Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gifts From the Darkness

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." Mary Oliver

I never realized until recently...where I had been...what I had lived...had left me with some pretty amazing gifts....gifts I probably wouldn't have gotten had I not danced with the darkness.

I never wanted anybody to know any of what happened. I tried to hide it...push it down....even pretend it hadn't happened at all. The shame crippled me....kept me a prisoner of the past....and tainted everything I touched with bits of that darkness. I walked around holding my breath....afraid to let go....afraid of something worse happening...living on edge....waiting.. anticipating the worse.... always on guard.

Then I wrote my story....told what happened. People started to know. The veil began to lift. The shame I had tried to mask began to slowly disolve. And then I discovered them....the gifts - gratitude...strength...faith...hope....even courage. 

Darkness taught me some things....it taught me to never give up...never let go....to face my fears....and hold onto my dreams. It taught me its wild fierceness runs out of steam. It's not forever...things change...it changes....eventually it lets go of its grip. And sometimes I wonder if it were some sort of test...to see if I was strong enough...brave enough....determined enough. 

And those times when I started to tire....feeling exhausted....and wanting to just give in...He came alongside and held me up. With Him in my corner I could hold on longer. I could fight the darkness with greater intensity.

The darkness taught me perservance.....and that holding on eventually does bring healing... freedom....and purpose. It taught me....never give up. Never give in. And maybe it wasn't just about me. Maybe it's about showing hope to someone else lost in the darkness...that they too can win the fight. The thought of that makes me even more grateful....because if I could beat the odds....anybody can.

25 comments:

shannon i olson said...

Thanks, yes dark times are sometimes for you to help others through theirs. Not easy to understand, we wish it were different and that some things never happened. But God has a purpose bigger than us and I am glad he is with you, holding you, teaching you and equipping you to help others. Blessings to you

Denise said...

Amen, praise God.

Lady Rose said...

Sarah,

I don't think I have heard anyone say that they thought of their "darkness" as a "gift." That truly is a profound statement, especially since when you are gropping in darkness, it doesn't feel so great and therefore, to think of it as a "gift" would seem a bit crazy!

At any rate, your thoughts about this subject have given me much to ponder about. I am just thankful that you have been able to use your "dark past" to help bring others to the light of Christ. :)

Blessings,

-Lady Rose

Deborah Ann said...

You are an amazing woman. I agree, we can learn from the darkness, and we can shine our light there.

I posted a book review of your book on my blog. If you want, you can use that review on your book site.

God's deepest blessings on you...

The Angulo's said...

It took me years before I could write down my testimony. I felt too ashamed.

God bless you!

Mrs. A

Wanda's Wings said...

Yes the dark treads that run through our lives can really teach us if we allow them to do it. I still fight with shame, but with Gods help we will continue to over come this. You are such a blessing to more than you will ever know.

My Big Secret Blog :) said...

I read this post twice. It was spell-binding. Sarah, you are a force to reckon with. I wonder how much shame the darkness must be feeling right now. :)

Dolores Ayotte said...

Nikki...I know darkness too and how frightening it can truly be. But not unlike you, in that darkness a candle was lit to show me the way. By getting through that darkness, we can now help show others the way by lighting a candle for them. You're right! It was a gift. When at our greatest weakness and our strongest fear, we found an incomparable strength by building a relationship with God.

CRY said...

Wow, that hit home for me. Very inspiring!
I just told my husband the other day that i have a very DARK heart but a compassionate,loving soul. My darkness within ive always thought is what makes me makemit through thenhard times, my darkness is my strength within when i need it most. Im sure that sounds so weird and proabably doesnt make since to your readers but i bet you understand.

NOS said...

There's a quote that I can't find on the internet (and the book I read it in is at home), but I'll paraphrase: "Don't take away my darkness because you may take take my light with it." The point being that without our struggles we wouldn't be the same people we are today-- and that may or may not be a good thing. We are a product of our experiences for better or for worse. And for you it sounds like it was for the better.

