When It’s Dark Inside

Last week I wrote on laughter. This week’s topic is totally different. Funny how things can change so quickly and deeply. Not funny haha like that post on laughing – but funny as in strange and unexpected. I want to tell you about a day I had this week.

Maybe you have had a day like this:

I woke up in the dark that day.

Yes, it was dark outside, because it was just after 4 am. But, it was dark inside too.

It was dark inside the night before.

And when I woke up in the morning it was still dark inside.

Dark inside of me.

Have you ever felt like that?

It felt awful, like a monster.

I didn’t like it.

The darkness sought to utterly consume me so that I was not visible. So that I was not “there”. As if only the dark intense feelings were.

For hours I tried to get the darkness to flee with my usual tools of music and scriptures etc.

But it remained dark inside.

I didn’t understand.

It physically hurt.

I was upset about many things. I felt discouraged and powerless to change the plethora of things that I felt needed changing – or worse that there is no change available. That bred hopelessness and made the darkness feel even darker.

I felt like lying on the floor and crying all day because I was so sad.

Have you ever felt like that?

So what was I sad about?

I sat down at my computer to write it out. To get the darkness OUT of me and into the light in word form to find some clarity.

I listed one thing after another beginning each sentence with

“I am sad…”

The sentences all ran together as big reasons and small reasons, valid reasons and lying reasons, fear filled reasons and anger filled reasons filled the pages. FOURTY TWO reasons gushed out of me. I ended my little private rant with

“I feel dark inside. God turn the light on – you are the Light.”

Expelling those reasons from my soul did bring light.

I saw things I hadn’t seen before. I saw how utterly big the pile was which validated my feelings.

But it did not make them go away.

Then I remembered something I have learned somewhat recently.

Feelings can lie.

That made me angry knowing my own self was betraying me.

I was feeling something intensely but it HAD NO RIGHT because it was not true, it had no right to be there.

I found two lies in my list and called them out as the lies they were.

One was that I felt powerless. I am NOT powerless. I have been given power by The Pursuer. Even if it seems to not be working at the moment that does not mean I do not have it. I bought a chainsaw a while ago. I don’t know how to use it yet. That doesn’t make it powerless.

The second lie was that I felt guilty for feeling sad. There is no valid reason to feel guilty for having feelings. Feelings are part of us, closer to us than the air we breathe. That feeling of guilt was a lie, an old thinking pattern from my past that apparently needs more work – which I am engaged in.

I have been trying to learn about these things called feelings for a while now. They were identified as an issue of mine while writing my book Emerging With Wings.

Then after an epic meltdown on Christmas night, I have engaged in a new “strategy” in trying to understand and operate them. Now they seem to be the subject of a book I am in the process of writing.

Also, I just finished reading a book called The Listening Life by Adam S. McHugh, wherein Adam talks about what listening actually is and has a section on listening to your emotions. In that section he says It’s okay to not be okay.

It’s okay to not be okay. Click To Tweet

I needed to be reminded. Especially with me being a person of faith because I have encountered those well-meaning people not allowing

Especially with me being a person of faith because I have encountered those well-meaning people not allowing me to be NOT okay because I should just use my faith or something as if it is magic. But faith is not magic.

Faith is not magic. Click To Tweet

Faith to me is trusting in The Pursuer and our relationship.

He didn’t fail me on this dark day. He sent me comfort and validation while slowly and safely bringing me out from that dark emotional abyss.

What did he do?

He knew this day was coming and orchestrated connections I needed, along with the courage to accept them.

Early in the day, I asked a couple people to pray for me admitting my emotional state. If you know me or have read

If you know me or have read my book you understand what a big thing that was for me to do. Later in the day, they checked up on me. Also, I

Later in the day, they checked up on me. Also, I

Also, I “happened” upon a new ebook that had just been released by Dennis J. Coughlin (a man in an online study I’m doing with Jeff Goins). His book is called Rain Down: Discover Why We All Need Connection. I read the entire sample section (and bought it). I needed it.

Following that, someone offered to come over and give me a hug – having just read about the need for connection I said yes (again another huge step of growth for me) – I allowed the light in.

We talked.

I got hugs and validation.

“We all have a journey in life, each of us walking on our own individual path. But, we’re not walking alone. It’s just that… Sometimes we need to be carried, and sometimes we do the carrying.” – Warren Peterson


That evening one of the things in my pile had to become the center.

My mother in law has Alzheimer’s and is in hospice care. We needed to have a family meeting to discuss where we are in our journey with her. It was decided to remove the last two of her medications that are not for comfort and research will begin in where to make the funeral arrangements.

The hospice nurse commented on how amazing it is that we all support each other and that she wished we could teach classes on it. Apparently many other families fight with each other, hide things from each other and engage in power struggles.

I believe the key to our peace in our process is The Pursuer.

We don’t pretend to know what we are doing but whatever it is, we are doing it together, in love.


I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16 NIV

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8 thoughts on “When It’s Dark Inside

  1. This was totally relatable from start to finish. As a woman of faith it is hard to say am having a bad day or I am not quite myself! Because inside you feel guilt as if these feelings are a lack of faith in God. My favorite line: “It’s ok to not be ok”. Giving yourself permission to have these feelings is OK!
    Thank you Danielle for sharing…sending Big Hugs! We all need them often!
    Be blessed,

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