Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I am becoming increasingly convinced that self-sufficiency is an ego-centric denial of Truth. Unto ourselves, we are not sufficient, regardless of our valorous attempts. It is our vanity, our fear of helplessness, our ignorant attempt to wrest control over our small corner of the universe.

That being said, from one who adheres strictly to the mantra “I’ve got this,” I don’t see the necessity for me to exhibit public displays of sloppy, emotional outbursts. There are some people who, by their very nature, are public people. And when they encounter crises in their lives, they are entirely comfortable letting the world see their pain and share in their journey. I am not one of those. I have a very small group of people to whom I turn when life overwhelms me. It is in these few that I have confided almost everything. I say almost, because there are a few things that will always remain between my Father and I, unless He leads me to share them. These people take my fears and worries upon themselves. They offer advice, a shoulder, an empathic tear. They hold my hand to walk with me through the darkness, read God’s word to me, and pray over me.

There is nothing wrong with walking into church on a Sunday morning, tears streaming down your face because you simply can’t take anymore. God’s children will rally around you. Conversely, there is nothing wrong with lying on your bed and falling into the Father’s arms, so that your soul may cry out to Him, “I can’t take this!” In either place, He is our hope, He is our shield. He is sufficient. He will bring people around you who will support you, lift you up, bear your burden (to speak “church”).

But the absence of public reaction does not negate the spiritual journey. In fact, I believe the later is closer to God’s heart. He wants us in communion with Him first. He is a very jealous God; He wants all of us, before we give any of ourselves to others. In sadness, joy, pain, laughter ~ He wants us to run to Him first. However, He designed us for fellowship. We are intended to form relationships; to love one another. And we should be transparent with those we feel comfortable. I don’t mean that we should offer the world a painted on smile and say, “everything’s peachy-keen.” But if we’re having a rough time, have the freedom to merely say, “things are tough,” and then take the deepest concerns of our hearts to whomever we trust.

Above all, we should trust God first. Period. Because there is not one person on this earth, however godly and caring they may be, who has more love for you than the One who made you. It is in Him you will find sufficiency.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I have known the dark; I am now known by the light.

I am no stranger to the dark. Blackness, both metaphorical and physical, has been my casing for longer than I care to remember. It has been with me for over half my life now. However, there is a particular darkness with which I am intimately acquainted. It goes beyond a mere absence of light. It is a palpable entity. It lives, consumes, becomes you. It is as defining as belief itself.

I spent years strangling myself with my own hand; screaming into the vacuous blackness of silence I created. I built my dungeon, stone by stone until there was not air, not light, none but me and my misdeeds. The genius behind this prison was the location. It was my own soul.

On the inside, I was dying; a slow, suffocating suicide. On the outside, I was ~ me. Bouts with external darkness preceded and followed; the ebb and flow of a life plagued with the blackness. Each was but a shadow compared with what lurked deep within me. Loneliness incomprehensible; loathing unimaginable. And fear as close as breath.

Each of these: the years of separation, of reflective hatred, and of being afraid of the loss that would rend my heart from my shriveled soul. The inability to sleep next to the one I love, for so many different reasons. I could not find comfort without; and there was nothing but death within. Each of these I tried to weather on my own. Piteous attempts at self-reliance crumbled into addictions, attempts at piety, and finally the grand facade of, "everything is alright."

Until, quite unexpected, I was sought out by the Light. And this Light does not seep into the dark, gently shying it away. This Light shatters it. It eliminates the blackness; slays the reasons behind it. It burns away any remnants of the prison in which I bound myself. It encircles me so that I am untouchable by any of my former assailants. It transforms my very being so that I stand now, fully enveloped in this Light. It radiates new life; within me It is luminous!

So to say that I am "one of those" is quite right. I am. And so thankful to be! I am a child of Light; as much in that Light as It is in me. I strive to shine brightly amongst the blackness of a fallen world. Because I have more than seen the darkness; I was with the darkness. And having battled the dark on my own, having lost to it over and over again, I can only plead ~ turn around. Let the Light in. It is your only hope. It is my every hope. There is no situation, no internal blackness that is too much. This Light is the truth; and the only Way.

Let the Light in; let It guide you, strengthen you, comfort you. Shine among the stars, though you are brighter by far!