Tag Archives: Fear

Hiatus is over. Changes are coming…

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I’m not sure who wrote the quote on the image above. I couldn’t find the source but when I read it, it made perfect sense. I’ve lived the change that comes with both of those scenarios. My heart has been broken more times than I could even attempt to count. Life is hard. Life hurts.

Change.

I resist change with nearly all of the strength I have. Perhaps it’s because every time things seem to settle into a comfortable place, something changes to shake things up. Maybe it’s the fact that as a little girl, every time I started to feel safe and secure, something bad happened, someone left, people hurt me. Change seems to be difficult for a lot of people.

I’ve learned change happens. It’s simply not something I can control. It comes when we least expect it and when we most fear it. Change means unfamiliar territory. Change means a disruption in routine. Change means everything is different…scary even.

God’s word never changes. God’s character never changes. God never changes. That is the only thing I am sure of when it comes to trusting that something is always the same.

Is it possible that change can be good?  We’re going to find out.  For me, it’s time for a change. It’s time for me to take the lessons I have learned and allow God to use them, fully.  For years, I’ve known I was supposed to write. This blog was my simple attempt at fulfilling that goal but lately, I’ve neglected it.

Why?

Because it meant change. It meant I would change. But honestly, I already had changed. And I’m still changing. I’m growing every day. Things are more confusing and more understandable all at the same time. Things that don’t make sense don’t seem to need to make sense anymore.

My point in all this is…

I’m a writer.

It’s what I do. Some people sing. Some people do math. Some people play sports.

I write.

When I’m lonely, I write.
When I’m bored, I write.
When I’m sad, I write.
When I’m filled with hope, I write.
I write on my phone.
I write in my journal.
I write in my Bible.
I write in my head…all the time…even in the shower.

I’m a writer. It’s about time I get serious about this writing thing, soooo…

With that said, there’s the side of the quote that says, “people change because their minds open…” and that’s where I’m at. God has laid many things on my heart lately, stories I need to share, heart felt words that need to be put into words shared with others. He has opened my mind and made me realize I have been avoiding this writing thing. Maybe it was out of fear of being rejected or not good enough. Maybe it was feeling inadequate. Maybe it was a fear of allowing others to know me too well. Whatever the reason, I’m just going to have to press on because it’s time for change!

Big changes are coming for this blog. I think these are the kind of changes that are good. Things are about to get regular around here. I’ve been on a hiatus for far too long. I’ve avoided writing for long enough. Don’t you agree?

So, I have lots of ideas and even some plans for new series coming. We’ll see where God takes this but I’m on board.

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store…

Periscope – fun chats, get to know you, Bible study, reviews
YouTube – Bible studies, reviews, & more
Blog – “Friday Favs” (songs, Scripture, things, people, & more), reviews, real life, Bible studies, etc.
Instagram – Lots of pictures!
Twitter – encouragement, hope, and more!

Facebook? Did you know The Imperfect Princess has a Facebook page? It’s been there for a while and it’s a great place to add your suggestions or ask questions. Is that something you like and would use? Or would you rather have a private group for fans of The Imperfect Princess? Or both?

The change is not just for the blog, but the blog itself is the central focus of all the other parts. Social media better hold on tight because this Imperfect Princess is ready to take advantage of all these resources. Most of them, you’re already able to get to from the links here on the blog. If anything’s missing, I’ll be adding it over the next couple weeks while I’m out of school on Christmas break. I hope to have everything going smoothly by the New Year or at least before I start classes back January 11.

Spread the word…The Imperfect Princess is back and ready to write! Glory to God for fanning this flame! This is change we can all look forward to!

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Paper Scrubs and Perspective…

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Paper scrubs. 

You know what I’m talking about, right?  They come in a lovely, muted shade of blue.  They’re large and easy to slip on over clothes.  Many hospitals have them for their staff and patients.

After my suicide attempt last month (read that story here and here), I had the pleasure of donning a couple sets of these paper scrubs.  The first set was in the first ER I visited that morning.  I wore them until I was released and allowed to put on the clothes I had arrived in.

