I am super excited about my second choice of Scripture. I spent some time looking over the highlighted areas in my Bible looking for what I might memorize next. I had a couple of things in mind, but when I came across this passage in Ephesians, I knew it was the one. Funny thing is that it wasn't even highlighted; it wasn't something that had struck a chord with me before. And this is what amazes me the most about the Living Word of God ~ every time I sit down with it, something new and fresh is revealed, something that didn't jump off the page before starts doing jumping jacks in front of my big brown eyes. This verse is a little longer, but the Spirit led me to it, so I know that I can memorize it. And I also know that I've memorized pages of dialogue back in my high school theater day, too, so sure I can do a few lines of Scripture...
For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord." Ephesians 5: 8-10
I was once in darkness. The darkness was all around me, but the part that scared me the most was the darkness within me. Not an evil sort of dark... I wasn't an axe murderer or the town tramp. Depression and shame had run through my veins for so many years that I thought it was a part of me. But what I have slowly discovered is that things like depression, anxiety, shame, disgrace, self-pity, inadequacy, fear, hatred for one's self - well, those are not things of God. They are attack tactics from the Evil One, the one who rivals against the Good for your soul, the one who would relish the thought of you losing the battle to just one of those feelings. For me, the big one was shame. The shame of where I was on one night in particular of my life so many years ago, the shame of the decisions that led me there. To me, my mistakes were liked smudged stains on my skirt ~ like the whole world could look at me and see that I wasn't who I wanted to be, that I had blown it, that I had compromised myself.
But now, I am light in the Lord. I am light. Last week I learned that my light had come. This week, I am light. Me. Because of the Lord's great love and mercy and grace, I am light in Him. And it gives me the warmest feeling in my heart. Because here's the deal... I've spent so much time believing that I wasn't worthy of light and goodness, that because I had screwed up, I was somehow less lovable. But I am seeing that for God, he's not so much worried about what I did while I was in the darkness. It's like he's saying to me, "Look here - you did all that junk when you were in the dark. Now we've flipped the switch on. So I can't really see all the other stuff anymore. Can you still see it?" I am learning that if I am still focusing on my mistakes, I must not be close enough to the light. Think of a dark room - completely dark - with one lonely simple light bulb in the middle. Flip the switch, pull the string, do whatever to turn on that light, and suddenly, all you can see is what the light shines on. The rest of the room becomes like infinity stretching out with no beginning or end, and there's just one area that your eyes can take in.
Live as children of light, and find out what pleases the Lord. So, this is where I am in my walk. This is what I am seeking. What can I do to please the Lord? How can I better live in His light? How can I spread His light? And I just have this sneaking suspicion that I will find all I need in the next year... that this memory challenge is more than that to the Spirit of God that lives within me... that He will feed me as I discover how to be a Child of Light.