the sunspots . .
I have had this story in drafts for months! I have waited for the perfect time to share this part of my story. Tonight it feels right – tonight I post another part of my story.
Tonight it feels right on the heels of writing something so hard last night – to now write about something so graceful.
There are only 3 people in my life who know about the “sunspots” story from my childhood, and what that means to me even today as an adult.
The only 3 people who truly hold this close to their heart as a part of my story, is my therapist, my dear friend Tracy, and GOD. I have never opened up about this before.
It was so sacred to me, that I never shared it with my own kids, or my husband. I don’t think anyone could possibly understand the depths of what this meant to me as a child, and how it saved my life.
This is where I “met God”.
I think the reason I have never really shared the full story about this, is because it was the only thing in my life that brought me relief from the pain I was in. I shared a little but about it in small bits before – but never the full story!
I felt if I told anyone the whole story about the sunspots, it would take away the glory of it – that it would disappear.
When I came across this photo of the little girl lying in the sunspots, I lost my breath entirely for a moment! It took my breath away because it reminded me of the only thing in my childhood that was painless, and filled with God’s love. It took my breath away because it looked just like me as a child, and this is exactly what I did – I raised my hands up to feel the warmth of God’s love!
When I was as early as 5 years old, I would sneak downstairs to the living room while everyone was sleeping, and I would find the sunspots on the floor, or in the chair. I would go crawl into them, and feel the warmth of the sun. I would lay there and sometimes sleep, but a lot of the times I would lay there and pray. It felt like a hug, a warm hug, and filled with joy and happiness.
I felt this sense of peace and comfort, and I felt that is where God met me. No matter what pain I endured, I always knew I could meet God in the sunspots. The funny part in this? when it was cloudy, I would say “God is busy today helping someone else out”. I always knew the sun would come back.
I did this throughout my life – as a teen – even as a young adult and I will open and honestly say even today as an older adult.
If I am going through a hard time, and spot the sun on the floor, I will go lay in it, and I will feel the warmth, and just lay there, think, and pray to God. I sometimes will nap on the floor in that warmth, just to let the hurt and sadness out, and let the goodness and god’s grace in.
It truly makes me feel comfort and I today truly believe that is where God meets us. I always believed that God is in the sun, it’s his love shining on us through warmth and comfort.
There weren’t many places for me to go as a child. I lived in constant fear and anguish and anticipating the daily abuse I endured, or about to endure. I held onto the little things I could find; it’s all I had to survive emotionally.
I truly believed that this was my gift from God when I was little. It was almost as if god was saying to me “I know people are hurting you, but meet me here, and I will bring you joy and comfort.” It was like God saying to me “meet me in the sunspots, I promise I will be there“.
Today I will search for them once in a while, not too often – or I will be doing something around the house, and I will see a sunspot and smile, just smile big knowing that GOD is there, he is always there.
One of my biggest risks was sharing this in therapy; it was the first time I opened up about something so sacred. I took the risk not knowing if it would take away the one thing I held onto. It meant THAT much to me. My therapist absolutley LOVED the story, he wanted to experience it.
We made a session one day around the time that the sun would be shining into his room, and to my surprise he wanted to experience it! So, we pushed the chairs and the table over, and left a big open space near the window, and opened the blinds just a little bit facing downward – and there it was – on the floor, a perfect big sunspot!
We both picked our spot on the floor and just lyed there, and I said “OK? SO? do you feel it?” – He felt it, he was amazed by the feeling of the warmth and the love of God in that moment, it was quiet and peaceful – he knew at that point why it was so sacred to me. He knew and respected my story so much more, and how that was my survival growing up.
That was a huge part of my healing – letting someone into the space that wasn’t just about the hardship, but was also about the glory and the good that I found in the trauma I went through.
I have to admit, At first I wasn’t sure about sharing it in that room. I hold this close to my heart as being something that was truly mine, but then it felt good to share something and have someone else hold that good part of my past. It was nice to have someone understand where I found my way of living through the abuse.
