Over the weekend, my roommate attempted to spray paint our kitchen table chairs. We carried four solid wood chairs down a flight of stairs and set them on a piece of cardboard in the grass outside of our apartment. We proceeded to spray paint them red. It was a DIY nightmare. The spray paint ran and did not cover the chairs evenly. The red was too bright and did not dry well.
She and I stood there and laughed at the failure of what we thought would be an easy afternoon project. The afternoon light showed every imperfection in our failed DIY attempt. I told her, through the giggles, “Maybe if we move the chairs into the apartment, the darkness will hide just how badly they look.”
Some days and even some seasons, I feel a pull towards the darkness. In the darkness, I cannot see the flaws in my beliefs, my actions or my thoughts. I can hide my imperfections and ultimately, myself, which makes it so appealing. My greatest fears and sin struggles can lurk about in the darkness without me having to face them. They’re still real, it’s just that in the darkness, I can’t see them; I can trick myself into believing that they don’t exist. In the darkness, I simply wander about in an abyss of nothingness. There can be comfort in hiding there. I do not have to address my sin or experience shame in the darkness. The deepest, darkest parts of my soul remain hidden from the world.
But God did not intend for His children to live in the darkness.
In the beginning, God created light and declared that light was good. He separated light from darkness. From the nothingness, He created something. Once the light was created, God went on to create plants, animals and mankind. He finished creating by inviting His children into the light (Genesis 1).
Life in the light is terrifying. In the light, my botched attempts at fixing things my way are revealed, and I am forced to acknowledge the darkness of my own soul. I cannot fix myself and there is no place to run. All attempts to hide myself in the light are futile before a God who created the light.
The temptation to run back into the safety of darkness is oh so alluring. No one knows there just how messed up I am. “I can hide here forever,” my soul whispers.
And then, through the darkness, God cries out, “Come follow me, Beloved, I will show you the way. Come live in the light with me, Child, you’ll like it better here. It is harder to live out here in the light, but so much more beautiful.”
My soul cries back, “But in the light, they’ll see me.”
The Creator responds, “You have to be seen to be known and to be loved. It’s time to come out of hiding, Loved One. I want to see you, I want to know you, I want to love you. Follow me. Follow me to live in the light.”
And I follow the voice leading me into the light. The voice assuring me that the light is good and that He is good. Sometimes, if I’m not careful, I find myself wanting to find a shadow to hide from the darkness of my own soul. I want to cover up the imperfections that the light reveals, the brokenness, the scars and the failures. Then the voice cries out confidently, “I see you, I know you and I love you; there’s no need to hide.”Leave a Comment
God’s timing is impeccable. Last night I was reading and realizing that I was hiding, not keeping my eyes on Jesus. This very morning my prayer was that I am done hiding. I want to be out in the light with Him. What an encouragement your post is right when I needed it!
Caitlin Snyder says
I’m glad this was an encouragement to you! It’s a constant battle — light or darkness, which will I choose? Oh how I want to live in the light, but it’s scary!
Mary Carver says
Caitlin, this is beautiful. You’re right – living in the Light is so hard when we feel so human, but it’s worth it. So worth it. Thank you for writing your story!
Thank you, I so needed this. I am hiding-I am not sure if I am being honest with myself. I am not sure where I am going. I am hurt and I don’t know what to do with the hurt. But I am trying to trust-trust that the one who loves me will carry me through.this is a season of darkness and I am trying to find the light.
This article brought me tears as I realized how much I hide in the dark. Thanks so much. I can see the light more clearly now.
This was so wonderful! I feel like this semester has gotten so hard that Ive slowly but surly kind of crept into the darkness. It’s so hard to just give up that control and know He has such an amazing plan- much better than anything I could ever piece together on my own. Thank you for this!
Oh how I needed this. I want to hide away, hide from my pain–both physical and emotional–hide from my past, hide from my failures, …..thank you for reminding me to have courage and faith and that He loves us as we are.
Sarah Coleman says
There are treasures of darkness the Lord longs to give (Is 45:3). Perhaps the treasure is you? Good word, Caitlin.
Beautiful. Just beautiful. What a loving God we serve. Caitlin, thank you for the reminder of just how much He loves and cares for us.
Caitlin, a wonderfully written piece!
Spoke to me in such a real way, defiantly perfect timing for what I am going through.. Thank you!
Penny D. says
I can’t seem to find my way out of the darkness.
So needed this today after feeling shame all weekend. So hard doing it on my own. But HE calls me and I am weary of doing this journey without anyone. Yet church is not always welcoming to me. All I need is Him but it is hard.
So needed this today after feeling shame all weekend. So hard doing it on my own. But HE calls me and I am weary of doing this journey without anyone. Yet church is not always welcoming to me.
What a beautiful and encouraging reminder, Caitlin! Thank you for sharing your heart in such an open, honest, and vulnerable way. My husband and I have been separated for 8 months, and this season of incredible testing and difficulty has allowed me to (re)learn what it means to live free in the light of the Lord’s goodness and love…it’s amazing! But my heart breaks for my husband as he continues to seek (false) comfort in the shadows and lives in confusion and torment. May the light and love of the Father reveal the areas of deception in his heart and bring him to the place of repentance and restoration.