I still remember the teddy bear lamp that served as my night light when for far longer than it probably should have as a child. I was deeply afraid of the dark & refused to sleep without it.
As I got older my mom would often tell me that I needed to learn to sleep in the dark so I would get better rest. Something about the light keeping my brainwaves functioning more even while I was sleeping. As an adult I think she may have been on to something – I get better rest in the dark than in the light.
Many of us, even as we grow up, are afraid of the dark. Not the physical darkness of the night but the darkness of our world, our hearts & souls. We want to stay in the light where it’s safe & comfortable with very little mystery.
But what was true for my physical rest as a child is true for my soul’s rest as an adult. The darkness, though uncomfortable & at times even painful, is a place of necessary rest. Because in the darkness I am forced to admit that I don’t have the answers, that I’m not strong enough to find my way out on my own.
That point of surrender creates a stillness that only comes in the dark. The key is learning not to fight it trusting that from that place will come a brighter, otherwise unavailable, light.
The next time you find yourself in what feels like a starless night, welcome it as a necessary rest for your soul. Give your heart the gift of resting in it a moment holding onto the hope that it too will end.
This post was inspired by the Luminous Project. Luminous is a creative spiritual event in Nashville May 1-3, 2013. To find out more, check out luminousproject.com. You can use the promo code ‘BRINGitHERE’ to get 35% off the registration price.
What do you do with the space in between?
The space between your dreams & the perhaps not so shiny daily reality.
The seemingly large chasm between here & there.
Between what you want & what you have.
The gap between the life you were designed to live & the live you’re living.
What do you do with the space between a Kingdom that is here & not yet?
A hope that is realized & yet to come.
The gray space between the darkness & the light.
What do you do with the space in between? The kind of space that creates tension.
I think we usually do one of three things:
- Make a choice. Pick one side or the other. Simply to alleviate the tension.
- Attempt to run out of the space in a completely different direction.
- Wait. Sit in the space. Accept the tension. And wait.
Number one often leads to poor choices that we end up wishing we could hit the rewind button on at some point. The second often leads to the same thing. Before we know it the life we’re living looks nothing like the one we know we were created for.
The third option? It may be the hardest & most immediately painful of all. But, I’m convinced it’s also the most rewarding. And even more than that, the tension of the space in between may be the birth place of some of our greatest creativity.
So I encourage you to sit in the space. But don’t just sit there. Ask God to meet you in the space. Learn from it. And more importantly, fill it. Fill the space with beauty through your art. Extinguish the darkness with the light. You may just discover that the space was not as unwelcoming as you once thought…that it didn’t want you to stay anymore than you wanted to be there. And before you know it, you might look back to find that you’ve created your way out of it.
What do YOU do with the space in between?
*** This post was inspired by the Luminous Project. Luminous is an event in Nashville for creatives on May 9-11, 2012. To find out more, check out luminousproject.com. You can use the promo code ‘luminousLOVE’ to get 30% off the ticket price. ***