Tuesday, February 9, 2016

When the Struggle is Really Real.

It's so cold today.  So cold.  Not the coldest it's been.  But perhaps the sadness makes it feel colder.  I don't know what to do about that.  

It's true.  I often wonder at the goodness of God.  I question it.  Try it, and test it.  I wonder if His love hasn't run out on me.  I wonder if God hasn't grown tired of me.  I wonder if His He understands the way I feel.  Because His plans don't feel very good to me.  Not always anyway.

And I'm sorry.  I'm sorry if I'm being sacrilegious.  Or rude.  Or disrespectful.  And I wonder if sometimes the way I express this thing we call belief is ever misunderstood.  Don't get me wrong.  Please.  Don't mistake my struggle for something it's not.  

I'm only saying that if I'm honest with myself... with you... with God... I must admit that I don't understand God.  And sometimes His plans seem mean.  Sometimes God seems mean, and wild.  Or maybe distant, and uninvolved.  I'm not sure.  But I don't understand Him.  And I think most of us don't.  And I think we call Him good, when we don't believe He is.  I think most of us don't believe He is REALLY truly good.  I think you struggle just like me sometimes.  

Only maybe you're afraid to admit it.  

What I am saying friends, is that I'm not alone in this struggle.  I know I'm not. And I know that's not the popular thing to say.  It isn't what our mothers have told us.  It isn't what our Sunday school teachers taught us.  And it isn't what our pastors have preached from the pulpit each week.  But it is a real, and valid struggle.  And I'm not the only one who feels it.  And if you're honest with yourself, you know that, too.

My heart is filled with sadness.  The nights are dark, and lonely, and long.  And I'm a mess.  I live for the days.  The sunshine.  The people.  The business of tasks ahead.  But those are long and lonely, too.  

I love my job.  I love teaching.  I love my kids.  And i wish I could do more for them.  And I worry that what I'm doing isn't enough.  That I could do more.  And that I am, in many ways, not enough for them.  And sometimes I struggle to know whether what I'm doing is helping, or enabling.  I'm not sure.  

What I do know is that I desire more than anything to be a hand held against the bleeding wounds of this world.  I don't know for sure if I'm called to it.  There was no moment of clarity.  There was no "word from the Lord".  No message that made it all make sense.  No moment where I understood it in some new and exciting way.  I envy people who get that.  I never got that.  

What I know, is that I wish to have a greater love and compassion for those living in poverty, and in transition.  I know that I wish to meet shame and embarrassment with both empathy and truth.  I wish my community to understand their worth to God--even though He seems mean and wild.  

I feel sad.  So, so sad.

And Jesus is my only hope of joy.  And though He may be mean and wild, I also believe He knows things that I don't know.

"Every morning I walk like this around
the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart
ever close, I am as good as dead.
Every morning, so far, I'm alive. "
-Mary Oliver

And so I am still alive.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Everything is moving at warp speed.

I'm feeling a bit of an itch for change.  Job?  Location?  New apartment?  No, not new apartment.  That one is silly.  But something.  And while I don't know what it is just yet, I can say honestly that I feel the ice around my heart melting.  The cold places are becoming soft.  Tender again.  All that darkness is being swept up in the light.  And my heart exposed for what it is.  Dusty, and dank, at best.  I'm left feeling a bit raw.

I'm moving out of survival mode.  Because I've been just makin' it for so long, friends.  Just.  And for so long.

I need something.  Something is missing.  And I don't even know what.  But good things are coming.  Good things are happening.

Don't get me wrong, I like my little life.  I suppose I just find myself staring out at the horizon, wondering what's out there.  Telling myself there's more.  Better.  Maybe the grass is always greener on the other side.  Or maybe I just never know how to sit still, and take in all that I've got going for myself.

I ask myself if I'm doing the right thing with my life.  On the regular.  And then I'm always reminding myself that these hands were made to serve.  To bleed of serving.  I want the cuts, and scrapes, and scars of service.  To my community.  To God's people.  Because they are significant.  They matter.  Made in the image of God.  And I take that seriously.  And so they are worth it.  And so however hard it is right now, I can't leave.  I can't leave like this.

