Thursday, July 24, 2014

Let me be honest.

This is hard, this hurts.  This is my confession: I've been running, running from the pain and from doing what I've felt God's been laying on my heart.  I took the step he asked me to in creating this blog, not knowing what He would call me to do with it: Be honest, be open.  I was wary of creating this, but I listened and convinced myself no one would read it anyways; oh how I was wrong!  People I haven't talked to in Years commented, sent me personal messages, which has truly blessed my heart and for each and every one of you who commented, reached out to me, or simply took the time to read my blog thus far, I genuinely thank you!  For those of you who know me though, know that this response, although absolutely kind and wonderful, sent me running to the hills so to speak and far away form this blog.  I am an introvert, in almost all senses of the word, and I'm ok with that, that’s how God created me.  Through this I have the opportunity to observe, notice, and listen to people deeply.  I can talk all day with someone I'm comfortable with about real life and the journey, but small talk with me and I'm unsure of what to say and why I would say it.  Point?  Putting my life out there, to anyone inclined to read about it freaks me out, big time.  But never the less, I have learned yet again that it is futile to run from the all knowing God who is pursuing you, and quite silly.  So here we go, after that long intro and for those of you still reading, here is my honesty.

This is hard, this hurts.  I don't mean occasionally but consistently.  I can't pretend that loosing a child, infertility and having an empty nest isn’t hard, doesn’t hurt.  Neither can I pretend it is the sole cause of all the hurt I feel.  To be honest, to be open, I have to admit that the root of this is much deeper and older than that.  It began in my earliest memories, I realized later that it was not something I was alone in.  Depression.  Now here we go, here is the place where you want to enter your opinion, your solution.  Out of the best intentions most of the time, and always accompanied with a ranging level of ignorance or understanding, sometimes a mix of the two.  But what must be understood first and foremost is that depression is a broad term, everyone’s is slightly different.  What’s Not usually different for those of us who battle this is their silence.  Why?  Because it’s hard, it hurts, it’s complicated, and judgment is lurking.  Now for those of you who hear the word and fear strikes your heart, I understand.  Trust me, I feel so very blessed to say I have never once felt or even thought for a second of hurting myself, thankfully that is not something that I’ve had to battle.  Mine is more subtle, it’s more my daily lack thereof.  It’s complicated, depression is like that.  So what is in the mix?  Well; a genetic chemical imbalance, circumstances, life, the enemy and his lies.  I have taken a small dose of Zoloft on and off for years, and I will stand by it and say it is a miracle medication for me.  I have been on it for the past year again but this time it’s different, there is no condemnation.  I felt such a strong conviction to get back on it and I am so very glad I listened.  This time through the confidence He gave me and my openness I have been able to come along side others who have been struggling and offer them my ears, my heart and my life experience, through my pain I have been poured out for others and been filled again to the glory of the God who made me.  Yes, some of those people have started taking Zoloft as well and I’ve seen them come to life again.  I don’t however think that is the answer for everyone, many medications are vastly overprescribed and I hate that.  Although God moves and uses a variety of different medicine, traditional and homeopathic, to help His kids and I love that.  This is why you will never hear me say “this is the only good way” when it comes to medicine. 

All this to say, I still struggle to a degree with depression and current circumstances have contributed to my place here.  The crippling aspect is gone thanks to the medication brought into my life, but a degree of it remains.  So far in life I have learned from the beginning that life is hard, it can hurt.  This knowledge has brought me back to my knees before the King who restores me, renews me, redeems my every fault, picks me up and calls me His own, tells me who I am in Him now and forever, and tells me the type of plans He has for me again and again.  My God says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11.  Does He tell me all the details?  No, but it is comforting to know that they are plans for my good. I have such a sincere hope in Christ that is unmovable, that is His grace in me, He is teaching me how to trust Him with what He has allowed and what He will do with it all.  But sometimes in the dead of the night I wake up, heart physically aching in the reality that no one needs me tangibly at this hour, no children are there to look in on or to comfort.  I know you guys with children are thinking I’m crazy right about now, but it’s taken me a long time to understand that I can only be where I’m at, and this is where I’m at.  In those quiet moments my heart is raw, no walls are up, I’m too tired at that time in the night to put them up.  I think that is why God meets me there in these moments, I think in those raw moments He longs to comfort me, to meet me where I’m at.  I think He is showing me that He desires to hold me even as a hold on to the baby blanket I was given from a dear friend.  It has taken me a while to remember how to fall into His arms in those times, as I’ve gotten older I’ve tried to resist it, thinking I’m too old for it.  Silly.  Isn’t that what’s so neat about children, they know their weakness and aren’t ashamed, most of the time when hurt or frightened they immediately turn to their mom or dad and cry out, Knowing they must somehow know how to fix it.  This, we should not grow out of.  Our Abba longs for this, He loves to rescue, restore and redeem.  How awesome, and I don’t say that word lightly, is that?  Next comes the day, walls go up and I get moving.  I drink me coffee, thank Him for it thoroughly and get to checking off my lists of things to be done, how I love my checklists.  Distraction has it’s place, no denying that, but recently I’ve been taking on more and more and the enemy has been whispering in my ear “it must be done perfectly and completely, if you can’t do it all then what is your purpose?” and “this is your identity, if you can’t do it right now you could never do it with children” and “your getting old, 26 and no kids? No career? Seriously your ridiculous” and the list goes on.  Now this is where I insert the truth of who my Savior says I am and stomp on that serpents head, but sometimes I’m too weak.  On top of everything things begin to fall, I attempt to pick them up and more things fall, I try again to no avail, then my composure is lost and I fall apart. That is what happened last week in John’s presence.  I let it all out, all the ugly, I was a weeping mess, not the pretty kind either.  I tell him all I’ve been struggling with, mostly all the things I don’t know.  My desire in the battle, in this desert is to show people the springs, the sufficiency of my God. 

That’s why I’m writing this you see, because I have seen God's scandalous redemption in my life again and again.  He does not leave me, nor forsake me, He sticks through all the hurt, all the pain, all the agony.  His face shows me no disappointment, no ultimatums, no wavering in His love, only pursuit.  He offers freedom, something that's hard for me to grasp, yet He continues to teach me, not giving up because in Him I’m destine to learn this.  I want more than anything to bring Him glory, come hurricane or sunshine, but what do I do with the pain?  Do I let it show?  I want people to see all the wonders God is doing in this, in us, that with Him you can do anything He calls you too, but I spin it wrong and think I always have to show my brave face.  To quote John, “yea, sh** gets real, this is hard.”  He knows how to make me smile, laugh, and cry in the best kind of way.  I love that God uses us.  He uses my husband all the time in my life.  As I fell apart that night he just laid with me, hand on mine and listened, spoke kindness here and there but mostly listened.  He let me cry, then took me in the kitchen to dance to one of our songs “Stay with me” by John Legend.  He has carried me to bed twice this week.  He keeps telling me “it’s ok that your not all together”, and I love that because at it’s core it’s true.  Before my King I don’t have to be together, He is who makes me whole, not myself.  I can come broken and a mess, and I can come to my sisters in Christ like this as well.  I love that God chooses to use those women around me to help pick me back up and encourage me.  God is teaching me that my testimony is not dependent on my performance but on His life, death and resurrection.  It is finished, I don’t have to ‘preform’ to make sure I don’t ruin His work or earn His favor, I have it already.  I can rest in knowing that I have only to do what He calls me to do, give Him all that I am and watch Him work. I’m excited for what He will do, it’s going to be good, that I know full well. 

So in closing I will quote Paul when he was imprisoned in Rome “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, may be rooted and grounded in love, that you may know the breadeth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:14