“Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light” -Brene Brown 

As a child I navigated daylight with a certain clarity and sass.  There are stories circulated in my family of a mini me with classic cut bangs popular with children of the 90’s making friends with just about everyone and anyone.  Complete strangers became friends and words came out of my mouth as fast as I thought them.   Faith came easy to me in this season and I received Jesus as wholeheartedly and simply as the strangers I’d meet.  The light of the gospel preached to me every Sunday with my family was truth to me and it was all I knew.

When I turned thirteen, a turning point came when for the first time at school: I heard a different gospel then I’d come to believe as a child.  For the first time I was left feeling uncertain of my salvation and questioning whether I had been simply naïve to believe the concept of a ‘free gift’.   These thoughts began what would become a year-long battle with the night.  Darkness from that point on brought a fear in me that I had never experienced before.  Sleep eluded me as I hid myself in anxiety and fear searching for glimpses of daylight to emerge from my window.  Gone was the child of simple faith and in its place a four- foot teenager who was scared of the dark.

While I eventually grew out of the insomnia of my teenage years, I carried into my university years a shard of fear like shrapnel from a war.  Fear of the night had morphed and shaped itself into a subconscious avoidance of all things dark and heavy.   The gospel I carried shone in the brightest of places but grew strangely dim among the strange and unfamiliar.  I avoided unchartered territories of people and places, choosing instead to hide away in the known and shallow.

University itself however, was unchartered territory and while I could control the areas I entered, I could no longer lock the doors of my world to the realities of what was going on around me.  As I became exposed to issues of human trafficking and poverty, I felt a stirring in my heart that I had been stifling for a long time.  Instead of fear however, this time I felt an undeniable draw.  It would seem that all the years since thirteen, the Lord had been preparing my heart for a time when I would need to conquer the fear in me and face the night.  To face the realities of the fear in me, and the realities of the world around me required an undeniable courage: the courage to step into the dark.

And so the time came when in one giant leap, the bold one in me that I saw as a child emerged and I challenged the God I knew to show me who He really was and to take my fear and to turn it into something new.  These series of choices led to a trip to Southeast Asia on a mission to walk where Jesus would’ve walked.  It was a trip that would change my life and shape the woman I’ve become.  But looking back, despite the stories I could tell of the lives we met and the places our feet took us, what I remember most was the realization I had.

When I chose to face my fears and enter some of the spiritually darkest parts of the world, something miraculous and wonderful happened: I was no longer afraid.  For the first time I knew the reality of the light within me being greater than the darkness around me.   

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”
John 1:5

 

Writer’s Bio:
Rebecca Young is an aspiring writer, entrepreneur, dreamer, and all around adventurer.  Her past life has been working with women in recovery and her future life is an open book.   Blog: http://urloveismazing.tumblr.com