There are days that I just want to scream at people. Yesterday was one of those days.
There are days that I am so grateful for the peace God has granted me that I absolutely must sit out in His glory and just be with Him. Today is one of those days.
It happens like that sometimes.
Some days you feel like the world is swallowing you whole. Like the pain is just too much to bear and you just close your eyes and pray for the end. And when you wake up in the morning, it's gone. Sometimes it isn't. And sometimes you wake up and the pain is still with you. It was with you in your dreams, and in your thoughts. But sometimes, sweet sometimes, it's gone.
Today, it was gone.
Tomorrow, it might be back. I don't know. But, since today it was gone, I feel like I can do this post. I need to. I have so much to say. I had it all planned out in my head. It was very eloquent. Then I sat down, and my fingers froze up. I'll try to do it justice.
I started this blog many months ago. I thought to myself 'I have a voice, I really should use it'. There were so many years that I didn't have a voice. So many years that I couldn't even scream out. There are still so many countless silenced voices that I thought I should use mine. If I use my voice, and because I do, someone else does, eventually it will be a multitude of voices crying out. Eventually our voices can cause change. I was able to use my voice here, and in real life, too. I could tell friends. I've talk with family members. It seemed only natural. And so I started on this journey through the darkness. My darkness.
I try to be very, very transparent here. It is, after all, my blog. If I'm in a good mood, I laugh and post pictures of my dirty house and my silly kids. And if I'm not, I cry. I say what I'm thinking, what I'm feeling. I try to let my voice say whatever needs to be said. In real life it isn't that way. Sometimes I plaster a smile on my face even through the pain. It's hard for people to deal with other people's pain, and so sometimes I just hide it for the sake of everyone. I try not to do that here.
Over the months, however, there have been several instances where I thought that this blog was a mistake. A huge, monumental mistake. I have thought that I shouldn't have ever opened Pandora's box. But I did. Most of the feedback I have received about this blog has been positive. Actually, almost all of the feedback directly related to my blog has been positive. But, over the months people who were nameless readers of my blog have become friends. And it isn't just in the comments that we talk, anymore. I don't know if you are like me, but sometimes it only takes one comment to turn everything around. One question. One random sentence. Sometimes, it doesn't even have to be aimed directly at me. But it affects me and I want nothing more than to turn around and run. Run far, and fast, and never speak another word of this atrocity. Ever.
There are days that I don't do fluff. The pain is overwhelming. My soul wants to give up. To give in. To go home. I fight and I fight but sometimes it's so much that I have to get it out of my head. I can't do that all the time in real life. Lets all face it, it's easier to get it out there when you're not looking someone in the eye. Most of my closest friends read my blog, and so they know when read it, but sometimes it's just too hard to say. So I say it here. And sometimes all you guys see is the bad. And I'm sorry for that. But again, this is my blog:)
Sometimes the depression is so much I can't get out of bed. I can't function. I can't smile or laugh or really even think. I've heard it said a million times over that a Christian should have the joy of the Lord. That we should be happy. That God's grace is so much better than any pain we can feel. That I shouldn't let him have so much power over me. That I'm not that little girl anymore. That I should stop living in the past and enjoy the now. That it's time to move on. Etc. Ad nauseum.
For weeks now I've heard these things. Even from people who 'know'. Most of the time it's just people who want to help and really don't know how. They don't know the pain and they can't fathom why everything is just so bad. I get that. I do. But I promise you, it doesn't help to be told that you're doing everything wrong. I am doing the best that I can do right now. And really...
Why wouldn't I hurt?
Why wouldn't I be angry?
Why wouldn't I be depressed?
Maybe not everyone knows the whole story. I assure you, I have my reasons.
I am here to say to everyone listening to me scream that I have a right to hurt. I have a right to go through this pain. I have a right to deal with it in whatever way I need to right now to get to the other side of it. I can't take any more. I am so tired of feeling like less of a Christian because I struggle with depression. I am tired of being accused of not being thankful, not rejoicing. Hear me now. I am thankful. I am thankful every day that I wake up that I'm alive. I'm thankful that my husband loves me and that he loves our family so much he works through all of the pain he feels so that I can raise our children at home. I'm thankful my children are happy and healthy and that I have the chance to teach them about my Abba who loves them more than I ever, ever could.
