by an unhappy wife. And yet he had the presence of mind to notice how his fellow prisoners were looking and feeling. Joseph was compassionate, kind, and caring. He was curious! Joseph was also alert to possible open doors and changes in the wind, which is what helped him get through the darkest seasons of his life.
Lift your head and keep your eyes open. This, too, shall pass. Your broken heart is healing, your downtrodden spirit is recovering, and your exhausted body is regenerating itself. You WILL get through this dark season of your life — especially if you lift your eyes to the heavens. Use your nose to sniff out possible changes in the wind. Listen with alert ears for shifts in direction, new options, fresh hope for your future. Take good care of others by reaching out and asking how they are, even when they don’t seem to care about you. Take good care of yourself by learning how to fall asleep on dark sleepless nights.
3. Advocate for your freedom, healing, and future
Genesis 40 tells us how Joseph interpreted the dreams of his fellow prisoners. He then told them, “When all goes well for you, remember that I was with you. Please show kindness to me by mentioning me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this prison.” (Genesis 40:14). Joseph then explained how he was kidnapped, sold into slavery, and unfairly imprisoned. He was advocating for himself — he was speaking up and asking for what he needed, wanted, and longed for. Joseph didn’t ask for money or possessions; all he wanted was his freedom. And he was courageous enough to ask for it.
Who are you reaching out to? Searching the internet for “how to get through the worst time of my life” is one way to survive dark seasons. But it’s not the best way. This article might give you hope for a few minutes or remind you that God cares about you. But the internet is not the true source of healing, freedom, and hope for your future. A better option is to reach out to people you trust. Talk about your despair or depression. Discuss specific ways to get through the dark season you’re experiencing. Interweave your life with people who are encouraging, positive, faithful and healthy. Ask for what you need and want.
Can I pray for you? Let’s assume you’re nodding, or even just shrugging. 🙂
“Jesus, thank You for being a constant source of light, life, love and hope in this dark world. You conquered death, You rose to live again in victory, and You want to give us the gift of freedom, healing, peace, and joy! Thank You for helping us get through the darkest seasons of our lives, for walking beside us even when we don’t know You’re here. Thank You for believing in us even when we don’t believe in You. Thank You for who You are and who You always will be. I pray for healing for my She Blossoms readers who are struggling to get through the dark seasons of life. I pray for joy, peace, freedom and love to fill their lives, and for them to experience You in a fresh new way today. Amen, amen, and amen.”
Your thoughts — big and little — are welcome below! If you feel more alone than ever, read What to Remember When You Feel Like No One Cares.
With His love,
P.S. Are you struggling to make a decision or find the right path in your life? Read an Easy Way to Stop Overthinking God’s Will for Your Life.