This was all I had to look forward to as a child – meeting God in prayer with a hug.
Sharing this story brings together another huge part of my story to be told. It’s a way for me to express that even in the really hard times I went through, God gave me strength to meet him and believe. He gave me something to hold onto; to get through the life I was going through.
Today, was one of those days that I saw a sunspot in my house in my office, and I took a moment and just got onto the floor and just laid there on the floor – it reminded me that even if I am not going through a hard time at the moment, that I can still “meet” God anytime I want to. He’s always there.
As I laid there, I smiled! I said quietly “I know it’s been a while, but I haven’t forgotten”.
I have tears writing this right now, because I have been so open in my blog in the past month; to help this healing journey I have been on.
I have tears in this moment because I don’t think anyone could possible understand that this is the one and ONLY thing I had as a child, that kept me alive – that kept me going – knowing God was there no matter what.
Imagine how powerful that was to a child, and how powerful that is even today.
I don’t doubt for one moment that God met me there. It gave me strength to get through the abuse, and the hard times. I am truly blessed that I had that.
So if your ever in darkness, and you feel you need to find Gods love and warmth – find a sunspot, lay in it, and “meet him” there.
March 1, 2012 at 10:16 PM
KAREN!!!!!! I JSUT WENT THROUGH HALF OF MY BOX OF TISSUES! that is the most BEAUTIFUL STORY I have ever heard!!!!!
you trusted to share that with the people who support you! THANK YOU SO MUCH..
a child finding the sunspots and god.. how BRILLIANT that is!!
I LOVE IT!!
March 1, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Karen!! I agree with Anna, I have cried through this story! this is my favorite story that you have written! I AM TRULY sitting here with a heart filled with love for you and what you did to find Gods love! The way that you survived that??
thank you for sharing your story –
March 2, 2012 at 12:35 AM
I love everything about this story and more! I love that you embrace this even as an adult! This seems like a poweful thing and WOW! I dont even have words!!
Everytime I think I have read the best, you write something that is even better.
Thank you for always sharing your day with us – GOOD or BAD
March 2, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Karen – I too believe that God meets us in special places. I took believe that God is in the sun! it’s the brightest thing in the world. That is why they say when we die, we see a bright light – well your right, that is where God is.
I love this story, I am going to print it up and take it with me everywhere
Thank you Karen
March 2, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Karen, I love this story from your past. I have read it at least 3 times.. thank you for sharing something so beautiful!
Honor Wright Allen
March 2, 2012 at 11:30 AM
HI Karen, I am new to posting here, but I wanted to respond to this.. this is absolutley beautiful.. what a great way for a child to find escape out of the abuse. I would do the sunspots even today… I am going to try it 🙂 heheh
March 3, 2012 at 2:49 PM
I remember when you told me about this, and how even though I hadn’t been through a fraction of what you had been through nor had the sun spots been as meaningful to me, I knew what you were talking about because I used to do this too. I guess it was just for the sun’s warmth, but even remember being in highschool and crawling up and laying in fetal position on this desk in my room b/c the first sun of spring was coming through my window. I can still feel that feeling today by just thinking about it.
I love you.
June 18, 2015 at 12:00 PM
I love this Karen!!! I used to find sunny spots on the floor when I was young too. The warmth of the sun still makes me feel the presence of God. Thanks for sharing this again today!!
June 18, 2015 at 1:25 PM
Oh, Karen! Such need – and FAITH – in one so young; such FAITH and assurance to KNOW that God would meet you in that sunspot…and still does to this day!! Oh, yes!! We should ALL have that faith – as a little child!
Thank you for sharing THEN; thank you for sharing NOW!! <3 U!! So happy that God met you in that sunspot!!! And to know he will meet us ALL where we need to meet him!
June 18, 2015 at 4:47 PM
So glad that in your pain, God was there showing you His warmth and giving you hope. What a beautiful testimony of His faithfulness.