I have a weird relationship with the dark.

I find it easiest to sleep in a completely dark room, where there is no light trying to sneak through cracks in the door, no light from alarm clocks or phones, and no small red power light. I am very familiar with the layout of my bedroom and can easily navigate it in the dark, so I don’t have to worry about bumping into anything. The absolute, shade of darkness brings me peace and allows me to breathe easier as I try to fall asleep.

However, give me that same scenario in say, a cave, like Meramec Caverns, and that same absolute blackness provides the opposite of peace. With that type of darkness, I can feel the darkness. It’s a darkness that somehow takes the breath away. I feel that darkness is a suffocating straightjacket. In the darkness of a cave, I am frozen, alone, afraid to take a step, afraid I will fall into oblivion when only moments before when the lights were on, I could see and sense I was on perfectly solid ground. This shade of darkness can steal peace.

Throughout the years I believe God has called our entire Sparrow family, from our board of directors to our staff, to me and you to keep moving away from the paralyzing darkness of fear, doubt, and confusion. God has been faithful to all of us through Sparrow by lovingly encouraging us to keep stepping out in faith, to step into the unknown which may also be in darkness. The difference is that in this darkness, we are not alone. We have the confidence to keep moving forward through the darkness because we are listening to His still small voice.

For much of this past year, God has challenged our faith once again by providing just a small penlight to show us just a few steps ahead of us at a time. He has been gently guiding us to this new season in Sparrow’s history, this new chapter that expands our services while remaining true to the mission He placed in our hearts all those years ago.  We are confidently walking in faith because we believe God has always gone before us, has hedged us in on either side, and protected us from behind.

God has made it abundantly clear that this walk in faith has never been about us or making us feel comfortable or good about ourselves. It has always been about doing the next right, the best thing for precious children. It has always been about honoring young parents’ courage and perseverance. It has always been about protecting childhood. It has always been about creating a strong sense of family that is characterized by love, grace, mercy, duty, and honor.

We are going to keep walking along with you in obedience and trust in our Father God no matter what shade of darkness we encounter because we believe it is His will to continue sharing the light of His love with young fragile families.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20

Carissa Figgins

Founder, The Sparrow’s Nest