Is it dark or you just need a little light? Total darkness or you just need clarity of thoughts? Is it truly dark or a response out of personal emotions? And lastly, should we call it hopeless or you’re experiencing some steps and challenges for growth?
Dark moments are never desirable, they are times in our lives when we feel like the world is against us and our dreams are going into extinction. Amidst this undesirable period, we tend to forget our past achievements and have a proclivity of focusing on our present struggles_our high hopes become low. They are the seasons in life we feel no one, including our inner circles, can ever understand how we feel. We tend to make rash decisions and speak negatively out of frustration.
If you happen to be in the dark moments of your life;How can you prevent the mistake of getting stuck in the dark moments because of the words uttered out of frustration? How can you refrain yourself from reacting emotionally in the dark and giving up when you are on the verge of success? How can you shed the LIGHT within on the darkness Without? What are the steps needed to be taken in order to stir up the ‘latent hope’ in you? How can you see LIGHT even in gross Darkness? How can you focus on your God-given dreams and vision? How can you stay focused on your PEACE(Jesus ) in the middle of the storm?
The answers to these questions aren’t far fetched; you would be surprised at how much power and capacity God has given you to Light your world!
let’s take for instance Joyce’s story to illustrate clearly my point.
Joyce is a conscientious lady with determination, good morals, courage, and focus; She has an unending desire and love for God and His ways; She does everything excellently; She was a purpose-driven lady.
Her life was rosy and shiny until life threw unusual obstacles at her in her mid 20’s. She wondered if this was what the adult life was all about she had faced challenges before and crushed them but this time around it looked like she was going to be crushed! She saw her Vision become blurry as she worried, she began to see herself as a blight even though she worked day and night with all her might. Her love for God began to wane and her faith in Him became shallow. Questions like: Does God still love me? Why is this happening to me? What am I doing wrong? Why do I feel alone? Am I ever going to be successful in life? Are my dreams ever going to come to pass? Is this what adult life is all about? Where is God?; regularly popped in her mind. It looked like all things weren’t working out as she thought, hoped and planned!. The situations in her life seemed like all things were working against her good( contrary to what Apostle Paul said, in the scriptures; Romans 8:28 All things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purpose); she felt “stuck” _If it was not the fact that She had experienced, seen, and heard the LOVE, GOODNESS, MIRACLES, and WONDERS of God, she would have thought that there was no God and would have given up on God!
What do you need to understand if you are in Joyce’s position?
The truth is: You aren’t the first person to go through this phase of life_ and you won’t be the last! As long as you breathe; challenges would always come your way if you do the right thing or not but the way you handle these challenges will either make you overcome them or make them overcome you. You will overcome them if you don’t respond to them (and avoid rash decisions)emotionally; they ‘overcome’ you if you do the exact opposite.
As you climb the ladder of success in life; Work will get bulkier, stress will also creep in(since stress results from the additional ‘luggage’ one isn’t prepared for). As you progress in life; you will get exposed to more challenges in life_ which is normal_ and become more aware of life and it’s troubling. But you have to make the best CHOICE of preventing the challenges from obscuring who you(or believe you are ) and who God is and what He’s capable of doing. You have to be very careful and intentional about the words that proceed from your lips_ Declare what you want to see in your life even when you don’t see it (maybe because it’s dark now)or feel it!
“I will never leave you nor forsake you…Because you are precious in my eyes and honored and I love you… I know the plans I have for you, the plans of good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope…For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Hebrew13:5, Isiah 43:4, Jeremiah 29:11, Isiah 55:9)
” Do not forget in the dark, what God told you in the Light” Rick Warren, author of the purpose-driven life.
Dear friend… How can you handle this dark moment in your life RIGHTLY? How can you still stay connected to God even though you feel like God has disconnected? How do you still fix your gaze on your dreams and God-given vision?
Below are some practical and valuable ways that would be of tremendous help:
1.Take a break: sometimes all you need is a break! The reason you think think you are going through hard times might be because your body and mental health need to be attended to. Even God rested from His works [of creation].Gen 2:2. So… take a walk, exercise, go out with friends(but don’t do this to get distracted)… Just do what calms your nerves the best.
