I’ve been in the dark for far too long now. I used to be afraid of the shadows that followed me, but now I barely take notice as they hover. The weights that once tore and bruised my shackled body have become an accepted extension of me. Once my heart ached from the brutality of this place, but now it is broken—bare, dry, cracked, and soiled. It lays quietly in my chest—beating just enough to keep us alive. Just enough to endure. These thoughts that plague me all day long, that taunt and mock me by whispering stinging lies in my ear, consume my mind. There is no peace here. There is only a racking, piercing, erosion of the soul. I have tried to escape—tried many times—all without avail. My eyes peer up towards the sun but its rays are lost to me now. The coldness descends. My capture lurks and slithers around me as I sink further and further into hopelessness. He caresses his hands and grins triumphantly as the scent of defeat fills his nostrils. He, this proclaimed liar—“father of lies”—has lured me here through insecurities and fears. Now he waits patiently for his victory.
There was a time when I wasn’t caught here. When the warmth of the sun played across my face. When the water I drank was cool and quenching. When the sounds in my ears were revelations of love and goodness. When my lips opened freely and yearned to emit sounds of praise and honor. A time when I felt wanted and needed—when I felt like a daughter.
A sudden instance—a twist of fate down a crooked road—pushed me onto a path I was not destined to tread. Although it was rocky at first I managed to keep my bearings—stumbling along as the light got dimmer and dimmer. Until suddenly one day I found myself here—in the darkness.
I try to recall if I heard the calls of light shouting after me to turn ‘round. Come back. But how could I hear the calls of a gentle voice when the one shouting in my mind was so strong and coaxing? Every step I took was of my own choosing after that. I leaned in closer to the sound of that anxious voice and held tightly to its hand—until that day its hand became a cuff. A cuff wound tightly ‘round my wrist anchoring me to the dark.
At times I imagine I am hearing faint calls of the light. Feel a small warmth attempt to spread its self across my withering soul, but then he comes and says it’s not here for me. What would the light want with a thing so wrapped in the dark? My soul gives a small flutter. A still small voice calls out in my mind “lies.” Remember what the light feels like, it says. Come back to the light. You are weak now—so very weak—but you must try.
Surely I will fail. Like all other attempts before. Surely I will not make it out of this blackness.
Try, it says again.
If you fail, it says, keep trying. Try until you see the light again. For its there—just a little further ahead—He is there. He is calling out to you. Can you not hear Him? His voice is strong and patient. It is aching for you to return. He has given you the saving grace you need to return. Accept it. Unhook your fetters and release yourself. He cannot force you. You must be willing and wanting. Do you thirst for release? Do you hunger for the peace? Do you long to stand before Him again—pure and clean? You must choose, it says. You must choose to turn--to deny, to leave--this place of self-pity, defeat, and condemning self-worth. Choose to walk away from it. Take up your weapons—see how the liar cowers before you when you speak the Truth. See how he clamors to create more doubt so you will stay? Fight back. Look ahead. See His eyes—the light—upon you longingly waiting with out stretched hands. Hear His words of promise—“I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”—take them. Embrace them. They are yours.
The darkness will keep you from the promise, it says.
I stir again.
The liar circles me like a lion does his prey. I feel his dark eyes boring into me—willing me to stay and suffer. My eyes blink hopefully for the first sign of light.
I find my knees and I rest upon them, head bowed.
I seek for the silence. For my true heart.
I will fight to see the light again.
To hear Him say my name—in the warmth of the light.
I will choose to not believe and accept the lies being spun inside my mind. I will fight back against the darkness and feed it no longer.
It is time, I hear Him say. It is time you came back to the Light. Pick up your grace and walk freely. Come, stand before Me. I will make you clean.
Stay, the liar commands as the weight of the dark presses down on me.
Come. Choose, He calls from the light.
I take a deep breath and fill my hollow lungs…..