In gratitude, for LC
Some of you have noticed a silence in my writing for a while. I have been processing some heavy things that have happened in the last year. That process took me through some dark moments. Sometimes I felt very far away from the real me - or from God. This particular season had a lot of "rawness" to it. But you know what really surprised me? The amazing reality of His presence even in the dark & faraway places we sometimes find ourselves in.
"Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast."
I know most of us "know" this. But how many of us have really experienced Him in darkness? I'm not talking about nighttime darkness...I'm talking about deep, dark, lonely places that somehow we have been pushed into, fallen into, deceived into, sinned into...and found Him there, really there. Found that He's not afraid or embarrassed to be there with you nor is He loathe to rescue you from there (again!). He is with you - to redeem, accompany, guide and hold fast safely while you stumble through this dark time.
I was often surprised to discover Him in places of struggle, confusion, unbearable waiting, in places of not understanding, in places of longing, in places of sin and even deep bondage. He was there in the complexity of body-soul-spirit healing intricacies, in the tug-of-war of decisions, in the depth of emotions. He appeared in my blindness & denial, guided me through resentment & forgiveness, showed up in my envy when I couldn't understand the apparent resilience of others around me. They seemed to possess a secret armour I don't have to cruise through difficulties in life. He held me fast through all of it, courageous and compassionate, tenacious and tender, Counselor and Warrior in all of the darkness and in all the faraway places.
A friend who was helping me process these things urged me to not stop writing. I told her that no one would want to read what I had to write then. She counseled me, "Write in the rawness of it. Even if it's not for the public, try to give words to this season for yourself. He has given you writing as an outlet for talking to Him, and giving depth & colour & expression to life as you see and experience it. Write in the rawness." And so I have. There is some of it that may show up later in various pieces in this venue, giving words to that season. But for now, it was between He and I.
What has He given you to give words to the difficult seasons of life? Is it music or dance, an art form or a sport or journaling? What is your tool, given by the Shepherd, to help usher you through the valleys? I encourage you to pull it out and use it when you need to - even in the rawness. No, especially in the rawness.
"If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me,
and the light become night around me,'
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to You."
Photo by: Palo