December 16, 2014

Who Are We Really Hurting?

“Oh, He even sees me in the dark!"

This took my breath away when I heard it.

From a very familiar Psalm only read from a different version than I'm used to using. 

While my church's current series, Christmas Lights, is truly resonating with many, it is not for some. Or is it? As we take a look at the true light (Christ) that illuminates our life, who brings light into our dark places, we have a choice to make.

This past Sunday the message focused on the color blue and the association with blue often being that of sadness, loss, difficulties...darkness.

These past two months have been an overwhelming catapult into a new world of dementia with my aging mother and a diagnosis of cancer requiring surgery for my husband, Jeff. I found myself questioning God.

I found myself so consumed with this "new" piece of our life that will ultimately change what once was to something different. New isn't always good. I became dry and flat and always striving to "be strong" that I stuffed the emotions and was walking in this place on my own. It was getting dark.

Until one day I knew. I can't do this on my own. I can't keep moving away from God. Though not intentionally perhaps, but I wasn't including Him in it. I was not inviting Him though He has promised to always be with me.

So in a moment of loneliness and desperation I asked Him, "What do you want me to learn in all of this? What is it that You want to teach me?" The answer is simple really. (I wrote about this in my last two posts, one became a prose-poem) He wants me to remember that He is there in the darkness. He wants me to include Him when I hurt for my mom and when I fear for my husband. But I had a choice. I HAVE a choice. Everyday. Every moment.

When I asked that question, that's when I made a choice. A choice to include, a choice to believe, a choice to trust, a choice to surrender, a choice to recognize, a choice to be grateful, a choice to receive... and on and on are the promises I can either hold close to my heart and follow or I can reject. It's my choice.

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute— you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
Psalm 139:7-12 MSG

Read it slowly. Let it sink in. When is the last time God's truth caught your breath? Or brought tears? 

[ Is there ANY place we can go to avoid His Spirit? ]
[ He finds us in a minute...already there waiting! ]
[ ...darkness isn't dark to Him, night & day, darkness & light, they're all the same to Him ]

Are you seeing it? Isn't this comforting? reassuring? exhilarating? 
So what choice are you making with this truth? Or any other favorite promise you've left forgotten?

When I asked God that question, simply asking that question moved me to a new place of seeking Him again. And then I made the next small choice to read the verse of the day, and then the next to pick up a devotional I'd been neglecting, to pray more prayers and pray more boldly, to take time to encourage a friend. I'm turning on spotify or popping in a favorite CD to engage in music that leads me to praise God. I'm choosing to recognize and thank Him for all the places He's been working and all the places He's still showing up. It's my choice. And it's so much better.

In this past Sunday's message when He caught my breath, I realized that when I choose to reject God's truth, when I choose to stay in the dark place alone, when I wallow in it...when I do this - even though He is always there anyway - ultimately, I am rejecting Him. I am rejecting Jesus.

This season has been tough. Shoot, tough doesn't even begin to encompass how hard it's been. I didn't feel like decorating just because I am so weary. But then I was becoming even more depressed because there were no decorations. So I made a decision. As simple as it may get done, we were going to put up at least some Christmas decorations and focus on Jesus in this season to celebrate instead of the hardness of the season. 

And what happens? Right in the middle of doing this I get a phone call that they are sending my mom to the ER. So instead we spent nearly 8 hours at the hospital that day causing us to also miss our staff Christmas Party. Talk about disappointment. Talk about hard. Was I upset? Sure. Was I disappointed? Yes. I even questioned why. Why, when I had made this decision, when I needed the connection and celebration with my friends, did things have to happen like this?

However, that decision to celebrate instead of wallow gave God the opportunity to bless. He gave gifts through our two son's families and our church family to surprise us on not just one but two occasions in getting those Christmas decorations finished. What joy! this brought to our hearts! Once again He took my breath away as I melted into sobs.

I'm experiencing Christ illuminating my world with love and joy and gifts. He is meeting me in my season of darkness and immersing it with HIS LIGHT! But I couldn't be had I not made one choice. One choice NOT to reject Him and all there is that He brings in walking through the darkness with me just as He has promised.

When we don't choose to allow God's light into our lives...who are we really hurting?


  1. This is I'm crying and just want to throw my arms around you! Love you

  2. Such a rich post. I notice it is from December 16 though --> surely you need to update us on what has happened since then! Let us accompany you on your walk, friend. Yes, any holiday season is tough when things are going perfectly in one way or another. I remember one Christmas season, when I worked at the police department. I was the only one working the graveyard shift in Records near the front counter, during a massive layoff period. My Sergeant walked in and asked me how I could listen to Christmas music with so much sadness going on around me and my own position hanging in the balance. My answer, "Christmas is going to come whether I have a job or not. I might as well enjoy in any way I can." As it turned out, my Chief called me on Christmas Eve to let me know that my position was secure. HE works in His mysterious ways and we need only let go. I still have many moments when I fret over things, but I try to catch myself whenever I can and look to Him for comfort and guidance. Bless you and keep us posted! BTW, I came to your blog through THE CONSILIUM Facebook group!