Someone told me once that I didn’t write because I didn’t want to go where writing would take me. I thought they were wrong, but in truth they were right. Darkness is ugly and the truth often hurts, why does anyone want to go there, why would anyone need to go there? For some of us we have to go there to face the truth about our pasts in order to clear out confusion and chaos. Sometimes as children the truth hurts so bad, you have no mechanism to deal with or process the truth so you unconsciously cover the truth with lies. As children we want to believe that our parents care for us, we want to believe that the world is a good place and good people win. Reality says ….not always and sometimes…not so much. C.S. Lewis said, “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable. Think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad”. In my life (disclaimer..this is real and raw), I remember a time when I thought, “I couldn’t be being abused because my parents love me and they would never let that happen”. I was in my teens and I remember almost coming unglued at that point, because I couldn’t wrap my mind around the truth. Then it went away, somewhere deep and would rear it’s ugly head at the most inconvenient times later in life. Like, when I saw a persons name who abused me, or when I felt safe and secure, or the most out of control. Circumstances have occurred recently that have allowed me to see the reality of what I have dealt with or not dealt with my whole life…..things happened, my childhood was twisted, my family relationships were twisted, this caused other relationships to twist, dark places in my mind are filled with familiar faces. Those faces have haunted me for years. I have tried to lay them down, give them to God, begged Him to put the pieces together, all the while not really wanting to see what it looks like when the pieces are put together. I have ran from the truth because it hurts, it stings, it burns and it cuts deeper than I can say. People who love me have thought I should be healed by now, I should be free, Christians think I am not where I need to be in my walk with God because I have to look back and going back is ugly, it brings out the worst in me. It causes me to be hard and angry and feel things that I would rather not feel, it causes me to retreat, pull in and pull back when I am dealing with something because the pain and anger can be so intense at times. I may respond to things using old coping mechanisms or say things in a way that I normally wouldn’t. My story with my family is not one of those that ends with a happily ever after…..it just ends. I had to let go of the fact that I wanted a happy ending a few years ago because the reality is we don’t all get happy endings and those who think because we serve God, we get one, don’t fully understand Christ and suffering, in my mind. Dark places being filled with familiar faces is a tragedy that happens more than we like to admit, bringing Christ into those dark places doesn’t change the darkness, Christ heals, darkness wounds. Healing doesn’t mean restored relationships or a better outcome, healing means facing fully the depth of the darkness and not allowing the dark, to continue to dictate what happens in the light. Familiar faces in dark places will not be the death of me……it will inspire me to live more fully, laugh louder and more often, walk in true love and not waste anymore time longing for love from people so toxic that the very air around them reeks with agony.