The dark.

7 Sep

I had an incredible conversation with a friend today.  She reminded me of something I had told her last summer which brought up some really awesome truths I haven’t talked about in a while.  It was refreshing to my soul, and I think you might enjoy it too.

First of all, I just want to say that I really can’t stand it when people are fake.  I’m not talking about the kind of fake that says “Hi, it is so nice to meet you” when you know they really aren’t even listening to your name.  I’m talking about fake “relationships.”

God created us for fellowship.  Very specifically He says in Proverbs “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Iron can only sharpen iron when it is forcefully and purposefully rubbed against each other.  It strips down rust and old material and exposes the new and raw material.  We are no different.  We cannot fellowship, sharpen, or grow together if our relationships are surface, distant and fake.

No marriage is perfect.  Even when two people are diligently serving the Lord with all their hearts and have a great understanding of how marriage was designed to work, they still have hiccups along the way.  Because no matter what, at the end of the day, you still have two humans.

Who wants to share their deepest struggles and seek godly counsel from someone who says “Our marriage is just simply amazing all the time.  We never disagree.  We live in bliss every minute.  My husband is amazing.  He’s practically perfect in every way.”

It isn’t relatable at all! And it breeds shallow relationships and it quiets those who have a heart to be real and seek godly wisdom because they feel isolated and like something is terribly wrong with them or their marriage because they have struggles.

Please don’t misread this with the interpretation that I’m saying we should expose all of our spouses mistakes and drag them through the mud or have bashing sessions.  That is not healthy for the husband, wife, or members of anyone else’s marriage!!  But being honest, real and sharing godly wisdom requires us to lay down the fake image of complete perfection and share realities and how to grow in Christ through them.  It can be done in a very God-honoring way and really be an impact that helps and heals.

I used marriage here as an example, but this happens in EVERY area of our lives.  Some people call them “masks.”   You know it when you see it (or hear it.) It is often in the response to this question, “How is everything going?”

I’m not even going to share samples because I guarantee you already have responses on the tip of your tongue that you knew were not reality when you heard them.

Here is truth #1: We want to share our struggles, hurts, sins, temptations and battles when we’ve come completely through it, and have a nice pretty testimony to share.

Here is truth #2: When you’re in the middle of a battle, and someone shares a testimony of how everything worked out perfect for them, you don’t receive it with as much hope as you wish you could because you feel like your trial or battle is not headed to victory.

Here is truth #3: When we are willing to share our battles in the midst of the battle, fellowship happens in its richest and truest form and friendships are cemented into place.  We completely relate to each other and can hold each other up.

This is important: Even if our struggles are completely different, chances are your struggle will bring about the same insecurities, temptations and emotions as an area of my life that I can relate to even if our circumstances are different.  Because the bottom line is that we really need each other to work on underline issues that come from our hearts, not necessarily for all our circumstances to change.

I will never ever forget this one specific day in my life.  I don’t remember the date, what I was wearing, or anything more than what I’m about to share, and yet, I will NEVER forget this moment.

I was really having a rough time.  There was a lot that seemed to be falling completely apart.  In all my best efforts to keep my head above water and find joy in the midst of the trial, I was lost in a sea of pain and confusion.

I called my husband on the phone and I said “I need to talk to you.  I don’t understand. What am I doing wrong here?”

And I will never forget his response to me.

He said “Plants grow in the dark.”

Do you know what happened in that season of my life? I experienced a tremendous amount of hurt and disappointment, at the very same time that I was being completely transformed in my character.  God was teaching me things that I could have and would have never learned without experiencing the darkness.

I have faced some dark days.  I assume most of us have.  If you walk this Earth, you’re bound to face the ugly realities of it.  But I’ve learned to be so thankful for the darkness because if means that God is so deeply concerned with my character that He is providing opportunities for me to grow and see Him in ways I couldn’t see in the light. He wants me to know Him intimately.

The darkness makes His light so much brighter and affects our senses in a way that we can’t see, hear, touch, taste or smell when we’re on the mountain top in the light.

Being in the darkness is nothing to be ashamed of and hide from.  It is the perfect opportunity for us to be molded into the best image of Christ we can be this side of eternity.

Practical Application:

~Drop the fake reality and challenge those you love in your life to drop theirs too.

~Take the plunge and share the struggle in the middle of the struggle and experience the depth of fellowship as we were intended to know it. (This requires letting go of fear of man… for another post.)

~Look back at your darkest times and see for yourself if you didn’t gain amazing character improvements that you wouldn’t have known to such a depth before (like mercy, grace, forgiveness, compassion, patience)

I’d love it if you’d share a time when you “grew in the darkness” or how a friendship has impacted your life by the honesty of being real and giving godly counsel in the midst of trials.

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3 Responses to “The dark.”

  1. RaZella September 9, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    It has only been recently that I have learned darkness is really an opportunity for “growth”. Sruggles are His way of drawing us closer to Him. I recently walked a very dark path, one in many ways I am still on. I know the Lord is growing me from this. For that I am extremely thankful. However, for some of us, such as myself, Satan will also try to use our dark paths against us. In moments when my mind begins to replay decisions I made, things I said, guilt, shame, fear begin to weigh on me very heavily. I know I have to keep leaning on His glory, His mercy, His love, and His forgiveness to continue growing so that guilt/shame do not weigh me down. We are all human, and we do make mistakes. Sometimes, huge mistakes. God is far bigger than any mistake we can make. He has told us to confess, repent, and be reconciled. When Satan tries to whisper to us otherwise, that is when we must cling to the promises of God.
    I’m sure I’m rambling at this point. I just found this post touched my heart, and I do pray we are able to lay down our masks, so as to provide fellowship, understanding, and encouragement to one another as we grow through our darkest times.

    • kaylagulick September 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      Great truth about Satan trying to use the darkeness against us. Which is all the more reason why we need to be transparent, honest, real and intimate with our friends so we aren’t fighting him all alone!

      I hope your dark road is full of deep fellowship so God will be glorified through you! I’ll be praying for you this week!!

      • RaZella September 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

        Thank you for the prayer. I hope that God will be glorified though me as well. I’m discovering that I still have some pride that needs to be broken down a bit more, however, thank God for pointing it out to me!

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