Are you afraid of the dark? (Cue creepy howley music.)
No, I’m not talking about that TV show you used to watch in middle school. I’m actually asking you the question.
Are YOU afraid of the dark?
Before you give me your knee jerk response of no. Riddle me this. When is the last time you have been in the dark for more than 2o seconds (when you aren’t trying to sleep) without feeling the slightest bit unnerved?
Like in a basement. A pitch black field. A dark alley.
Oh, that unnerving feeling has never happened to you? Me neither. Totally never happened to me
just last night. Because I’m ultra tough.
But would it be fair to say that I run up the stairs like a LITTLE GIRL being chased by someone holding a knife when Guy and I are coming up from the basement at night after a movie?
Well that. Yes, that WOULD be a true statement.
And when I do this, Guy always says to me,
“Babe, why do you do that? You freak me out. Plus, you know there’s no one down there. We were just sitting there.”
“Oh, I know babe. I’m not scared. I’m Just trying to get my heart rate up before bed so I can burn a few extra calories in my sleep.”
“Mmmmhmmm. Whatever you say,” he says to me.
And do I know he’s right? Absolutely. But do I plan to stop my habit anytime soon? No.
Because at the end of the day, when all is said and done. I’m just a person who prefers to be in the light. To me, light is so much happier. Joyful. And positive. And I like positivity. (A client once compared me to a fairy that shoots beams of happiness at people and poops flowers.)
Which is why I hate it when despite my very best efforts to be in the light…
DARKNESS CREEPS IN.
About two months ago, I received a letter from someone I knew long ago. She wrote the letter in response to one of my blogs. It was probably the sweetest letter I have ever received in my life.
It blew me away and had me in tears.
It was incredibly touching.
But it was also so incredibly hard to take in too. Because the letter was talking about this girl’s journey of growth and finding light in her life after having an incredibly dark childhood.
In her letter, she detailed some of the physical and sexual abuse she endured as a child. And while I’ve heard many past stories of abuse in my profession, her story really messed with my psyche. And heart.
Because her story involved me.
Or at least the fact that I knew her while her abuse was taking place and that I had been at the same event as her when we were children before she went home to experience a particularly terrible episode of abuse that she detailed in the letter.
And knowing that I knew her during that time but had no idea that was going on. It messed with me. And saddened me. In a big, BAD way. I would have done anything to have helped her then had I known. But I didn’t.
No one did. And that made me feel gross.
Then as I allowed myself to continue to dwell on her story. I couldn’t help but let my mind acknoweledge the fact that stories just like hers are occurring right now. To some little innocent person. That no one knows about.
And that thought and her story just kept circling in my head over and over.
Causing nausea. In my stomach. All. Day. Long.
Then the following morning I drove to my work. And it just so happened that on that day, the clients that came in also had some VERY difficult stories to hear.
Stories of pain. And loneliness. And abuse.
Stories about things you want to believe don’t exist. And are easy not to think about. Until the victim is sitting in a chair across from you telling you it happened to them.
Stories that make you want to focus on the opposite of what you’re hearing in order to remain hopeful and positive about the condition of the world.
You say to yourself, “It’s okay. The world is good. Humanity is good. People are good. Life is good. Think of innocence. Think of baseball games. And hot dogs. Think of proms. And weddings. Think of babies. And Hawaii. And Europe. And…”
Then in that moment of desperation. As you seek to find something that makes everything feel better. You suddenly feel worse that nothing is making it feel better. Because in that moment, the reality of darkness in this world…
Well, quite frankly. It becomes
Which makes a heart hurt. Much like a heart attack but more emotional in nature. It’s more like a “dark attack.”
And if you don’t watch yourself when you’re having one, it is easy for it to go on and on and on and on and to feel completely powerless against the dark, which is even more depressing.
Unless you get smart enough to remember the obvious remedy for it.
JUST STAND UP AND TURN ON THE LIGHTS.
For me, my light is Christ.
And being someone that doesn’t love the dark. It makes sense I am drawn to Him.
The Bible is full of analogies of Christ being the light. Which don’t seem that relevant until you feel you are being suffocated by darkness.
You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light. 2 Samuel 22:29
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12
If you are living in a dark place. Or just hate dark places in general. I suggest starting with getting to know my best friend Jesus. Mr. Light. The antonym of darkness.
He has more light than you could ever know what to do with. Enough to obliterate all the darkness in the world.
And as awesome as some amazingly happy things on earth are like kissing a baby, winning a race, getting a promotion, helping a person in need or falling in love…sometimes those lights burn out.
But His light. It never stops shining.
And even better…
It gives YOU the power to be a light in the midst of a dark attack and walk into the dark places you encounter without fear and with hope.
Because when you begin to shine, you quickly see that darkness by itself has no power. Instead, darkness is nothing more than a lack of light.
And the only way to get rid of it is NOT to turn and run like a scared little girl.
No. The only way to get rid of it is to turn on YOUR light.
And shine that darkness away.
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