From there, we traveled to another ER where I would later be admitted into the hospitals mental unit.  In that ER, I was so graciously given another pair of blue paper scrubs, only this time, they were ginormous (is that really a word?).  I stepped out of the bathroom and kindly asked the nurse if I could have a smaller pair because these were huge.  She seemed agitated.  Who wouldn’t be in that situation…Overworked.  Underpaid.  A stressful environment.  And a patient who doesn’t value her own life making what, at that point, probably seemed a silly request.  Needless to say, she was not sympathetic to my request.  Those giant blue scrubs were mine.

All of my belongings were taken, including the hat that was hiding my less than clean (glued to my head from 2 day old natural oil and hat head) hair.  I sat in that ER, not in a room, but in the middle of a hallway, wearing my nifty (note sarcasm) blue scrubs and my greasy hair.  I was there with two dear friends who helped me laugh it off and make the most of a pretty scary day.  They didn’t care how I looked.  They loved me anyway.  (Thanks ladies!)

So, those blue scrubs were quite embarrassing.  Nothing screams out of the ordinary than to be the only patient in the ER with paper scrubs on.  They might as well have stamped a big label on the back that said…

“Attempted Suicide = Another Fail!” 

That’s how it felt.  I thought everyone that saw me could see what I’d done and I added that to my mental list of failures.  I was there.  I was alive.  I was just as broken as before.  And now, I was on my way to the mental hospital with awesome paper scrubs, greasy hair, and no dignity.

If that doesn’t encourage the depressed, then what will?!

After a five hour wait in that ER, I was finally taken to the mental hospital building down the street.  I was escorted by two people who spoke very little.  The only thing shy of feeling like a prisoner was the fact that I wasn’t in handcuff’s.  They loaded me into what I like to call a creeper van.  You know the ones you see on TV when the news is reporting a BOLO for a kidnapping.  It’s always an old, creepy 15-passenger van.  Well, this was one of them.

I climb up into the van in my giant scrubs and off we went.

Down the street, we pulled in at the mental hospital.  This was a separate building from the main hospital.  I could make some sarcastic jokes here too but I don’t want to go overboard with that so I’ll leave it be for now.

My sweet friends were able to follow us to that building.  What a blessing they could ride in their own car and not in the creeper van!  So I was escorted by my two quiet guards and dropped off in the waiting area where two ladies met us.  They went through all the rules about what I could and couldn’t have there.  Unfortunately, my awesome App State hoodie, black sweats and tennis shoes didn’t make the cut.  So, off my stuff went along with my friends and I walked through the heavy, no way out of here once you enter, doors in my blue paper scrubs, bright yellow hospital no-skid socks, and my jacket that actually past the approval list (thanks Old Navy for my fleece jacket…it passed!)

Once behind bars, I mean those big locked doors, there was no getting out and things got real.  I was alone.  Sure, there were folks there…but it was late and all the patients were in bed.  I had my vitals checked by one nurse and then was sent to a room with another nurse.  In that room, any dignity I might have managed to tuck in my paper scrubs pocket went out the window when I had to remove them to have all the markings on my body viewed and documented in my chart.  Because I have been a cutter for years, there were many scars marked on the chart.  More shame.  More embarrassment.

At that point, the nurse grabbed a hospital gown.  You know the ones…wrap around, tie in the back, you’re lucky if they don’t show all your glory…yep, that’s the ones!

And in that moment, everything changed.

Perspective changes everything.

Those blue paper scrubs…had been embarrassing.  Humiliating.  They had screamed to all, I thought…

Bad choices.
Stupid.
Crazy.
Worthless.
Criminal.
Garbage.

But in that moment, when the gown became the next option, those blue scrubs were like an outfit right off Rodeo Drive.  No money would have been enough to show the value in them.  After a quick glance at the hospital gown and a moment frozen in fear, I managed to spill out a very desperate and wimpy, “Can I just keep the scrubs?!”

I’m certain she saw the look of terror and heard the sheer desperation in my voice and she kindly agreed that would be okay.  Thank you, God!

Those paper scrubs had just become my saving grace.

Why?  Why had things changed so drastically and so quickly?

Well, let me explain a little something about perspective…

You see, before my clothes were taken, they were my clothes.  They were things I had picked out.  They were comfortable.  They were mine.  When they were taken away and I was given something I had not chosen, I was no longer comfortable.  I was bitter.  I was angry.  They had taken away what belonged to me and there was value in my things.  I saw no value in the paper scrubs they were giving me because in my anger, I felt it was punishment.  I felt like I was being punished by having my own things taken away and substituted with their hideous paper scrubs.

