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Dark Places

February 18, 2013

Do you ever have little places of discouragement that entangle around your heart? You know in the bigger picture of life things are good. But there’s this little dark place. A little black hole. That sometimes doesn’t feel little.

It hangs like a cloud. Blocking the sun. Casting shadows.

Maybe it’s an argument you and a loved one have had one too many times. Your relationship is good but this one topic feels like a black hole.

Or an issue with one of your kids. You have an amazing child. But there is this one behavioral tendency that baffles you. Embarrasses you. Causes you to fear. It feels like a black hole.

Or a reoccurring frustration with a friend. She’s amazing. But there’s this one part of your friendship that darkens the collective good. And you can’t figure out how to address it. Now it’s happening with more frequency and it feels like a black hole.

I know. It’s hard.

But here’s what God keeps showing me… a black hole isn’t a black WHOLE.

The whole isn’t all bad. Yes, there are some issues to address and some tensions to manage but don’t let Satan use this frustration to darken your outlook.
In a relationship funk, remember that there are issues to address and conflict to manage but don't let it darken your outlook! www.lysaterkeurst.com

Jesus reminds us, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Ask Jesus to shed His light on your situation today. Look at this from Jesus’ perspective. Use truth to do something positive in this area today. Invest the time to make a little imperfect progress right there.

In the dark place.

That won’t be so dark with a little light cast upon it.

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72 Comments
  1. Carol

    Thanks Lysa, I needed that! I was sitting here counting my blessings and not quite reaching that empty, let down feeling. I know God is watching the parade from the hilltop, and sees the beginning and the end. I meanwhile, just stepped in “someone’s gum” and can only focus on my issues. Thanks for the horizon view!

    Reply
  2. Julie

    Needed this today. Really needed this today. Thank you. Bless you. Tears of gratitude.

    Reply
  3. Esther

    Important reminder! Even though it seems like we dig ourselves deeper into holes such as these, A light will always be there to guide us!

    Reply
  4. Kellee

    Your email came right when I felt like the dark place was taking over today. I needed to remember that Jesus is with me even when I forget. Thank you for knowing how to share His love.

    Reply
  5. Norma

    I have been struggling with this very thing for the past few weeks! Thank you so much for posting this and reminding me that I can’t let Satan win out…my God is so much bigger than this issue and He can direct my thoughts, words, and actions with the situation if I’ll just turn it over to Him.

    Reply
  6. Bethany LeBedz

    I’ve got some pretty black holes right now that are doing their very best to take over my whole: bankruptcy, divorce, cancer, other health issues, education decisions.

    Reply
    • melanie

      Praying for you Bethany! Be healed in Jesus name!!

      Reply
    • Ellen

      May God deliver you from these earthly troubles and give you His assurance that He is in control when life spins out of control!

      Reply
  7. melanie

    I was just standing here thinking…I feel a little bummed out today. Everything is going well in my life, certainly not perfect but going as well. I noticed I had a new email and there is your name. I click it and there is the message I needed. Thank you.

    Reply
  8. Nancy

    I know God uses people and especially wih your blog today… I have been feeling this way for a few weeks. To open up your blog today and see what you posted I know God is sending me a message… Thank you I needed this especially today!

    Reply
  9. Teske

    Such a timely word….bless you, friend.
    Teske

    Reply
  10. Irene

    The right insights at the right time! Thanks Lysa I need it today. More sweet blessings to you. ^_^

    Reply
  11. Betsy S.

    Thank you for your words Lysa! Definitely am familiar with those black holes in my life. You’ve inspired me to re-foucus & work to embrace those holes…imperfect progress. I love that I do not walk alone in the process, thank you Jesus!

    Reply
  12. Anna

    Perfect timing of message!
    Thank you.

    Reply
  13. Carol

    God is good and delivers right on time, every time. On time is your blog today and such the encouragement for me – I’ve spent the weekend in prayer regarding a black hole that feels all consuming and which has been consuming me for over 10 yrs. I made a very conscious decision that I’m not going to live in fear of the black hole and “turn it off”, but hit it head on no matter how long it takes to overcome it. I do believe “it won’t be so dark with a little light cast upon it.” is true. I grant you this journey I’m facing won’t be easy and won’t be free of frustration, but I do grant that I’m going to focus on a little imperfect progress until the black hole is gone. Thank you for letting God’s encouragement come through your pen.

