In the dark? Just keep going.


By Judith Costello

Sometimes we walk in darkness, not because God wants us to be confused, but because he wants us to trust. Maybe if we saw all that was coming our way, we’d chicken out. So the light is dim. We walk by faith, not by sight.

Geri Salazar
Judith Costello, center, and her daughter Brigit show Judith’s artwork in a display for her new business Unwind Studio: Where Art Relieves Stress. Judith is among six winners in a competition to help women in business.

I have a story about all this that I’d like to share. It’s about trusting in God’s plan when life seems to be without direction. It began last spring with an idea about teaching art classes. But without a space and without a mailing list, the idea didn’t seem practical at the time. I was looking for a traditional job to bring in some much needed extra income for our family.

Then last fall I volunteered to teach how to make corn husk dolls at the pumpkin patch. It was the adults who loved it and said, “This is the best date my wife and I have had in a long time. We’ll pay to come to your classes.”


In January, I heard an announcement about a competition to help women in business. I didn’t expect anything. I truly felt I was stumbling in the dark, but God has a plan. The traditional jobs were not happening so I filled out the form.

That’s when I got sick and have been coughing for going on six weeks. When I mentioned the sickness to my priest and to a friend, both said, “The devil doesn’t want you to go forward.” I would have never seen it that way. But it helped to think that the obstacles were there for a reason…. to push forward anyway.

When I was chosen as one of 11 finalists, we were told we needed to come to weekly meetings to get ready to present to a large group of business people. I got lost driving to the first meeting. Miserably lost, out in the boonies of the big city. Although I stopped twice to get directions, I seemed to go in circles. I arrived one-and-a-half hours late and ran over a curb when I finally spotted the place. I was making the worst first impression.

At the second meeting, I couldn’t stop from coughing in the small meeting room. I felt like the ultimate loser! The only goal seemed to be “just to get through this.”

The worst coughing fit happened after I went to look at clothes with this group, spending more money than I wanted to. That night I took another round of cough pills the doctor had prescribed. In the middle of the night I woke up, started to cough … and stopped breathing. My airways totally closed. It was terrifying. That episode passed, but left me scared.

Then the big day arrived: formal attire, formal dining, confetti shower for winners, champagne, and about 300 people who came to spend money and support new women’s businesses.  Eleven of us set up exhibits. Then we each had 90 seconds to talk from stage about our ideas.

I talked about my LONG history with art beginning with art therapy. Then I proposed Unwind Studio: Where Art Relieves Stress. I have one restaurant with a room where I will be able to set up shop for some classes. That’s how I’ll begin.

Six awards were presented that night. I was one of the winners!! The late one, the coughing one, the older woman. Me!

My husband didn’t think any of this was a good idea since we were in need of bringing in new revenue, not spending money on an idea. But now he likes the poster they made up for the event with my picture on it. He says he now has “a pinup girl.”

What an experience, what a journey this has been. What I’ve learned is that the “Dark Night” is not about depression. It’s that experience of not knowing the outcome and being unsure and afraid. But the truth is that the outcome is in God’s hands. Our part is to keep moving forward awaiting the miracles that will unfold!! Because they do!!

(Judith Costello, OCDS, is a freelance writer who grew up in Davenport and lives in rural New Mexico. Her website is Look for her on Facebook. She has two virtual studios — Unwind Studio and Lady in the Sky Studio. Her email address is

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