If you know much about my story, you’ll have heard me mention how hard the first few years of marriage were for Shay and I. I actually go into a lot of detail about it in my interview with Shay from the first season if you haven’t listened… Anyway, it wasn’t exactly an easy time. I felt like I had somehow been thrown into a city and a life I never asked for. Coupled with a husband who was gone over 250 days the first year and a newborn… I was doing all I could to keep my head above water and just survive. Marriage, in the early years, is its own transition.. You’re learning the deepest parts of your spouse. Seeing them from every side; the good, the bad, and the ugly. You’re trying to figure out how to live together. How to communicate with each other. And honestly, sometimes you’re wondering who the heck you just signed up to spend the rest of your life with! If you’re married.. you probably remember.. and if you aren’t married yet, just remember that its a growing season.
Anyway, part of the struggle I lived with was this: What am I doing here? I remember long walks on the phone with my sister-in-law, Erica. She was so patient as I spent minutes reflecting on my circumstances and my feelings. I had a LOT of time to think. A lot of time to consider this foreign new place I found myself in. And that’s really how it felt to me..foreign. At some point I stopped talking long enough for Erica to say something I’ll never forget. She told me, “Maybe you’re there to be a light in the dark”. The fact of the matter is… I knew that’s exactly how God worked (at least in the Bible). Through the unexpected. With unexpected people. Of course, this was well before I had begun studying the Bible and seeing its relevance to my own life. So, when she said this, I couldn’t exactly argue with her. I knew she could be right. But, to me, it felt highly unlikely. Or, I should say. God using ME felt highly unlikely.
It took years and a lot of maturing to adjust my perspective. I remember having a conversation one day with a dear friend who used to be a singer in the industry. God had called her out of it for a time… and, though it broke her heart, she obeyed. As we talked about how God works in mysterious ways… she would reference Shay and how much of an opportunity he had to be a light in the dark. Trust me when I tell you, there’s a lot of dark in the music/ entertainment industries. Not to say that it’s all bad. Not at all. But, there’s definitely a lot of places that could use the love and light of Jesus. I began reflecting on this and..my heart began to change. I stopped feeling sad that Shay wasn’t out there singing gospel music. After all, God gave him his voice. And God could use him anywhere he went with that voice. Into the darkest cities and the darkest environments. A light in the dark. Like Daniel in the Bible.
So, after reading in Daniel, I wanted to share this revelation. You may feel exiled. You may feel as though you’re living in a foreign land. You may feel alone and unqualified to do anything more than just survive day to day. But I have a word for you. God may have placed you there for this exact purpose. YOU can be a light in the dark. Your presence may be the thing that changes everything. If you let God’s light and His truths shine through you and your life. More years have gone by…since I moved to this town. And I have since stopped asking “why am I here?”. Instead… I choose to ask: “Now that I’m here…how can you use me, God?”. And I have a feeling that little question can change the course of your life..
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