Memories of childhood take me back to a time where shame and sadness would pour out of me—drenched in tears I would sit on my Papi’s lap. His soothing words, “Que te pasa hijita?” (What’s wrong little one?) would draw out an even deeper level of grief and sorrow. Oh, the drama of it all! It wasn’t pretty.
I smile at the simplicity of my hurts then—yet the felt pain was as real then as it has been on a number of occasions in my adult life. I trusted my Dad. He had a way of creating a safe space for me to share. Never a pushover, a man of integrity, he encouraged me to learn the life lessons and move on.
This was not the same relationship I had with my Mom. Always in a hurry—her advice was more of, “Dry your tears. Snap out of it!” method. Pretty much equivalent to “Put your big girl panties on and deal with it!”
I learned quickly who to take my troubles to. I also learned how to bury the ones I felt were unforgivable. Never wanting to disappoint my Dad—I would keep those in darkness. That dark place was fertile ground and the darkness became my hiding place. Many wrong decisions were birthed there, until that day when light overcame the darkness.
Out of the Darkness and Into the Light
It took the deepest of hurts to take me to that place of surrender—the end of myself. In my early 40s believing that I had nothing left to lose, I shared my uglies with God, “God if you are real, you best show up for me now!” Without knowing it, I was laying my burdens down at His feet. My hand in His… I’ve been walking with my Jesus ever since.
“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis,” says Matthew 11:28 TPT.
Moving Beyond Your Now What
In a recent article, I offered suggestions on how to move beyond those difficult life moments while you are still in them. This tip came to mind today:
“Surround yourself with encouragers and those that will speak truth into your life. Who can you be real with? Who gets you? Let go of naysayers and embrace those on the same growth path. Welcome fresh new perspectives.”
Said another way… Share your uglies. You know what I’m talking about. Share those thoughts you keep draped in darkness. As soon as you do, they are out of the darkness and exposed into the light.
John 1:5 says, “The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it].”
How does this work? Share your burdens with your Jesus, He is the Light, go there first. For me, on my initial journey, He was all I had. Over time He brought me spiritual mentors and teachers that I could trust. God encourages us to carry each other’s burdens. In Galatians 6:2 we find, “Carry one another’s burdens and in this way, you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love].” I’m guessing He knew we would need all the help and encouragement we could get to navigate our life story.
As a child, I was able to discern which one of my parents I could talk to. As an adult, I’ve learned that as well. I encourage you to invest the time to find someone you can trust—who will listen, who shares your same values, who will speak the truth in love.
This week I found myself on both ends of sharing each other’s burdens. On the listening end, I was able to hold someone else’s shame and sorrow in my heart and in my prayers. As she released it, there was a definite change in her… eyes brighter, hint of a smile, and the conversation turned to possibilities and back to Jesus—exploring what He has to say about her circumstance.
On the receiving end, I shared with two of my prayer partners. Covered in a blanket of peace, I was challenged to take action toward God’s next steps for me. I had been stuck in that dark place of indecision and doubt. No more! As they gave me the time and space to share, my next steps became clear to me. I was able to let go of some things that were a distraction thereby making room for what is His best for me right now. Freedom to be me! What a concept!
When we share our uglies—our burdens—with the right person it will always point back to Jesus. Ask God to show you who you can trust and then do that. Trust Him and trust the one He leads you to.
Darkness Be Gone
Don’t hide in your darkness. There is nothing too big or too ugly for our God. In this season of unrest—cray cray actually—it may be difficult to keep our hearts and minds pure. Let’s keep communicating. There isn’t one of us who has all the answers but together we can pray for God’s answer to every circumstance. This season is not for sissies. In Joshua 1:9 we are commanded not to fear (God’s serious about this), to be strong and courageous because God is with us wherever we go. Go then. God’s got this.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez