In my life, there have been times when a single conversation with a friend or a certain look from someone I love or an unkind word from a stranger stirs a well of darkness inside of me that is so disturbing that I wonder "Was that REALLY inside of me?"
I've discovered, for me, the best way to let things go is to get them in writing. Sometimes I let the words go straight into the trash can after I've written them. Other times I put the paper into a pretty envelope and send it. Sometimes I take joy in shredding into smallish pieces, barehanded, what I've written while simultaneously crying my eyes out.
This was one of those days, way back in August of 2009, when a certain situation caused me to think through all the things in my life that were dark and disturbing and evil. I just started typing them and this is what came out.
I share it with you today because, to some of you, my life seems cheerful and blessed and wonderful. You don't see the underbelly of my suffering and angst and sorrow. It's there. Just as, I'm sure, it is in there for you, too.
Please know: you are not alone. We all have that dark place inside. And most of us spend our lives trying NOT to go there. We avoid it at all costs. And many of us do a really good job avoiding it.
But God wants us to live in the light. And living in the light means accessing those dark places and handing them over to Him.
So, today, I share my dark places with you and I hand them over to God, knowing that "He has searched me and known me." (Psalm 139:1)
And I'm convinced that His words are as perfect today as they were thousands of years ago: “...even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." (Psalm 139:12)
Have you ever been so disappointed in a situation that you can't let it go? Have you ever been so disillusioned that you can't focus? Have you ever felt the weight of the world crashing down around you and wondered if the darkness was going away? Have you ever regretted scheduling something and wish you could un-schedule it? Have you ever felt so rejected that you wish you'd never put yourself "out there" to begin with? Have you ever wished you could just tell people what you really thought about how they were treating you? Have you ever wished that the truth didn't hurt so much? Have you ever wished that the truth would really just change your life instead of hurting you, making you mad, making you sad, then making you change? Have you ever felt like you'd wasted part of your life forming a relationship only to see it change in one conversation? Have you ever wished you could skip through life oblivious to what other people thought or did? Have you ever wished you could have a do-over? Have you ever wished forgiveness brought amnesia AND an invisible barrier that would keep that person away from you forever? Have you ever wished that God would rain down punishment so you could witness it? Have you ever witnessed that punishment and wish you hadn't? Have you ever been in such a dark place that it feels like a pit? Have you ever wondered if the other person understands what darkness they brought into your life, just by their lack of sensitivity? Have you ever felt so alone, surrounded by people, that you thought you might burst into tears but no one would notice? Have you ever wished you were dead? Have you ever thought the world would be a better place without you? Have you ever wished you could be a certain age forever so you could avoid the pain? Have you ever wondered what your life would be like without your spouse or kids? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to win the lottery on a ticket with the wrong date?