Wishing you well,
NOS

Vatche said...

Hey, Sarah! I really enjoyed reading your post and I thought what you said has a lot of truth.

The darkness is usually seen with a negative connotation to people, but it actually has some benefits, too.

The darkness actually makes people strive, work, test their abilities, and make them stand tall against all odds. Always remember that.

I was lucky to learn that through my countless experiences and it took sometime.

Remember that the only time one truly fails is when they stop trying and give up! Write on!

Mya said...

I have never been a proponent of the idea that terible things always happen for a reason, but I do believe that through faith we get stronger, persevere and that we can use what we have learned to help someone else. You have certainly done that. You are a beacon for many others.

Chatty Crone said...

I'm not sure anyone can survive the darkness myself - I don't know what the difference is really - but I am sure glad you did.

sandie

Sharon Kirby said...

Inspirational, Sarah -

Sometimes I think that those who have seen the blackest darkness are the ones who are privileged to see the Light of God in its most glorious shining...

You shine, Sarah - like a star in the sky - pointing others to the intensely bright Savior of the world.

And the One who saves the brokenhearted...

GOD BLESS!

Crown of Beauty said...

My dear Nikki,

Your writing always brings tears to my eyes. Your honesty, your vulnerability. What a journey you have gone through, and what a transformation.

From being all covered up in shame, you are now becoming a lovely, precious jewel, shining in the sun... for all eyes to behold.

What a testimony... what glory you give to your Maker.

It requires humility. Transparency allows light to come in, and truth sets you free from that dark prison of shame, bitterness, and fear. Such filthy rags to hold close to the temple of the Holy Spirit!

I am so glad you were given the voice to share your story.

Someday, I will read your book. Looking forward to it, and above all, to meeting you face to face.

Love
Lidj

Dulce said...

Darkness is a so bad place to be... But as long as we can see some light at the end of the tunnel... there is some hope. So let's stay for hope
:)
Love and joy

Paula said...

I remember how much my statement: 'my triggers are my treasures' moved you. Now you write about how much you treasure them. I love it and I love you. You have overcome so much and you are here. Getting stronger by the day. Our transformation over time is simple astonishing. Never thought that working on myself would be so rewarding

Julie Musil said...

Beautiful, and so true. Your experience has helped countless people, and if you were silent, your light wouldn't have shined on others. Without darkness, we might not appreciate the light.

Deborah said...

You my friend are so inspiring. You offer so much hope and guidance for people.
xxoo
Deborah

Colleen said...

What I have learned is that there are 2 sides to every coin - the blessings and the curse. Amazing, I have found blessings that came from my darkness too. Hugs.

Karen said...

Amen! This line stood out in BOLD to me:

"It's not forever..."...

My granddaddy always use to remind us..."this too shall pass"...

Very inspiring post!

Starry Dawn said...

Dear Sarah,

Your posts and blog are so inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with the world, Sarah!!
Thank you, for reading my poery and visiting my blog, Sarah!!
There are many folks out there who have also been on your roads, and they could understand your ways.
God bless you in every step of the way, Sarah!!
All the Best,
Starry Dawn.

Marj aka Thriver said...

Great post! The darkness does, indeed, have some gifts to share. You could even say that it is the darkness that CAUSES us to be able to see the light! Ironic, isn't it?

(((((((((Sarah))))))))

Just_because_today said...

the truth has to come out for the veil to lift. We must face the past to build a future.
Good job.

Puzzled Hat said...

I agree with you - the dark stuff in my past has shaped who I am today and taught me so much. Whilst I of course hate what you and I and others have been through, I think those experiences can be used for good. I'm glad that your experiences taught you the things you've learnt - you seem to be really giving people a flicker of hope in some of the darkest places people find themselves in. I'm sorry that you've suffered so much though and I can relate to what you've written here. :)