Life is messy.  I've always said it.  Life is messy.  And try as I may, I can't seem to keep all the little pieces sorted out.  I can't keep everything compartmentalized in its own little box--wrapped up neatly--sorted out, so as not to touch anything else.  Things touch.  They mix.  They intermingle.  My worlds collide.  And for the most part, I've learned to love it.

I have mistaken darkness for light.  A lie for the truth.  And the wrong thing, for the right.  I can't have my way about this one, and it hurts me so much.  More, perhaps, than anything has ever hurt before.  And now everything is broken.  And I can't fix any of it.

I'm so very sorry that I couldn't make it right.  That I couldn't fix it.  That I couldn't just say no to what I wanted.  I am riddled with the guilt of what I've done.  How I've ruined all of it.  How I've ruined my own heart.


Friday, August 28, 2015

The Things we say.

"If you don't have anything else to say, don't say anything at all."

And so I haven't.  For quite some time.  Because, well, I just didn't have anything nice to say.  So I stepped away for a while.  So there's that.


Am I right?

The truth is, my heart is on the mend.  Because I can never really stay mad forever.  But I can't go back to where I was.  No, I just don't think my heart can take that.

And so to my mom friends: teach your boys to grow to be men who grow up to say things the things they mean.  And not the stuff they don't.  Because the things we say will break people.  Or fix people.  Hurt people.  Or heal people.  Harm people.  Or help people.  Our words will be hate.  Or our words will be love.  And they will be fake.  Or they will be sincere.  But they matter.  They all matter.

And we'll probably just never know the affect our words are really having.

But life my life isn't all that bad.  I think I'm just born to broken people.  And so I'm broken people.  And we fault each other for being broken.  But we're all broken.  And that's the truth of it.

Like, a couple of weeks ago, my sister came up to Bemidji for a little visit.  It's kind of a big deal.  A piece of my life.  My past.  Here.  In my world.  And all at once I think I wasn't ready for all the processing, you know?  Because we're messy.  And being around each other 24/7 was wonderful.  And awful.  And beautiful.  And terrifying.

Because I got my reasons for moving away from home.  Ya know what I mean?

But also, she's my sister.  My beautiful sister.  And I miss her.  Every day.

"...right in our back yard!"

Because such and such is happening right in our back yard.

War.  Human trafficking.  Injustice.  Slavery.  And lots of awful, awful things, friends.  Lots and lots.
And my heart's cry is "Life is messy."  And it is. friends.  It is.  But sometimes messy just doesn't seem to cover it.  Sometimes messy just isn't enough.

Because if my job has taught me anything... Anything at all...

Addiction is real.  Drugs are bad.
Abuse is real.  Domestic violence happens.
Injustice?  Everywhere.
Human trafficking? Real.  Awful.  Scary.  Happening.  And that's all I can say about that.

My heart is sad, friends.  So, so sad.

"God has a plan..."
Or equally as annoying (to me anyway...)
"It's God's will that..."

I believe in the sovereignty, and will of God.  I believe that (ultimately) He will have His way in all things.  All things.  

And my heart is sad for the state of my world.  And I was not made for this world.  I know.

And I know that my God is just.  And justice will reign.  But that doesn't stop me from being sad at the state of my world.

It doesn't stop me from crying.  And pounding my fists on the table, and shouting, "We can do better than this.  Because I believe we can."

And God may have a plan, but here I am in the middle of it all, and I'm feeling every bit of sadness.  I'm feeling the evils of the world, and how awful it all can be.  And I know that we have hope.  But mostly it just hurts.  Seeing all the evils of the world.  Feeling it all.  And feeling powerless to it all hurts.  It just hurts.

And I believe in hope.

This warship is sinking, and I still believe in anchors...

I still believe in hope.

But hope is a smelly word.

Because hope is this great promise for the future.  And that's wonderful.  But that also means that right now it right now it hurts.  And hold on tight, because it's going to hurt for a while.

It's going to suck.

It's going to stink.

Because hope is a smelly word.

I believe in hope, but hope is a smelly word.

And who knows how much longer it's going to feel this way?

"Come.  Come to us, and rescue us..."

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Portion.

black sheep.  

Because everyone I know is either in Duluth, or going to Duluth tomorrow.  Or just busy.  And the sun is going down.  And I have just about one glass left.  So I emptied the bottle.  Also because nights like these are the perfect nights to write.  

