Denise J. Hughes
About the Author

Denise is a lover of words and the Word. She's the author of #DeeperWaters and the Bible study series #WordWriters.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Denise,
    So often our dark roads are leading us to breathtaking beauty, but in the meantime, we keep following the yellow line. God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet – guiding us forward, in the dark, one step at a time. The steps you suggest in moving toward hope are spot on – especially the one about not withdrawing and allowing yourself to become isolated. The enemy would like nothing more than for us to be a lamb separated from the herd that is ripe for the picking of despair. Let’s not give him a foothold. Soothing our souls in the balm of God’s Word is not only comforting, but healing. It’s a holy salve for what ails us. If I’m in a funk, I love to pay for the person’s coffee behind me in the java drive through or take my phone camera out to capture God’s creation up close and personal. These are good practices as we wait. Every day, I end my journal entry with 3-5 things I’m grateful for. Gratitude – what a great note on which to start the day. I know these things, but your reminder is very timely. Thank you so much, Denise.
    Bev xx

    • Bev, I love that you mentioned Psalm 119:105 that says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” That is such an apt verse for this story!


  2. Sometimes our hearts need road signs and guard rails to keep us moving forward, and these five points sure do function in that way, Denise. And it occurred to me as I shared the tweet (“Trust Him in the darkness. He’ll lead you into goodness.”) that my definition of “goodness” often needs to be looked at carefully for signs that I’ve forgotten my purpose in life is not just to have everything my own way.

    • Michele, So true that I often need to look at what I’m calling “goodness”! Thank you for that reminder.

      Denise, your notes were spot on and I loved the poignant imagery!

    • Oh, Michele, you are so right about that. I think God’s definition of “good” is right and true, but too often we confuse “good” with material things. Thanks for your insightful comment!


  3. Your 5 things to do in those times is spot on. When I went through a deep depression after our adopted son came home (our 4th child), I did isolate myself and it made it so much worse. The guilt and shame piled on by the enemy wasn’t relieved because I kept it all to myself. Once I started feeling better and was able to begin sharing my story, the healing God has done has overwhelmed me. He is so good when we remember to turn to him, his word and his people!

  4. Thank you. I needed this so much! It’s as if God has directed right here, this moment, for the encouragement I desperately needed.

  5. Hey Denise! Long time- no see! I was at the writing retreat you did with Sarah Mae….just wanted to tell you I really needed to hear this today! Thanks for listening to Him Maryann Winslow

    • Maryann! Hello! That was such a special weekend with Sarah Mae. It was truly the best writer’s retreat I’ve ever been on!

      So fun to see you here in this space.


  6. Denise, I love this post, especially your suggestion to seek people out to bless. I find I feel even closer to The Lord when I show kindness to others. Thank you so much for this reminder, Denise!

    Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow! <

    Joy in Jesus,

  7. Denise, I can’t thank you enough for this post. I am walking a dark tunnel right now of a threatened miscarriage in early pregnancy, and every step seems agonizing. This post really helped me zoom in on what I need to do to keep going. Thanks again, Kristen

    • Oh, Kristen, can I pray for you right now?

      Lord, I pray Kristen senses your nearness in a very real and tender way. Be close to her as she walks through this dark tunnel. May Your goodness shine brighter than any circumstance. I pray for peace and comfort. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  8. Denise,
    Thankful to you for sharing your enlightening words, and thoughtful suggestions.
    When things seem bleak, there awaits, Hope,
    Have a blessed day all,

    • Thank you, Kathy. I think we’ve all traveled through “dark tunnels” at different times, but we are never left alone in the darkness. He is always there, always with us.

  9. Hi Denise! Haven’t we all felt this way, like the road is never ending and we just can’t get to our destination? I so appreciate this beautiful description of the path ahead and the encouragement to keep pressing forward. Hope is just around the bend and these five points you’ve shared will surely make the journey much easier. Blessings!

  10. The older I get the more I find myself enamored with hope. Such an easy word to overlook, or misunderstand. Yet, it’s a driving forces in much of life, it seems. It rallies for us in the dark tunnels, and it shines bright in the daylight. Wish I’d have recognized it for the rich gift that it is, in my younger years. Thanks for sharing, Denise. ♥ (P.S., this reminds me of the little “hope” set of necklaces that are (in)courage inspired (I think?) from Dayspring. I bought that set for my friend and her daughter. Her daughter’s situation feels hopeless from the world’s perspective, but praise God, Hope is alive and is undaunted by the dark tunnels of life. Our faith remains in Him and His power to resurrect and restore.) ♥

  11. It is always better to look to Him to guide or paths, though I love good bowl of Moose Tracks, He is a better Comforter.

  12. I read this and it brought a big smile to my face because it’s so true that these things have helped me move forward and find joy in my own life. Thank you for the beautiful summary.

  13. Hi- I am in the season of waiting on God’s promises for my son, who is at The Marines boot camp. If you could please pray for him, for peace, joy, and strength. And that graduation will be as scheduled. Please and thank you!

    • Oh, momma, I so hear you!

      Lord, I pray for Vanessa’s son. Give him strength and peace and joy and perseverance. I pray this season is a time in his life when he senses your presence in a powerful way. Draw near to him, I pray. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  14. “No matter the circumstances around us, there’s always something ahead of us, and there’s always Someone inside us guiding us forward.” Yes!

    Denise, thank you for always pointing us back to the Word, to community, and to the truth that this life — with all its dark corridors and challenging seasons, unexpected beauty and delight — is ever pointing us to the hope of eternity with our Lord.

    Always grateful for your words. xx

  15. Denise,

    What an picturesque way of looking at Heaven. We are in a fallen & dark world here. Following the guiding of the Holy Spirit will lead us into the great light of Heaven. The times I have been in a “funk” or dark tunnel I turn to prayer first. Next I turn on some Christian music & sing praises to Him. You may find me dancing in my kitchen. That makes me feel some better & helps me to see this won’t last forever. If I’m really down I make a thankful list. Starting out with “biggies” like home in Heaven, Jesus, etc. & including the smallest things like rain, snow, paper, etc. You realize how much you have to be thankful for & how blessed you are. God is so good. He blesses the socks of us. All we need to do is look around. May we all keep following the yellow lines/Holy spirit leading in our lives.

    Blessings 🙂