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“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.” – Og Mandino [Tweet this.]

Handsome Male SmilingRecently I spoke at a community event.

There were more than 800 people, many of whom were students.

We spent 75 minutes discussing The Power of One; how one person, one decision, one action can literally change the world.

Afterwards, a young man came up and asked if we could talk for a moment. I responded, “absolutely.”

We walked over to a quiet area and sat down in the theater.

He told me how moved he was during the presentation. He shared that he was new to the area and struggling in school. His eyes watered as he spoke.

Then he asked a telling question: “John, were there ever days when you regretted living through the fire; or days afterwards when you wondered if you’d be better off dead?”

Frequently we judge others on the answers they provide. But if we listen closely, the best way to truly know someone is to listen to the questions they ask.

I answered his question.

Told him honestly that there were many difficult days that I struggled mightily: Five long months in the hospital, losing my fingers to amputation, difficulties in school, challenges in dating and struggles professionally.

But that, through those challenges, character was forged and made stronger, more compassionate and more driven. And, in looking back on it, I even consider myself more blessed because of the challenges.

We then shifted and talked about him.

We discussed his family, his struggles, his school and his life. It was an honest, painful and beautifully open conversation. At the end as we got ready to step back into crowds and life, I asked what he was thinking now.

He responded that today was the first day of the rest of his life. He shared that he wanted to live. He committed to talking to his school counselor and gave me permission to share the conversation with his principal.

The fight was no longer just his. And the darkness was no longer more powerful than the light.

My friends, we all go through dark times. The good news is that although light is awesome and shows us the way, it is the darkness that permits us to actually see the stars and appreciate the light. [Tweet this.]

Stay on fire. And know that the best is yet to come.

What is one thing you have learned from a past challenge in your life? Share in the comments below to give all of our community members who are in a “dark” time hope that they will find the stars within their darkness soon.

0 replies on “What Can You See in the Dark?”

My mother has dementia and lives with me in my home. Through this difficult and sad journey, I have realized I have more strength and patience than I ever thought I had. Through God’s grace, I have been able to take care of her and love her even more. My faith has deepened and my trust in God has as well. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

I was declared medically-dead by suicide at age 20, and only by the Grace of God, was I brought back into the flesh. Overcoming major depression takes the will of a quiet warrior, and there is not a thing one can do, of one’s own will alone. I know that ALL LIFE is intrinsically connected, and to discover the power that lives within means to Return to the Truth that ALL Life is unified within God’s Almighty Love.
My Prayer is that all people who suffer in any fashion, may become Still and Quiet enough to reject the past, reject what lies the world tries to kill the spirit with, and instead to EMBRACE the Majesty of Infinite Love and the Promise of Heaven on Earth.

I’ve experienced the darkness many times. I’ve considered giving up almost as many times. I know, however, that giving up is a permanent solution to a temporary situation. It’s not an option…not something I would even consider any longer. When my brother took his life, the ripple effect was tremendous.
We don’t realize how much we touch others’ lives. We don’t know the lasting effects that suicide has on those who love us, and even on some who only casually know us. I truly hope that young man honors his commitments. I bet he has a LOT to offer the world.

Indeed, Joyce. You have my personal Prayers unto yourself and the whole of your family. I know first hand, what I did to my family when I committed suicide (and was revived) and the aftermath of that. I also know what it is like to have a close family member commit suicide. It requires the ONGOING PRAYER of others, both near and far, to hold your heart in the tender embrace of Indomitable Love. And you now have that from at least one more person, by way of myself…Thank you for sharing, and God Bless your every atom and the whole of your family…***Elise R. Brion***

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Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.