When I went into the mental hospital, I no longer had anything except those blue paper scrubs and my jacket (which had no hood and no strings, mind you, or it too, would have failed the permitted list).  Those scrubs had become all I had.  They were mine.  They weren’t the most comfortable (remember, they were huge…we’re talking I was walking on the legs of them with the waist pulled up to my chest huge.  The shirt hung almost to my knees) but they covered me.  And that was extremely important to me.

I didn’t realize until yesterday why they became so important, why my perspective changed so quickly.

Having experienced what feels like a lifetime of sexual abuse, modesty is not just important, but necessary for me to feel safe.  I can’t sleep without blankets wrapped around me.  I’m not comfortable unless I’m covered.  The idea of wearing that hospital gown was the idea of being exposed.  It sent me back to my childhood and memories of being exposed, fear, terror.  Something as simple as a gown can be such a huge trigger.  In that moment, standing there with that nurse, I imagine she not only saw my terror but she probably couldn’t help but see that helpless little girl begging for protection.  Those blue scrubs became my protection.

Perspective changes everything.

When I had things, the blue scrubs were an embarrassment, something else to be ashamed of.

When I had nothing and was at risk of losing the blue scrubs, they meant the world to me.

That night, I was stripped of everything…

Except the blue paper scrubs.

If I had known a month ago, just how meaningful those paper scrubs would be to me now, I would have kept them.  I would have held onto them as a reminder of the grace and mercy God poured onto me that night as I stood there like a frightened little girl begging to keep the scrubs that no longer screamed of shame and imprisonment but of safety, protection, and comfort.

And later, after I was escorted to my room, once again I was reminded…

Perspective changes everything.

I’m a writer.  It’s my therapy.  It’s like the air I breathe.  Words are my lifeline. 

Remember, I had been stripped of everything shy of the blue paper scrubs and my coat.  I sat on my bed and tears poured from my eyes.  (This in itself is huge.  Before that week, it had been nearly a year since I had cried and even then, they weren’t tears for myself, but for another horrible situation.)  I sat there, talking to God, begging for Him to get me out of that hell, crying out to Him in frustration and anger, believing I didn’t belong there.  Yes, I cried out in anger at God!  I’m pretty sure He can handle it, in fact, I am pretty sure that’s exactly what He wanted me to do.

In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.  Psalm 18:6

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  Psalm 34:17

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:30

God knew I was desperate, scared, lonely, and angry.  He could handle it…and He did.

He gave me the courage to get up and go ask for a pen and paper.  Now, remember, things are pretty different in the mental hospital because everything that you once had privilege to is now considered a dangerous weapon that you could use to harm yourself.  The nurse kindly handed over a tablet of paper and the guts of pen.  Most folks know I am a huge pen snob (if you ever want to give me a gift, I love all colors and super smooth, lol).  She handed me this tiny three inch stick of ink.  You know what the inside of a pen looks like, right?  Imagine yourself writing with just the inside…not the nice, comfy, hard plastic shell…nope.  At that point, that pen and paper were the most amazing gifts I could have received.  It would do just fine…and it did.

God provided for my needs in that moment.

I went back to my room and wrote for most of the night.  I poured out my heart.  Looking back on those words, they seem silly now but in that moment, they were real.  They were words of hurt, pain, fear, loss, rejection, punishment, imprisonment, shame, embarrassment, regret, anger, and so much more.  Those words were everything and the fact that I was able to write them down and I have them now to look back on…that means everything.

I had nothing…but paper scrubs, a pad and the guts of a pen.

In that moment, I had everything I needed.

And later, when I desperately needed to try to sleep, I thought of Memphis.  He’s this adorable, (worn out and grungy well loved looking) stuffed hound dog that I sleep with every night.  He’s brown and has long floppy ears.  I snuggle him as tight as I can and while I sleep, the two of us are inseparable.  I’ve had him for about 15 years and have slept with him almost every night (shy of the brief period of time when my three children fought over him).  In the hospital, I didn’t have Memphis.  That was one more reminder of all that had been taken from me.  What I did have, was a solid white less than soft, bath towel.  Not to discount Memphis in anyway, but in that moment, that towel became the comfort and safety I so desperately needed in order to allow myself a few minutes of sleep.  I balled up the towel to about the size of Memphis, wrapped my arms around it and cried myself to sleep, still wearing my blue paper scrubs, my coat and resting my head next to my paper and guts of a pen.

