Blessings in the Darkness

I have been blessed.  I have been (and still am) surrounded by amazing brothers and sisters of faith.  I have a beautiful family that stretches across the nation and spans the oceans.  I have a roof over my head and food to sustain me.  I am blessed.  I have always been blessed.

But there have been times when I have been blind to those blessings.  There have been times of great darkness in which I could not (or refused to) see the blessings that had been laid at my feet.

All of us struggle at times.  Nobody ever claimed that this was easy.  Following in the footsteps of God is one of the hardest things to do.  Many times we find ourselves the lone light in the darkness only because we have closed our eyes in fear.

Looking back I can see the blessings in the darkness, but at the time all I could seem to do is try to hide from my own darkness.  It was never a darkness that surrounded me, but the darkness of my own heart, thoughts and fears.  A darkness within that consumed.

Recently a number of individuals have come forward to thank me for things I have forgotten that I did.  I never meant to lead, but I was leading others nonetheless.  I never planned on changing peoples lives, but God placed me where I was in the darkness to allow others to stumble upon me and recognize something different about me.  I was floundering in the darkness, blinded by closed eyes.

In the darkness, I was blessed by the gentle hands that reached out to guide me.  I was blessed through the conversations.  Through people who sat and listened.  By the bruises and scrapes that forced me to open my eyes so that I could see where I was going.  By the fear.

I used to try to run away from the darkness, but now I realize that it is a part of who I am.  I have been blessed by the darkness, even if I couldn’t realize it then.

God is funny like that.  He uses us in our weakest moments to teach us what it is to be strong.  He finds us in our struggles so that we learn to turn to Him for strength.  It’s just the way He is.  And I am thankful for that.

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