While humans discuss what they think is my fate behind closed door, doors bolted against progression and barricaded against equality, there is another conversation about my future taking place.
It is higher, literally, than these human conversations. The overview is so aerial, so future, so beyond human comprehension, so complex that not even I understand it just yet.
But as I sit here, in a dark room not of my own making, a darkroom meant to inspire conversations that set the stage for greater glory, I am made aware that my dark spot will shed light on the Light of Life (John 1:4) for the youth I serve.
My darkroom isn’t one of confusion this time. Perhaps because I have been here so many times. Perhaps it is because “abiding” daily in this season, an instruction I received from God the day before I entered the darkroom, has truly kept me.
My darkroom is one of testing, trial. Like Joseph, I have done nothing to deserve this circumstance. In fact, I have done everything at the leading of God, and still it landed me here.
Frustrated is not a good enough word to capture how I was feeling at first. I never threw my fists up at God, begging for a fight or an argument because I truly believe He is good and everything He is doing is good, but I did experience deep hurt, masquerading as anger toward those I perceived to integral to my darkroom reality..
Those who refuse to acknowledge my anointing, my excellence, my hard work, my commitment, who would try to claim something for nothing every time, and take without due compensation or acknowledgement.
Then God spoke, “Don’t take it personally.” Don’t take it personally? How does that work? When I experience what I believe is gender bias and prejudice, how could I not take it personally?
My denomination finds itself in a heated discussion about a woman’s place and worth in pastoral ministry. Glass ceilings erected to pay homage to scripture, coercion replaces the voice of the Holy Spirit, and morality corrodes mutual respect, paradoxically.
My denomination’s silence on race issues and the blatant prejudice of some in different parts of my country has always been running in the background. So how on earth could I not take this personally as a West Indian woman?
Another Kind of Dark?
I begged God to overturn the decision.
His answer: “Do you trust me? Will you believe it is good, no matter what? Are you aware of who you are fighting? Do you know what is at stake? Are you committed?” (He always seems to answers my question with a question)
Yes, I trust you. I believe it is good, no matter what. I am wrestling with principalities and powers, against rulers of (and there it was) the DARKNESS of this world (Eph. 6:12).
The text goes on, but I immediately stopped reading after the phrase rulers of the DARKNESS of this world. God was showing me there is another type of darkness; a dark of my doing, a dark God places his children in to prepare them to bare His image, and a darkness created by the enemy of our souls to destroy us.
The first is a place where we experience our consequences. The second serves much like good soil that helps plants grow. The third is to throw us off the path God has ordained we each take to purposeful living and eternal salvation.
I am feeling both. This is new.
God asked me to answer the next question; what is at stake?
Souls. If I walk away, young souls hang in the balance. I could leave in search of pay and acknowledgement commensurate with my worth, and I may find it, but I would lose some of those He gave me to shepherd. Stepping out of the darkroom now would mean forcing my way out of my development process because of the darkness of the enemy. But whose image would I bear then? Not God’s. I would bear my own.
So, now for that last question. Are you committed?
Yes, I am committed to living out my purpose in whatever capacity You desire in this and every season… even when it feels unfair.
That means sitting in the darkroom a little longer.