Saturday, February 24, 2018

Remember in the Dark

"Don't forget in the darkness what you learned in the light."



I first read that quote (originally by Joseph Bayly, it appears) in Circles of Seven by Bryan Davis. At least that's where I think I read it. It was so long ago that time and frequent recollection have blurred out the quote's origin. But the truth of it remains clear in my heart.


I've been grateful to live a pretty amazing twenty-two years so far. I can't say I've had a hard life; all I have to do is look around and see countless people with struggles more difficult than my own. But not one of us slips through this world unscathed. We all weather storms of varying magnitudes. I, too, have faced looming shadows and endless valleys.


And it is in the midst of the darkness that we forget.


It's easy to remember in the light. It's easy to recall the truth of who we are and the truth of the God we follow when the reminders are as warm and near as the sun shining on our faces. But when night falls, oh, how quickly we forget. We panic, groping blindly for a corner in which to hide. We cry, fear clawing up our backs. We stumble on, wandering and getting lost in the blackness. We forget so quickly that we are children of light.


But faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Did you get that? Faith is the substance and evidence of what you cannot see. It's the paradox of holding an intangible thing, of perceiving what is not immediately visible. It is real. It's not some wayward fancy. It's not a lure-less hook tossed into the sea in the mere hopes that it will catch a fish.


It is real.



When you go to bed at night and flick off the lights, does that mean your room ceases to exist because you can no longer see it? Of course not. Sight has nothing to do with the existence of a thing. It is there regardless of whether you see it or not. But it takes a steady belief to remember that when the lights go out and your eyes fail you.


Memory is a fickle thing. Is it just me, or do you ever look at something to memorize it--be it a review sheet at school or a book cover or a name or a number or a recipe--and forget it two minutes later? "What was that again?" And you go back to check. This kind of repetition is what we need in the moment we're plunged into shadows, when our minds go blank and the fear wells up. Go back and remember. What was it you learned in the light? What was it you saw and felt and knew? Isn't that true today, right now, even if you don't see it in front of you? Go back. Remember. Remember. Remember.


What was true in yesterday's sunrise is true in today's midnight. And it will still be true when the sun rises again.


I'm still standing here // No, I didn't disappear // Now the lights are on // See, I was never gone

(Never Gone by Colton Dixon)



When He feels far away, He is near, as close as He's ever been. When everything crumbles around you, there is a rock beneath your feet. When confusion clouds your mind, you will hear a voice behind you saying, "This is the way; walk in it."


"Your word is a lamp for my steps; it lights the path before me."

(Psalm 119:105)



The thing is, you can see that light if you choose to. It's on a different frequency than the physical light around you, and sometimes it takes a focused effort on your part to switch to that frequency, to see with eyes of faith. But it's there, and it's real. The unseen really is more real than what is seen.


So today, dear soul, wherever you are and however dark it may be, never ever ever EVER forget what you have learned in the light. Hold it close to your heart. That candle will erupt into a torch, and then a burning wildfire, before long.

20 comments :

  1. Oh, my love that quote and love your thoughts about it! I have been in terrible darkness. Last year was just horrid for so many ways, a huge struggle. But I tried to remind myself I'd see light again... and I've finally found it. Sometimes I remember the darkness and that scares me, but the peace I found is so much better than my fear. When darkness threatens to come back I just remember it's temporary. wow, I just love this, Tracey!

    keturahskorner.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so sorry things have been dark for you recently, Keturah! *hugs* But I'm also really, truly glad that you've rediscovered the light that was always there. Keep holding onto that peace! <3

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  2. *clutches heart* This post!

    I've always loved that quote! It's actually that very thing that hugely inspires themes in so many of my stories. Light vs. dark is my favorite thing to portray in novels. And putting my characters through great darkness and allowing them to remember that there is ALWAYS light, whether you can see it or not. I think it's such an important thing to remember.

    We will have dark days, dark seasons in life, but there are also ones filled with light, and we can't forget those. We can't forget that there IS light, always, whether we can see it right now or not.

    I loved how you quoted Hebrew 11:1: "But faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." YES. That is one of my favorite versus. It's so powerful. It strikes me hard every time I read it. Faith is HOPE, it's evidence of things we may not be able to see, but it's THERE. And it is beautiful.

    I could go on and on because this is a subject I'm so passionate about it, but you said it all. Thank you for this! <333

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    1. Oh, I can see the reflection of that quote in your stories, girl! Burning Thorns (being the only full-length work of yours that I've read) had SUCH a beautiful rendition of that theme. And it's so important for us as writers not to flinch away from that darkness, but to brave it and take God's light into it. ^_^

      So true. In the middle of those dark days, it's easy to get discouraged and to decide that that's it, things aren't going to get better. But there are always brighter days ahead!

      It's one of my favorites too! (That whole chapter is so good.) Faith is about seeing the end from the beginning, and being okay with not knowing the middle.

      *hugs* Thank you, Christine! I'm so glad it touched you!

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  3. This post, Tracey!! This made my day so much brighter! I've been in a bit of a rough patch these past few weeks, but this reminder, to never forget, to remember, it gives me peace, and hope. Like, even in the dark times, not everything is dark. Thank you for reminding me. <333

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad, Maddie! <3 Sorry to hear you've been having a rough couple of weeks. *hugs* It's funny, I was about to say that my last couple of months have been rough too, but then I remembered all the beautiful, bright spots sprinkled throughout. There's always some light to be found. Praying it starts looking up for you!

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  4. This is beautiful, Tracey. Just. Utterly beautiful. "What was true in yesterday's sunrise is true in today's midnight. And it will still be true when the sun rises again." That was poetry, my dear. I think I must needs memorize that.

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    1. You're such a dear, Megan! Thank you! I would be honored. <3

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  5. Love this post. And I'm sure you did read "Don't forget in the darkness what you learned in the light" in one of Bryan's books. He's been speaking that truth to me ever since I met him almost 39 years ago (although he usually says "don't doubt in the darkness"). Thanks for the reminder, Tracey. You have a gift for writing. I also love "What was true in yesterday's sunrise is true in today's midnight. And it will still be true when the sun rises again." Blessings to you, friend.

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    1. It's so wonderful that he keeps reminding you of that truth. Your relationship is a testament to what a godly marriage looks like. (Right, that was the correct wording! I remember now.)

      Oh, I'd send you a hug if I could! You're such an encouragement--thank you!

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  6. By the way, Bryan is teaching at the Florida Christian Writer's Conference right now, and he told me there is a teen writer there whose writing reminds him of yours. It is lyrical and flows beautifully. He awarded this person the "Teen Writer of the Year" (for the conference, of course) award last night.

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    1. Really? Well, my day is officially made! That's so kind of him to say, and I wish that teen writer all the best. :D

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  7. This is a really good point. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Tori! I'm glad it was encouraging.

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  8. Have you seen The Last Jedi? "Hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you can see it, you'll never make it through the night." -Princess Leia
    This was beautiful. I loved how much Scripture you included! The verse in Isaiah about hearing the voice behind you is one of my favorites. <3

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    1. Not yet! (I've seen The Force Awakens and Rogue One so far, that's it. *sniffle*) That's a beautiful quote, though. Thanks for sharing it!

      Oh, that one is a huge favorite of mine as well. I like having everything planned out, so when the future is uncertain, that verse comforts me. ^_^

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  9. Lovely post, Tracey! Really needed the reminder!

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    1. Thanks, Skye! You'll get through this! <3

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