Let There Be

“Darkness hovering Grasping everything it sees Void empty Absent life and absent dream…”

Darkness didn’t take long to stake its claim on me. I was still very much an impressionable kid when I was thrown into some horrifically adult situations that no one has any business being subjected to.   I hadn’t even made it through elementary school before I was both sexually abused and introduced to pornography. I still have moments when, decades later and completely out of the blue, images from the first porn movie I ever saw will expose themselves in my head.  They are burned in my memory, and I have had to make peace with the fact that these broken pieces will remain with me until I am gone from this earth. I wasn’t at all old enough to be aware of the effects these images, and the ones that I added on my own to my mental library over the years, would severely disable my ability to look at women without Darkness hovering over me, grasping at and distorting everything I saw.  By the time I realized what was happening, the damage was already done, and I felt powerless to know how to stop it, much less reverse the damage. As I became a young adult, I was already slipping in and out of depression.  It came to a head during the Great Depression of ’97, when I was unemployed, living with my folks, and barely able to get out of the house at all.

“Let there be…”

It was during this Great Depression that I was introduced through concentric circles of friends to a young woman named Nikki Laws.

“Angels toil and crack open scrolls of ancient dreams Countless worlds of his Brilliant stars and breath and stream…”

For reasons that I still have yet to completely fathom, Nikki took an interest in drawing me out of my house. She would invite me out to her youth group meetings, and afterwards we would go to a Denny’s or Bob Evans or somewhere for food, and she would ask me about what I was going through.  I would tell her quite honestly about things.  And, instead of running away in fear, she would sit there and ask more questions. After a few months or so of this, Nikki kissed me.  Through my depression-induced fog, I realized that she wasn’t just a really cool person that I liked being around.  There was something else that had sprouted up out of the ground. Nikki was an absolute angel to me, and she was instrumental in helping me process a lot of things and work my way out of the depression (at least to the point of being able to carry on living again).  About a year and a half later, we were married. For years, I have tried to keep my eyes and my mind pure for my wife.  However, despite my best efforts, the Darkness has always been close at hand, waiting seep out of the brokenness.

“Let there be…”

Nearly three years ago, while I was in the middle of losing a hundred pounds, I came to the staggering realization that I can change.  It started with the diet, but I began to wonder if perhaps the Darkness could change, too. It took nearly a year after making that realization for me to actually find the courage to place my feet inside a therapist’s office to ask for help. I’ll never forget that day, because I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to walk in and ask this particular therapist. But truth be told, I was terrified.  Please, God, surely not this therapist? She’s roughly my age. She’s a SHE, for crying out loud.  This is a joke, right? But I felt compelled to.  I had to. “Yes, child.  This therapist.” I couldn’t not go in and talk to her.

“Where there is darkness Let there be light Where there is nothing Let there be light…”

It’s been about two years now that I’ve been facing my Darkness, slowly exposing it, bit by bit, to the light.  There’s been a lot of change in me.  I am not the same person I was when I first set foot in my therapist’s office. But there’s a lot of change yet to be made in me, too.  The more Darkness that I shine the light on, the more I realize that there is yet more Darkness in me. To be honest, there are days that feel like the Darkness might still yet overwhelm me.  This fight is taking a ridiculous amount of effort, and I still sometimes doubt that I have enough strength in me to see it through to the end. BUT… I keep fighting.  I have seen enough victories in the past two years to have hope that I have not yet seen my last victory. My marriage is worth keeping up the fight for.  My life is worth keeping up the fight for. So I steel myself for the next round.  Darkness may have grasped a lot of time in my life… but I will not let it grasp Me. Let there be light…

24 thoughts on “Let There Be”

  1. I am humbled by the response this post has received, both here and across Facebook and Twitter. We all wage war against our own personal Darkness, but we so rarely seem to open up about it.

    It’s good to be reminded that none of us are alone in the struggle, even though it looks different for each one of us.

    May peace, blessings, and courage to continue the fight be with all of us…

  2. i love you, my brother. and admire you. and completely believe that because of Jesus, hopelessness has no rights to us. and darkness…even the darkness is as light to Him. (Ps 139). Reminds me of a lyric I wrote about my own scars and sin and darkness:

    You know my scars. You know my sin.
    You know this heart and all that’s within.
    Nothing’s been done that You can’t undo.
    For even the darkest of nights is as light to You, Lord…

    Read this verse earlier this week:
    The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

    Can i just say that I am glad you are writing? i am…

  3. Wow!! You are courageous my friend! I’m proud of the fight in you! Keep pressing, uncovering, and learning just how brave you are!

  4. Proud of your courage and your willingness to share. Just reading the comments to your blog shows how God is using your situation to minister to and help others. Not everyone is willing to let God use them. Thank you for your servant’s heart.

  5. David, I love your heart and transparency that I know is not easy to put out there. But, God is using these words to continue to expose the darkness to Lignt and bring great healing to you. He has done the same in my life and I praise Him and use my past to bring glory to our Father. You are doing the same. This brings joy to Him!!
    Hugs and Love to you and your beautiful Nikki! Miss seeing you.

  6. Oh I just appreciate your post so much as a fellow Darkness walker/survivor….your words beautifully and gently shine the light of God’s love……for all of us, wherever we are in our journey. If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that He promises to be with us in the Darkness, in the stepping out of it, and in each circumstance where it tries to threaten us. Being assured of that has made such a difference in my ability to allow Him in to those Dark places. We are not without hope….. Thank you, David. God bless you!

    .”there’s a Hand still holding me, even when I don’t believe it” (Danny Gokee)

    1. I’m 99.9% introvert, so it’s almost always easier for me to write it out. However, one-on-one situations like counseling allow me the space and time to put my thoughts in order before I respond, which works well for me, too. Stick me in a higher-pressure social situation and ask me to talk, though, and that doesn’t usually go smoothly for me.

      I will always prefer to write. I’m not quite sure why I don’t write very often, then…

      1. Such powerful words, David. Writing it out helps. My challenge is letting others see it. Letting light shine on the darkness. Thankful that God sent your angel to help you find your way. Keep the faith. 🙂

  7. This is stunning and beautiful and honest, and how God wants us to be. He will light what we open up to Him. I praise God for the fight He put in You and goes before and fights FOR and BESIDE you. I fight my own personal dark, and this is a call to continue that fight. Thank you, my friend.

  8. I love you and Nikki so much – and am deeply touched by this…. God is so going to use what the enemy meant to destroy you and help others who have been there – or are there now… I am so proud to call you both my friends…

  9. Wow, David. I have always been thought of as a transparent person, and so I can appreciate how difficult it is to share some of these truths. But by doing so, you actually allow Light to enter. Paradoxical? No, not really. For wherever we open our lives to Him, Darkness HAS TO FLEE. It can’t remain in the presence of His LIGHT. Praying for you as you tackle the things that would ensnare you. Praying you have the strength to run to Him for your healing and deliverance. Thank you for sharing His story in your life. It’s powerful…as are you. Much love and admiration…

  10. I was captivated by your words from the beginning of this blog and as tears threaten to fall I’m so thankful to have read this in this moment. Thankful for your courage and your honesty and the way you used your words to convey hope. The knowledge that the darkness does feel like it will overtake and yet the light can continue to fight, gives me hope today. Let there be….

    1. The knowledge that the Light will continue to fight alongside me is what keeps me going most days, Deb. I’m glad that I’ve been able to dig in and find that there is still yet hope to be conveyed, because I’ve seen too many folks give up along the way…

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