Author’s Note: Here is the last chapter of I Dwell in Darkness. I do apologize for how long it has taken me to finish this last chapter. Comment below your favorite chapter and let me know what you would like to see in a future story. May this story remind you of God’s great love and faithfulness towards His people, and may God bless you as you learn more and more each day what it means to live in the light (John 1:3-5).
Jayda gripped the mic in her hand and swallowed. Her heart was pumping. This time it was from excitement, not anxiety or nerves. The song ended and she knew her time was coming.
Kristin walked onto the stage and spoke. “Good evening everyone! I have been so blessed this weekend to be able to worship and learn with you. Now, for our last presentation, I have someone very special to introduce to you.
She has recently become a very good friend of mine; a friend I hope I will have for the rest of my life. Ladies, please welcome Jayda Aideen!”
Jayda whispered a silent prayer and walked confidently onto the stage.
“Good evening!” Jayda said happily.
“Good evening!” the audience echoed back.
“I first want to thank Kristin and her whole team for inviting me to come and partake in this conference this weekend. It truly has changed my life.
I want to start out tonight by telling you a few things about myself.
When I was eight years old, I fell off a swing-set and onto the asphalt. The result of that fall was a terrible head concussion. Because of that fall, I now have tics, or what some people might consider Tourette syndrome. When I was finally able to go back to school, I realized all my friends had left me. They no longer liked the girl that twitched. I became a loner.
When I was nine, my dad left the house and never came back. The next time I saw him was ten years later; he was in a hospital dying of cancer.
When I was 12, I was diagnosed with G.A.D. For those who don’t know, that is General Anxiety Disorder. When I was 14, I graduated high school. Once again I was known as the odd ball or the “nerd.”
When I was 16, I was the youngest person in my college class and probably the youngest student involved in a relationship. Ten months into the relationship, I realized that I was being cheated on by my boyfriend.
Why do I tell you things? Darkness has been an overwhelming theme in my life. I noticed this at the age of only seventeen, and so I decided that if darkness was going to love me, then I was going to love darkness.
Darkness became a space in which I felt at peace, it cleared my thinking, and put my mind at ease. Soon, I started to obsess over darkness. Whenever I was in a dark room, I felt as if I could sort out my life problems and the hardships I faced all day. It became such an obsession that I switched my major and became an expert on darkness.
I want to be even more vulnerable with you now. When I came to this conference, I was lost in darkness. I didn’t even realize this was a Christian conference until Kristin and I met Friday morning! I even told Kristin that I hated God and wanted nothing to do with Him, but something amazing happened.
When Kristin gave her talk Friday night, God used her words to convict and shine a light on my heart. He made me aware of the darkness that I was holding onto. God showed me His great love and that I needed to come home.
Before I came to this conference this weekend, I happened to be giving a TED talk where I received a question from a man who wanted to know if darkness was a feeling or just an outer space that we relate to our feelings. I told the man that I would have to think about his question and come up with an answer at a later time.
His business card somehow ended up in my purse and fell out when I was praying and thinking about this talk tonight. I knew it was a sign from God, so I knew I must follow through with his question and answer it.
I want to start by looking at 1 Peter 5:8-9. It says this, ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.’
Ephesians 6:12 says this, ‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.'”
Jayda looked out at the crowd.
“So, is darkness a feeling?
Yes! I must say, it is indeed a feeling. However, I do not believe it just a “feeling,” I believe it is a spiritual feeling. A feeling of the spiritual darkness the enemy is seeking to destroy our lives with.
You see, before this conference, before I reconciled my relationship with Jesus, I didn’t just feel the feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness; I felt the battle for my soul. I felt the weight of the spiritual darkness I was living in. Then to add to those feelings, Satan used his tactics of lies to lure me in.
Satan tried and made me think that I was unworthy – never enough. He made me think that all the injustices in my life, such as my dad and aunt dying of cancer and my boyfriend cheating on me were my fault. That somehow I could have done something different to make the outcome of the situations different!
Here’s the thing: there is one thing that Satan never wants any of us to know. Sure, he wants us to know we are failures, unworthy, and unloved, but Satan doesn’t want us to know that the true Living Light, Jesus Christ, who is the only way to a true satisfying life, shines in the darkness and the darkness can not and has not overcome it!
Why doesn’t Satan want us to know? Satan wants us as far away from the truth and the light as we can get. The moment we step into God’s radiant light, Satan has lost the fight. Satan no longer holds the victory, but God does.
So, what do we do with this message?
One, we need to know that darkness is indeed a feeling; a feeling of spiritual warfare. We need to know we have an enemy, and he is seeking to do everything in his power to keep us away from the light.
Second, we need to know that we have a decision to make. We can either continue to live in spiritual darkness, or we can make the decision to wake up and be clothed in the light. May I also mention that not deciding to live in the light is still deciding not to live in the light.
Here is the thing about darkness. Darkness can not only look like turning our backs on God, but darkness can look like pride, anger, bitterness, impurity, idolatry, and jealously. It looks like sexual immorality, discord, witchcraft, and drunkenness. Ultimately all of these acts are sin, and that is exactly what Satan desires. Satan desires for us to think we are God when we are not. Satan clouds our vision and keeps us out of the light…”
“You did great!” Shiloh whispered.
Jayda gave Shiloh a hug and let out a breath as Jayda returned to her seat. “Thank you!” she whispered back. “I was so sure my eye was going to start twitching, but it didn’t!”
Shiloh smiled. “Everything you said was so spot on!”
“You were right. God will come through and answer our prayers. All we have to do is wait and trust that everything is in His hands.”
The audience sang one more song, Kristin prayed one last prayer, and with that the conference was over.
A couple of hours later, after Shiloh and Jayda had said their goodbyes to Kristin and her team, Jayda found herself once again all alone in her hotel room. Jayda had just finished praying and was about to go to bed, when she suddenly remembered something very important.
Jayda quickly sat up and pulled out her laptop. She quickly pulled up her email and conducted an email that went like this:
After much research, time, and prayer, I now feel I can properly answer your well thought out question. However, I must mention I did not come to this conclusion on my own. It was the providential hand of God that led me to the conclusion I present before you today.
Your question was that of the following:
Do you think darkness is a feeling or rather an outer space we relate to our feelings?
Sir, I can confidently say in all my research and in growing in knowledge of the Scriptures, I have been led to the conclusion that darkness is indeed a feeling! Yes, a feeling of spiritual darkness that the enemy (enemy being Satan) tries to feed us everyday. We must become wiser and not give into the schemes of the enemy. We “must rule over it,” and we must train ourselves to “be children of the light (John 12:35-36).“
Alyssa Rasor (and your Heavenly Father)