Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure,
“children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”
Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
as you hold firmly to the word of life.
Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV)
Negative talk. Griping. Complaining. From me. From others around me. Those were the early years after my son was diagnosed with autism.
Not that those feelings weren’t valid. Autism. Is. Hard. But I quickly learned that all that complaining was getting me nowhere fast. So I stuffed those feelings and hid behind the mask of “I’m good”.
When you face trials, do you hide in the dark, or do you seek the light?
Autism is a life-long trial. For some families, it is like a prison.
When the apostle Paul was in prison, he didn’t hide. He didn’t complain. Lord knows he had reason to. But instead, he used that lonely, desperate time to allow God’s light to shine through him, onto others who needed his encouragement.
When I was hiding, I needed encouragement. God provided many stars to shine on me through our special needs ministry at my church. Other moms walking similar paths as mine with their own children with special needs. Other women, older and wiser than me, to speak truth into my struggles. Women who let God’s light shine through their hearts in the words they spoke to me:
Joyful words. Thoughtful words. Positive words.
Women who let God’s light shine in the prayers they prayed with me:
Not only for my son, but for my heart as well.
No, we don’t have to be happy in our circumstances.
It’s okay to grieve for what “we don’t have”.
But let’s not forget to be thankful for what we do have.
Lord knows the negative thoughts still come. Daily. But thankfully this ministry gives me a safe place to share them, not hide from them. The encouragement I continue to receive from these women sets the example for how I want to live. There are still dark days ahead. But now I want to seek God’s light, not hide in the dark.
Maybe you too want to shine God’s light on others? Or perhaps there’s someone in your life who has shined God’s light on you?
Dayspring has just released a new collection from (in)courage called Everlasting Light, available for purchase now. The collection includes Home Décor, Jewelry, Art Prints and Totes. This Shine necklace above is my favorite and coordinates with the other jewelry in the collection, like this Shine bracelet:
I hope you’ll browse their collection today and find something that lets you shine God’s light for all the world to see.