The sun is setting behind the trees.  It's the beginnings of 4th of July weekend, and so somewhere out there, the world is very much alive.  But here.  Right here.  In my little efficiency suite, the world is still and the wine is right.  Even my wild dog has nestled in next to me.  

It's beginning to look like a jungle in here.  What with Russ and Renae's ZZ plant, and my lemon tree, and all the others.  And then there's my wild girl.  The lioness.  Yes, I do live in the jungle.  

Today the stillness sits heavily upon my heart.  Like a weight pressing in on me, it ensures that I cannot move.  Will not move.  The stillness insists that the yearning inside of me settles today.  So I've settled.  

We went for a bike ride this morning.  And it was gorgeous.  And then I ran a couple of errands.  But since then I've been home.  And still.  And breathing in the stillness deeply.  Drinking it all in--much like my wine.  

And so today I found comfort in Psalm 16: 

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.  
I say to the Lord, "You are my Lord; 
I have no good apart from you." 

Yes, because today I hide myself in you.  Yes, because you have made all that is good.  Are in all that is good.  Everything.  All of it.  All that I know, and see.  

As for the saints in the land,
they are the excellent ones, 
in whom is all my delight.  

The sorrows of those who run after
another God shall multiply; 
their drink offerings of blood I will not 
pour out
or take their names on my lips.

Yes, because I seek comfort in knowledge.  What am I if I'm not the smart girl?  Or the writer, with all the pretty words?  Who am I if I'm not the strong one?  Scrappy.  Because I don't need anyone.  I can take care of myself.  "Consider it handled."  Perhaps I'm just a fraud.  So in this way, I have set myself up as my own god.  I'm ashamed of it.  I am sorry for it.  

The Lord is my chosen portion and 
my cup;
you hold my lot.  
The lines have fallen for me in 
pleasant places; 
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.  

I bless the Lord who gives me 
in the night also my heart instructs me.

I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall 
not be shaken.  

Because here it is:  You are my chosen portion and my cup.  You guide my every step.  Every door of opportunity which has opened itself to me has invited me in because of you.  Your favor.  Which I obviously do not deserve.  But you give.  Yes, this goes with out saying.  But you give it.  You love.  You always love.  And my inheritance is your love.  My inheritance is you.  

You make known to me the path of 
in your presence there is fullness of joy; 
at your right hand are pleasures 

There is goodness in you because you are goodness.  You are all that is good.  And my joy is complete because of you.  With you.  In you.  

Thank you.  

Thank you, my portion, and my cup.  

Thank you, my beautiful inheritance.  

Come thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
-Robert Robinson

Tune my heart.  Yes, Lord.  Tune it.  Because I am so often not in tune with you.  I clash.  With notes spread wide, and dissonant.  Tune my heart.  

I forget your goodness.  Or more over, I turn from it.  And then I forget that I am already accepted.  Covered.  Held.  Known.  Beloved.  

Worth it.  And I want to focus on that last one for just a minute.  Because Mike Garry used to always tell me that I'm worth it.  That I should believe I'm worth it, because I'm worth it.  And Shelley Johnson once said to me that if I could only see the person that she sees in me...  And still I wonder what Shelley Johnson sees.  But I think she believes I'm worth it, too.  And I am grateful for my friends who tell me I am worth it.  Because I'm finally beginning to see just exactly what I'm worth.  

And I think now that I see that, I think I can take off the boxing gloves.  Step out of the ring.  Put down my defenses a little.  Because the Lord fights for me.  He makes me brave.  He gives me courage.  His love sends my fears packing.  And so I think I can stop fighting so hard to try and deserve what I already have (even though I have never deserved it, really).  Isn't grace a funny thing like that?

It seems all I need do is remember.  To sing His grace over and over.  And because of what He did for me.  What He does for me.  The way He fights for me.  It's a song that never grows old.  I can't sing it too much, or too loudly.  I can't wear that song out.  

While we were still sinners Love gave Himself up for us, and walked out of the grave, so that we could taste the sweetness of mercy and belonging.  That song is powerful.  Lord, help me to sing it.  

And I am nothing if I don't have You.  And I DO HAVE YOU.  For You are my portion of choice, and my cup.  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

On Coming Home, And Waking Up...

