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Something Beautiful

I haven’t put any effort into blogging for quite some time. Part of the reason is because it is a bit lonely out here, but I am going to revel in that tonight. I am feeling thankful that I don’t have any subscribers. I’ll get a page view here and a page view there, but at this point, I’m not sure I could take the criticism.

I wouldn’t describe myself as controversial, but simply aware. Society can be brutal toward those who take a stand for Jesus. He said it himself, it is the road less traveled. Jesus often talked about the relationship between persecution and following Him. I am certain I can take an attack on behalf of my faith, but I’m unsure about an attack on me.

Blogging is about honesty and honestly, I haven’t felt compelled to be honest.

Here’s the thing, I care a little too much about what others think of me. Lately, I’ve been wondering if God is preparing me for opposition. It’s not that I think I will have a huge following, but if I’m being honest, my desire is to write . . . so that others will come to know Him. I want to make it known that God is good and his love endures forever. He is my strength and my song! He is the one who has taught me that it is okay to not be okay and I want to teach others. How can I do that without sharing about my life, my struggles, the very things I wrestle with? I feel called to share my weaknesses, the places I need the most grace.

Another reason my blog has been inactive these last few months is because of the very thing I struggle to write about. Depression. It always seems to rear its ugly head during the fall and winter months, but God is the one who always gets me to the other side. One day I will be on the other side for good. Here on earth? Possibly. In heaven? Most definitely. I often lean on 2 Corinthians 12:9-“My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Recently, I wrote a part of my story intended for teen moms. I really struggled with the conclusion and found myself wanting to end it somewhere along the lines of  “…and she lived happily ever after.” Who wants to end a story with, “I still need healing, I still struggle with insecurity, I still fear rejection, I still have feelings of inadequacy.”?

I finally came to the realization that my happily ever after  won’t go into full effect until I take my final breath. This isn’t to say that I don’t experience happiness, because I do. The bottom line is that God is still good, he still offers healing, he still gives me security, he still will never reject me. He still loves me. I am still growing. I am still healing. I am still human.

God is still writing my story.

Not long ago, on a Saturday in January, it hit me hard. In case you’re not following, I’m still talking about depression. Mind you, I could get out of bed everyday and get dressed and go to work during the week and to church on Sunday. I could dance in the kitchen with my kiddos, laugh with my husband and go out with friends. I am thankful for family, for friendships, for health, for physical abilities, for a paycheck, for a home, for a church, for my community, for my closet full of clothes, for clean water and good food, dessert and wine…all of these things and more. Depression doesn’t typically have anything to do with not being thankful, which is often misunderstood. I don’t like being misunderstood.

A friend once told me that many people would be happy to have my life. And it hurt. It hurt because I happen to love my life. I don’t love that I struggle with anxiety and depression, but God uses both of these things to bring me closer to him. He always meets me in my brokenness. Always.  It is also during the dark times when I am reminded of how much my husband still loves me, even in the midst of some seriously ugly crying. My battle with depression seems to have gotten better with time, but it still is a struggle. It comes and goes and shows up in different forms. There are times I don’t feel like doing anything and other times I just can’t sit down. Sometimes it lingers…like it’s waiting until things get quiet or until I am alone.

Sometimes months pass before it revisits again, sometimes only days. Sometimes I am overcome by sadness without the ability to pinpoint the problem. I’ve been there way too many times which is why, a few years back, I made the decision to start taking medication. But this last time was different. It was because of the fact that I do take medication. There are certain thoughts that seem to hangout in the back of my mind. If only I was a stronger person, or stronger in my faith, then I wouldn’t need to take anything. Sharing this part of myself makes me feel vulnerable.

A few weeks ago, I shared my struggle with depression on Instagram with an image of Psalm 27:14

Sometimes I just want to see the big picture of my life. I want to know how I have made a difference or what I can do to fulfill His purpose for my life. I’m discovering that God wants to use my struggles (not the things I try to do perfectly!) …more specifically He wants to use my struggle with depression. Maybe it’s not His will to completely heal me. Maybe I will actually be a gift to someone else. If this part of my story can be turned into a GIFT, then I am okay with not being healed because this life is short and, someday, I will be healed. I know that I belong to Jesus and that is enough for me. He is taking my brokenness and turning it into something beautiful.