27 Jun Our Secrets Thrive in the Darkness
There are two types of dressing rooms in this world.
The first, my favorite type of dressing rooms, are the ones with comfy chairs and trendy wall decorations and lighting dim enough to shadow the price tag and mirrors that somehow magically make me look and feel confident in whatever I’m trying on.
Then, there are the typical department store dressing rooms with cold, hard plastic benches to set your stuff on and painfully bright lights teaming up with the mirror to expose every blemish, every mark, every inch of your body. There’s no helpful shadows or magical mysterious angles of the mirror for your flaws to hide; it’s all on display.
For a long time, I was living in the first type of dressing room and calling it community. I put myself in a comfortable atmosphere, one that didn’t require full exposure, and shared just enough with others to be considered participating, but not enough for anyone to step in and teach, warn, encourage, or challenge me.
“I put myself in a comfortable atmosphere, one that didn’t require full exposure, and shared just enough with others to be considered participating, but not enough for anyone to step in and teach, warn, encourage, or challenge me.”
Growing up in the South made this lifestyle easy. I lived in a culture where there was no pressure to be known because as long as your sin wasn’t noticeable and you put up a moral front, you were managing pretty well.
At the same time, there was no movement or life change.
It wasn’t until college that I saw real community modeled, the kind that goes not only sideways, to peers, but also stretches vertically to those in authority over me within the context of the local church. It’s the kind where people don’t just know a mistake I made in something I did or said, but rather where that handful of closest people also know the deeper heart issue that fueled that mistake.
I’ve learned that truly being known is not just “Okay, I admit I did this or said that or reacted this way.”
It’s people knowing my “deal”, my unique testimony, background, individual characteristics, and the deep root sins that will be the ones I’m constantly fighting, the driving forces behind some of my words and actions.
It’s stepping back in humility and giving others the green light to draw me back to Christ and steer me toward repentance when I’m veering off my own direction.
Truly, there is something personal and intimate and beautiful about the way we are known by God.
“I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night, but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” – Psalm 139:11-13
He handcrafted each of our beings, our minds and personalities, every inch of our bodies, both externally and the inside of us. Every quirk and talent, He designed carefully, intricately, and intentionally.
And nothing is unknown by God. No sin, no shame, nothing that we stuff farther back into the darkness as we tighten up our outward appearances and poise every piece of us that touches the light.
“Jesus didn’t die for the version of ourselves that we put on social media or display at a social event. He died for every broken, tattered, dysfunctional piece of our beings.”
More so, Jesus didn’t die for the version of ourselves that we put on social media or display at a social event. He died for every broken, tattered, dysfunctional piece of our beings.
He did this because He loved us. In that state of brokenness, in that amount of imperfection, He loved us.
There is a piece of being known and accepted and loved by the God that should free us up and motivate us to be known in the context of Biblical community.
For a while, living in my comfortable, easy version of “community” seemed fine, but certain areas of struggle for me grew and thrived in the darkness I hid it in.
Because sin thrives in the darkness but suffocates in the light.
There is a grip that Satan can’t keep on you when your sin, your struggle, your fear, is dragged out of the darkness and into the light.
The father of lies can whisper all kinds of things in your ear as long as you are managing on your own: “You got this. You don’t need to tell anyone, you don’t need anyone else to know this because you can handle it on your own. You’re fine.”
“Inviting others in is catalytic for growth because we get to experience the Gospel as weaknesses are met with grace and a love that grabs hold and draws us back to repentance.”
Rather, inviting others in is catalytic for growth because we get to experience the gospel as weaknesses are met with grace and a love that grabs hold and draws us back to repentance.
This kind of love that comes from being known pulls those weaknesses out of the darkness and into the light, creating space for the Gospel to enter in and be transformative in our souls and in our lives.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7
Audrey is a recent graduate of Clemson University and is now embarking on post-grad life in Greenville, SC. She enjoys the outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and is proud to say she finally learned to drink her coffee black. Audrey attends our Pelham Campus.