“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
A very close and dear friend told me while I was in the midst of a breakdown last summer, “It’s ok to not be ok.” Since then I have told her more than once how much those words have impacted me. I also had the humble privilege of relaying her advice back to her when she was having a rough time.
Often, Christians feel they have to have all their crap together, and if they don’t then they have to put on this perfect face that everything in life is peachy keen (do people even use that term anymore). People who feel this way are fooling themselves. Just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean you’re never going to struggle in your life, or that people should expect you to be perfect. What it does mean is that you now are actively engaged in this relationship with a God who loves you, and He is there for you anytime you turn to Him, time and time again, when things are up and especially when things are down.
Christians need to know that their sorrow, pain and struggles are real and important. They have as much a right as anyone to seek help for what they are going through. There’s no need to be ashamed. Anxiety and depression are not relegated exclusively to atheists and agnostics. Therapy is not just for those who lack biblical knowledge. Medications are not just for those who don’t follow the Ten Commandments (all of us?).
There is so much I want to say right now about what I’ve experienced, particularly in the past two years, to put a face to this real issue, but sometimes it’s hard to just get the words out… because then it makes everything I’ve gone through real. It means no more pushing it down and ignoring it anymore.
I am going to say that I have been to dark places. I know what it feels like to want to dig myself a hole, curl up in a ball and never come out. All the while, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I try to remember to call out to Him when I’m wallowing in my fears, anxiety and self-doubt, but sometimes it’s hard. In the past He has comforted me through some difficult spots, but it’s not always as easy as a prayer. Yes, prayer helps. But so does talking with my therapist, attending a recovery support group, having friends who I can trust with the darkest parts of my story, and yes, even medication. If it weren’t for Valium, I never would have gotten through the most painful medical procedure I ever had to have. But as I was under the medication’s effects, I was still meditating on the Lord’s Prayer…
I’m working on telling my entire story. I don’t know which parts I will include in this blog or which parts I will delegate just to the book I’m working on, but I do know that I’m living my own unique life and I hope there is value in telling my story to others. All I know for sure is I’ve been blessed immensely when others, especially family and friends, have shared their personal stories with me.
We don’t truly know one another until we know each other’s stories.
This is when I take a big huge sigh, push the pedal to the metal and just do it… Stay tuned.