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Light Breaks Through Darkness

His light broke through the darkness and he led us out in freedom from death's dark shadow and snapped every one of our chains. Psalms 107:14 (TPT)

How does this passage of Scripture impact you? What emotions does it make you feel?

As I sit here in this moment of silence, I am grateful for the Light of Christ that broke through my darkness. The Light of Christ that set me free from death's dark shadow. The Light of Christ that snapped everyone one of my chains, setting me free, never to be in bondage again.

I cannot sit in this moment and not feel overwhelmed by the love of Christ. His love was introduced to me at a small country church, where my grandmother played the piano and my grandfather strummed the guitar followed by speaking God's Word. The church was named New Hope. I was nine years old and even though Christ entered my heart and the Light of Christ, for the first time ever, shined His love upon my soul, I wouldn't understand how darkness held me captive until I reached the age of 17.

At seventeen, during one of my garden spots, I closed my eyes and Jesus walked into my imagination. I sat in this moment. I imagined myself as a 9 year old and Jesus scooped me up and sat me in His lap where I felt a love so deep. I was safe. I was seen. I was celebrated. I was secure in Him. I found myself weeping in His arms and the Light of Christ penetrated the darkness a bit deeper.

The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Psalm 18:10

At thirty, I was praying for a friend who had just been diagnosed with MS. As I wept over her, the Spirit asked me about my own need of healing. It wasn't a physical healing but an emotional, and mental healing. I immediately pushed the Spirit away and told Him I was just fine, thank you very much! But, the Spirit loves us and pursues us.

Four months later, I walked into the darkness with Jesus holding my hand. This time in my garden spot, I closed my eyes and Jesus stood beside. He was present, near to me, allowing me to express my anger as I stooped down to pick up rock after rock, angrily throwing every single one at the broken down, ugly, house that reminded me of my childhood home. Jesus allowed me to recognize and admit that darkness existed and it was the darkness that held me captive but the Light of Christ, with every tear and every rock thrown began to set me free from the shadows of the darkness.

We love because He first loved us! 1 John 4:19

At fifty five, after admitting that I still had a residue of shame and the healing I thought I had experienced was not complete, I became Brave Enough to risk change to live free. Yes, I had experienced a degree of healing and I was walking in the Light more than the darkness but the darkness still had a hold on me. Eight beautiful women joined me and the journey began.

This time in my garden spot, I imagined being a teenager. You see I was growing up but not quite the adult I needed to be. Now Jesus was turning me away from the ugly, dilapidated house I called a home and we were walking hand in hand. However, I was still looking back. My past was still informing my present and dictating my future. Darkness still had a hold on me but the Light of Christ was determined to root out every lie that darkness had planted. I became Brave Enough to walk beside Jesus as we journeyed together through the darkness.

The Lord is my light and my salvation— Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the refuge and fortress of my life— Whom shall I dread? Psalm 27:1

At sixty years of age, I was at a women's retreat. I was following the instructions of our leader. Laying flat on my back, breathing in and out ever so slowly, we were told to image Jesus walking into our space and then asked to imagine what He would say to us. I was use to imagining Jesus in this way, so this was an easy assignment; however, I had no idea what freedom followed.

Here's what happened: closing my eyes, I entered my garden spot. It was just Jesus and me, as usual. He walked up to me; I am now a grown woman. I smiled and the love exchanged between us was deep and vibrant, rich and soul touching. We turned and began to walk down the beach line, side by side enjoying one another's company. I was no longer looking back but I was enjoying the present; just being. Then I heard Him say, "It's done." I immediately knew what He meant.

... to bestow on them a crown of beauty

instead of ashes,

the oil of joy

instead of mourning,

and a garment of praise

instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,

a planting of the Lord

for the display of his splendor." Isaiah 61:3

Now I am sixty-five and I want to be on display for His glory. The Light of Christ has set me free from the bondage darkness had on me. I walk in the Light more than the darkness; however, I am fully aware that darkness surrounds me.

It can be seen in the tears shed from a sister who is walking back to her childhood home, angrily tossing the same rocks and shedding the same tears. It can be seen in the eyes that look at me but do not sparkle because they are weighted down by the lies evident in each spoken word about self. It can be seen in the body posture; slumped as if this person is carrying 1,000 pounds: they are about to succumb to the weight of their darkness.

Maybe you identify with my story.

If you are just starting the Brave Enough journey, be of good cheer. You are not alone. Jesus is walking with you, shedding His light to direct your steps. You have a community of people to stand watch with you, pray for you, and celebrate each step you take toward the Light. One day you too will find yourself strolling beside Him, knowing the past exists but doesn't hold you hostage any longer. Light will overcome the darkness once and for all!

Or, maybe you are strolling with Jesus, lit up by the Light of Christ. Free from the darkness, like me. But ... you also see darkness around you. So, what must we do?

We must help our brothers and sisters find healing and freedom from the darkness and We must tell our stories! We must be light in the darkness to a sister, or a brother, who has yet to start the Brave Enough journey because if we are not, darkness may swallow them up.

I love my Brave Enough community. I love you for risking change to live free but today, my heart while full of joy is also full of heaviness. There's so many around us who are succumbing to the darkness that is holding them captive.

Matthew 9:35-38 (ESV) "And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Let's pray and be His laborers. The harvest is plentiful; there are many people waiting for the Light to break through their darkness.