This past week was the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World, and it was a glorious day. Though, it started quite early, I needed to be there at three in the morning. That meant, in order for me not to be stressed, I had to be up at one. Of course, the excitement kept me from sleeping, and then once I was finally asleep, it was time again to get moving. In a groggy state I grabbed my phone from the charger. Now, if you have to go to bed at six-ish the previous night, you don’t turn down the brightness. As I looked at my phone, in a dark room, my phone lit up like the sun and burned my eyes till they were on fire.
It was rough.
Now, I may be exaggerating, but it’s amazing how such a small light can light up and entire room (and possibly blind you).
I think about this same concept when it comes to our lives. We all have dark moments. I’m not talking about some emo stage you may have gone through in high school, I’m talking about the really sucky moments in life. The mistakes, the fears, regrets; things in and out of our control. The darkness. It’s never a good feeling, but then I think about how a small light can light up a room. After every dark night, there comes a sunrise. I’d argue that in our lives, no matter how dark it gets, the darkness never stays, and the sun will rise again.
Never lose hope.
It’s easy to say, “never lose hope,” and just leave it there, but that’s not what I want to do. I want you to think about some of the crummy moments that have happened to you; you made a mistake or were completely out of control of what happened to you, that mistake doesn’t define you and that was wrong for that person or people to do that to you. Mistakes help us learn and mature, some are bigger than others, but in the end, you have the power to be, to do better. Sometimes the dark moments were done to you. Someone spoke awful things over you, someone violated you sexually or mentally, or maybe someone made you feel worthless. Most times you will never get an apology from that person, so, even though I’m not that person, I am so sorry that was done to you.
You are worthy of love, you were created with purpose, and that darkness has no hold on you.
John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Jesus came because he loves you. That’s it. I can’t explain why dark things still happen to us, but what I can say is that there is hope in the love of Jesus. You are loved, and when you walk with Jesus, you love others with the same passion. Side note, if a person claims to follow Christ but they choose to hate and demonize others, that’s not a real Christ follower.
Never lose hope, because you are and always will be loved.
Love big and look for the little joys.
Experiencing hardship is the worst, an what makes it difficult is that life continues moving. In my life, words of affirmation and gifts are my love languages. Whenever someone takes the time to do something small, my whole mood changes, even if life stinks at the moment, I get a glimpse of the sun rising after the night. What would happen if we loved others in a big way? We need to see others around us as people to be loved, you have the ability to be a light in the darkness, so why would you not? It doesn’t take much to be intentional with the people around you. Disney has a really cool feature where cat members can “recognize” another cast member. It’s a little boost of encouragement, so, I decided to try and recognize one person every day I work. It’s not to be popular or kiss up, it’s purely because I got a “recognition,” and felt great. I want others to have that same boost of joy.
We also tend to complain and get negative easy in darker times. What I’ve noticed is that you can cling to small moments of joy and it can change your whole state of being. I was driving a cart on a hot day at work, and in order to be safe, I have my hand out in case people get too close. I was walking by and a little kid saw my hand and gave me the biggest high five he could. I just stopped and laughed at how beautiful that moment was. My mood changed completely. Yeah, it’s still hot and the work was tough, but I just kept smiling. It’s not always the big moments, it’s the small boosts of joy. Laughing with people, taking a moment to dance with yourself, see a funny cloud, talk in a goofy accent; little moments of joy are vital when life starts hammering at you.
Life can be what you want it to be. You’re going to have bad days, weeks, and maybe years; but you have hope in all things. The darkness never stays, the sun will rise again. Don’t let these crummy moments keep you from loving others and having joy in your life. You are made in God’s image. You are worthy of love, you have a purpose for your life, and the darkness has no hold over you.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__