I was safe.

I was cared for.

I wasn’t alone.

God had been with me. 

He had provided for me in every way I needed.  He had filled my heart and mind with His word.

I will not die but live and proclaim what the Lord has done.  Psalm 118:17

Which I repeated over and over that night.  I wrote it out on my paper.  He reminded me of the words of a song I had listened to many times in the days leading up to my suicide attempt.  (For King & Country, Shoulders)

“…My help comes from You
You’re right here, pulling me through
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness all on Your shoulders
Your shoulders
My help comes from You
You are my rest, my rescue
I don’t have to see to believe that You’re lifting me up on Your shoulders
Your shoulders…”

He gave me those blue paper scrubs. 
He gave me a pad of paper and the guts of a pen. 
He gave me a plain white towel.

And He gave me a new perspective.  He gave me His eyes to see the gifts these things were.  When I felt everything had been taken away from me, He met me right where I needed Him to.  He opened my eyes…not to what I was missing, but to the gifts He had placed before me when I needed them most.

My words can’t express the emotions and gratefulness I feel from gifts I received that night.  My words will never be enough to say just how amazing it was to feel His presence that night.  It was my darkest moment and yet the most precious moments of realizing just what an amazing and good God was with me that night.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”  John 6:12

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thank you God, for saving me.  Thank you for providing in my darkest, most desperate moments…nothing is wasted.

I pray my story reminds you…you are never alone.  He is there, even when you think He isn’t or even when you turn away from Him.  He loves you and is waiting for you to come to Him.

Perspective really does change everything.

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No Fear …

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So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

What do you fear?

Losing someone you love?  Being hurt, sickness, finances?  Heights?

Fear is common.  Some of the most common fears are:  Death, flying, spiders, the dark.

One mental health study shows 60% of the things we fear will never even take place.  30% of the things we fear happened in the past and cannot be changed.  90% of the things we fear are really insignificant issues.

Fear doesn’t seem insignificant to the one who’s fearing.

Fear is crippling.
Fear is consuming.
Fear is a thief, robbing us of precious joy.

It’s not easy to overcome a fear.  For years I was terrified of the dark.  People use to make jokes about the lights on at my house because no matter what time they road by, day or night, it was lit up like a motel.  I’m not exactly sure when or how I overcame that fear.  I’m still not a huge fan of the dark but now I can at least manage to sleep without lights on.  I am so thankful for the patience and understanding of my husband who was never a fan of sleeping with lights on.

Are there fears holding you back?  Is something crippling you?  Is there a fear robbing you of joy?

The Bible refers to two different types of fear.  The first type is a beneficial fear of the Lord.  It’s meant to be an encouragement to us, to let us know that nothing is greater than God,  to remind us of His power and glory, that He is the almighty and that nothing can destroy us because He is on our side.  The second type is a “Spirit of fear”.  This is the fear of something.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?  Psalm 27:1

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
    In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?  Psalm 56:3-4

A month ago, I would have bravely and adamantly expressed, “I have no fear” and yet today, I will admit that in the past few weeks, many fears have come to light.  I am now in the process of either conquering them or allowing them to continue to control parts of my life.  As I stated above, fear alone can be a scary place, huh?  It is crippling.

I can honestly say the thing that has helped me most through the past few weeks has been my time spent with God, be it through prayer or through Scripture.  I was recently encouraged to write down verses that would help me in times of fear or other significant struggles and that journey has been a very powerful one.  Not only am I learning Scripture and embedding it into my heart, but I’m finding new ways to look at things, to process them and to move forward.  God has been my refuge, my shelter in the storm.  Give it a try ;)

You have been a refuge for the poor,
    a refuge for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the storm
    and a shade from the heat.
For the breath of the ruthless
    is like a storm driving against a wall.  Isaiah 25:4

What’s your fear?  What’s holding you back? 

 

Being made new…

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First off, I want to give a big shout out to all the moms out there – new moms, old moms, want-to-be moms, stepmoms, adoptive moms, foster moms, fill-in moms, angel moms, and any other moms.  Praise God for giving you hearts filled with joy in the midst of trials, minds filled with strength and hope in the midst of chaos and panic, courage and faith in the midst of worry and fear.  Thank you for doing the best job you could do – a job only a mother can do!

