BREAKING THE DARKNESS
When I was a child I used to have a recurring nightmare about a giant black ball rushing towards me as it fell. I would sometimes wake up screaming in fear and shaking in my bed. I guess that was a little “normal” for a kid like me since I grew up in such a violent and unstable home. To this day I have not found a single picture of me smiling as a child. My whole world was filled with darkness and sorrow.
My first suicide attempt came in my junior year of high school.
I had my heart broken and thought that the only way out of that pain was to use the ultimate anesthesia: death.
I survived that first attempt and made it into my first year of college. There, two of my classmates invited me to a bible study. For some strange reason that I can only attribute to the sovereign grace of God, I agreed to go.
As I listened to the person sharing, what struck me most in the booklet she was reading was the phrase…
“Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”
That was part of the prayer. In that moment, I felt keenly aware that my life was not what God had intended for it to be – I was constantly depressed and ached to have light in my life.
On that day (July 29, 1982), a measure of “Sonshine” came into my life. Through the years, several people led me in bible studies and I underwent numerous counseling sessions, this sliver of Light began to expand and permeate other emotional and spiritual areas of my life. Slowly, my true self, my sanguine personality began to emerge and became the more overriding emotion in my days. One of the greatest blessings in my life was my husband’s unprompted decision to start calling me sunshine!
Sure, there are still days when a cloud descends on me and I find myself emotionally shuffling my feet. But those days are increasingly few and far between now. I have found a steadfast group of friends who have journeyed with me and who help fan the flame of that Light in my heart and life.
I take much courage from the words in 1 John 1:5, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
Germaine Santos-Cochran was a 26-year full-time staff with Philippine Campus Crusade for Christ. She is currently figuring out what it means to be a full-time wife in a foreign country.