“The dark is a hard place to be,” writes Kendra Graham. “There was a time in my life where I felt that everything I touched fell apart. Mistakes, shame, and guilt stuck to me and the load was overwhelming. I felt abandoned and alone. I was fighting God, shaking my fists at God, screaming out in my soul that the pain was too deep, too hard, too much. This went on for years…. until I stopped. My heart hurt beyond repair, mostly by my own doing. I was shattered, stained, and now silent with nothing else to say at the feet of Jesus…. the dark is a hard place to be.”
Do you feel like you’re sitting in the dark? Sometimes I do.
We may be in a dark place right now, but it won’t always be so dreary. This, too, shall pass.
When I feel like I’m sitting in the dark
Every so often I feel dreary and dim, like a rainy gray Vancouver day. I wouldn’t call it “sitting in the dark” because I’ve definitely experienced deeper, darker bouts of grief and suffering. This is more like shadows of gray than true darkness, more like emotional and spiritual exhaustion than the heaviness Kendra describes.
Do you sometimes feel like curling up and sleeping the afternoon away? That’s how I felt yesterday. Or maybe Kendra’s description of feeling abandoned and alone fits you better. You’re sitting in the dark; it’s been particularly painful over the past month. The coronavirus lockdown and social isolation has added an extra heap of heavy.
I know why I’m tired. I’ve been doing a lot of work on my own thoughts and beliefs lately. This lockdown is like an isolation tank: the perfect setting for a deep dive into my own psyche. And the deeper I go, the more I see. The more I see, the more I learn. And the more I learn, the healthier I will be when I come back out.
But all that diving and seeing and learning is exhausting.
Echoes of Light
Here’s how Kendra found the light while she was sitting in the dark:
“I remember vividly, day after day I would beg God to get me out of that dark hard place…. I would say, “If You really love me, You will deliver me!” Then…. one day came…. when in that dark place, I stopped asking for deliverance because there, in the dark, of all places, the Light shone more radiantly, more personally than I had ever known. My scars and stains didn’t change…. but funny thing is when that Light shines, right in the middle of it, I was able to see what beauty God can make…. the beauty of stained glass…. the testimony of a faithful God in the midst of my mess.”
If you want to get out of the dark and reach out to God — but you don’t know how — read Kendra’s Matthew 10:27 Online Bible Study.
I experience echoes of light when I journal. My written conversations with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are my lighthouse. I hold my thoughts and feelings in cupped hands, lifting them to the light. I can’t always see the light but I know it is always burning within me, that divine spark of energy that will never go out.
The light burns bright, even when we sit in the dark.
“You are my child,” whispers the Father, hovering over me and shielding me from the darkness. “I see you.”
Let the light shine
You, too, are a beloved child of God. You, too, are seen and known. And you, too, can experience echoes of light, warmth and love…even when you’re sitting in the dark.
Experiencing the Holy Spirit might be easier than you think — especially when you’re sitting in the dark! Go away to a quiet place for 10 minutes. Sit still in God’s presence. Take a deep breath. Let your shoulders relax, your facial muscles relax. Take another deep breath.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10.
Distracting thoughts and uncomfortable feelings will arise. That’s normal. Notice them, then gently let them fall away. Return to God, over and over. Keep going back; He is always waiting, always there for you, always loving and giving.
“People sitting out their lives in the dark
saw a huge light;
Sitting in that dark, dark country of death,
they watched the sun come up.”– Matthew 4:16, The Message
With His love,
Travel in Faith and Blossom
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