DARKNESS IN US ALL
Everyone has a path they must walk upon to become who they are.
Every path has light and darkness. When we see the light in our life, we feel hope, inspiration, and a sense of belonging. The darkness creeps in and tries to steal everything that is good, because that’s what darkness does. But our darkness can only evade the parts of us that we let it take over. How powerful do you think your darkness is?
Commonly, people’s opinion of their own darkness is usually that theirs is the worst: More intolerable, threatening, and more unforgivable than anyone else’s. Sometimes, people view their darkness as disgusting, or embarrassing; maybe even a reason to consider themselves worthless. For some people, their darkness defines them. For others, the dark part of the path is just a tool for the bigger picture of their lives — its only purpose to guide them to the light in themselves, meaning, the truest version of themselves.
Which of these is your view of your darkness? Does your darkness define you, or simply point to the part of you that you’re most proud of?
How important is your darkness to you? Do you cling to it like oxygen, or do you only reflect on it during introspective moments as a reference point?
When a person’s darkness consumes them, it can become locked as a part of their identity: There is no “them” without their darkness. They are permanently what their traumas have them made to be, and without it, they would be nothing at all.
THE LIBERATING LOVE OF CHRIST
I can tell you that at the end of my darkest tunnel, I found Jesus. There are still traces of my darkness everywhere I go in life, and I notice them with open-mindedness, but I do not stay in that place. In other words, my darkness is not my identity. When I reminisce on the darkest parts of my path, I am very grateful l am not going through those moments anymore, and I’m more confident in my ability the handle the present moment because of the love of Jesus Christ.
I’ve learned a lot from experiencing traumas; the divorce of my parents was the most painful, along with my battle in finding purpose at a time when I didn’t believe in anything. With my learned experiences, I am less surprised by what comes my way. I can refer back to how hard my experiences were at that time, and look forward with more confidence in myself. But that mindset is only possible because I believe in Christ! Christ allowed those traumas to happen to me, knowing how they would help transform me into a stronger person in the long run. And indeed, they have!
My darkness is something I consider a gift now because of what I’ve learned from enduring it. Like a blessing in disguise.
HOW WE USE OUR DARKNESS
What does your darkness tell you about yourself? How do the words here help you see others with their darkness? We all have it, just as we all have light. Whether or not we decide to use it for the betterment of ourselves and others, is a choice we must all make. How do you view your darkness when you consider the ways you could use it for good? How have you learned to say ‘no’ to the parts of your darkness which no longer push you towards personal growth? If you haven’t yet reached a point in your life where that is possible, how might you consider what unhealthy ways your darkness is harming your life? In which relationships is your darkness making the heaviest impact, and are those the type of relationships that make you feel validated, accepted, and loved? Does your darkness demand attention from people who aren’t responding to you appropriately? If your darkness demands attention, then you may want to review how important it is for you to be defined by your darkness, rather than only learn from it.
I decided when I was 22 that I wanted to change my life by giving it to Jesus. The reason was because He was sinless and yet, while all of us were still sinners, He died for us –and He did it out of love. That’s the kind of God I want to follow. That’s the kind of God who understands darkness: One who has been to the gates of Hell itself and taken the keys so we, as followers, never have to go there. My darkness is only important to me in the sense that I may relate to others who still live in theirs. I know my story, and I’m glad to share it with those it would help, but it doesn’t do any active good in my life. Darkness is a lesson to be learned—not a lifestyle or mentality to live into.
USING OUR DARKNESS TO CHANGE LIVES
My lesson was that I am not worthless, that I am loved, that I am worth the love of God through Christ; that no matter what I experienced growing up, the love of God is permanent, everlasting, and unconditional. There is no reason for me to return to my darkness when the God of creation loves me more than I could even imagine.
The darkness in my life had its time. I learned my lessons, and still learning as I go. God resides where that darkness was, and though I can still speak for it when needed, God is so much more important and invaluable now than my darkness ever was. I hope that this is hopeful news for you, and that you, too, can be encouraged to bring your darkness to Jesus, asking Him to use you for the betterment of the world.
That is why we’re here; to be a light to others while in relationship with Jesus. Shine your light pointing straight to Jesus, and watch Him change lives.