I've been thinking a lot about safe spaces lately. I've been learning who to trust, who to let go of, and how to stand my ground. Here's what I've been discovering...
I haven't been writing much (if you didn't notice, it's totally okay) and it felt like time to share why.
I love my apartment. It's my first place that's all my own, it feels like home and I'm content there. There's one thing about it that I hate though: it's dark.
There are glass sliding doors that take up a huge part of the living room wall, a window in my bedroom, and a window in the kitchen, so you think that would let plenty of light into a pretty small little place, right? But it's dreary and dark all the time, even with the blinds all the way open. Sunlight doesn't shine in.
Here's the thing about it being dark-- it affects me. It affects my mood. It affects my productivity. It affects my energy.
The longer I'm in my apartment, even with all the lights on, the lazier I feel, the lonelier I feel, the more listless I become.
Then, when I'm feeling lazy, lonely and listless, I lose more and more of my motivation to leave my apartment, go outside again, find the light. I continue sinking into those feelings.
Isn't that what darkness does to us? It strips us of goodness and pulls us down into a pit it feels like we can't escape from. It whispers lies to us, telling us repeatedly that this is all there is for us, that the light was just an illusion, that this place, this shadowy, depressing place, this is where we belong. It plays tricks on our minds and burrows in those hard to reach places of our souls and settles there, taking up the space where our hope and optimism and joy used to abide.
What I know to be true, though, is where there is darkness in one place, there is still light in others, and still light within. When night falls and our towns go dark and our cities go quiet, there is bustling, bright daylight on the other side of the world. While my little apartment may be dark, when I take a few steps outside my door, I'm standing in the light of the beaming sun again. When it feels like pitch black sky surrounds me, shimmering stars still shine and the graceful moon still rises.
An Ellie Holcomb song I absolutely love says it like this:
So I walked out of the darkness and into the light, from fear of shame into the hope of life. Mercy called my name and made a way to fly out of the darkness and into the light.
There will be times of darkness, despair, defeat. There will be times of radiant light, abounding joy, glorious victory. There will be even more times where bits of that light flood into that darkness. There will be times where a single spark, a single flame glow in the middle of it, times where that one spark starts a roaring fire and whisks the darkness away for good.
God tells us in Isaiah "I form light and create darkness, I make harmonies and create discords. I, GOD, do all these things."
God doesn't abandon us in the darkness-- He made it. We don't need to feel lonely there, He's there. God doesn't just celebrate and pour out His love and blessings in the light, He's in all of it. Good and bad, light and dark, hopelessness and hopefulness, harmony and discord, He made it, He resides there, He's Lord there.
Knowing He is the Lord of Light even in the dark places and times of my life is a deep comfort for my soul. In those times, in those seasons, I want to turn my face toward His light. I want to soak up His goodness, His radiance, His glory. I want to shine into the world around me out of an overflow of His love within me.
Isn't that what light does to us? It fill us with goodness and lifts us up into a freedom we want to unashamedly rejoice in. It sings sweet truth to us, reminding us repeatedly that this is what there really is for us, that the light is real, that this place, this brilliant, blissful place, this is where we belong. It gives our minds confidence and seeps into those hard to reach places of our souls and settles there, filling us up with hope and optimism and joy to abide in.