My senior year in high school and the summer that followed were a dark time for me. As the year progressed, I drifted away from God and inched closer to Satan. There was a boy (isn't there always?), and I gave him my heart. I shouldn't have, and even then I knew that. Nevertheless, it happened. My heart belonged to him, and so did my thoughts. Every second I spent dwelling on our "what could be's" were seconds I wasn't devoting to my God. Those seconds turned into minutes, minutes into hours, and those hours turned into my entire senior year of high school. Before I knew it, my senior year was over, and I was left in a puddle of graduation regalia and heartbreak.
The story is too long to tell, the details too insignificant at this point. What matters is this: I was away from God. He hadn't moved, but I had defiantly marched away from Him somewhere between August and May. I spent the first few weeks of summer in a ball on my bed, shedding tears over a boy I used to love and a person I used to be. One day, as I sat at my lonely office at my first real job (aka not McDonalds), I had a breakdown. It was storming outside, a perfect reflection of my inner self, and I lost it. After regaining my composure (was there a choice? I was at the front desk!), I softly started to sing:
"Over every thought, over every word. May my life reflect the beauty of my Lord. 'Cause you mean more to me than any earthly thing. So won't you reign in me again."
That song--those words--hit me like a ton of bricks. I still don't know why the song popped into my head, or what made me start singing it, but it changed the course of my life. From that moment on, I started praying. Regularly. I started begging God to heal my heart. I read the Psalms over and over again, emphatically nodding along with David's sentiments.
I hadn't been in a place so dark before. There was hatred and bitterness in my heart like I'd never experienced. There was disgust and regret and envy and all other sorts of wickedness pruning in my heart. And then, there was a soft song--a whisper of the person I could be. I don't remember the exact moment that it all changed; that the sun came out and the clouds rolled away. I don't remember climbing and clawing my way out of the darkness. I just know that the day I stepped onto Freed-Hardeman's campus, I was different, and I was better for the journey.
Still, I had more darkness to overcome. My freshman year at Freed isn't a time that I'm especially proud of, mostly because my newly healed heart was shattered too soon by yet another boy I shouldn't have given it to. But, once again, I asked God to heal me. I asked God to mold me. I asked God to make my heart stronger--too strong for a boy or even Satan himself to crush.
I want to share with you a verse about God that I love. 1 John 1:5 says, "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you-that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all."
Do you know why I love that so much? Because in God there is not one ounce of darkness. There is no evil. There is no pain. No darkness. At all.
To me, that says that God is bigger than the darkness that envelopes me at times. God is able to deliver me from that darkness. He loves me so much that He dispels the darkness around me when I ask Him.
I am God's daughter (2 Cor. 6:18). Because I am His daughter, He gives to me all things that I ask (Matt. 7:7). When you are in the midst of a dark time, ask yourself this question: am I God's child? If the answer is yes, ask Him to dispel the darkness. Psalm 34:18 tells us, "God is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit." Trust God and know that He is bigger than whatever darkness you are facing. He is there, and is a "very present help" in your time of need (Psalm 46:1).
If you are not a child of God's, know that He wants you to be. He wants to save you (2 Pet. 3:9). Submit to His terms, and the blood of Jesus will wash away that darkness and all of the sin in your life.
We cannot conquer the darkness on our own. We must let God have control. He is willing, and He desires to do it for you. We just have to draw near to Him. When we do, He will give us all things (James 4:7-8, 1:5-7).