Tuesday, April 30, 2013
This Little Light of Mine
In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. And with this Word, God created all things. Nothing was made without the Word. Everything that was created received its life from him, and his life gave light to everyone. The light keeps shining in the dark, and darkness has never put it out.
Dark or darkness in this passage is described as this: metaphor used of ignorance of divine things, and its associated wickedness.
The verse that I highlighted above stopped me in my reading tracks this morning. I read it over and over again and let it settle into my heart. "The light keeps shining" and "darkness has never put it out". Memories of the times I've allowed darkness to put out my light or even seep in and become the primary source began to roll across my mind.
There is one event--that is both past and present--that this verse touches and causes me to examine. While I'm going to protect those who haven't given permission to share their side of the story, I can refer to this event as 'the broken relationship', and this broken relationship is a very present source of emotional roller coaster rides for me. From confusion to anger to pain to apathy, since last November my heart hasn't settled, and more often that not, when I think of this relationship I feel anger--which I know from my Freedom journey with Gateway, that this really points to a wound.
I'm not writing now to mull over the details of this brokenness or its accompanying emotions, but to jot down what Holy Spirit impressed within me as I read the above words. If you back up just one verse we read that "his (Jesus) life gave light to everyone." Simply put, since our life comes from Jesus and that life is light, then darkness should never be able to put our lights, just like it couldn't with Jesus.
The other day I was reading a favorite blog author and came across this golden nugget--among a multitude of nuggets: Reaching a point where you say "enough" to a toxic environment is not cowardly--it is so very brave. [Jen Hatmaker, When Is It Time to Walk Away?, April 21, 2103]
Read the post and you'll see that she's not giving permission to throw in the towel because a relationship is hard work. What she is stating is that there sometimes comes a point in the brokenness where it just may be the wisest decision to either remove yourself from within it or give permission for it to no longer be a part of your life. This line spoke right to the 'broken relationship' and that place in my heart that just keeps turning it over and again.
I have not thought of the decision that was made last November regarding this 'broken relationship' as brave, but cowardly--or just finally giving in and consequently ... giving up. Much has been deposited into my heart since that time, each golden nugget making sense and resonating, but not capping the well, so to speak. This particular sentence settled deeply within me, but was still missing the mark by 'thismuch'.
And then today... the revelation that the light keeps shining and is never put out by darkness, combined with the above golden nugget and the understanding I've received about blame and control with relationships, put a period at the end of this punctuationless (my made up word) sentence that's been hindering me since November.
"Enough" was both asked for and given almost six months ago. I understand now that it was not cowardly on our parts, but necessary to the health of the rest of our family, and to the party asking/demanding said release. I cannot control someone's feelings for or against me, but I do have control over what I do with mine. I also cannot walk another's journey to freedom and healing, but I have full control over the freedom and healing that I choose to pursue, or not. So I will choose to release the stranglehold of negative emotions and pursue true healing (from the hurt I hold) and freedom (from the negative emotions attached to it).
And this light? Well, I've let the darkness of this situation cast a shadow for too long over the light that is supposed to overcome darkness, and in that allowing of the presence of the shadow, the light in my life has been dimmed and has kept me from praying for a 'light revelation' for the other one.
Is there a situation or relationship in your life that God may be asking you to let go of? He may be telling you it's time to let it go for good, or He may be asking you to release it for a season so that there's room for Him to work in that space. That's for Him to speak to you, and no two situations are the same. Just because we label something broken doesn't mean it's immune from redemption or resurrection. Regardless of the permanency or temporal answer, what God doesn't desire is for a shadow of darkness to overcome the light of Jesus inside of us, and the light we are called to be to and for others.
Two weeks before the night of the 'broken relationship', God gave me a verse--a promise--that, unknown to me at that time, spoke right to the situation that was going to occur. He was laying down a red carpet of promise along the path of brokenness to keep our hearts steady and focused on and encouraged by the One who's word never returns void.
His Word keeps our light shining in the darkness.