Periodically I will have different people guest blogging for me. God has allowed my path to cross with some amazing individuals and I want you to hear what He’s been doing in their lives. This is my friend and ministry partner, Stefanie Jeffers. Let’s Connect On Twitter: @KimTabor @StrippedFree @stefjeff1107
“I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night – but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.” Psalm 139:11-12
To many, the dark is a frightening place. Darkness blinds our eyes to that which surrounds us and hides our path from us. But for some, the darkness becomes a solitary place of existence where neither good nor evil seem to permeate; instead it seems timeless, even as days and weeks and years go by.
I once attempted to live my life in the duality of both light and dark. In the light, I was with my daughter. I was myself a daughter, an aunt, and a sister. There were times of love and laughter. But just beyond the light were the shadows of the life I lived in the dark. I would remove the cross necklace from around my neck and turn away from the light. In this dark place I was whoever someone wanted me to be. I was a stripper, a prostitute, a fantasy; I was Carmen or I was Stefanie, and in the darkness the line between the two blurred.
Why, then, did I not run towards all that was lovely and full of light? Where in the darkness did I lose so much of myself that it became home? And once you are gone, lost in the dark, how can you ever find your way home? Please understand this about me and many other women who are in similar situations all over the world…there is often comfort in the darkness. In a world without light, there is relief in the belief that you cannot be seen. In dark places, there is no more expectation placed on shoulders that can barely bear the burdens of surviving the day. If there is no expectation, there is no failure. In the dark you can fool yourself into believing that you are courageous, though fear is the major force that drives you. It becomes what you know, and there is always comfort in that which is familiar. Hope is not an option because it is always followed by disappointment.
“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79
There is, however, hope. There are moments in this ministry when this hope is received with the urgency of one who hasn’t had something to drink in years. It is so beautiful to see light begin to dawn in someone’s eyes when they realize they are loved by Jesus. There is laughter and tears, triumphs and disappointments, and love and forgiveness when we journey with a woman who chooses the Light. There are also times of great sadness when we see someone turn away from the gift of grace over and over again. Our hearts break when we see someone we love retreat back into the comfort of darkness, fearful of all that the light both promises and exposes.
And still, we will go. We have been called to be carriers of Light into dark places and we have faith in the God of the universe that nothing is impossible and no one is too far gone for His saving grace. We are learning to love like He loves; knowing that to truly love someone where they are at means sometimes watching them travel back into the darkness while still holding their hand, standing still with the ones who can’t believe, and continuing the slow journey towards Jesus with those who are ready.
“I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.” John 12:46