“if you’re going to keep your oxygen levels up—
you need a break every now and then. It’s not a break from your life; it’s a break for your life.” Priscilla Shirer
2.Talk to trusted and reliable people: Since “Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another… If one person falls the other can reach and help out”_ Proverbs 27:27, Ecclesiastes 4:10_ The role of valuable and Godly relationship plays a role here.
Don’t be embarrassed to tell your friends or mentors_ whichever the case may be_ how you feel. The truth is; these people might have gone through what you are going through and until you seek guidance from them, you won’t be able to glean from their pots of wisdom and gain insights into their experiences_ your answers might be in their past experiences. Prov.8.33 – Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. However, you must weigh bits of advice with the word of God. You should listen to all they say but you shouldn’t act on all(Prov.14.15 – The simpleton believes every word he hears, but the prudent man looks and considers well where he is going.)
3.Go back to your journal(if you journal) : Review your goals, dreams, and God-given promises . Spend minutes looking and boldly affirming your goals even if you don’t feel like_ as you do this, you become more conscious of your goals.
Hab.2.2 – And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
4.Plan and innovate: I believe you’ve gone too far to give up easily. Take your time to scrutinize your present situation; adjust some things and make amendments where necessary_ you might be doing something wrong. One of the quotes that have helped me_which could also be help to you also_ during dark times is; “Never stop planning”.
Prov.21.5 – Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind. [MSB]. You would love to be ahead, wouldn’t you?. So … plan carefully!
5.Control your emotions: Prov.16.25 – There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the ways of death. The way might seem right because your mind has been clouded by your emotions! Don’t make rash decisions_ if you make decisions based on how you feel at the moment, what about the consequences that stick after the emotions are all gone? And don’t just control your emotions; control your tongue! It’s better for one to be silent than for one should say things that would ruin the good works one has laid up. So be intentional about the words you speak. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Speak what you want to see; confession brings possession. Job.22.28 – Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways. Speak LIGHT; see LIGHT!
6.Meditate on God’s Word: This is very important. Ps.119.105 – Your word is a LAMP to my feet and a LIGHT to my path. The LIGHT you need is the Word of God. As you take your time to study the Word of God that never fails; you begin to gain fresh insights and directions(Ps.119.130 – The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.). As you take time to meditate on His promises, your ‘lost hope ‘ would be revived as you believe.
7.Pray, praise, and give thanks: You need to talk to God, in reverence, even if you don’t feel like_ you don’t relate with God based on how you feel. Spend time in prayers telling Him exactly how you feel, your doubts, your confusion, and struggles. If you don’t invite God _ even though He sees what you are going through_ He won’t barge in!
Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil!… Be careful with nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Proverbs 3:5-7, Philippians 4:6)
Permit me to share my personal experience with you…
I remember when It looked like God suddenly departed from me and I felt like I was alone. Guess what I did? I praised! I sang a song to God[ covenant-keeping God by Victoria orenze] remembering Him of His promises. Trust me, this “simple” act of praise made me conscious of His promises. I saw light even in the dark! God _ out of His abundant mercy and Love_ came through.
No matter how you feel; “No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Thessalonians.5.18
“Don’t give up on God; He hasn’t given up on you” Rick Warren
As you take these steps, remember to guard your heart with all diligence. Be careful of what you allow into your mind and the thoughts that linger in your mind. Dark times would come and go as far as you breathe. They aren’t beautiful but they are necessary for growth_ sometimes. As you keep your eyes focused on your dreams, don’t forget to focus on other people by being a helping hand. Try your best possible not to get distracted by the obstacles life throws at you.
In case you’ve forgotten, permit me to remind you that: you have something that can’t be found elsewhere, that the people around you_ and the world needs.
“That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next.” Romans 8:18-19
Like my friend would always say: “Trust God and let God be God”
After darkness comes a shining light_ this isn’t some sort of pseudo-motivation; it’s just the Truth!
yes! I see a LIGHT in the darkness! You too can!
What par(ts) resonated with you the most? What part(s) did you find helpful the most? Which of the steps above are you going to take (with courage and humility)? Drop your responses in the comment section I can’t wait to rub minds with you
PS: All images used in this post belong to pexels