My Dear Friend,
Is it you? Are you struggling this season. Do you wonder if these carols and words of hope for a new year could ever possibly be meant for you? Can you recognize a joy in others’ eyes, but cannot find it in your own? Do you feel a longing, a broken, unmended space? Do the people closest to you even know how sad you are?
Or maybe you’ve been numbed by life. You just don’t feel any more. You aren’t sure which way is up and you don’t really care. You’ve lost your wonder, you aren’t sure where to find the passion that once filled your heart.
But deep inside there is a minuscule spark, a speck of light. It sits waiting to be fanned into a flame. Inside that ember sits the joy you once knew, the love you have for your child no longer on earth, the hope you had before your marriage crumbled, the drive you had before you lost that job or watched your creations fall to pieces. The plans you made before you got sick and time became borrowed. Before life became unkind and merciless. In that small spark sits the dreams you once believed in, the plans you made. That speck of light still lives in you.
Though your story feels broken and unworthy.
Though your heart feels trampled upon.
Though life has been cruel and unrelenting.
That spark lives.
It lives in you.
It’s calling to you, “remember me, see me, fan me, I’m here, I’m part of you.”
This season has a way of magnifying our deep pains, and great longings. It has a way of making us feel like we are on the outside. While everyone else is singing and gift-giving, we can easily feel cast aside, since our hearts cannot fully participate in this season.
You see, it is in these spaces of deep emptiness, of arid dryness, that new life can come. With just one spark. You cannot see what that looks like right now. You cannot feel it, or sense it, but I promise you it is there. I only tell you this because I have walked this path.
Let your deepest darkness be a space for light and life to be born.
Will it be easy? No, I’m sorry I cannot say it will. Will it be quick? Unfortunately, it won’t. Will it feel good along the way? Not always, you will have to find your footing like you do when climbing a mountain.
So why do all this work?
Because when the ember becomes a flame and then a raging fire you will be enveloped in that warmth. You will be consumed by the fire. You will be undeniable. You will walk in grace and be fueled by love.
So many people ignore this ember. They refuse to see this spark. Instead they fan their sadness with fury, their brokenness with unkindness. They inflict their bitterness and hatred on the world. And this is why we have so much anger and hurt in our world. Because people don’t know what to do with their pain.
Saying yes to growth, to walking through, to seeing anew is exponentially harder. It’s a steeper climb, a longer swim, more rugged terrain. But the payoffs are worth it.
You are worth it.
I’m not suggesting you ignore you sad heart. On the contrary, I want you to feel it, to taste it, to cry those tears, to feel all that you feel. But I also want you to sense that ember burning in you. I don’t want you to forget it is there.
As we approach a new year, if you allow yourself nothing else, sense the warmth inside of you. See that small light. Let it grow and expand, ever so slightly.
Your pain and loss are the birthplaces of those fires.
They are the catalyst to growth, to creation, to rising.
The world needs you to rise. The world needs to see what darkness to light looks like. Now more than ever it needs models of love, of transformation. Reaccaquanit yourself with that light, with that spark within you. Take your sadness, your hopes deferred, your disappointment, and fan that energy into a flame. A flame of goodness, of love, of service to others, of gratitude, of passion for creating change in this world.
You see, it’s often those who have been to depths, who have crawled out of the muck, of the most rank space, that can rise and create the most beauty.
Be that person.
Be that light.
The world needs your light.