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Overcoming the Dark Place
By David Bush
No matter how upbeat we try to be, we all have had a dark place or two to overcome in our lives. Some have problems so big that it may be beyond comprehension to others as to how they will ever be able to handle it. But no matter what size problem or circumstance you are dealing with, it's big because it's yours. It's kind of like the old saying that no surgery is minor surgery if it is your surgery! No problem is a small problem if it is your problem.
What I'm talking about here is a condition of life problem; one that will affect our mood, our self-esteem and even our success in life if we don't do something to change it. If you find yourself in a state of depression or just really unhappy about the course your life seems to be headed, then I would say you are in a "dark place." You may be dealing with a financial struggle or a serious health issue, mental or physical. You may find yourself separated from those you care about emotionally or physically. Or find you don't believe you even have a loved one to be separated from. Whatever the circumstances that define your dark place, you can find the "light" you need; although it won't necessarily be easy. I believe that together, you and I can find your path out of the proverbial darkness. Life doesn't have to be the way it is forever, we just have to understand why we are where we are and what it takes to change our circumstances.
What is it that got us to the place that seems to demoralize us so? Could it be the choices we made and still continue to make, or could it simply be that there were and are circumstances beyond our control? It could very well be a combination of both. Since I have found myself in a dark place or two in my life and even managed to revisit some of them a time or two, I'm not going to pass judgment on why you are where you are. I do believe, however, I may be able to help shed a little light on the subject.
First, let's recognize that it isn't the end of the world, not even the end of our world. Recognize that many people rose to greatness after first going through a dark place of their own. Many people have overcome terrible ordeals to find success in their lives. For many it's what made them what they became. It molded their character and prepared them for greatness. Their poor choices in the beginning turned out to be what made them what they were.
Look at Moses of the Old Testament. He made a terrible choice that drove him into isolation. His dark place lasted him forty years! But it broke him down to the point that God could use him to lead an entire nation to freedom.
In the New Testament you can look at the Apostle Paul. He had a lot of times when he was in a dark place! He faced prison, shipwrecks and stoning, any of which would have been enough for one lifetime. But these events in his life slowed him down long enough to write his works that are found in the New Testament, which has impacted the lives of people centuries after his death.
So the real question is this: Can you grow from this circumstance you are in and use it to make you better? Can you use this dark place to prepare you for more? You can help others avoid the misery you now feel and have more confidence in your ability to overcome obstacles. But before any of that can take place we have to take definitive action that will result in wise choices and resulting blessings.
Even if our current circumstance is totally our fault, there is no need to beat ourselves up about it, what's done is done. Don't focus on past mistakes, identify what you did wrong, learn from it so you will know what to do differently next time and move on. Next, educate yourself on the best way to handle the situation. If your problem is in the area of money, this may involve reading books on personal finance or getting someone to show you the correct way to budget and give you sound advice. Please remember; only take advice from someone with the proven results you want. In money, relationships or anything else look for the proof of success before you take their advice!
After you have educated yourself and made a plan on what the proper path should be to escape your dark place, TAKE ACTION. This has always been the hardest part for me, and probably for others as well. Set a goal of where you would like to be in five years, then break it down to where you need to be this year. After that, break it into monthly goals and make a to do list. Work on it as much as you can every day until it is done. If you don't complete it, simply carry it over to the next month. But take continuous and deliberate action!
Once you begin taking correct action you can then, of course, expect better results to come about. But as a Christian I know that when I take correct actions, and do things the way God wants me to, i.e. working toward his purpose for me, it gives Him an avenue to bless me through. This is how you can get supernatural results and be on a bullet train out of your "dark place"!