“When Jesus spoke again to the people he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
I was 18 years old, and every day it stormed. Where is it that the sun doesn’t rise and its darkness for 6 months? Alaska? Or is that a myth? Well, regardless, between the months of September 2013 and May 2014, the sun never rose in little small town Arkansas. I mean, the sun did rise, I am sure the brightly colored trees danced as the birds sang, but if it did, I don’t remember. Because everyday it stormed, at least to me.
I call this period of my life the “Miley Cyrus Effect” because just like one little flutter of a butterfly’s wing can affect the tide half the world over, I swear my life started to change after Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz” album was released. Of course, it is completely illogical to place blame on Miley Cyrus for my life turning into sin city: the unrated/uncut version. That just happens to be where I place my story beginning, and it seemed every song on that album titled every stop on my timeline. And just like the entire United States sat in shock, shaking their heads wondering how she went from 2012 Miley to this 2014 VMA performance that had us all talking until, well, today, I too found myself in my very own 2014 VMA performance. Luckily for me, the only audience was my mama and Jesus, and mama and Jesus can love you through everything.
In May 2014, every bad relationship I had formed in the last 9 months had just exploded like the ticking time bombs, that even I knew, they were. I was laying in bed that night, my heart wondering how I would ever recover from this. I’m not talking about the relationships I had just lost, because those were relationships God never intended me to form. I was heartbroken I had reached this point, I had became this girl whose soul I did not recognize and man, I missed the girl who was smarter than this. I missed the girl who was kinder than this. Prior to this time in my life I had never once questioned God’s love, but that night….”There’s no way God will love me now.”
Then, I cried.
I cried and cried and couldn’t stop crying because all I wanted was to turn to God in prayer but that voice in my head told me I wasn’t allowed. I was unwelcome. This is the part where God jumps in and goes, in the words of my niece Kolleen, “I Still love you, I’m just a little mad at you.”
“Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Return to Me,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘That I may return to you.” says the LORD” Zechariah 1:3
“If You return to the Almighty, you will be restored; If you remove unrighteousness far from your tent.” Job 22:23
I left small town Arkansas two weeks later, found myself here in small town Texas. Although I have stumbled yet again here and there, I have been blessed beyond measure. Even after I had left I had never really understood the gravity of my situation. It has taken me three years. I have no memory of a sunny day. I have no memories of laughter, or joy during that time period. I had become so consumed with sin that my life was so dark, and I was so blind and I HAD NO IDEA. All I knew was that my anxiety was through the roof and thank goodness my mama is smarter than me and intervened. She knew who and what would bring me harm and she fought me kicking and screaming to make sure I was not dragged away by my own sin. I couldn’t love myself for a while after that, but my mama loved me. Jesus loved me.
I was 18 and was brought down so deep by a few mean people and a little bit of lust, so my heart aches for anyone who has experienced worse. My heart aches for you if you are currently so engulfed in your sin. I know right now everything may seem okay to you, there is no problem associated with your sin, but it is all cause and effect. It is just a tidal wave waiting to drop. I’m sorry if your days are dark, your evenings stormy but if presented that chance to turn away from all of that and towards God, I HIGHLY recommend it.
“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7:9
Do you recall your darkest times? How did God help you through it? Leave a comment below and let me know!