As a leader in my church, I take a serious pause in sharing my own personal weaknesses anymore. I’ve worked beyond so many of them and I’m experiencing such joy most days that I want to focus more on my being healed than on my remaining wounds. But at the same time, I see the importance in sharing my truth. Growth, understanding & hope can come through my vulnerability. So let’s talk about depression. If you have followed my journey, I’m sure it would come as no surprise that I deal with it occasionally. Truthfully though, I’m doing really well. Usually. Once in a while, I get sucked in.
Just to show how exciting my life truly is, I spent all day this past Saturday reading bible verses, writing them out, singing worship music…it was like an all day date with Jesus. (Literally the only date I’ve had in like 8 months and it was with JESUS.) Even though I have grown immeasurably over the last few years, there are still days when the enemy says “You aren’t good enough. You don’t deserve to succeed. You are ugly, gross and unlovable. No one will ever find you worthy of their time. You will never again experience the love or comfort of having a companion. You will always sleep alone. You will cry yourself to sleep alone during the difficult days. You were created as a mistake and you will remain a mistake.” (Yup. That’s what I hear). These lies though are not my truth.
I spent that time with Him Saturday because I wanted to fill my reserves. I am facilitating a small group at church and it’s important for me to spend time with God so I can hear what He wants me to say to the group, so He can provide protection, so He can actually be the leader while I just play the mouthpiece. Having been a Christian for a very long time now, I know the world/enemy really enjoys making messes in the lives of people with purpose, or anyone getting a little too close to God. Anything to cause separation. But I don’t care about that. I’m not afraid or intimidated by the enemy. I think he’s a conniving, sniveling loser. I’ve read the end, I know how this plays out. So I wanted a day with Jesus and I got one. Little did I know, it wasn’t going to be enough to keep those mean messages away. That enemy may be a loser but even a loser can piss in our Cheerios. Those mean thoughts didn’t stay away because I gave Jesus my Saturday. Or church on Sunday. Or continued bible, prayer & worship time this week. They came anyways.
As many others who fight depression-I fight the urge to crawl into bed & not get back out. I want to eat everything in sight and I want to never eat again. I want to be alone, not speaking to anyone because obviously they don’t like me (the devil said so, remember?). I’ve ugly cried enough to fill 3 gallon jugs in the last 4 days. And why? Well, that doesn’t matter. What matters is what I’m doing about being in this state of mind. I’m only listening to songs about God’s love & grace. I listen loudly to songs I know every word to so I can sing along & push the message deeper into my heart. I force myself to read my bible with intention. I’m diving into prayer. I’m finding podcasts of Godly people I know will light a fire under me. The verses I wrote out Saturday, I pray over my life each day.
I have not shared my heart, or the pain & wounds that come from those lies with anyone. And I’m not fully sharing them with you now. Mostly because that’s too much vulnerability and I’m just not there right now. But again, not the point.
The point is, that despite feeling beaten & broken occasionally, I know the only way through it is to look to God, stand on His promises & HIS truth over me, which says I am lovable and I am free and He pursued me for a purpose. And maybe I never will find anyone that believes I’m worthy of their time & love, but I have to believe whichever way that plays out, God is doing what is best. I can’t lie though. This one hurts the most. I’ve been alone for a long time & it’s quite hard to not agree that I must just be unlovable. (If one of you says “But everybody loves you!” I promise you, I will throw up.) BTW, it’s important to note, I’m not just looking for a warm body. I don’t need anyone. But I would like the right person, the one that checks the boxes on my checklist. So don’t try setting me up with your neighbors cousins brothers friend. Lol.
However, I’m trying to not look inward at my pain. I’m taking it upward to Heaven. I tell God my hurts & wounds. It doesn’t erase them, but I can expose the raw openness without fear of judgment & bringing others into my storm. I know that soon, God will bring me through this. My hope does not come from thinking I will never deal with sadness or difficulty. My hope comes from knowing God will bring me out of each and every sadness & difficulty because He has plans for me. My hope comes in knowing that the depth of my mess is never as deep as it was in the past. My hope comes in knowing it doesn’t last as long as it used to. My hope comes in knowing that every tear & prayer I cry out to God is heard. That God is the ultimate healer of all things, including depression. That my Heavenly Father has already conquered my episodic depression when Jesus took the cross.
So I won’t claim to be a hot mess. I may be a mess AT TIMES. But I’m a lovely, forgiven, accepted, chosen daughter of God. And that cancels out anything else that may run through my head.
So my lovelies, be kind to yourself for wherever you are. But don’t wallow in your self. Release your pain to God and let Him handle it!