    Reply
  14. Latosha

    Just about 5 minutes before I opened my email and come across this blog, I finished praying about a matter that occured this afternoon. I decided that I would keep my focus on God and not allow the ‘enemy’ to steal my joy today. Thank you Lysa, and as everyone else has previously stated before me that this was right on time! (-:

    Reply
  15. Patricia Peterson

    I loved reading this today. What do you do when those that live with you DO NOT follow Jesus. Sometimes that darkness flows into my life.
    I have little kids that are my grandkids that have been through a lot. It seems that my sons’ sins are on them. Maybe I’m wrong.
    Patricia

    Reply
  16. Emily

    SUCH a timely post, Lysa! Blessings to you, sweet friend!

    Reply
  17. Jeanne

    Thank you so much for the encouragement Lysa! I woke up feeling very discouraged. This is exactly what I needed to hear today 🙂

    Reply
  18. Ellerie

    Wow…. did God ever speak through you this morning! I have spent the last 24 hours wrestling and praying about EXACTLY how you explained the friendship one. I sure appreciated the encouragement. Thank you!

    Reply
  19. Abidingwoman

    I cannot tell you how timely this is! Praying more worrying those dark places less. Yep. Thank you!

    Reply
  20. Kathleen

    You got me right from the start. I’m facing of black hole of discouragement, so your message is exactly what I need. I’m trying to write my second book after paying to publish the first. There’s no way we can afford to go that route again, and self-doubts hold me hostage.
    Thank you for reminding me that Jesus IS the Light and is shining on and in my life. Bless you!

    Reply
  21. Steffani

    Imperfect progress, is progress!!

    Reply
  22. Karen

    You couldn’t be any more spot on today. My sweet daughter is absolutely amazing. I see God’s love and grace shine through her like no one else. It’s her gift. We have been butting heads lately because she has been treating me badly. I hate to sound like a martyr, but as a mother, I sacrifice more for my kids than anyone else does. She treats her dad well and gives me an attitude. Now, I am no pushover, hence the problem as of late. I just had a talk with her before I read this today and it really hurts me. It’s our black hole, but as you said it is not a whole. Things will get better. I just hope that I can be patient enough in the process…

    Reply
  23. Wendy

    Thank you, Lisa. Recently I have been swallowed by the darkness. I am slowly (unfortunately) learning that it is much harder to block out the light than it is is the darkness. Therefore I’m working way to hard to stay in that black hole.

    Reply
  24. Linda Sides

    I am like many others who posted on your message. I needed it as well. Thank you for all you do!

    Reply
  25. amy faith martin

    Dear Lysa,
    The Lord has been so using your Unglued study and these posts to remind me who i serve and to see things in a godly perspective. Since i can’t take you out for a Starbucks in Aurora, CO. Please know that your words are an encouragement and keep me going to The Word for the truth. love you! amyfaith

    Reply
  26. Annie

    Right what I needed today. Thank you…

    Reply
  27. Sheri Baerresen

    We rejoice in his Glory…No valley is ever going to be too low for Him to reach or black hole dark enough for His “Sonshine” to bring Light! I am so thankful for all my sisters in Christ… Thank you Lysa for your faithfulness to let His light shine though you!

    Reply
  28. Kimberly F.

    I feel like I am drowning in one big black hole. No matter I do and how much I seek Jesus I still just feel like I am in a black hole.

    Reply
  29. Jennine

    It is amazing this came to my email today! I was thinking on a little black hole this morning. Truly God timing. By the way, I read both Unglued and Capture His Heart and with prayer can notice changes in my actions and reactions already. My husband just started Capture Her Heart and I can see his efforts too. Thank you so much for sharing your Godly wisdom!

    Reply
  30. Robin

    Wow. I needed it more than I knew. Reading this post right now is providential. God is very, very good! Thank you Lysa for writing your heart. For allowing the Lord to work through you.

