Is it just me, or does it seem like it's harder than usual to move forward with hope into the new year? 2020 was weird, and recent events in our country make me feel anxious about what calamity will be around the next corner. Then, add grief to that uneasy feeling, and everything feels so dark. What hope do I have against all the darkness? I just want to bury my head into the sand.
My friend Kristi is a rock star. She is the founder of GroupFit Studio, a Health & Wellness website (https://groupfit.studio/page/blog). She is strong, physically, and emotionally. Her smile and energy are contagious - that is what draws others to her. But, 2020 hit her hard when her dad, her "person" passed away, and the grief threatened to swallow her. This is how she described it, "It was like being on a speeding train zipping around curves and downward hills. Desperation, anticipation, recklessness, exhaustion, depression, hope, hopelessness, fear anxiety, anger, denial... the roller coaster of emotions was and continues to be overwhelming".
Kristi has chosen to courageously move forward in the darkness of her grief. Her passion for helping others live healthy, victorious lives drives her to take the next step. She encouraged me to do the same when she recently posted the following:
"Grief can feel like a dark cloud smothering you like a weight pressing into your chest, blocking all energy, breath, and emotion.
Life may feel like dark clouds, bringing dramatic storms.
Yet I find my shelter. My breath. My courage. In a promise.
The promise becomes my umbrella. The promise becomes the wind that blows the storm away. The promise becomes the sunshine that brightens the dark, dreary skies.
Because I know that promise, I rise up. I move forward. The gift of that promise I have in Jesus is how, today, I chose to breathe again, to move again, to find beauty and joy through grief and sorrow."
Kristi has chosen to be light. We are called to be light in this dark world.
Matthew 5:14-16 says:
"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Friends, I know it feels overwhelming, but I encourage you to choose to take the next step. Choose to bring light into this dark world by moving forward. How that looks can vary, depending on your circumstance. Maybe it is choosing to get out of bed and living well to honor your loved one's memory. Or it maybe it's extending kindness to the one who has been rude to you in the checkout line. Whatever it is, I just know the world needs us to be light. You may not notice a difference right away, but little by little the light will overwhelm the darkness.
Margaret Feinberg says it this way:
"Sometimes you have to poke holes in the darkness until it bleeds light."