Now that you’re feeling like you’ve accomplished something, many of you are really a mess, right?

You’re tired.
You’re worn.
You’re not just worn, you’re exhausted.
You’re overjoyed.
You’re emotional.
You’re desperate for a potty break alone.
You long for a phone call that doesn’t sound like an all call to the screams and cries of toddlers and teens.

You’re heart is full for your babies and children but is it full for you?  And I’m not just talking to the younger moms.  I’m talking to you older moms who’s kids are either soon to move into adulthood or perhaps already there.  Your hearts are full too.

Full of worry.
Full of questions.
Full of doubt.
Full of concern.
Full of hope for their future.
Full of love.

I’m figuring out, this being a mom thing brings on a whole world of emotions all on its own.  As if we women didn’t have enough emotions already?!  Thanks, Eve ;)

Listen up, moms.  Stop.  Right now.

Stop the worrying.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  Matthew 6:27

Think back to when you were younger.  Did YOU make any dumb decisions?  Do YOU make any bad choices?  I doubt anyone can answer that truthfully with a, “No!”  Did you learn from your mistakes?  Did you grow through them?

So will your kids!

The message I want to share with you today is to stop worrying and simply love them, unconditionally.  Support them.  Encourage them.  Believe them and believe in them.  Talk to them and listen to them.  Share your faults and failures and let them know that we are all human.  Tell them it’s okay to make mistakes.  Remind them that you will love them no matter what.  Let them know that God will love them because He wants to, not because of their good deeds or perfections.  Teach them that’s no excuse for sin, but to seek God in their sin, to turn to Him in the midst of their failures, in the middles of their storms, to seek Him with all their hearts.

And, if they aren’t there yet, be patient.  How patient has God been with you?  Don’t judge them or turn away from them.  Love them.  Pray for them.  Let them know that a mother’s love is only second best to God’s love.  Prove to them that you are their biggest fan, that you will love and protect them at any cost but also let them know that God is first in your life.  Lead by example.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

And moms, you’re going to fail.

You’re not always going to make the right choice or the best decisions, either.  And just as you’re patient with your children, God is patient with you.  He understands we make messes and He’s ready to help clean them up.  Let Him.

Stop trying to write their story.  Give the pen back to God.  He’s writing your story and theirs.  Let Him work in their lives and instead of trying to write their story, simply be a part of it…a good part, the part God intended for you to be.  He intended for you to shower them with love and praise, to encourage them, to protect them, to support them, to believe them, to love them.  Do your part and leave the rest to God.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

You are being made new and so are they.  Every day is another part of the story.  Every triumph and trial is another part of the story.  Let Him be your author and theirs.  It won’t always be easy but it will be worth it!

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God is bigger…

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What can the world throw at us that God can’t carry us through?

God is bigger than…

Our fears
Our worries
Our trials

With God we find…

Hope
Peace
Unconditional love

A walk with God doesn’t guarantee we will be free from…

Pain
Suffering
Brokenness
Dependency
Doubt

But with God we can find freedom from…

Burdens
Shame
Guilt

In what or whom have you placed your trust?

Are you ready and willing to put all your fears, worries, and burdens into God’s hands?

Will you let Him carry you through the storm?

Matt Maher “Christ is Risen”

 

 

Hidden Pain…

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Sadness.  Gloom.  Darkness.  Despair. 

Headaches.  Digestive Issues.  Sleep Problems.  Low Self Esteem.  Back or Muscle Aches.  Exhaustion, Fatigue, Lack of Energy.

Changes in Appetite.  Changes in Weight.  Chest Pain. 

These are just a handful of the things that can go along with depression.

Over 120 million people in the world suffer with depression.

Depression is real.

For most of my life, I have struggled off and on with depression.  There are times when I’m sure I wasn’t clinically diagnosed with depression, mostly because I tend to avoid everything, especially doctors, but there have been times when I was treated for depression.

It’s ugly.

It’s sometimes scary.

It’s lonely.

It affects everything in your life.

It’s often hidden.  It’s a problem that’s not always visible to those around us. 

I don’t know how it varies from one person to another and that’s not so much my point in this post.  What I want to stress is that sometimes, we as Christians, aren’t making things any easier for those suffering with depression.