    Reply
  31. Amy

    Thank you for this. It was exactly what I needed today. I just had a discussion with my husband about my dealing with depression…again. That is the darkness in my life. But, honestly at these times, I know Jesus is beside me and right in the darkness with me and I really just have to cling to Him.

    Reply
  32. Whitney

    Timely words, thank you for always meeting me where I am.

    Reply
  33. Jennifer

    Thank you Lysa, needed this lately.

    Reply
  34. Sandra

    I just got through reading your book Unglued. Boy did I need to read that. It only took me 4days to read it. Thank you for your love of God and your engouraging words. I am struggling with a problem with my children not wanting me in their lives. Reading your book helped me to see exactly what God has been telling me for a year. Let him handle it and all will be good IN HIS TIME. God Bless you and continue to do God’s work.

    Reply
  35. Stacy

    Thank you for this reminder!

    Reply
  36. Alexis

    Thanks for the reminder, especially for me as I was in a “dark place” today

    Reply
  37. Michelle B

    Lysa,

    It was like you read my heart. I have been struggling with that black hole with a dear friend this weekend!! After many weeks of prayer she & I spoke about it today. We both learned about why we each respond in the way we do. Conversation to be continued tomorrow over lunch. Please pray that we could come into agreement on these areas. I love her so much & want our friendship to keep growing in Christ! Selfishly it’s my birthday tomorrow & I don’t want it to go sour 🙂

    Reply
  38. Natasha

    Thanks for this. I really needed to read this, I honestly feel like my whole life is falling apart, I’m Lost and full of fear. I feel alone, All alone, Even though I know God is there, sometimes it just doesn’t feel like it!
    Tomorrow will be a better day!

    Reply
  39. Shauny

    Today was “not” a good day – felt so many times like shutting my office door and just sitting in my the middle of the floor and bawling. How can you KNOW that God is on your side and still feel like Satan is just reinterating every negative thought that you have about yourself or about a former friend or where God wants you or what God is really doing in your life – INSIDE CHATTER – STOP!!! If I could have put my head in the sand somewhere, I would have, but KS doesn’t have that much sand and the only sand that I have in my back yard is not deep enough – I want so badly for Jesus to just come and take me home – I’m sssssssssssssssssssssssooooooooooooooooo sick of the drama and so sick of the routine, just plain sick!

    Reply
    • Kay

      Shauny, I know that feeling. Some days it is so hard and you think that you can’t breath any more because it hurts so bad. One thing that I do is just tell God “God I will give you one more day.” Then when you do that you have to start praying, get into His word and being around positive people. I love christain music so I start listening to my music. The song I listen to over and over whem I get so far down and those voices won’t stop is Laura Story’s Blessings song. Have you heard it? It really touches my heart. Also listen to Mandisa is is awesome!!! I don’t know if this helps. I have never responded before to anybody’s comments but for some reason God kept me returning to your post. I am in pray for you. You are loved and He loves you more than you can imagine.
      Blessing by Grace,
      Kay

      Reply
    • Erica Simon

      KS doesn’t have sand but we are about to have snow! Praying for you today. My inside chatter and black holes are going crazy this week too. Prayers for peace, and mercy, and grace.

      Reply
  40. LeAnne Thwing

    Thanks so much for your post today. It was so encouraging!!!

    Reply
  41. maria

    EXACTLY what i needed to hear today, its like a post it note straight from
    God. Thanks for letting him speak to me through you. I have kept this for future reference. This is one to hang on to. thanks

    Reply
  42. Martha B

    I am going through such a battle right now. After four years my fiance left my little boys and I. I have been hurting so bad the past few days and just sometimes feel like I am so alone. I am praying that he will come back. i know it is the devil trying to pull us apart. Please pray for the boys and I. Thank you. God bless.

    Reply
  43. Jill Beran

    Needed these words Lysa…thank you for sharing and doing so in a way that God spoke thru loud and clear! Blessings to you!!

    Reply
  44. Jennifer C

    Thank you for your words and perspective! Truly needed this… Lately have had feelings that I haven’t mattered to my family – although we are very close – just feeling a little taken for granted and unappreciated I suppose. But this shedding of new light from your post has made me feel a little better. Thank you for always speaking from your heart!

