Sunday, February 13, 2011

God > Darkness

Ever have one of those days? The kind of day where you are suddenly struck with the growth and change that's taken place in your life and in your heart?
The kind of day where you look back and realize that the painful, dark, impossible, awful season you were in has finally given way to a new, joyful, beautiful one?
I had that day today.
Dan spoke at the Stirring today, and had an amazing word about traveling alone.
He framed it all around an experience he had while running during the wee hours of the morning.
In the pitch black.
He talked about the importance of friends when running in the dark. About how friends bring clarity and courage, because in the dark you can start to believe some crazy things.
They remind you of the reality of the situation.
This won't go on forever.
You can get through this.
It's going to get better soon.
This is just a season.
Keep going.
Be strong, don't give up.
Because it's easy to forget what you know, what the truth is, in the dark. Friends remind you.

Another point Dan made was that when you're in a dark season, you need community. You need your Church family. You need people around you who can attest to God's goodness. Who can remind you that they were RIGHT THERE at one point. They were where you're at, but now they're not. God will show up, he will heal. He will restore. He will fulfill his promises. He hasn't forgotten. You need community, you need to hear the stories of people who have been there.

I especially love the picture that was painted about the rooster... how roosters bring hope that dawn is near... light is near. The darkness is coming to an end. This time WILL end. We all need roosters in our lives. People who are constantly reminding us that this painful, heart-wrenching, agonizing, dark, lonely season WILL come to an end. That light is coming. Jesus is coming. He will free us. He will heal us. He will restore the hurting.

I look back on the past year of my life, and realize it was an incredibly dark, painful, agonizing, impossible season.
I faced some hard stuff. Stuff that might take me a while to share. Stuff that lived for YEARS hidden and buried, not talked about, not thought about, untouched, forgotten. Stuff that, as it began to surface, and as I began to feel it and grieve it, God began to heal it.
I can't sit here and tell you it was a quick, pretty, relatively pain-free experience.
It was not.
It was messy, and hard, and not very fun, and agonizing at times.
There were a lot of tears.
There were days where I was just sure I couldn't go on.
I couldn't feel the way I felt for one more second.
I couldn't face the things I was facing one more time.
But I did.
And God showed up.
But, I have to be honest, I could have never done it alone.
In my darkest season, I had friends around me. Friends who I was going there with. Friends who knew where I was at, and were walking (or, RUNNING) with me.
In my darkest season, I was fully submerged in community. I was there. Every week. At Life Group. At work. At church. In community. I wanted to isolate. I wanted to run! I wanted to get the heck out, but I didn't.
In my darkest season, I had roosters all around me. So many. One in particular was a VERY loud rooster... Every Friday, I would sit on Alyssa's couch and she would remind me "You can do this. Don't give up. It won't be this bad forever. It's just a season. It's just a process. There is hope. God will restore. He will show up. He will heal. It won't be like this forever." When I left that couch, there was a confidence that hope was near. Something in my soul knew that light was coming. Even though it felt impossible. Even though I didn't want to face another day. Even though my heart was broken and my pain was overwhelming, there was hope. Morning was coming.
I look back on the past year, and realize my morning has come. The darkness has lifted. Light has filled my life. That impossible feeling is gone. There is healing. There is restoration. There is joy.
And more than ANY of that, there is a reason I went through it.
Dan's last point tonight was this: People with experience are important when you're in the dark. You need to find people who have been there before. Who have traveled that road. Who have been through some of what you've been through. Because they bring a different insight. They bring different perspective. They KNOW that road better than others.
I hope that, some day, God will use my story to help me journey with others. Other women who are experiencing the same pain and suffering that I have experienced. Women who feel like they can't go on. Like there is no hope. I know that I went through that awful, painful, miserable, dark season so that I would know the road. And be the rooster for someone else.
What I love is that, even though there was so much hardship, there is tremendous victory in my story.

God rescued
and redeemed
and set free
and healed
and saved
and restored in my story.

This verse is quickly becoming one of my favorites because it speaks of the HOPE we can have in God, and his great desire to free us from the darkness...
"Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever...The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine." Isaiah 9:1-2


Shannon Pirie said...


Juliette said...

Loved this blog and the victory that you expressed in it. You have come through that season and I for one will tell you that you are ALREADY a voice of experience in people's lives. This season that you went through will be another experience that you can draw on that others can relate to. You got through it and they can too! I love you Em!!!

Anna said...

That is so awesome Emily! I'm sorry I'm just getting around to reading it (you reminded me tonight), but I'm glad I finally did. From an outsiders view, it has been awesome to watch God transform your heart. I love reading your story in your blogs, getting glimpses of your heart and the awesome things that God is doing! I know I have been incredibly encouraged by your writing and I am super excited to see what God has in store for you!

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