I was up early, earlier than usual, and stepped out to see the most glorious sunrise. As I drank my coffee on the porch swing with my dogs enjoying that quiet moment, I was brought back to remember time on that same porch swing with my Mom many years ago. Her conversations and lessons she taught me while she went through a 5 year battle with cancer, literally some days keep me going. There was even a lesson on the sunrise and sunset.

After a really tough day filled with her chemo and my medical appointments and tests, we sat swinging and I took a very deep breath… and she knew I was weary. Mom always knew. She looked at that sunset on the horizon, and smiled. “Lisa, what makes that sunshine pop out and the brilliance of its light shine?” “Well Mom, it is the dark underneath. It is the shading.” “Exactly!” She replied” “What color is that shading?” “It is black, dark, almost gloomy.”
“Exactly!” She replied with great Joy in her voice.

We had just finished a puzzle of a sunset that we worked on during one of her long chemo appointments. She reminded me of those dark puzzle pieces of the sunset that were the black pieces. Missing those pieces would cause that sunrise to simply not be the same. The puzzle would be incomplete. In fact those black pieces were very important! They laid the foundation for the sun to shine more brilliantly than ever in the sky on that puzzle!

There are those dark days in life…..the days we feel just don’t fit into our life puzzle. There is not a shelf to put the pain and hurt on, and quite frankly that pain can be palpable. For whatever reason, illness, betrayal, broken relationships, marriage, friendships, worry, fear, family issues, addiction, and the list goes on. Those pieces are dark. But what I have learned on this journey with dark pieces to the puzzle are that they are indeed used in my life puzzle. In fact some of the biggest lessons that catapulted me to the next season in my life, were because of those dark puzzle pieces. They taught me forgiveness through betrayal, they taught me joy through pain, (and that it was possible.) Those dark pieces taught me about grace and healing on a whole new level when I felt completely broken. Many times those lessons learned (dark pieces of the puzzle), God even used to share with another going through the same journey who needed hope.

God will not waste a hurt, (or a dark piece to your puzzle!) He will use those dark pieces of your life puzzle to make the victory shine brighter than ever. It will be an important part of your message and your purpose! And that message and purpose would not be complete without it. I have learned this lesson more than ever this year. 2020 has brought more dark pieces to the puzzle than I ever dreamed! BUT, that just means the sunrise will be more brilliant than ever! What I have learned through those dark pieces to the puzzle, I would not change or trade for anything. Those pieces brought change and growth and healing. And you can’t walk through transition or growth without that change.

God has an amazing sunrise for you through the “dark pieces of life”….on the other side of transition. Your puzzle may have many pieces and may take longer than expected to complete but hang on! The reward and finished masterpiece will be worth it! The growth and healing you will experience will be like no other time in your life. Don’t give up. Hold strong to your faith and know the master puzzle maker is at work. A sunrise to behold is on the horizon!