Seeking Light in Deep Darkness
You are not who others say you are. You are who God says you are.Craig Groeschel
Detachment doesn’t mean not caring. It’s taking care of yourself first and letting others take responsibility for their actions without trying to save or punish them.Michelle Farris
But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength.2 Timothy 4:17
Three months ago, my mornings changed.
Instead of diving into teaching more classes to my wonderful Chinese students, half-way around the world, I was now huddled over our kitchen table- reading, praying, and writing. The mornings were dark, cold, and quiet, and my soul ached. I don’t remember ever feeling so emotionally drained.
My soul yearned for hope in the midst of a dark place where it seemed like no light could be found. I had to carve out more time for God.
When your soul is hurting, you have to turn to the One who knows you better than anyone else. I needed to seek the Light in my own darkness.
I cried out to God in those early morning hours to make the pain go away, but He didn’t.
The dark hole, the void, the feeling of emptiness, and of being alone heightened.
I kept coming back anyway. I kept crying out for help, and I kept showing up when I didn’t feel like it.
The voices of “No one will believe you,” “No one understands what you’re going through,” “You’re making this a bigger deal than it actually is,” “You don’t have support,” continued to weave themselves in and out of my brain.
I had to continually remind myself that these were lies. Deep-seated lies that were there for longer than I can remember. The enemy is real and this is exactly what he wanted me to believe- to feel emotionally isolated and alone, and to turn inward instead of outward and upward.
My questions continued to compound and build off of each other.
What is the point of all this?
Why do I feel this way?
Why did this person treat me this way?
Why won’t this person change?
Why won’t they see what they’re doing is hurtful?
What’s wrong with me?
Am I going crazy?
There was nothing anyone could do to “fix” my problems- I had to bring all the questions and confusion before God. How could I ever truly heal unless I brought it all before the ultimate Healer?
As hard as it was, and as low as I was, I kept holding on to God. There was nothing else to hold on to- I was clinging to Him and Him alone. He understood my pain. He knew me better than anyone else. He was aware of it all.
My pain far outweighed my joy, but God was working.
Seek the right help.
Step out in faith.
I knew all of these things to be true, but it was HARD. I mean really hard.
I didn’t want to go to therapy, but I did.
I didn’t want to go to that support group, but I did.
I didn’t want to share those stories, but I was vulnerable, and I did.
Healing was happening.
Through tears, stories, truth, and supportive people, I was becoming whole. My story was piecing together. I was getting stronger. I was healing. And God was surrounding me with love, real love- not manipulation, shame, or guilt, but real love.
His love was becoming all the more real and clear as truth pierced through the darkness.
This is what it looks like to seek You, God.
This is what it looks like to be in perfect peace in my brokenness.
I am continuing to make time for supportive people, mentors, and friends. I pray for those opportunities because I am still healing. It’s not an overnight process.
It is hard to trust people after being hurt, especially when that hurt has been normalized for so long. But there is power in vulnerability and taking that leap of faith to trust again. And when God is working, there are truly no limits to what He can do in relationships.
Peace and forgiveness have flooded my soul. I know that those who have hurt me never took the opportunity to seek God for their own healing. They instead chose to project that pain on to others without reflecting where that pain might be stemming from.
Hurt people, hurt people, right? And now, I could fully see it. I had compassion, but I wasn’t responsible for their healing. I was and am responsible for my own healing. It was time to step away and allow God to work.
There are no limits to what He can do, and I truly believe it now.
When I thought I had no support, He showed me who to turn to. When I thought no one would understand, He brought in people to share their stories that were similar to mine. When I thought I would never heal, He has shown me that this is a part of healing- recognizing the pain and grieving. When I thought I was weak, He showed me that I am being made strong because of what He is doing in me. When I thought I had to hold on, He showed me there is more power and freedom in letting go.
My eyes are now open- I see. And He is all the more real and beautiful and trustworthy.
I included this video from “for King and Country” because I really connected with the song, imagery, and storyline. “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” -Hebrews 12:1-2
“Amen”. Youtube, for King and Country, Curb Records, 23 Aug. 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jThYchneZvw
Photo by Francois Hoang on Unsplash