In the Shadows

I decided that I needed to do something to be more intentional about gratefulness this year.  So in January I began Joy Dares every day.    I invited five friends do this with me…I think only one of them has stuck with me.  It is difficult!!  Each day I have a topic and I am supposed to come up with three things that I am grateful for.  Sometimes the topics are easy.  Sometimes the topics are incredibly hard.  Yes, I know the goal is to show gratitude but the topics are just what I need to think outside the box.

This week, one of the topics was 3 Gifts in Shadows.  Now, before I go any further, I must backtrack a bit.

This past week, I have been at the lowest and darkest place in my life ever!  There is a situation that has robbed my joy!  It has made me feel like a complete failure.  It has created anxiety and fear like crazy.  It has made me cry buckets upon buckets of tears!  It has overwhelmed me.  This situation is so much bigger than me that I can not even begin to put my thoughts around it.  When I look at it, I see an impossible situation.  And when I think something is impossible, I want to hide!  So….now that you know a bit of where I have been…I will get back to the shadows.

After feeling the way I have felt, the fact that I could not think of three things in the shadows that I would ever want to thank God for sent me spiraling into the mode of I’m a failure.  I’m thinking spiders and bugs, dead leaves, etc.  Shadows just don’t seem like a pretty place!  So…here it goes again…”God I am a complete failure because I can’t even come up with three things on this list!!!”  In my desperation to not feel like a failure yet again, I just kept meditating, pondering, complaining, thinking, etc.  And slowly God began to help me think of things to be grateful for in the shadows.

Shadows are dark places.  I have been in an exceptionally dark place.  But a flashlight can be shined in the shadow and it is not as dark.  In my dark place, I can be grateful that I can shine God’s light into my shadow.  I know God’s truth in my head but I don’t believe these truths right now….but these promises are my light.  I am to speak them over and over and over.  God said, “One day…You will believe them in your heart.  But for right now, just speak the light of truth into this dark situation. ” Wow!  To think I thought I had nothing to thank God for in the shadows!

I pondered some more.  Two more things…surely I can do this.  And the most beautiful picture came to me.  A few weeks ago we spent some time in Chattanooga at the aquarium.  I had sat down on a bench to rest for a few minutes and to my right was this corner that was pretty dark.  Not much light and covered by shadows.  I can’t tell you how many people went into that dark corner.  Some hid and couldn’t wait for their loved ones to find them!  Some found it as refuge.  You could just see them breathe sighs for a few minutes in that dark corner.  In the shadows of my life right now, there are times that I just want others and God to find me and rescue me!  And God has sent a few people to journey with me in the shadows.  Even though it has not been fun and it has been very difficult I am so grateful for those that God sent in the darkest shadows in my life!   And as I share that dark place with others, God will then send others to join me the shadows.  Also, as I am in the shadows, I need rest.  A friend reminded me the other day of a verse from Psalm 91:1.

Lastly, I can be grateful that from the shadows you can find new perspective.  I would love to NOT be in dark places…EVER!  But even in the shadows, I am gaining new perspectives.  I looked at Zine in the middle of a huge panic attack one night and I said, God better do something big with this!!!  Sometimes in the shadows the light is brighter and if you look hard enough through the tears there might be a rainbow. I am praying that in the middle of this shadow and as I continually speak the light of truth that one day I am going to see the rainbow through the tears.


Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.