    Reply
  45. Brenda

    Sometimes I think you either live inside my head or we are twins accidentally separated at birth because you express my heart with such startling clarity. I have such strong tendencies to let the hole become my whole, so think you for your words and for reminding me of Jesus’ words. His light can always conquer my black hole if I invite Him in.

    Reply
  46. Judy

    Thank you for this really good reminder today.

    Reply
  47. Rochelle Davis

    SUCH a timely post. Thank you for posting this. I really needed this today. Perspective is such a key thing, and I keep muddling things by looking at it with my eyes instead of Jesus’. God bless you!!!

    Reply
  48. llev627

    These words were meant to go straight to my heart. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. They seem so directed from God’s heart to your’s and then to mine. I am in the middle of the Unglued study with a wonderful group of ladies and we are all being touched in many different ways as each of us have our own unique situations. Thank you Lord for using Lysa for your Honor and Glory. Many blessings sent your way.

    Reply
  49. Jamie

    I just wanted to let you know that I just finished your book, Unglued. I felt most of the book that you were inside my head and heart and knew just where I was in life! I am a mother of 3 boys under the age of 4 and I feel like all I do is come unglued! Thank you for the honesty and scripture that you shared. All verses that I knew but such a great reminder. I need to post them up in my house so that when I am about to come unglued they are right in front of me! Thank you for letting the Lord use you. I live in a rural area in MD and I felt like you came to visit me just where I am. God bless you!

    Reply
  50. holly timpson

    I have five chronic illnesses and toay’s message just bore right into my spiritual brain. Thank you Holly

    Reply
  51. Julia

    Lord help us to look beyond others faults and love beyond. Mama said I will not refuse a rose cause of it thorns or a diamond for it flaws. There is as much in me that he has put up with as there is in him that I have to put with.

    Reply
  52. Missy

    I have stumbled across your books and I’m relating to so much, I’m just purchasing them all and am going to systematically go through them, I think they seem so pertinent to my life.

    My issue right now is my marriage. I came across your book on pleasing your husband and we are so far beyond that point, I can’t bring myself to even buy the book because it’s just too late. I tried the Love Dare and just all kinds of things until my husband asked me to stop. We’ve been in therapy for all of our issues, and they are very serious issues, sin issues, mental issues, physical issues, spiritual issues. The therapist is recommending a separation with the intention of working through our problems separately before coming back together. I’m facing the possibility of having to leave our home, we have 3 children, I care so much about them, I’ve worked so hard to fix this, but it’s just unraveled and I just can’t stop it.

    I am using all the resources I have to just improve my life, be a better parent, find a way to have peace and let go of trying to control the situation. Have a better relationship with the Lord and learn what he has to teach me through this process. I just have so many concerns about my children spiritually and my husband has undermined me and belittled me to the point where none of them respect me at all.

    So, is there any help? Any reason to buy your book? Encouragement?

    Reply
  53. Diana King

    Thank you..that’s just what I needed to read. My mind is racing with frustration and fears of the unknown and I can’t sleep even tho I know my alarm will be going off at 6:30 am. I pray but it’s so hard trusting that God knows what he’s doing. I feel shame and guilt for not having more faith in His plans and for not leaving all the confusion at the foot of the cross. My brother’s trial for murder starts this Thursday. He has decided to ask for the death penalty and forego all court proceedings. He has accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior and has asked God for forgiveness for the murder. He feels this is the way to accept the consequences of his actions. He does not want to spend life in prison. I am the only one that has anything to do with him. He has burned all his bridges with the rest of the family. My heart is heavy and full of so many questions. I am thankful that no matter what the outcome is, that this is a temporary separation and that I will see him again someday. For that, I am eternally grateful to God that He is merciful to my brother and has forgiven him. Yet, in spite of that, I am still confused as to why it had to take something like this to bring him to Christ. I question why God did not intervene before this? And then I think to myself..”Who am I that I would question the plans that God has for my brother”? For the family who lost their loved one at the hands of my brother? His choice has caused such heartache and grief for so many people..including himself. I guess that’s part of my sleepless night because when I pray I know that this choice can never be “undone” and I have trouble accepting that soon, my brother’s life will end. That’s where Satan is trying to darken my outlook….Trying to cause me to doubt that God is truly in control and that He doesn’t make mistakes?

