It’s been raining a lot lately out here in Tennessee. The lakes and rivers are all flooding and we’ve all gotten used to gray skies and umbrellas. But the last week or so has been gorgeous and sunny and somehow it’s ten times more special after all the rain.
I’m not always the best at getting outside, especially with the crazy schedule deaning affords, but this last week I’ve had to make the most of the warmth and brightness.
It’s been in those quiet moments with Jesus under the open sky surrounded by grass and cornfields that I’ve started to see once again the glory of the way He works.
We’ve been told that one of our greatest dangers is to forget the ways we’ve been led in the past and as the sun shines in my eyes I know it’s true.
Two years ago March Jesus was working in deeper ways in my heart than He’d ever done before. I look back on those months as the very best in my life. I opened up doors in my heart to Him that I hadn’t even realized were there before and He came in and filled the dark places with a love and value I never knew He could give me.
Somehow over the years prior to that I’d absorbed lies about myself and believed them until I thought they defined me. I didn’t really understand the value I had to Him. I’m not sure I’d think I was worthless in my best moments but the words certainly spun around my head a lot in the moments where I thought I’d failed something or someone. The thought patterns were deep seated and years old and while I had this nagging little thought in the back of my mind that I needed to talk through them with Him, the obstacles involved seemed bigger than the rewards.
Until one day where He put the need on my heart so heavily that I knew I couldn’t resist. I remember walking outside in the rain and pleading with Him to show me if He really wanted me to open up this door in my heart to Him or if it was something He could heal while I focused on other things. He answered so clearly that I’ve never once doubted that it was Him. And the joy I found in letting Him into every single crack and crevice of me was the deepest I’d ever experienced.
Fast forward to a year later, March. I’ll be honest… I wasn’t in the same place as a year before. Instead of being the brightest months of my life like a year before, the weeks and months around that time were without doubt the darkest I had ever experienced. I lost my footing and all I could see was darkness when I looked at myself or Him.
All the lessons He had taught me a year before felt like they had been lost and I’d gone back a thousand miles. I put up more walls to Him than I’d ever done before, and I didn’t know how to go forward. I wanted Him more than anything but the darkness was so thick that I didn’t even know how to find Him and let Him in.
I look back and I praise Him for holding me in the dark and saving my life in the moments I didn’t want it. When I thought I was useless and broken and weak, He was actually sustaining me through the fire and letting me catch a better glimpse of the pain so many people face everyday.
I’m not one to advertise the dark. But the truth is, we all face our own darkness and sometimes I wonder how much more of a light we would be if people knew the depths we’d been too and the way Jesus turned it all to good. behind every smile is a story of darkness and light. some deeper than others. And it’s that that makes us real and beautiful.
it’s March again and I look back and I praise Him. It takes time to heal from the dark and be able to see the light of the sun again and He’s certainly not done with that process in me. Some days I wonder if we’re getting anywhere at all or if I’m still stuck in the shadows and if they will be there forever.
But the sun keeps shining and my eyes keep opening wider to the glory of the purpose He is accomplishing in and around me. He’s teaching me once again, but so much deeper this time, to see who He is and who I am. it’s not a neat and tidy journey. Some moments we have to talk through the misperceptions I have of myself and Him that go so deep that I barely recognize them. But He’s teaching me to see through His eyes. sometimes it’s simply when I step out of the dorm for my 30 second commute on foot to the school building and the sun catches my eye, shining bright across the fields. Other days it’s in those moments I turn desperately to my Bible. some days it’s in our short conversations before I fall asleep at night, or when I get up in the morning.
Transformation can be a slow work sometimes. or it can feel it at least. when our eyes have been accustomed to the dark it’s hard to fully grasp the light. But I’m here to tell you that it is possible. He’s changing me. As I look back on the past two years and the journey we’ve been on, I catch a glimpse of the beauty in His eyes and the way He’s holding my heart when I don’t know how to hold onto His.
Because here’s the thing, the light is stronger than the dark. Always. It might not feel like that right now, but I promise you, you’ll see in time if you let Him show you.
And there’s nothing more full of glory than living in the freedom of knowing that I am loved. I am protected. I am valued. I am His.
It doesn’t matter how long the process of healing and transformation takes. Light will win.