Being home is a strange sort of feeling.

This city has come alive again, and I almost like being here.  And maybe it's just the sunshine, and the granita.  Maybe it's just all the nostalgia of my childhood.  The sounds of mariachi music playing loud and clear--even from blocks away.  The smell of mangoes and chilli powder.  Corn on the cob, and tamales.  And all the noisy kids in the street.  Drivers honking their horns, because we owned those streets, and would refuse to let them pass, but instead insisted that they went around. A giant neighborhood wide game of hide and seek.  Nothing off limits.  No place we couldn't hide.  And double dutch with old plastic clothing lines wrapped tightly round our fingers.  Tap, tap, tap, tap.  As they wrapped on the street pavement.  "Cinderella, dressed in yella, went upstairs to kiss her fella..." We would chant, and sing, and jump."  "Girl, don't be double handed."  That's when you turn the ropes off beat, causing someone to mess up.  My sister and I, we were the only white kids for miles.  But we didn't mind.  They knew we were different, and sometimes they pointed it out, but mostly they just let us blend in, and become one of them. 

I discovered I didn't have any booty to pop, when they tried to teach me how.  I was only ten, then, but nothing has really changed. 

But I sort of love being here.  I'm not moving here or anything.  At least... not at this point in my life.
But I love the feeling of a coming home, and how this time, it really feels like a coming home.  Maybe it's me.  Maybe it's my family.  And perhaps, I think to myself, it is Jesus.  And some combination of all of those things.  As Jesus works.  Because He is working.  Always working.

I used to think that my family is broken, and there was nothing good about them.  As if to say, I come from the island of misfit toys, or something.  Our house is not a pretty house.  Our things are not nice, shiny, pretty things.  Our clothing was ill fitting, and old.  Usually from the donation bin, or garage sales.  Our shoes, always from Payless, or K-Mart.  And my family is not a nice, shiny, pretty people.  We are loud, and outspoken.  And sometimes graceless, and tactless.  We yell, and scream, and fight.  We are not a kind, and graceful people.    And when I left this place, I was excited to leave it all behind.  When I left this place I thought, "I might never come back..."

But my heart is stubborn, and prideful; my heart is wrong.  It has taken me far too long to know that I've been wrong.

I care far too much about image.  What I look like, and what others think of me.  And the irony of it all is that I sort of lose myself, and all the good in me, when I worry so much about it all.  I sort of ruin it.  All the good.  All the grace.  All the kindness.  When I get so stuck on myself.

But I digress... 

But my heart is stubborn, and prideful.

My family, we are broken.  But we are mine.  And there is good here, too.  There is redeemable.  There is life.

I know Jesus because my mother introduced us when I was small.  And I love Him, because she showed me how.  And I serve Him because she spent her life paving the way for me.

And my father.  My father is smart, and creative.  He is an amazing photographer.  He has quite an eye.  And our relationship, while rocky, is slowly growing.  Slowly.  I remember a time when we couldn't speak to one another.  And yesterday I got home, and we talked nearly the whole way home.  Small talk.  About the weather, and my car, and little things.  But this... This is a huge step.  This is monumental.  Like, I can't even tell you how big this is.  How amazing it is to have a conversation with my dad. 

From Sarah, I learned many things.  An eye for design.  A sense of style.  No surprise this comes from my eldest sister.  And she also taught me how to speak my mind.  How to say just what I'm thinking.  How to be unafraid.

From my brother, I learned the importance of arguing with logic.  He taught me how to present the truth.  How to think logically.  And how to stand up for myself.  He also taught me how to say what is right, even though what is right is often the unpopular opinion.  He has also instilled in me an understanding of family, and as my brother, he has protected me time and again.

Naomi... Naomi and I have grown apart over the years.  But there was a time when we were best buds.  We did everything together.  And now we're working on our relationship again.  She got texting so that she could text me.  And I love her for it.  She has taught me how to love.  Because I've been difficult to love.  And she has taught me how to receive grace.  And also how to admit fault, and repair broken relationship.  Because I am often wrong, and as a result our relationship is often broken, because I am often wrong.  And prideful, and stubborn.  And she teaches me...

So see... It isn't all bad. 

Being home is a strange feeling.  Like a sort of waking... This part of me, of my heart, that has been asleep for so long...

