to those who have survived the darkness

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This post is for you.

You, who have walked through fire and survived. You, who have experienced death and grief and are not just living, but have found joy. You, who have lost a child or a spouse. You, who survived trauma or abuse. You, who didn’t think you’d make it out of your depression.

This is a call to those of you who have seen the faithfulness of God through the absolute darkest moments of your life. I believe that your purpose is being fulfilled right now.

Jesus has given me the authority to address all of you because I’ve been there, too. I’ve been through the very real darkness, unsure if I would ever really enjoy life again. It came in the form of grief, loss, and anxiety. And all throughout that period of my life, there was a verse that would resurface. To be honest, it made me pretty mad. As I watched my family members suffer physically and emotionally and I struggled with God’s goodness and faithfulness… this is what He would remind me of:

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” [2 Corinthians 1:3-4]

Yeah. It made me mad. This didn’t seem like a fair trade to me. I was walking through immense loss and confusion, and I felt like telling God, “If this is all for me to be able to help someone else later, I don’t think it’s worth it. Count me out.” I’m not proud of that attitude. I believed and hoped deep down that God would use my pain for good, but it all felt like too much to handle.

Anyone else feeling that way right now? Like it’s all just a little too much?

I have several friends right now who are walking through significant pain and grief. The kind that makes anyone on the outside feel so completely helpless. But to those of us who are now on the outside, we are not helpless.

The desperate grief is where true faith, endurance, and resiliency are built. So for those of us who have survived: this is not the time to be quiet. This is the moment to step forward and say, “I didn’t think I was going to make it. But Jesus was with me, and He’s with you now.”

In times of grief and pain, people don’t need someone to come alongside them and say, “I know how you feel.” The reality is that everyone’s experience is different. What people need to hear is that Jesus is with them.

You have the privilege of understanding deep pain and loss. You have the privilege of knowing what you needed during that time. You didn’t need someone to say the right words. You needed presence. You needed hope. You needed prayer.

Our loved ones are dealing with disappointment and loss. Some of them are processing through the very real loss of a family member. It feels as though joy, peace, and hope are stolen from us in pain. People need to be reminded that hope is possible, because while you’re in it, everything feels helpless and hopeless. But it isn’t. Those of us who have been anointed with the oil of gladness after the darkness of the valley understand the need for the Shepherd. 

We don’t have the right words to say. But we do know where to lift our eyes.

So if Jesus has healed your heart – if you have grown in your faith through your tragedy: the world needs you now. Weep with those who weep and point to hope.

If you walked through the shadow of death and you saw the sun again, we need to hear from you. Weep with those who weep and point to hope.

This is the time. This is the moment. This season is one moment in time where we get to see a purpose in our pain. Weep with those who weep and point to hope.

To those of you who may be reading this and you are still in the darkness of the shadow: listen to me. You will survive. Joy will be your strength and the Lord will redeem your purpose through your tragedy. Wait on Him.

I believe that Jesus is gently nudging those of us who have hoped for purpose in our darkness and saying, “Yes. Now is the time. I’ve chosen you to experience my comfort so that they may know Me.” 

You were not simply rescued from darkness so that you would live. You were called out of darkness for a purpose. 

So what is your story? How has He delivered you? How did He save you? How did He comfort you? We need to hear it. Share with the friends you know are suffering. Share it with a small group. Speak hope into those who aren’t able to find hope anymore.

Let Him use your heartache now, so that others may be comforted by the same Spirit who comforted you. There was always purpose. Step into it now.

It’s time.

 

He called you out of darkness to experience His marvelous light, and now He claims you as His very own. He did this so that you would broadcast His glorious wonders throughout the world.”

[1 Peter 2:9]

 

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