    Reply
    • Irma Logan

      Dear Diana. My whole heart goes out to you and to your brother. The Bible says that the road to heaven is narrow and full of thorns (for all who walk on it). As hard as this sounds it is still true – one day we will understand everything and have all the answers but now we have to put our faith in the Lord because he knows best. We don’t understand all the reasons (I find myself in that position) and this is what Satan uses to confuse us. Remember, Satan will do everything in his power to break your faith because he hates it.

      Reply
  54. Melissa Lobozzo

    Last night, I shared some of your books with women who are looking for hope and direction on being a godly woman. Thank you for helping us keep perspective!

    Reply
  55. Lori Pardi

    Thank you for today’s blog. I enjoy finding ways to share scripture with my friends. This is a great way to do just that. I plan on making a few soon!

    Reply
  56. Abbey

    Oh I so needed to read this today!!! I have fallen into a black pit in some of my closest relationships and have been rather grouchy. I hate this part lf me!

    Reply
  57. Holly Hunt

    I would LOVE your Scripture box!

    Reply
  58. Yvonne

    It always helps to have something to read thats encouraging everyday

    Reply
  59. Amber Snider

    This is such a simple, beautiful idea!!

    Reply
  60. Christina

    I could really use some daily encouragement for myself as I try to deal with a difficult child and just maybe by those encouragement I will be able to pass on to others I’m getting so burnt out on a daily bases trying to work with my seven year that has some delays in her schooling,ADHD and other stuff.I’m such a reactor,I do have your unglued book and going through that at night before bed. Please help from daily mom reactor.

    Reply
    • Jenn

      You are writing my story! I have a 10yr old in the same boat and I’m struggle with reacting as well. I am finding it very challenging and wondering how I’m ever going to make it through the teenage years! The only way I get through is relying on the word of God- I try to run the fruit of the spirit through my thoughts. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I try to celebrate when I am succeessful and to ask forgiveness when I’m not. But still I wish I could find a additional resource- something that is a Godly guide to dealing with child that have Add/Adhd.

      Reply
  61. Bunny

    I absolutely love this idea to give to your friends! But even more, I love all of those verses.

    Reply
  62. Mary Louise Brown

    I love your daily words of encouragement they help me get through those days when I am feeling sorry for myself because my plans for my life are not the going the way I planned it. They remind me to say yes to God even on the days I want to say no. God is good.

    Reply
  63. Jillaine Burns

    Lysa, a friend of mine, Lara McDonald from San Antonio, Tx. lost her lil’ Wyatt (7 yrs. old) to a tragic accident four weeks ago today. She has a strong faith in God but she is in the fight of her life every single minute, hour, day now for missing & mourning her little boy. I would be honored to be able to mail her your scripture prayer box. I know in my heart her soul would feel a little more love, peace and tender healing from reading a scripture each day from that amazing box. God bless you and please everyone ~ please pray for Lara and her husband and younger son Logan.

    Reply
  64. DuRhonda

    I am so heartbroken for these ladies, Lord. I’ve had a rough day too with a wayward teen. Jesus , You never promised us no heartache, but You did promise us that You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Please bless the marriages, the one with anguish over a brother on trial, the mother who lost her sweet boy and a child struggling to learn. God lost His Son for us. Jesus was on trial for us. Life often seems so hard. Thank You, God, that You understand and love us. And thanks for ladies like Lysa and her ministry.

    Reply
  65. Trisha Kemp

    Thank you for telling me that this little black hole is real. I live inside this hole sometimes and am confused by it.

    Reply
  66. Ann Owens

    I am newly married and my husband had an emergency admission to the heart unit followed by surgery 10 days into our marriage..he subsequently lost his job and is not the man I married. He got drunk and sits in his chair with tv on and major depression. 6 weeks later, no job. I made a vow before God and witnesses for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. I am lost

    Reply
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