While on my way to work today a song about coming out of the darkness caught my attention, and my thoughts and memories began drifting to years past. Many years of darkness had gone by, many more than I would like to remember.
I was most certainly in deep darkness, and could only hope for a glimmer of light from somewhere. Little did I know or understand that the depth of darkness I had experienced was even possible.
As I waded through the thick fog of those years it was clear that I had not realized my situation. I functioned on a day-to-day basis and thought I was having good times! What a joke!
I awakened one morning to find myself in deep despair, and no longer able to look at myself in the mirror. I despised everything, and almost everyone. However, I had learned how to alter my appearance in a way that no one could suspect my despair. (It can be done if you practice long enough).
I clung to the despair simply because it was familiar, and this went on day by day for many years. I was in deep depression and did not realize it. I was sad even when happy, but hid it from everyone.
I happened to meet one of my neighbors who had the same problem and we became like sisters, growing closer as we tried to console each other, but not much changed.
Then one day I really hit bottom. I no longer wanted to do anything or go anywhere. Each day was drudgery, and when not even my children could console me I knew I had to do something. Clinging to the teachings of my Dad, I attempted to talk myself out of negativity.
I just kept holding on to that familiar darkness, because that’s all I knew. No real joy or happiness, just a fake smile. However, I could be myself with my friend. She knew me very well, and we were like two peas in a pod. A short time later we decided to go to church.
We had each been brought up in church, but had not learned very much. We were listed as members of the church, and that was all. I knew nothing about being washed under the Blood, or of being saved from my sins.
The following Sunday we gathered up our daughters and went to church. I had butterflies in my stomach, and so many painful feelings. I was ashamed of things I had done and said in the past, and even of my thoughts .
My darkness was with me as I walked in the church door. With our children happy and cared for in a Sunday School class, we entered the sanctuary.
the atmosphere inside was different, the music was wonderful, and there was electricity in the air. I knew something good was going to happen, and I felt like smiling
Then the Pastor prayed and read from the Bible. After we sang a few hymns he gave the call to the altar. He said, “Anyone who needs a change in his or her life, a healing, a new beginning…,”
I was crying as I ran up to the altar, (something I had never done before). The Pastor talked to me. He seemed to know all about me, even my sin and my darkness. It was as if he had been looking into my soul. How did he do that?
He asked me a question no one had ever asked, “Have you invited Jesus into your heart?” No, I answered, as I began to cry. From deep in my spirit I saw a glimmer of light like a lighthouse on the beach, and I wondered, is there hope for me? Then I cried out – “Come, help me, please!”
There, in the midst of my worst day, I received help. I went to the altar and met the One who loved me more than anyone else ever could. He made me, knew me, and loved me anyway. I was His child and I knew it at once.
The heavy burden was gone, I could now lift my head and face my tomorrows; and walk upright without feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. And I could love again. Jesus gave me back my hope and my smile. I was a new person with a clean heart. Living in darkness was no longer an option for me.
With my face still wet from tears the Pastor counseled me. He told me that not every day would be as good as this day, then explained many things I had never known before.
To be fair my life still had many troubling days. God does not promise a road free from pain and issues, but He did promise to never leave us. I could not have made it without Him.
Did darkness come on me again? Yes, for much of my life darkness had a powerful hold on me. Now it had returned and I struggled with my inner self and old habits… Darkness can come back if you entertain and ponder the memories you had intended to give to the Father.
When I knelt at the altar and gave all of myself to Him, He had washed me new and emptied all that stuff into the junk box, never to be remembered by Him again; but I had to learn to not pick it up again.
One day, when I was again carrying too much burden, the darkness returned. I had stepped away from God’s shelter and in doing so had unintentionally invited the darkness back into my life. How I must have disappointed Jesus. Just thinking about it caused me to feel shame, and I later rededicated my life to Jesus.
I still have difficult days, however, with the angels helping me and the Holy Spirit guiding and comforting me, my darkness does not appear very often, and when it tries to come in, I resist it.
If Jesus gave His precious Blood for me then surely I can do my part and love Him. All He wants from me is to have a relationship with Him; talk to Him; love Him; rely on Him; and to share my experience with others.
I have given myself to Him and will do my best to be the light in someone else’s darkness. Will you?
Out of the Darkness