We say well meaning phrases like…

“God will see you through this.”

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

“God will carry you through this.”

“This is just a season.”

“It’s in the past, live for today.”

“Don’t let it bother you.  God is on your side.”

That’s just a few of the phrases I’ve personally heard from people who care and love me but I’m here to say, those aren’t really that helpful.  While I may believe some of those and disagree with others, none of them offer validation for a depressed persons struggles or feelings.  Phrases like these only lead to more withdrawal, feelings of worthlessness.  Frankly, these kinds of comments just pave the way for a deeper depression.

We end up telling ourselves things like…

“You’re not worth anyone’s time.”

“They don’t care about your problems.”

“Yeah, get over it already.”

So, how can you help someone who’s feeling down? 

Is it okay and acceptable for Christians to have bad days?  Bad weeks?  Months?  Do we allow room for sadness, pain and suffering?

There are many things people face and we all have something.  Some are faced with horrible tragedies like the loss of a loved one.  Some may be fighting daily battles with diseases and disabilities.  Others may be facing extremely difficult times with finances due to job loss or other circumstances.  All of these can also lead to depression but the difference being, most of these are visible.  What about someone who’s suffering from depression because of a history that still haunts them?  What about the person who still mourns a loss from 20 years ago.  Or perhaps someone who’s struggling in their marriage, a wife who feels inadequate, a young person who feels lost in the world around them, an elderly neighbor who’s lonely.  There are many, many instances and life situations that can lead to depression.  Few of them are truly visible unless the person reaches out and most people suffering with depression tend to pull away rather than reach out.

On any given Sunday morning, our pastor calls out names of those in the hospital and suffering from different diseases and disabilities.  He goes on to pray for our hospital staff, emergency workers, law enforcement, etc.

Many times, I sit there and think about the broken hearted.  How often do we stop to pray for the broken hearted?  When do we take time to pray for the hidden pain?

Depression hurts.

Depression is lonely.

Depression can kill.

Depression can lead to withdrawal, self-injury, suicide.  Depression is not a pity party.  It’s an ache deep inside your heart.  It’s tears unable to flow or unable to stop pouring.  It’s a lump caught in your throat.  It’s anxiety and fear.  It an inability to focus.  It’s missing out on the important things in life – not by choice, but because there are underlying issues that we’ve faced.  It’s hard times and broken homes.  It’s a lifetime of hurt and heartache.  It’s loss after loss and mounds of life so heavy it feels we can’t carry it anymore.

Sure, it’s up to us as individuals to work on healing ourselves, no matter what our circumstances are but speaking from my own struggles, sometimes wanting to heal just isn’t enough.  While I welcome prayer as much as the next person and I most certainly appreciate prayer, sometimes the feelings can be so overwhelmingly lonely that we need a friend.  We need someone to break through the walls.  Someone to share all the pain with.  It’s a heavy load to bear and knowing that makes it all the more difficult to put on someone else but sometimes, just knowing another person cares means the world.

Unfortunately, many who face these dark times don’t ever get that chance.  They don’t give themselves a chance to reach out to others because they feel shame, because they feel unworthy, because they don’t want pity, because they’ve heard too many times, “just get over it.”

Please take the time to ask how others are doing and even when they can’t find the words, let them know they aren’t alone.

If you are someone who is struggling with depression, please, please know you are not alone.  As I said above, over 120 million people in the world understand.  There is help.  There is hope.  You may have to let down your walls and seek help for yourself, but you deserve it.  Don’t let someone tell you your pain isn’t real or that you should be over it.  Your pain is real and you deserve just as much love and concern as the next person.

Reach out!

Years ago, through my most difficult walk with depression, I had no hope.  As I have grown closer in my walk with the Lord, I can assure you my head knows all the right things, I know the right verses to read and the right prayers to say.  I know the right things to do and who to seek for help.  It’s my heart that stumbles.  I know the Lord will carry me through these times but the truth is, it doesn’t make it easy.  Knowing that doesn’t make the pain disappear.  That’s why it’s so important for us to encourage and embrace each other instead of dismissing someones pain as if they’re just wallowing in sorrow waiting for a pity party.

Matt Maher “Lord I Need You”  – This song is very near and dear to me right now.  Perhaps it’s just what you need to hear :)