“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly and difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy–the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ~Brené Brown ‘The Gifts of Imperfections’
Boom. My life at this moment summed up in a quote. We need to believe in who we are if we truly want to live in wholeness. We need to be open, vulnerable, and live in ownership of our lives in order to be powerful and not a victim to our circumstances. Stop shoving things down, stop hiding in the shadows, stop pretending we have it all together. ‘Me against the world’ mentality will crush you. People are not made to live outside of God, away from community, and without leadership speaking into our lives (I say ‘and’ instead of ‘or’ because those three cannot be separated.) If you do, you will only last so long feeling ‘good’ about your life and be continually searching for something to fill the void of emptiness in your heart. Listen to the experiences of many…nothing will. You could have everything seemingly together (finances, great relationships, choosing to believe all the right things about yourself (i.e. joy, love, acceptance), a stable job, a happy life, etc) but without God as your everything, without a community around you, and without leadership speaking into your life, you will not succeed to the fullest that you were created and born to be. You were predestined to be more than you are capable of by yourself.
I love the last sentence of that quote, “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness…” then we will find our light. The darkness is meant to be walked through. Otherwise, how will you ever find a way to turn on the light? Nothing will ever happen if you just choose to sit there in it. As one of my pastors recently said about walking through difficulty, “the darkness is there for us to recall what life was like when the lights were on.” We need to be able to recall who we are and what God says about us so that in dark times and dark places we are able to still find our way through the darkness to turn on the light. This is also another reason for community! In times where we end up feeling stuck and don’t have the strength to get up on our own, that’s where friends come in the room and turn the light on for us. Now hear me…be smart. Understand what I’m saying. I’m not telling you that you can just sit there and always let someone else turn on the light. Who of us would actually expect a friend to come and turn the light on for us when we need to get up in the middle of the night or when it is dark? What I am saying is that there are times and seasons in our lives where we just can’t do it ourselves and need a friend or leader to shine light on our situation. It requires vulnerability. It may be tough. It may be messy. But it may also be the best way for breakthrough in our lives.
I hope you are willing to go on this journey with me. To see yourself as God sees you, to be known in the darkness, and to find your light.