Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.–Psalm 80:3

There was a time not so very long ago when my world had been turned upside down. I couldn’t fight my way out of the darkness. I tried to pull myself out of the abyss. I tried to fight. I tried to redirect my energy. I tried to reorder my construct and chart a new path, but I just kept wandering in circles. Things were not going the way I planned, and I wondered where God was.

Maybe that’s why Psalm 80 hits home for me. The psalmist speaks of a dark time for Israel. Life is hard, and no end to the struggle seems to be in sight. The psalmist petitions God to remember. After all, Israel is God’s chosen people . . . the ones whom God fashioned covenant with. Penning verse after verse using “Why me?” language, the psalmists finally stops ranting and begs God, “Please come back!” With those words, the tone changes.

In the movie, Titanic, a scene near the end depicts the heroine being passed over by the lifeboats. Awakening from her frozen stupor, she desperately calls out, “Come back. Come back,” as she blows a whistle to hail the lifeboat. The lifeboat turns, and her fate changes.

In life we don’t need a whistle. God has not left. God has not forsaken. Even in the dark God is with us, waiting patiently for us to stop ranting “why me?” and unashamedly beg, “Please, come back!”

If I am truthful, things are still not going the way I planned. The new paths I chart seem to end in disaster, and sometimes the circles remain a maze as I slam into dead ends like a mouse that cannot learn.

But, the darkness has passed, and the abyss is no longer swallowing me. I have energy and excitement. Life is a thrill as I launch out into new adventures. I have remembered that God is with me, and that changes everything.

Thanks be to God!

Katrina Stipe Brooks is a campus pastor at Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia, and youth pastor at Madison Heights Baptist Church, Madison Heights Virginia. A mother of two incredible young adults and spouse of a Baptist General Association of Virginia field strategist and Sunday School specialist, Katrina is senior pastor of InFaith Community, a multi-cultural church that meets on the Lynchburg College campus. One day she will publish all the stories she has to tell, but right now she has to complete the registration process for her first semester as a D.Min. student at McAfee School of Theology.