on letting light shine through, in its own time

Not long ago, I wrote a post about how to grieve with a loved one.... without grieving with them. In other words, how do you give someone enough space while still showing you care?

Can you let go of your own need to "fix it" to let them fully heal? 

It's ok if you find this more difficult than you expected- it's hard. It usually comes from a good place of wanting your friend feel better ASAP. Maybe it will help to dig in a little deeper to WHY it's so important to let people (including yourself) grieve in their own time. Whether it's over a breakup, a missed job opportunity, or the lost hope when someone passes to the next life... the healing process isn't the same for everyone. 

Can you let someone rest in the darkness so they can fully experience the light when they're ready? 

In Emily P. Freeman's podcast, The Next Right Thing, Episode 46, she says this:

"While we learn to embrace the light, may we not forget the gift of the darkness. Holding the baby, just twelve hours old, her eyes are shut tight to defend against the world. For her, light is the stranger, darkness is her comforting friend. She has only known darkness within the body of her mother, and we will not take it away from her too quickly. For now, the darkness speaks of safety because that’s what it is to her. We dare not push her into the light before she is ready. Her eyes will adjust in her own time and in her own way."

What a beautiful perspective! Puppies take about 2 WEEKS to open their eyes. And even then, their eyes are not fully adjusted or mature. It's several more weeks of fuzzy vision and hazy senses. 

How much more time might it take for our hearts to emerge from darkness brought on by loss, depression, intrusive thoughts?

. . . As I finish writing this entry, I find myself in the uncomfortable position of having to listen to my own advice. For the last two weeks, I've tried to run from the darkness building up inside of me. Constant social interactions, food, silly movies, wine, anything that would distract me from my own thoughts. Inside my mind and heart became a scary place that I avoided at all costs. Last night, finding myself alone and feeling like quite the fraud, I had no choice but to face the darkness. 

By ignoring the darkness, I had let it grow into a monster. I partook in what my friend Danielle loving calls "snot the rug" prayers. It was raw. It was not pretty. It was brokenness at it's core.

The crazy part? This morning, I'm already starting to feel healing take place. The darkness is still there, but it's not so scary. I faced it. I'm still facing it. And most importantly, God has the power and endless love to overcome all the darkness. And because He lives in me, so do I. 

Just a little reminder that overcoming is not a "one and done" thing in this life. Overcoming may look different each year, each month, each hour of each day. We are constantly being broken and then being put back together, sometimes one piece at a time, sometimes all at once. But don't run from the brokenness. Face it. Sit in it a while. Then allow yourself to be made whole again.