A shadow. Do you have one? I did, for a long, long time.
A shadow is something that casts a darkness upon the whole of your life, and wherever you go, you cannot escape it. Sometimes, you can ignore and stifle its existence so well that it lingers forever on unbeknownst to you.
My shadow began brewing as a little girl when I slowly came to realize that I was not like the others. I was bigger, not as dainty, and preferred to run and pick flowers than sit around and talk about boring things. And then I began to see that I was not treated like the other girls. The old women I knew would give my friends nicknames, and kiss their cheeks, and talk about how sweet they were, and give them gifts like cookies and tea sets and dolls.
They ignored me.
And the harder I tried to please impress, the harder was the rejection. I was excluded. So I returned to my natural timidity. I retreated deeper into it.
You can imagine the loneliness only got worse as I became a teenager. I was continually excluded, or befriended only to be left behind. But the icing on the cake was when a best friend abandoned me for a cooler crowd, and a boy pretended to like me only to weasel his way into my small group of friends and get close to a cleverer, prettier friend of mine. To be treated like my heart and time and love were things to be crumpled up and thrown away...
And the hurt burst into bloom as a ferocious hatred for the whole world. Because it had no place for me, and no person with room in their heart for me.
My shadow was simply a broken heart.
Perhaps you know that shadow too. Perhaps you have another shadow. Maybe it's sorrow, maybe it's bitterness, maybe it's envy. And years have passed, and perhaps you've managed to ignore it. But as I came to see one startling day- it remains.
When I decided that I had to get rid of this I picked up a pen and poured my heart out to God with tears, every detail, every time I was excluded and forgotten, every time that left me feeling worthless, ugly and heartbroken. I let Him deal with every single instance.
*I got a different perspective on things.
*I forgave others.
*I got forgiveness myself.
*I was shown unconditional love, a love that freed me to love others, selfless.
Don't ignore your shadow. Pick up the broken pieces of your heart and use them as ammunition. Do battle with the dark, unleashing His light and life, forgiveness and truth upon it.And that colossal cloud can be a thing crumpled up. And thrown away.