Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I've not had a 'dark night of the soul' since 1994.


You know, those times when--with your head--you remember that God said, "I'll never leave you nor forsake you," and yet He feels far, far away. Or hiding behind walls in other rooms, anyway, never sitting with His arm around your shoulders anymore. And times when a quiet desperation has replaced your joy and life feels, if not dark, then very, very grey and not nearly as exciting as it once was.


But before 1994, I experienced not only dark nights of the soul, but dark months of the soul. Dark years, even. I had dark nights of the soul practically every night of the week and took the whole dark night thing to an art form.


Shudder.


The difference? In 1994 I fell in love with Jesus. Passionately, and so much so that I couldn't live without His presence for even one minute. I stopped running to friends and books and old sayings first for companionship and help, and instead, I ran to God. I began asking Him to show me where I'd gone wrong (that was huge). And I finally allowed Him to make the million changes in me which He'd just been itching to make since I accepted Him at age 11. I handed Him the steering wheel and finally let Him drive us around rather than always doing the driving, myself (and running us into ditches).


And that has made all the difference.


How sad that I once believed God was into the whole dark night of the soul thing. That He thought it up and believed it to be a good idea. Ha! What is actually God's idea? This:


"The joy of the Lord is my strength."


That's His idea. His plan is for His joy to keep me strong and able to do whatever He's called me to do. And He's certainly not called me to sit in shadows, all despondent for weeks, whispering, "God understands that I'm just a poor ol', sad, pathetic mess."


Uh, no. What God understands is that He's given me joy to keep me strong and able to reach out to other people who need His help. He has jobs for me to do. He has plans for me everyday, plans for good and not for evil. And He has enough love and joy and strength and companionship to fill my heart full every single day of the rest of my life.


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"Sin separates... confess your sins................go and sin no more........."


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In His presence is fulness of joy... and it's in His presence where I want to 'live and move and have my being' hour by hour.


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6 comments:

Elizabeth said...

AMEN! The older I get the more I realize that! As I have said before you and I are a lot alike.

Utah Grammie said...

This is one of the most powerful messages I've read...thank YOU and thank GOD!

Deborah Raney said...

What a wonderful post, Debra. What a wonderful testimony. This has been one of the hardest years of my life for a variety of reasons, but like you, I fell in love with Jesus many years ago and His presence in my life has made all the difference. So in spite of my husband's layoff, in spite of losing my precious sister-in-law to cancer, in spite of sending our "baby" off to college, in spite of so many other difficult things, the joy is still there. Thank you so much for sharing that truth!

Donetta said...

hay I just realized that I could go to the grocery and use that electric cart. I don't have to just sit around and wait for my knees to get better. I can use the amenities and humility he has offered me .
Thanks Sweet heart!
My husband needs orange juice for his breakfasts.
I'll make a list and take a shower and stand up against the urge to be idle in the discomfort.
Love your spunk!

Dolores said...

Beautiful post Debra. Dolores

Robin in New Jersey said...

Amen...