The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5 – NIV
The darkest night of the soul will not and cannot last forever. Regardless of what has brought on this dark night, take heart my friend, dawn is coming! I know, because I have been there too.
You are on the path toward healing. This dark season is evidence that you are doing the work and pursuing healing. The emotions that are surfacing are because you are tilling the soil, uprooting and unearthing the source of pain and suffering in your life.
Before we can arrive at healing, we must do the hard work of processing our pain. We must examine and take an honest assessment of the extent of our pain. Oftentimes this forces us to relive trauma.
It is dirty, but necessary work. This process oftentimes requires things get temporarily worse before they can get better. It can feel overwhelming, exhausting and discouraging at times. It can feel like we are sitting in a pile of ruin, but take heart my friend, we serve a very big God who is in the business of taking our ruins, our devastation and rebuilding.
God can heal our pain. God can take our brokenness and make us whole. God’s light can shine into the darkest night (John 1:5).
One of my favorite Bible passages is Isaiah 61. I have quoted it many times, and I know it is a little long, but stick with me. This passage is full of so much hope and encouragement to those who are facing the dark night of the soul:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion —
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.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
Isaiah 61:1-4 – NIV
Jesus read Isaiah 61:1-2 at the start of his ministry and declared himself the fulfillment of this passage (Luke 4:18 -21).
My friend, take heart. We serve a loving God who never wants us to stay stuck in our pain or the darkest night of the soul. He wants us to live in complete and total freedom from anything that would hinder us from living the life he has for us, a life he describes as – “to the full (John 10:10).” Jesus came so we could live and walk in healing and freedom (Galatians 5:1).
Did you know birds sing every morning before the sun rises? Scientists call this the Dawn Chorus. They sing in anticipation of the sunrise because they know and trust it is coming.
My friend this dark season will not last forever. Dawn is coming. The sun will rise.
Walk in the confidence that the sun will rise again. You will make it through this season, and you will emerge stronger, healed and even more beautiful than before. This dark night will not last forever. It is but a part of your healing journey. Press on, and just as the birds sing before the sun rises, anticipate that you too emerge from this dark night.
If you are struggling through such a season, might I suggest a few things?
1. Pour out your heart to God. Pray. Talk to God. He loves us more than we can imagine and he wants us to take all our cares and concerns to him (1 Peter 5:7).
As you pray, God may feel silent. Do not be discouraged. I recently heard something that really encouraged me – when God feels silent, it’s because he is listening.
He wants to hear from us. He knows our need to talk about what is on our heart. So, lets pour out our hearts to him.
2. Dive into God’s word. Hebrews 4:12 tells us God’s word is “alive and active.” What does that mean? It means God actively speaks through his word to us. He uses it to encourage us and to speak into our current situation.
I cannot tell you how many times I have read scripture and it spoke directly into what I was facing at that time in my life. Even familiar passages can take on completely new meaning given our current circumstances. The last time we read them we were not facing exactly what we are facing today.
3. Seek the help of others. Don’t struggle alone. Ask friends to pray for you. Get connected with a counselor. Surround yourself with a community of support who will rally, encourage and support you during this difficult season.