I was thinking about the many tragic events occurring nearly weekly in our nation. Shootings, raging fires, hurricanes, sudden trauma coming out of nowhere, and the death of loved ones. The hopelessness it produces is staggering. How does one prepare for devastating trauma? How does anyone get ready for the unexpected invading his or her life? And what about the family? A mother? A wife? A husband? A child?
Trauma comes in all sizes and shapes. A year ago, I was in a lot of pain. Emotional pain which required a complete overhaul of my life. This was so extremely difficult that I hardly knew what to do with myself. My emotions were all over the place. I had a massage, and I cried all the way through it. I went shopping with girlfriends and laughed inappropriately at the most inane things. I was in the dark night of the soul, and my heart ached.
A few short weeks after what I believe was the most severe trauma of my life, I began to confront the pain with my voice. Alone in the dark of night, a small, weak voice emerged: I will get through this. I am going to make it. I have hope, and I have a future.
I barely believed it myself. But I said it anyway. Over the following weeks, the voice got stronger and stronger. Even today, I continue to feel the effects of the dark night of the soul. Maybe they are after effects. I am not sure. But my overall posture has remained: hope, future, incredible fun, falling back into God’s arms, and risk.
It’s hard to stop smiling. 🙂
Many are right now going through the Dark Night of the Soul. I can tell you as a woman of faith what I have learned and prayerfully give you insight into the process. The Dark night of the soul has four stages:
- The Bulldozer Stage – Everything is leveled.
- Devastation Stage – You are in limbo.
- The Midnight Hour – The greatest intensity of darkness.
- The Voice of Transformation – Your voice brings you into the new day.
The stage I want to focus on is the last stage, The Voice of Transformation. You have a life-changing choice to make: Move forward, go backwards, or simply stay paralyzed in the now. I believe the only way out of the Dark Night is through your own voice.
You alone determine if you are going to step into your future. You alone choose hope. You alone take a purposeful stance. It is available to you. And, yes, I chose to agree with God. You may not believe in God, but He is the one you run into during the dark night. I repeated what He states about me in the old and new testaments. I spoke everything out loud. When you speak out loud, everything within you starts to line up with your words. My voice was quiet, frail voice in the beginning that soon grew stronger and stronger. It is The Voice of Transformation.
What kinds of things did I say? I said:
- I have hope and I have a future.
- I will get through this.
- I am going to make it.
- I trust You, Lord.
I know all of this is a lot to take in. Our hearts are so tender and pain can be so unspeakably deep. I would like to close by speaking a blessing over you.
Lord, I ask that Your peace rest upon the one reading my story. I speak wisdom and revelation is imparted to them and a deep stirring inside to really KNOW You—that Your presence would be felt in tangible ways. And in the midst of pain that they would know Your compassion and extravagant love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Living in His Favor,
Below you can read more on the stages.
The Bulldozer Stage. This is where things, places, people as we have known are completely leveled. Bulldozed. Flattened. That which we have loved and known is no longer there or certainly not the way it used to be. In the old testament, Joseph experienced the bulldozer stage when he was forcefully and traumatically removed from his homeland.
The Devastation Stage. Here you do not understand what has happened, is happening, and what your future holds. Here, you are in limbo. Now, Joseph is no longer the favored son and is sold by his brothers into slavery.
The Midnight Hour. You enter into deep darkness. It is the greatest intensity of darkness. It is when Jesus cried out, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” You have been totally emptied. Who you are has been shattered. You do not really know who you are and where you are. You are dying to self. There is no place to run. If you choose Him—you’ve got God. In your complete helplessness, you choose to trust God. He is all you’ve got. In this stage, you faith becomes the strongest. Dross is burned off as you go through the fire. Pure gold begins to rise to the surface.