Guest Post by Ashley LaMar @ Forever Ashley

*This is a guest post by a fellow blogger, Ashley LaMar*

I read a quote the other day that said “Stars cannot shine without darkness” and I immediately stored it away in my mind for a rainy day in need of inspiration. The words impacted me immediately. They are a great reminder for life and, I thought, the perfect topic for my guest post here on Not For Nothing Y’all.

The quote made me smile because I’ve had people say to me, “Your joy just shines in you!” or some other variation of that same sentence. Sometimes they say joy, happiness, excitement, love, etc but it’s always a positive. There is this underlying assumption that I’ve always been joyful and that I’ve lived a charmed life.

In a lot of ways it’s true. My parents are still married to this day so I’ve never had to deal with divorce. I’ve never been beaten or attacked. I’ve never been homeless or lived in poverty. In many ways I’ve been very blessed.

In a lot of ways it’s not true. My parents did separate for a year and were preparing for a divorce. I was in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship for 8 years. I dropped out of college twice before returning for a third time to finally graduate. I’ve lost jobs. I’ve had financial struggles. I miscarried my only pregnancy with my husband and have not been able to conceive again. In many ways, I’ve struggled.

And yet people say they see my joy shining!

People see my joy because I’ve learned to recognize and appreciate my blessings. While my parents nearly divorced, they didn’t. While I was in an abusive relationship, I’m not now. While I dropped out of college, I did return and graduate. The list goes on and on. I’ve experienced the darkness and the light. I’m able to shine because I recognize that even when things are bad the darkness may surround us but it does not live within us.

Do you recognize that? Do you know that your joy shines?

YOU are not the darkness. You are the light that shines from the darkness. You are the hope that perseveres when all seems lost. You are the optimism in a pessimistic world. You are joy. You are love. You are a blessing. You are a star.

Our dark times are a blessing in disguise. Those dark times are what make us who we are and teach us the value of hard work, determination, perseverance, endurance, strength, commitment and triumph.

Stars don’t need the darkness to shine, they shine anyway. Stars need the darkness to show everyone else that they are shining. Stars need the darkness so that they can shine bright and shout to the world, “The darkness has not destroyed me! The darkness has surrounded me and yet still I shine! I will persevere.”

Persevere through your darkness. Be a star.

Ashley  Ashley blogs at Forever Ashley where she

  shares her journey in seeking God’s wisdom

  in life and love. She can also be found on Facebook 

  and on Twitter.

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