“At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God’s hand until we learn to hear Him…Watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet…When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.” ~Oswald Chambers
I have been reading In This Mountain, the seventh book in Jan Karon’s Mitford series, and read this quote last night. Side note: the Mitford series is fantastic! It is such an encouraging and faith-lifting read that I would highly recommend it to someone wanting an interesting story filled with hope and faith in the midst of the ups and downs of life. I also love that it’s set in North Carolina (NC State grad)!
At my Discipleship group yesterday morning we took turns sharing parts of our stories. After the fact, I wished I had expanded more on my struggle with loneliness and feeling disconnected the past few years. I consoled myself with the thought that I am working through my experience more as I work on my current book idea (about loneliness in motherhood).
Thinking through the quote I realized that I often feel the desire to write about the things I have struggled with in the hope that it will encourage others. It’s where both of my book ideas have come from. I had some rough times in college as I tried to make my faith my own and figure out how it looked lived out in my everyday life. I wish I had received more guidance in growing my relationship with Christ in order to perhaps have avoided some of my heartache in college. I have seen God bring good things from it, including a deeper knowledge of Him and His love for me. It also led to my first book.
My most recent low point, which was last fall, has birthed my desire to share my experience and hopefully encourage others who might be dealing with loneliness or feeling disconnected from community. I’m not completely out of the woods yet, but I have experienced God’s faithfulness and drawn closer to him through the struggle. Writing helps me to process my experiences and gain a better understanding of God’s presence and provision in my life.
It was encouraging to me to be reminded through Mr. Chambers’ quote that there is purpose even in, and possibly most especially in, our trials. I probably could do a better job of keeping my mouth shut during the darkness, though.