When I first agreed to blog for The Christian View, I never could have anticipated the consequences of saying yes.
The truth is, my grammatically challenged prose should have been my first disqualifier.
Or what about the fact I didn’t “grow up a Christian” or didn’t receive an education in biblical studies. The fear that I’m not spiritually mature enough to write about “the Christian view” nearly paralyzes me.
Let’s not forget the silent emotional upheaval that courses through my mind, body, and heart each time I try to tackle one of the shows hot topics. Most of which I have very personal first-hand experience with.
Being a blogger is like that, though. It’s challenging in ways you don’t see coming.
I wrestle with fears and self-doubt.
But because I said yes to blogging for The Christian View, I ultimately said yes to the gentle nudging of God.
I’ve found that I still don’t use nearly enough commas and that my journey to spiritual maturity is not intended to be a destination.
I feel free.
I’m more comfortable with being less than I want to be.
I’m more willing to lay down my experiences in an online world that won’t forget and threatens to hurt my feelings in the comments.
Finding beauty in the dark
When The Christian View aired the episodes about suicide (part 1, part 2, part 3) I fought the urge to write in generalities. Because who really wants to go back into the darkness? Going back is what I’d need to do though to tell you you’re not alone and to tell you that you can walk through the pain.
I want to talk to you if you’re hurting.
I want to talk to the person who understands the indescribable numbness.
Why does the world look gray?
At my lowest point and my highest hurts, I saw the world as I felt. It was void of color, personality, and feeling.
Depression was what I understood.
I knew it so well that I could sense your emotional hurts just by standing next to you.
At some point, I lost the desire to see the world in color. I lost the will to try.
I was laying on my floor, crying when I asked God what I should do.
In a soft yet authoritative voice, God said, “get up”.
That was it.
It was a transformative moment.
But moments can be short and easily forgotten.
Struggling with depression without a support system, without a strong faith, was such a laborious process.
I listened to all sorts of formulas to find happiness.
Counselors urging me to address childhood issues.
Parents encouraged me to eat organic.
Friends praying for me.
Suffering from hopelessness is a lot like being a child.
Everything feels out of my control.
Even words seem to be missing from my vocabulary when someone asked, “what’s wrong”. I just couldn’t answer. I didn’t know. Or I didn’t know the words to describe it.
Then there’s the anger that often accompanies depression.
Can you imagine a child having a temper tantrum?
Yeah, it feels like an out of control tornado destroying every relationship in its path.
How I learned to live when I wanted to die.
Let me preface this part with some strong encouragement.
If you’re finding yourself thinking about harming yourself or others, there are well-qualified therapists that can help. I went to several. There are medications that can help. I’ve tried several. There are groups that can be a wonderful support. Go and make yourself reach out. Ask for help. Don’t spend another minute wrestling with the darkness.
To overcome the loneliness I made a discovery.
I finally understood that God is intimately involved. And I’m ridiculously dependent.
I found 3 ways (in addition to those named above) that truly made a difference in my life.
When I explored these three principles. And with equal weight, I found confidence in living.
I needed to allow my heart to be fully engaged with God. This doesn’t mean “engage with God when I felt like it” because I didn’t “feel” like doing anything. I couldn’t rely on feelings because those feelings were betraying me.
These days, there are a lot of options for connecting with God through the Word. I personally have a bible that has pages of illustrations that I can color while meditating on the words I just read.
Try connecting on a heart level every day regardless of how you feel.
Biblical knowledge is a bit intimidating. My best advice is to find a translation of the Bible you understand and enjoy reading. I personally use the New Living Translation. My husband likes the New American Standard version.
When you’re reading the bible make sure you don’t fall into the trap of legalism. You know, the “thou shalt nots” are all over the place and you should heed the warnings not because it’s a rule or a law but because of the last principle…
One of my favorite songs out right now is Thy Will by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family. It’s a powerful song, check it out.
Holy obedience is surrender. It’s finding the end of yourself. It’s discovering that God is intimately involved in our lives and we are ridiculously dependent on Him.
Remember, if you’re suffering, there’s help.