Like a thawing of sorts... After a long, and treacherous winter...

But spring has sprung, and there is life here at home... 

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Message For My Mom Friends: STOP THAT.

That's what the thermometer says when I take it out of my mouth.  And with Mother's Day right around the corner, I can't help but think of my mom.  She worked full time.  And she didn't make a lot of money.  She was gone a lot.  But when I was sick, she pulled out all the stops.

Once, in the 4th grade, I had a sinus infection so bad I had to have tubes put in my sinuses to drain out all the fluid.  I missed three weeks of school.  And mom, she stayed home from work every day.  Luckily, she worked so much that missing three weeks didn't use up all her vacation time.  And she was right there by my side.  She sat next to me when I was in pain.  She held my hand when I threw up.  She made me jello, and made sure I drank enough fluids.  Until I was well enough to return to school.

And she did that every time I was sick.  For those of you who have kids, you are probably aware of just how much that can actually be.

My mom is amazing.

This is woman who can do anything.  She knits, and crochets, and sews.  She is so creative, and she's never even heard of pinterest.  She runs.  Every day.  And she is 65.  She does Zumba, and dances.  And she's awesome at it.

She is kind, and compassionate, and a really good teacher.  She loves Jesus--so much--and is the very reason I know Jesus the way I do.  She saved up every year for my sister and I to go to camp during the summer.  She took us to church, and kid's club.  Memorized bible verses with us, and taught us old hymns.  Her faith--her own conversion--has inspired mine so much.

I love my mom.

But here's the thing...

My mom fed us cereal.  And when I was growing up, I had never heard of eating organic, or natural living.  I had never heard of essential oils.  And I even went to... wait for it...

...wait for it...

PUBLIC SCHOOL... (Gasp!!!)

(This is because my mother believed that since we have Jesus, we take him with us wherever we go.  And that means that they can't kick God out of schools.  Because we're there.  As a light in the darkness.  And we were.  And it was hard.  But it was awesome.  Anyway...)

And you know what, I am not a convicted criminal.  I ate cereal almost every day of my childhood, and I am not a felon.  I didn't eat organic, and I am an upstanding member of society.  I went to public school, and I'm smart.  I know how to read.  I have good handwriting.  I graduated college.  I didn't start using essential oils until about a year ago, and I pay my taxes.  My siblings and I, we ate hamburger helper, and pb&j, more than I care to recount.  But here's the thing...

Sarah has a degree in Sociology from Judson University.  She has a successful career, and lives in Chicago with her husband Dan.  She loves Jesus.

Aaron, also married, is going to law school in the fall.  Somewhere awesome, I'm sure.  He's also suuper smart.  With a bachelor's degree from U of I in Mathematics.  And a Master's degree from the same place, in Linguistics.  His faith amazes me.  He will do great things.

Naomi is also a college graduate, with a bachelor's degree in education from Illinois State University.   She lives in Bloomington, IL with her husband, and three little hell raisers.  Seriously, though.  Those kids are awesome.  Because Naomi is a good mom.  And also loves God a whole lot.

See, here's the thing.  I sat around at small group one night with a few moms, who all confessed that they feel guilty for feeding their children cereal sometimes.  To which I said, "I ate cereal every day.  And I'm okay!  I went to college.  I own a car.  I work full time.  I pay the taxes, and the bills!  I'm OK, and I ate cereal."

This is what I'm getting at...

I know a lot of moms who feel guilty for feeding their kids cereal.  Stop that.

I know a lot of moms who feel like they're not creative, because they aren't crafty enough for pintrest.   Stop that.

I know a lot of moms who can't afford to feed their kids organic food, or buy essential oils by the gallon.  And they feel so badly for it.  Stop that.

I even know moms who have to send their kids to public school so that they can work, and they hate themselves for it.  STOP THAT.

I'm here to tell you to stop feeling guilty for that stuff.  I wasn't home schooled a day in my life.  I think that home schooling is AMAZING if you can do that sort of thing.  But I didn't.  And I'm okay.  Better than okay.  I am a well educated, upstanding member of society.  I contribute to my community everyday, and I love Jesus.

I ate cereal, and I'm okay.

I took aspirin instead of essential oils (for a really, really long time).  And I'm okay.

