Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ Category

A Touch Of Nostalgia

Yes that’s me.  My senior picture taken in the summer of 1978 for my year of graduation – 1979.

This morning I received an invitation on facebook from a former high school class mate – to join “schoolFeed” a website somewhat like “Classmates.com”.  Naturally I was curious and was surprised to see many people I recognize (well, at least I recognize their names) from high school.  It is a website that allows you to post pictures, interest, bio and stats, including a senior photo – so others can tell it’s really you.

I’ve never been too interested in this kind of stuff before – because frankly – I keep in touch with those I want to and have never sought out the others I did not have relationship with past high school.   Usually for most of us, high school is a time of dark murky waters of self-consciousness and humiliation – mixed in with some of the best times of our lives.  For me – an old boyfriend or two has a tendency to pop up on sites like this and although amusing – it’s sometimes better to leave the past in the past.  Heartbreaks and relationship issues – especially in high school are dicey at best.

My good times in high school revolve around my musical and dramatic involvement – NOT the academic arena.  In fact – I can hardly remember what I learned back them – don’t remember ever having homework but managed to pull “A’s” and “B’s” in most classes.  But I remember almost every play I was involved in and every piece of music I sang in our concert and Jazz choir.

But when I look back on high school  – it is not with all fondness.  It was an age of awkwardness, not being sure enough of myself – to really be myself and mostly a time of great regret for me personally.  As one of the few Christians in my high school – I know I could have spoken up more – and tried to make more of a difference, but I didn’t.  I know I did not handle a couple of situations in the right way.  Who really acts in a grown-up way before the age of 18?  But still – it is something I think about.

I have this weird recurring dream too.  I’m back in high school – can’t remember my locker combination – can find my class, etc.  When I finally do find a schedule for classes – I’m in one (after roaming the halls forever)  too late in the quarter and don’t have any idea what they’re talking about – and there’s a real possibility I won’t graduate.  Now in the light of day this is a silly dream (if there really is such a thing)  I not only graduated, but went on to be a college graduate as well.

The only explanation that Greg and I have ever been able to come up with is this:

Somewhere deep down – I have the feeling of “unfinished business”.  And this is something I have never been able to shake.

So finding some of these people online whom I have not had a face-to-face conversation since 1979 – is surreal.  Gotta love facebook for bringing past people back into our present.  What we do with them is our choice.

And because we can never go back – I have to believe that those circumstances, pain and regret have made me who I am today.  Without them – I would not have learned how to handle heartbreak and regret, or to be able to find a long-lasting relationship – and know the difference.

But I do want to reconnect with those from my past that make me smile.  Those I’ve forgotten about, as they went on their way to “do life”.  Share wonderful memories of fun things we did – remember teachers and events and talking about how old and mature we thought we were.  But most of all – I would love to take what I know now about people and life in general – and walk those high school halls again, find those people whom I hurt and who hurt me – and make things right in person.

What are your best and worst high school memories?  Do you like connecting with others from your past?  What would you do if you could go back with what you know now?

God Bless

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Dark Night Of The Soul

“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”

Corrie Ten Boom

I love the movie, ‘The Hiding Place‘ – where the above quote comes from. Corrie Ten Boom was a survivor of the Holocaust – and saw unspeakable things while she and her older sister, both of them women in their 50’s were held prisoner by the Germans. Her sister never lost her faith during that time in the concentration camps – believed, hoped and encouraged others not to become bitter – not to hate. She became ill and died at the hands of the ones who had been so cruel. It was after Corrie was released from prison – due to a clerical error – that she was able to see God‘s purpose and plan for her life – even in that ‘pit’. And she became an ambassador for Christ and His great love and provision for her – to countless millions of people around the world. If anyone knew about the ‘dark night of the soul‘ – it was this lady.

We have all experienced this – a situation that makes us evaluate our lives – and challenges everything we believe in. Most of us have never been in a situation or circumstance like Corrie Ten Boom – but we all have suffered our own degrees of sadness, depression, hurt, frustration, loss and helplessness. We all have longed for peace from strife – knowledge from endless questions and release from hurt and pain.

I’m so glad that I have a relationship with Jesus Christ – and I know for sure there is no place so dark – that His light cannot be seen – no place so deep, that He is not deeper still. I know because I’ve experienced it. I know because I have a story to tell of God’s great love and faithfulness – his hand of protection – and his grace and mercy to me – during a dark time.

Even in those times that seemed so hopeless to me – with no answers – I was not alone.

And I’m thankful that although I didn’t and still don’t understand everything about those hard places that I’ve had to experience – I’ve come to realize that I learned the most valuable lessons in those dark times. In the dark I was finally able to see things I would not have seen while the light shined so bright.

I am told that in a total eclipse of the sun – what is discovered while the sun’s brightness is covered up – is the deadly and dangerous corona which surrounds it and is usually invisible. In the same way there are dangers in my life that can be covered up in the light and are much clearer in a ‘dark’ painful time – where my senses and awareness are heightened. They are sharper and clearer during that time.  And I am forced to see them.  Giving me true courage to face what I must – turn away things from my life that are not healthy and give me final resolve.  As I battle in the dark – I learn much about myself and others who have been there – and sadly those who haven’t.  And I discover that it is in fact,  not the end.

Total Solar eclipse 1999 in France. * Addition...

Image via Wikipedia

And like you – I’m still learning. I’m learning that the ‘dark night of the soul’ – is not the end of the world. It’s the place where fear of the unknown and true surrender come together. It is the place where giving up and temptation meet with resignation and strength.

It is a place where I begin:

Letting go – and giving in.

Losing everything I hold

Waving goodbye – and saying hello

Realizing false strength – and true weakness

Gaining much-needed perspective

Being engulfed by heaviness that I cannot lift

And sadness I can taste

A testing of my strength and will – and looking for any light

This, my friends – is the ‘dark night of the soul’.  It is surrender.

If you are having a season like this – it’s okay. It will not last forever. And although you may not ever get the answers you need – your heart will one day find the resignation – to the questions. And you will not always feel sad – or hopeless. This dark night may turn out to be your greatest testimony.  And your finest moment if you will allow the Savior in.  You will find Him ready to meet with you there.  And when you look back – you will realize that He carried you.   And your faith will never be the same.   Someday, you will be able to help someone else – because you will know and understand.

I found a beautiful song by Kate Campbell. If you are experiencing that ‘dark night of the soul’ or have recently experienced it – this song is for you.

God Bless

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