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 A gaping hole at the center of your being – each soul has it, and each soul tries to fill it in with whatever they think is suitable. There are souls who try to fix it with material things, but to no avail, still has leaks. There are people who are clever enough and figure out that love is the filler. But they come short with where that love should come from. In journalism, there’s the 5 Ws and an H – who, what, when, where, why, and how. They know the “what”, how about the other five? They only have 1/6 of the answer. Yet they thought – I thought –  it was enough.

It feels like every inch of your being is seeping through that hole. I feared that one day, if I don’t take action, there might not be anything left. What used to be me would just be a walking pile of joints, nerves, bones, and skin. I feared the melody would be lost from my eyes. So I tried swinging to a different song, filled that hole with what I think I need, what I deserve.

“I deserve love,” that’s what I thought. And love was what I sought for. Only, the love I was acquainted with wasn’t love at all. I only met pride and lust in the pretense of love. Desperation leads to misery. I was so desperate for the surface level kind of love that I thought would make me whole that I ended up destroying me instead.

Too late, I was gone too deep. In my attempt of trying to hold on to who I think I am and what makes me, I lost myself anyway. I was in a spiral of lies, pain, and depression.

Just when I thought I had it all figured out, my anchor snaps. The castle built on sand came crashing down on me. It stings

I’ve already gambled many – my innocence, my blood. I’ve drank too many, I’ve already cut too deep. There are scars on my wrists and deeper ones in my heart. I’ve given up on love. No, love betrayed me.

Deeper and deeper I sunk. Darker and darker I felt. The gaping hole has become a massive black hole pulling me in, sucking me inwards, towards a point of no return. I was used, cheated on, took advantage of… I was worthless. And love? It became something I don’t deserve all along. Who would care for a filthy creature like me? I’m shattered.

As things got darker, I knew there was no way but downhill. Inevitably, I’d hit the darkest.

One night, I did. The darkest night of the soul. Drowning in tears, gasping for air – feels like death but I’m not dying. No pain can ever tantamount to that. I scream but nothing comes out. In the last attempt for redemption, for having some dignity, I opened my Bible and cried out to God, “Lord, I’m sorry. I have failed.” He responded with a psalm that struck me. Psalm 42. It was the darkest night, yet in that moment I felt light. It felt like the hole inside of me was being clogged little by little. I read the psalm again.

“As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
    among the festive throng.

5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

6 My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

8 By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
    as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.”

My Lord! Just when I thought that love gave up on me, Love swoops down and reaches for me. No, Love came down and stayed with me, embraced me despite the grime and the filth. All along what I wanted, what I longed for, is something I never deserved – a love no one else can give, Love that is beyond our human perception.

Love was looking out for me all along, yet I ran away from it. Love was holding my hand through the thunderstorms yet I insisted I was alone. Love was giving out all the warning signs that I just sped away from. Love was there in my lowest, darkest, and most vulnerable. Love found me a way. Love has a name and it’s the sweetest of all. Love is God.

It has been almost 5 years since Love came down and rescued me. Now, whenever I look back at that night, I do not look at it with disdain or scorn. Darkness was all around, yes. But how could we see the light if it weren’t for the dark? How would we learn the value of light if we haven’t known what it is like without it?

The darkest night of the soul is the last purging of all that hinders from seeing the light. It’s the most painful, yet the most promising of nights. The tossing and turning of the storm that is the heart finally finds the calm and sets toward the horizon after the dark night. Finally, that hole will be slowly filled in. It was a God-shaped void all along. He will fill that space eventually. He is love. And love finds a way even when you’ve given Him up.

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