I heard someone say once, that to be a mom is to feel guilty.  All the time.  And maybe that's true.  I can see how that's true.  But it's wrong.  Stop feeling guilty for doing the best you can.

You have to hardest job that there is.  And you're great at it.

Seriously, you are.

So stop wasting your time feeling guilty for not being Super Mom/Pioneer Woman/Awesome at everything always.

Take a deep breath.  You're doing great.  And your kids are gonna be okay.

...Even if they eat cereal for breakfast today...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Cause for Celebration.

The past year or two has been really hard.  So when I wanted to celebrate my birthday, the lovelies in my life took over and threw me a little shin-dig.  It was wonderful--filled with laughter, and wine,  and cake, and all the things I love.

I even wore a birthday hat.  For a minute or two.  And there was talk of strapping balloons to my bike.  Because it would just be funny to float home, like in UP or something.  I mean, wouldn't that be funny?  Especially with that dog after me... Ha.

But seriously.  I celebrated my birthday.  Albeit a couple days early, but I celebrated.  And that's kind of a big deal.  Because I don't really celebrate my birthday.  Like ever.  Like the only times I've ever celebrated my birthday, were when people came around me made it happen.  Because THEY wanted to.  Because it was the thing they were doing for me.  And I love it.  Because I love them.  For trying, and for caring enough to try.  And I sat there feeling silly, and red in the face, and nervous, and anxious.  And with sweaty palms, I made it through the day, not really making eye contact with the genuine loves of my life who would say, "Happy birthday."

It isn't the whole being the center of attention thing.  If my blog proves nothing to you, it ought to prove that I've got plenty to say, and I will be heard when need be.  And it's not the whole getting older thing either.  I love my life.  And I'm grateful for all of it.

But when you get punched in the face enough times, you learn how to duck.  And when life beats you up enough, you learn that there isn't really all that much to celebrate.  (Note: I'm not saying that's true.  We often learn wrong stuff.  Right?)

There were just a lot of bad ones.  So it got really difficult to see cause for a good one.

But after all of that, and then the past year or so... You know, a girl just gets exhausted.  It's like, what is there, really. to celebrate.  Really?  NO, REALLY... 

I'll give you an example: One summer, I was working a whole bunch, and went the entire summer without a single day off.  It was... a lot, to say the least.  And I can remember a day when I was hot--because I hate the heat--and emotional.  And oh yeah!  Exhausted!  And I was complaining to my friend Travis about how long it had been since I'd had a day off, and how much I had been working.  And he said, "I think I need a vacation just after hearing that."

And I guess I've always sort of applied that policy to my life.  Like, my life is so exhausting, and sometimes I just need a vacation from it all.  A break.  Because I'm an expert at avoiding my shit.  And as much as carry the "FACE YOUR SHIT!" banner, I'll be the first one to sleep 'til noon when I'm depressed; I'll claw myself out of bed only for coffee, and a healthy dose of cynicism. And I'll be the first one to leave the party early and say, "I don't feel well."  Because I don't.  I don't feel well.  And a lot of times it's physical.  But a lot of times it's just... depression.

God, I hate that word.  I hate saying it.  I hate thinking it.  And I REALLY hate feeling it.  But I do.  A lot of times I do feel it.  And it's taken me a lot to come to a place where I can say that.

And yeah, the last year or two sucked.  Suuuure did.  The sting of betrayal at the hand of someone I thought cared about me sucked.  And everything to follow really sucked.  And losing my job stung like a slap in the face.  And losing my friend to suicide almost put me in the ground, too.  And I can remember laying on the couch, paralyzed by fear, and pain and questions.

And all those things.  Those awful, terrible things... They all made me feel like I was going to die.  Like my heart was being crushed.  Like I wouldn't make it out alive.  But then I did.  And I love my life.  Because my experiences were rotten, and I almost didn't make it out alive.

But then it came like a waking up.  The Lord spared my lemon tree.  Something in me woke up.  Something in me said, "Face your shit.  Fight back."  And it came to me in the voice of Mike Garry, who says that to me a lot.  And then a, "You are loved," from Jill Hanson.  And the light came through my window, straight into me, and the darkness did not overcome it.  Does not overcome it.  Will not overcome it.

The darkness does not overcome it.
The darkness does not win.

And that is cause for celebration.