Just Maybe you have or are currently struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts/ tendencies, or spiritual emptiness. An emptiness within yourself that’s so dark and so lonely you’re entirely lost, aimless, and feel like there’s no one that can understand your pain so you withdraw.
Just Maybe you don’t feel like there’s a way out, that there’s no hope and that you want to give up. Not necessarily commit suicide or runaway but you just have no more energy to continue pretending you’re ok, that you’re optimistic, and that you feel the peace of God when you simply don’t. You love Him and want to do the right thing but you have no energy for it anymore.
Just Maybe being honest, vulnerable and not putting on a front for people or caring about who will judge you, will enable someone to see your pain and that person will reach out, hold your hand, say “it’s ok to be weary and need rest” and encourage you to just rest for a moment and seek help from the right people to help you through.
Just Maybe that’s a starting point for healing, a renewed hope, and a new beginning to the next phase of what God has for you in life.
Just Maybe God will use the hardships you’ve been through to help someone else through their own darkness and you can in turn pay it forward and be that person to hold their hand and say “It’s ok to be weary. I once was myself and here is what God did! Let me help you get there.”
Just Maybe God gave us examples in the Bible like David (THE MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART) who often lamented and obviously battled and struggled spiritually, and Job, the book of Lamentations and countless scriptures that talk about weariness being a part of this hard, overly confusing life… just maybe God gave us this to show us that the most influential people in Christian history were imperfect, failed, and struggled with weariness but despite their struggle found a way through it and to glorify God.
Just Maybe we shouldn’t stay broken and look upon our struggles and hardships as us being a victim of life and others sins towards us or our own sin, but rather as what refines us and makes us better humans so we in turn can mold, shape, raise and encourage those around us to also be better humans themselves.
Just Maybe, when all is said and done, should we die in the midst of a hard and difficult life but with the peace of knowing where we’re going for eternity, that that, in and of itself, is the only thing that gets you through to hear the words “well done my good and faithful servant.”
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”1 Peter 1:6-9
I know it’s been a while since I’ve been on here but I think my previous post gave a little insight why that might be. This was specifically weighing on my heart to share and not just keep to myself as I’ve been doing lately. There aren’t a lot of pretty pictures in this post and honestly that’s because life hasn’t been very pretty to me lately.
Stress, anxiety, depression, grief, and hopelessness can bring out the worst in us. It can reveal us to our own selves. It can be a reality check that you are far more of an imperfect human than you were willing to think you were or were completely blind to. It makes you honest. It makes you broken. It makes you feel defeated and worthless. But what brings glory to God is the point that you determine to not let brokenness define you. You let yourself be broken but only for a time so God can fix you. You seek the right people and the right methods (be it counseling, friendship, community, medical intervention, fellowship, etc.) to help put you back together. Then, when you are no longer so broken you can’t function, you stand up, brush yourself off, and go find someone who might need help with their brokenness.
When someone sees a broken person, the first response (especially from fellow Christians) is often “just pray more, just read your Bible more, just keep going to church, just find someone to serve because serving others minimizes your own problems, just shape up spiritually and be more disciplined, seek more of God and move on. Try exercising or eating differently or doing this or that.” While all of that should be someone’s starting point, that’s often the worst thing to say to a truly broken person. If it’s someone who is normally positive, outgoing, and optimistic (or maybe you met someone in the midst of their brokenness) and they’re telling you they are dry and empty, they’ve most likely tried all those things and have no more of themselves to give and then they think they’re broken beyond repair. We need to stop telling people these things. No matter how heartfelt and well meaning we might be, people need to know they can be broken and take some time to repair themselves.
There’s a saying that goes “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. I’ve been learning this acutely this past year. I kept trying to plug into helping and serving others, maintain commitments, keeping a good attitude, focusing on my blessings, trying to stay grateful, and in general avoid the pieces of me that were falling off one by one until here I am feeling like a shell of who I once was and I have nothing left to give. I have no energy for basic things I used to love. I don’t want to be around people, I don’t want to take care of my home, I don’t enjoy projects, I don’t want to leave my bed, I don’t want to nurture my own child or put effort into my marriage. I don’t have energy to care what people think and I don’t have mental time for anything but work and maintaining a somewhat habitable home. The holidays which I’ve always thrived on, feel like a drain and just another thing I have to muster through. Despite being an extrovert to my core, I don’t want to interact with people, I don’t want to talk with people, I don’t want to socialize at all. I feel so broken, so lonely, and so weary and don’t have the energy mentally, emotionally, or physically to fix it. I don’t want to write a blog post full of fake optimism but I don’t want to come across as someone who is always complaining.
But the truth is, I AM BROKEN. I need help. I need to not be the one reaching out and initiating conversation and relationships. I need to not have the pressure of feeling like I’m the bad person for not showing up or not reaching out. I have done nothing but focus on doing that for my whole adult life (10+ years and counting) despite my own grief, depression, and recurrent miscarriages/ grief and chronic health problems. I have not stopped putting others first and have lost sleep and sanity reeling and grieving and beating myself up for the times I physically couldn’t accommodate someone. Those instances have become more and more frequent this past year as I’ve drowned more in work, grief, and health problems. I am dry. I am empty. I am done.
I am finally going to seek help from sources I never have or thought I would but I think will actually help me work through the battles I can’t face or figure out on my own anymore. I’m not going to *stay* broken but I am going to let myself *be* broken for just a little while. There’s a freedom that comes from being broken and letting someone help you be put back together especially after struggling for so long to do it yourself. Sometimes that help can’t come from family, spouses, children, or your church. Sometimes it’s ok to rely on a professional to help you figure things out from an unbiased, third person, Christian perspective but isn’t so close to you personally and emotionally involved to the point that it gunks up your brain. I always had in my mind that going to a counselor/ psychotherapy meant that you were “just being dramatic” or giving up on letting God help you. But sometimes your brain can’t connect the dots and you need someone to help you connect them so you can see God again. Isn’t that what God would want? For you to fight and keep trying to see Him despite your brokenness and humanity? To fight for the desire for you to love and please Him again? Tell me if you think I’m wrong, but I believe now more than ever that any time you put your pride aside, are honest with your dark, shameful struggles, and say that despite that you are going to try every avenue you can to fight to see God and end up glorifying Him again- I believe that is where Satan gets defeated and God is *actually* glorified. Staying broken and those around you getting hurt because you stay broken does nothing for the Kingdom and often ends up contributing to others getting broken too.
I don’t normally ask for this, but if you think about it, say a prayer for me as I face my demons, keep trying to fight, and that it all results in my being fixed and able to take my burdens back on my own shoulders and continue my pilgrimage to serve others and seek to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. In the meantime, I’ll pray for you too, update my little corner of the web here when I can, be honest with myself and refuse to give up. Stay honest, stay hopeful, just don’t stay broken forever.
To brighten this installment up a bit, here is my beautiful little reason to not stay broken. I can’t believe she’s going to be 5 tomorrow!