Ugly Things Grow In Dark Places

Ugly Things Grow In Dark Places

Gina Haney



I read it on Instagram under an image of a bandaged hand. “All patched up. The Doctor said not to keep it wrapped much though. He said ugly things grow in dark places.” Those words ring in my head.

I was listening to her spilling it all out right there in front of four frazzled mommas trying to play it cool, like we are some sort of June Cleaver meets Wonder Woman meets Joyce Meyer meets Mary mother of Jesus for crying out loud. And while we are all crying out loud here (and after the pee puddles and peanut butter smears honestly aren’t we all crying out loud); why on earth would any sane mother call their child Beaver Cleaver?! It sounds like a redneck roadkill cooking show. I say June Cleaver is a little warped like the rest of us sleep deprived overextended mamas.

She said it like she needed to get this out there because spilling it on four Mommas she barely knows is less scary than keeping it in. She followed it up with a declaration…


“I’ve failed!”.

I was flabbergasted, but not because she felt this way. More because she’s the brave kind of lovely that will bare her naked soul, the ugly of her testimony, and knows the truth really will set you free. The kind of brave that will own what we are all really feeling. Because she knows that ugly things grow in dark places.

The moment the words left her lips Satan started telling her to cover the gashing ugly places back up. We have all been there; setting in a Bible study or in a carpool or at a table. You feel safe and brave and spill the beans in the name of intimacy and community only to be met by looks or words that make you know it’s not safe here after all. The father of lies loves to tell us to keep the ugly covered up because light always destroys darkness. He likes to make us afraid to unveil ourselves to light because someone may offer a little truth as soul salve to counter the ugly stuff Satan’s been growing inside the dark.

God forbid we are ever the ones who grimace, turn away or worse yet, tell them how bad “it” really looks. God forbid we are ever unsafe; refusing to allow intimacy and community. Are we iron to our sisters or are we the publican, “Thank God I’m not that Mom!”?

But pressure had found a release and Satan didn’t have enough fingers to plug all those holes. He shut her down on the being a quitter part, then a geyser of fear blew, he stopped that and then another of shame, loss, anxiety, finances… Because she knew ugly things grow in dark places and iron sharpens iron and we may have different appendages but we are everyone just as broken, busted up and in need of the Savior as the other.

All day I wondered if we had said the right things, should we have done this or that. Honestly I’m not sure, but what I do know is that we were safe. It was safe, because really, she was the one dumping the baggage but we were the ones thinking, “you too?”

We were the ones getting a lesson in loving well and being safe and trust falling brave into Jesus. We were the ones learning how ugly things grow in dark places curtesy of one brave momma unwrapping her ugly broken places.

I read it on Instagram under an image of a bandaged hand, “All patched up. The Doctor said not to keep it wrapped up much though. He said ugly things grow in dark places.”




FullSizeRenderGina Haney sums up her life with the same three words she titled her blog, ARelentlessSurrender.com . She lives where she never wanted, married to who she never wanted to marry (a preacher), doing what she never thought she would do (homeschooling her children)… Can we talk about how much she loves it?




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