Hey, it's Lex. Every month on the 15th, I send a guest letter from a friend of mine. I ask them to write to you based not on their writing ability (although they're all fabulous writers), but for their hearts. I ask them to write because I want to share their hearts with you. And this month's guest letter is from someone whose heart has helped me through some of the toughest times in my entire life. I can't think of another person who has carried more of my weight in the darkness than she has. You can follow her on Instagram @amerixan. Enjoy, and you'll be hearing from me on June 30th.
So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light.
-Marcus Mumford, Ghosts That We Knew
I’ve been pondering something you brought up when we spoke last, and it’s been weighing on my mind. You sounded so heavy, your questions ringing in the silence between us. I didn’t know what to say. You’ve always been good at that, bringing up topics I avoid because there isn’t a straightforward answer. You think about things so deeply; it’s one of my favorite things about you.
I don’t remember exactly what it was—poverty, suicide, the death of a loved one—but the point you were trying to make was that things are not as they should be. That sentiment echoes to the bottom of my soul as well. I think about it a lot when I’m at work in the hospital, caring for the sick and injured. This isn’t fair, I think. Things shouldn’t be this way.
Sometimes the darkness seems to swirl up like a poisonous black fog and choke us, stinging our eyes and smothering our throats, until we’re left coughing and sputtering on our hands and knees, wondering if the light was real or if we just made it up. I was there four years ago, and it took me three years to claw my way out, back into the light. Maybe that’s where you are right now, and I would love to sit in that space with you and hear about it. Maybe you’ve been there before, or maybe you haven’t been there yet. Please write back to me; this is a topic I think of often and I would love to hear your story.
I want to share with you something I’ve learned about the Truth behind one of Darkness’s favorite lies.
When we’re in the darkness, under chemical attack without a gas mask, fighting for air, Darkness loves to tell us that this is the only reality that’s true. “Life is only pain,” Darkness laughs, “And anyone who believes different is fooling themselves!” It’s such a good lie because there’s a little bit of truth in it. The world can be such a dark place. But, my brave little one, there is so much Light here.
Dearest, if you find yourself in the place I’m describing, or if you are starting to feel jaded or cynical, promise me we’ll practice something together. Let’s link arms, and bravely look Darkness in the eye. “You are real,” we affirm, “But so is Light.” Let’s make a habit of looking for little gusts of fresh air, little sparks of light—it takes practice, but we can do it! Maybe it’s a niece or nephew, maybe it’s the sun warming your face, maybe it’s friends who have stuck by your side, maybe it’s a really beautiful song. I would love to hear about your little sparks, and maybe even how they have ignited over time into a lovely blaze that lights your way.