This poem is written in the “villanelle* form. I wrote it as a reminder to myself of how hard the darkness of depression can be so that I don’t lose my compassion for those in my world who are struggling to find the Light. But it is also a reminder that the Light of Christ does shine in that darkness, however faintly, and will never be extinguished. If you feel oppressed by the darkness, seek His Light.
The light shines in the darkness Faintly I see His light My need I will confess
Toward the light I press Keeping hope in my sight The light shines in the darkness
Despair my soul’s distress Entangled in the night My need I will confess
His grace I will profess Giving me the strength to fight The light shines in the darkness
I feel anguish oppress Crushing with all its might My need I will confess
Feeling His love’s caress Compassion burning bright The light shines in the darkness My need I will confess
* vil·la·nelle, [vil-uh-nel]
a short poem of fixed form, written in tercets, usually five in number,
followed by a final quatrain, all being based on two rhymes.
Linda writes candid memoir and fearless poetry, and delves into hard issues others tend to avoid. She is also a sexual assault survivor and a recovering lawyer. She wants you to know God’s redemption and healing are just a story away. Because she struggles at times with depression and chronic fibromyalgia pain, she shows compassion to others who do as well. God often teaches her important lessons in everyday events and she shares those lessons with her readers. She publishes a monthly email newsletter that you can subscribe to here.
anotherfearlessyear.net – A hodge-podge of poetry, essays, recipes, and more, started in 2009 on a whim as a place to share God’s truth, love, and grace.
themighty.com – Linda’s corner of a community of people who struggle together with chronic and mental illnesses, encouraging one another to keep moving forward.
anchoredvoices.com – A place for women to use their words and creativity to point each other to the God who anchors the soul. Linda is the resident poet. Guest submissions encouraged.
Bryan is dedicated to serving broken Christians through a message of grace and discipleship. His special focus is ministering to mental illnesses and other disabilities. He has been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and Lewy Body Dementia. God has called him to write and encourage after 35 years of full-time ministry. He was ordained as a Pastor in 1996.
gospels101.com A fresh and different look at the people in the Gospels whom met Jesus Christ face-to-face. A new perspective that will make things become alive for the reader.
redletterstudy.com A walk with Jesus through the “red letters” of scripture, examining the words and miracles of Jesus Christ. In many Bibles his words are in red, that is the thought behind this blog. It’s also a devotional study with simple entries that are short, and hopefully a blessing.
parables101.com This is a devotional look at the parables Jesus used and the Kingdom insights that explain the way it meets us.
songsstudy.wordpress.com Considering the love of Jesus for your soul. Short devotional posts that survey the Book of Song of Solomon, passage by passage.
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.“
Living in darkness no color I see a hint of deep blue maybe red– but no, only blackness
Tears flood the darkness trying to wash away the blackness to reveal the color I know must be near
I’ve heard stories of vibrant yellow sunshine smiling green trees happiness in rainbows streaming across a pale blue sky
But in the darkness these colors are but myths draped in blackness obscured by the pain I feel
Then suddenly the Light comes dim colors revealed to my eyes for my heart to see
The Light drawn by my tears came to wash away the blackness tears alone could never heal
The colors of my world brighten day by day as the Light illuminates the truth of colors that were always just outside the darkness
“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
Matthew 4:15-16 (NIV).
This poem was originally posted on my blog, Linda Kruschke’s Blog, about my own struggles with major depression and the Light who has helped me see the beautiful colors depression had obscured.
I attended a conference once called Shattering Stigma: Mental Illness and the Church. In a session about anxiety, the presenter said one phrase that has stuck with me: “Don’t believe everything you think.” Just because a thought enters your mind doesn’t mean it is true. For me, that is especially the case when Darker Me decides to throw her hat in the ring.
I wrote this poem, a letter to Darker Me, after I’d spent a few days believing her lies about and interpretation of something someone else said. Thankfully, upon closer examination the lies were exposed. I hope this poem encourages you to examine each thought, especially if it is negative, to determine whether it is true.
Dear Darker Me,
I tumbled like Alice as I followed you
down a rabbit hole
but entered no Wonderland.
I found no Mad Hatter,
though I found I might be mad myself
for listening to you.
You are no White Rabbit.
Like the Cheshire Cat you
point me in the wrong direction.
I lost my way in my own twisted mind.
You are no Queen of Hearts to insist
I cut off my head or stay stuck in it.
Lost for days wandering among
thoughts that made no sense.
You interchanged truth and lies!
Nothing was what it seemed to be
as I followed you into
an Unwonderland of dredged up
hurt feelings and wrongs recorded
on an endless loop.
I must find my way out,
back to the surface where,
Truth is truth
and lies are exposed by the Light.
But everything exposed by the light
becomes visible—and everything
that is illuminated
becomes a light.
I’m afraid I must expose you,
dear Darker Me,
that I might live without
your control over my mood.
I suppose we’ll meet again,
but for today I bid you adieu.
I know this light is not for you.
I choose to awake from
the nightmare you’ve drug me into
and rejoice in the truth,
in the Light.
Christ in Me
If you struggle in dealing with Darker You and think processing your thoughts in poetry, check out my guided poetry journal here: https://anotherfearlessyear.net/i-believe-you/ It was originally designed for those who had experienced sexual trauma to process that pain, but it can be a blessing no matter the pain you need to express.