I have a Confession (Matters of the heart and soul).
You know that picture I recently posted of me at the beach? The caption read something like, "Took a five hour nap, then went to the beach, filled my soul with writing, reading, waves and sand." ... Or something like that.
I sort of didn't mention the part where I drove myself to the beach that day, placed my phone on the wall to take that selfie and sat alone for three hours in two different spots on that same beach... with myself.
The waves weren't the only salt I tasted that day. I also cried a lot on that beach.
I unraveled like the emotional ball of yarn I have been for a really long time.
I ached on that beach. With all of me.
With my body, with my heart, with my mind, with all of me, I absolutely ached.
I would like to say that this was my one breakdown after a really long time of being super sturdy and put together. But if I did that, I would be lying to you.
I would be pushing back trying to remember night after night that I have laid in bed and wept.
Wept for broken and fractured hearts... Sometimes my own, sometimes not.
For the world we live in and the tragedies we are drowning in.
For the people I know and love and don't tell enough.
Just a lot of weeping sometimes for reasons I can't verbalize.
You see sometimes, when nighttime falls... Something sweeps over me,
this tricky little storm of hurt clouds over me, heavily almost every night.
It started freshman year in one of the most lonely seasons of my life, where sometimes the crisp air and moon and God I would whisper to were my only companions. It has followed me, in the moments I'm alone or even when I'm not. It’s like being suffocated by every fear every doubt and all your insecurities.
What I'm saying is... Inhale.
Sometimes, I struggle with depression.
Sometimes, there is a heaviness that weighs down on me and I cave into it and shut everything out.
I sulk and literally lay on my bedroom floor, lights off, and I weep to the saddest music I can find on Spotify. I set the stage for this depression sometimes and I give it its spotlight.
But when the sun shines, I have a smile to hide the night before and a dimple like a cherry on top.
I have "I'm good" ready to play on instant repeat the moment someone asks how I'm doing.
I don’t really let many see what happens in this soul of mine once the lights get turned off because it's a place I often don't even want to go to.
But I do, and everything tells me I'm not good enough, I'm not loved, I'm a failure, I need to do more, I'm not wanted, I need to fix this and do more of that, and I pick and pick at myself until there is nothing but a lot of broken pieces and then I wake up and pretend to be whole again.
Here's where I don't want you to get me wrong…this is in no way a call for help, this is not a post it note seeking pity, or trying to get people to be my friend.
I don't want any of that. In fact I know that the severity of this "issue" for me perhaps weighs so much lighter comparison to the weight of depression that other people carry but for me…it’s a load in itself.
I just want to say here I am, in my hurt, imperfections and struggle. Here is all of me and not just the carefully constructed version I give you.
I have a way with words but I am a horrible liar. I can't tell you that the smile I wear a lot is not a genuine one but it is a mask sometimes.
It's a mask to cover up hurt I don't even understand, sadness I can't contain and a loneliness that eats any joy away at night.
I'm here to be a bridge, maybe a small one for anyone who's afraid to cross over to light because we've been in this dark, ugly place for too long. To be a hand and tell you we don't have to be there alone.
I'm here to say if this is one of your struggles too... IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT.
I'm here to that we were born to manifest the glory and light as a pure reflection of our Creator and the thief of joy has one consistent way to wipe out any individual with that light and that is with depression, comparison and anything that consistently reminds you how broken and weak you were and convinces you to stay there.
Here's something I've realized about this whole "depression" thing.
Something the psychologists in me has tried to diagnosis and dissect over and over again.
I have to ask myself…where is that anywhere in who I have been called to be?
I've realized that at the root of it sometimes (for me specifically) that this depression is an extinguisher to a light that furnaces in the depths of who I am and it only goes out if I give it the power to.
I have to constantly remind myself it's not that this is a matter of who I shouldn't be, but simply this is not who I am. Period.
There is no way a light so bright can be dimmed by things so surface leveled sometimes.
In recent events, depression has been exposed to us as a very real thing and we are seeing it with new and clear eyes in a different light. I think it's a wake up call, the realization that we as human beings, as an already formed community need to be better with loving one another, with real and raw intentionality and not the fake intentionality we think we have down. We need to take risks and truly see people, we are so good at just glancing people over.
Also, it absolutely breaks my heart and frustrates me to see a lot of Christian bloggers telling people how wrong they are for feeling that way or to just "give it up," "let it go," "it's not of God, simply move on." There is no simply, about this and I get that. I’m here to say I get that. Do not think for a moment that God does not meet you in that hurt, that he is not holding you so close even though we may not know it.
This is not a cry for help, a pity party invite or anything of the sorts. This is an outreached hand to whoever is floating in this same boat.
I'm here to say, if that's your struggle, I acknowledge you and it and know that it is real.
To say that you do not need to be fixed or cured... We need to be healed, relinquished, and exhale this hold.
And something so heavily on my heart is this:
If you struggle with this so deeply that you consider taking your life... please please know that I'm here.
Honestly, I am here. Right here. More than through a screen or on a blog or through a text.
I will give you my number, I will meet you at midnight, I will hold you, and I will cry with you and tell you all the reasons why you deserve to be here until you believe me.
I will send up prayers you can't stomach up enough courage to.
I will tell you how precious you are, how loved if only by me, but absolutely by the hands that orchestrated your existence.
I will tell you this place needs your soul no matter how loud or how quiet... You're needed here.
I will simply tell you that you are not alone in this,
Sometimes, we just need to be reminded that we're not swimming in circles alone, cold and lost.
Sometimes, we're in this pool of people with our eyes closed.
Sometimes, we just need to know that someone, anyone knows the way our heart hurts and validates that.
I'm not going to spew scriptures out at you, but I will stick them in your back pocket.
Did you know Jesus was called a man of sorrow? Because he felt things so deeply. (Isaiah 53:3)
We are a bunch of feelers in a world that tells us emotions are irrelevant and that's just not true. Jesus felt deeply, so why shouldn't we? He felt discouraged and burdened because he loved so hard and so do we.
When I was driving home from the beach that night... My mind was a chaotic dust storm of negativity just spinning all over my head.
But in one moment I felt those thoughts get brushed away and a very evident voice that wasn't my own whispered, "I am preparing you for something great." Goosebumps.
And then the thoughts all came flooding back again but the one that reverberated loudest was, "I am preparing you for something great.
One more time, but this one is for you.
He is preparing you for something great.
Put that next to depression and see which one weighs more.
You are not inadequate.
You are not worthless.
There is a purpose nestled deep within your being.
You are not your condition, your weakness or your imperfections.
You are necessary.
Even in the smallest of things, you are so necessary.
I ... am necessary.
I am needed here.
I am loved.
Daily reminders, baby strides.
New hope, new mornings, old truth ... (You are purposed and you are needed here).
This is not a cry for help, or a pity party invite, or confessing too much on social network, this is my hand and it’s reaching out to you.
for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98kgOoN66rc