Leave The Lights On, Darling

“You won’t need the sun to brighten the day or the moon and lamps to give you light. The Eternal One will be all the light you ever need. Your God will provide your glory, brilliance for all time. Your sun will never set; your moon will never be eclipsed in shadow, For you’ll bask in the Eternal’s light and silver splendor forever. Never again will you suffer the dark night of despair and gloom of mourning.” Isaiah 60:19-20

Happy Summer, everyone! I hope that all of you lovelies enjoyed my last post. Thank you so much for stopping by to hear my heart today! I have another confession, I have an unfortunately low tolerance for stress. I honestly shut down at the first taste of feeling overwhelmed… Just one of the many reasons I am so thankful to have Byron as my almost-husband. I’ve never seen anyone who can deal with so many issues at once, and still shine so brightly without dimming under pressure. I’m getting better at handling the feeling that I’ve disappointed someone, or the stress of learning how to handle money, work two jobs, volunteer at church AND get ready for marriage! I know there’s so much more that a lot of you deal with on a daily basis, but just to be transparent here: most days I feel like I’m underwater.

When I was growing up, I never had pressure from my parents to be “perfect”. Never pressure from them, or church or friends. Just from myself. For some reason I operated under this microscope that I made for myself. It wasn’t until one random day in Australia, I realized I was actually dying under the hot lights of perfection I placed above me disguised as a halo.

I don’t know how this happened, but in my quest to please God, please my family, please these outrageous standards I’ve set for myself, I disconnected so much from not only myself, but from God. I didn’t want my family to know how much I was hurting on the inside, so I tried so badly to be happy and smile and make people laugh like normal. But in my private moments alone, I was so frustrated and displeased with myself that I would be surrounded by total darkness. I didn’t make room for the light of Jesus but was still trying to be “salt and light” in front of others. You know what? The energizer bunny is a perfect example of what I was. I was running around, beating my drum trying to be adorable and loudly sweet to distract from the pain needing attention inside of my heart.

The light I was shining was temporary, it was synthetic and too bright to be real. For me to want everyone to think everything was perfect and sunny and happy all the time was the contributing factor to being burned out. I was constantly turning my light on for people and off when I was alone because I was trying to conserve the energy I had. Maybe you can relate to this, if not deeply then maybe just on those random days when you’re feeling low. But either way, I am typing this to tell you I’ve been there. Sometimes I still go there if I’m being real!

The reality is, sometimes we feel so deprived of true joy, true friendship and light and we don’t know “what’s wrong with us”. Especially women, I find us giving out so much. Taking care of so many. Being married, working jobs, going to school, holding our families together … We don’t realize that we’re living off of batteries instead of being connected to the source of eternal and effortless light that is Jesus. I was definitely living off of batteries, just like that energizer bunny. So temporary, an external connection rather than an internal relationship.

It wasn’t until I connected myself to Jesus not just in my deeds, but in my faith. Not just in acts of christianity, but in a friendship with my Father. It was then that I was able to actually leave the lights ON. Instead of flipping them off and on to conserve what was left of myself for other’s. When you realize that your identity is in Him, you don’t lose yourself in the pressure of perfection…Because He’s perfect.You can leave the lights on not just to shine bright for other’s but in your privacy with God… He sustains you. His source never gives out, it never dims or dilutes. So it’s not your energy that keeps the lights on in your heart, but HIS presence that does.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12

This is just a reminder today to stay plugged into the Source, give up the batteries and pressure and fear of being “on” for everyone else. And let your Father keep you above the waves.

Xx Mariah

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22 Comments

Ivana

Reply

Wow…absolutely beautiful!!! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and this word that sincerely touched my heart. Very timely.

Rachel French

Reply

Wow, this is powerful, Iah! I needed this.

Paloma

Reply

I loved it!

Estrella

Reply

Wow! Amazing my ❤️ Is full. Xx

Kelsi

Reply

Beautifully explained! This post had the clarity of scripture. Thanks for sharing!

Ebony

Reply

This is beautiful. So proud of you sissy.

Lucia Parker

Reply

LOVE THIS!

Rachellé

Reply

Thank you for this Mariah! Very timely

Hydee Hernandez

Reply

So real and beautifully said!

Nicky Lew

Reply

So good babes.. So Lit!

Shelly Hillman

Reply

Love this & love your heart. I can so relate to your blog on so many levels. Proud of you. ❤️

Joanie Daniel

Reply

Love you & your beautiful transparent heart! ❤

Lori

Reply

Mariah! I am loving your writing. Your posts make me smile! I too have been praying for God’s light to shine within and through me. I am a former perfectionist and know very well what it’s like to dim your own light to please others or to achieve unrealistic expectations set upon yourself. In those days of seeking perfection, I tried to shine my own light, without relying on God, but I realized I can’t shine without him. It took me a long time to truly learn that, but praise God that you are learning this at a young age!

Here is one of my favorite scriptures on light: “You won’t need the sun to brighten the day or the moon and lamps to give you light. The Eternal One will be all the light you ever need. Your God will provide your glory, brilliance for all time. Your sun will never set; your moon will never be eclipsed in shadow, For you’ll bask in the Eternal’s light and silver splendor forever. Never again will you suffer the dark night of despair and gloom of mourning.” (Isaiah 60:19-20)

Mariah Houghton

Mariah Houghton

Reply

Thank you so much Lori! I’m going to add that verse to this post! Xoxo!

Rumbidzai Aloisia

Reply

I loved this message, this applies to me because Ive been feeling that way especially this year. Thank you for your honesty 😘😊

Michele

Reply

So beautifully transparent; just what’s needed these days. SO timely for me…like you peeked inside my heart and wrote my pain. May God continue bless you and all your endeavors.

Nadia

Reply

Thank you.

Megan

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I needed this . . . I literally pass out from being overwhelmed. I suffer from anxiety and depression but it’s not something I project to others or often share. And in order to hide it I find myself trying to go the extra mile on my “batteries” and pretend everything is okay. It’s hard because it’s not a discussion that you have in church, people just say give it to God and it’s frustrating because you do but at the end of the day you still have it and you still face a cloud of darkness. But I realized that lately I’ve been turning to god more deeply and my natural light is brighter and shines longer and reaches farther. It’s so hard to not want to appear as perfect but we are perfectly imperfect in the father.

Fran

Reply

Love your transparency, enjoyed reading

Sergine

Reply

🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽 this was something that I really needed it! Thank you! beautiful Post! ❤️

Jocelyn

Reply

Am absolutely happy I read this! Definitely what i needed to hear. Thank you Mariah for your words! God speaks to my heart through you. You are such an inspiration!!

Aisha

Reply

I really enjoyed reading this post. It relates to me in so many different ways!! Thank you xo

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