I'm grateful for all of the material blessings we have been given, and I rejoice in my salvation. But people, I hurt. I hurt for that little girl that I once was that no one protected. I hurt for a lot of reasons. And that's okay. I'm finding out slowly that I can hurt. In the last week I have become so very close with a new friend. I say she's a new friend, but it feels like we've known each other for years. In the last few days she has given me so many wise words, and so much insight on this. She's the reason I'm writing this post. As we sat talking last night she said some things that I'll never forget. She said that its like I've been stabbed. And everyone can see that because I'm bleeding through my shirt (which isn't true, bc my shirt is black, and you wouldn't be able to see it, just sayin) and of course I would be screaming for help, for someone to take me to the emergency room so I can live.
So why wouldn't I be screaming for the same help in this pain? Makes sense to me. But when I woke up this morning, I had an email in my inbox from her. And it inspired this blog post. It said exactly this 'Good morning... or afternoon by the time you read this. If you get a chance today read Job 3, Psalm 13 and 22. And then ignore any christian who says you aren't allowed to be upset.' And so I did exactly that. I read those three chapters, and I found it rather funny that I had two of those chapters entirely underlined in my Bible. I think I've been screaming this post in my head for years, now. And I think all of what I've said before this has been introduction. Sheesh. Okay I'm going to try to hurry this up, before your eyes, or mine start bleeding.
Job 3 gives me hope. It is the day in which Job laments his birth. He curses the day on which he was born. Holy. Moly. Seriously? Job? I mean, really? What's that you say? Of course he hurt? Oh yes, of course he did. At this point his land and possessions were gone. His children were all dead. His health was gone. His wife told him to curse God and die. Of course he hurt. In verse 11 he asks why he didn't die at birth. He hurt so much he wished that he had died and never lived any of his life. The pain was too great to bear. There are days I feel that way, too. What I find interesting though, is how his friends reacted. I think when we all think of Job's friends we think of all the talking they did. How they told him he deserved worse and that the sin in his life was the cause of all of this destruction. They tried a million different words to blame him and really all of this happened bc God allowed it. In the first chapter of Job God said 'Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?' What we may not have noticed, what I certainly didn't realize was that in beginning, when his three friends came to see him, 'they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was great' (ch 2:12-13)
I love that his friends just sat with him. They acknowledged his pain, and they sat with him. Sometimes that really is all we need. All we want. They probably should have stuck with that. Just sayin.
Job was a a Godly man, and he hurt. He hurt so badly he wished that he had never been born. Wished that he had died at birth. Does this pain sound familiar at all? It gives me hope because this didn't make him less of a man, or less of a Godly man. It just made him a Godly man in pain.
Then I moved on to Psalms. Oh the sweet psalms. They have offered much comfort to me over the years. David was considered a man after God's own heart. We all know David's story. We know he wasn't perfect. But did you know he hurt? He hurt so greatly that he thought God had forgotten him. He had sorrow in his heart all day long. I love though, that in the end of chapter 13, after saying how much he hurt, he sang to the Lord. I hope I can always remember to do the same.
In chapter 22 David is foretelling of Christ's crucifixion. Can we even dare say Christ didn't hurt? That he wasn't sorrowful? That there was no despair? Matt 26:38 says 'My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with me.' He hurt so much, and he just wanted his friends there with him. That's all. Luke writes in chapter 22:44 'And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground'. He was in agony. He was in such despair that the blood vessels around his sweat glands ruptured, causing his sweat to come out as drops of blood. Dare we say he didn't hurt? I think not.
My favorite chapter in Psalms is psalms 69. My Bible has been opened to that chapter so often that when you lay it down, it automatically opens to that chapter. There are a few symbolic things for me, like how it's set to 'The Lilies', which happen to be my favorite flower. But the words themselves sometimes feel as though they could have come out of my mouth. David is crying out to God to save Him. Deep Breath. When I feel like I don't know what to say to God, when the pain is too much, I pray these words to him. They have brought me through some of the darkest nights of my life. I think they did the same for David, when he hurt like I do.
I hope that you will take the time to read these chapters. Read them, and know that it's okay to feel. God gave us all of these emotions. Romans 12:15 says 'Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.' I've always held this verse close to me. There were times I wanted to throw this verse in peoples faces, but I didn't have the courage to stand up for myself. I'm trying to do that. I'm told I still hold back, that punches I want to throw aren't being thrown. That's probably correct, but at least my voice is still audible. For that, I am truly grateful.
I have rambled much longer than I planned to. I have sat on this swing for two hours listening to the same five songs playing on my blog, typing, reading, studying, typing more, yelling at kids, answering texts, typing. I think you get it. Dinner is almost done, and I am going to leave you at that. So the next time you hurt, it's okay. If you're just barely surviving, don't feel guilty. Sometimes you have to go through the pain to get to the other side so you can truly live. Jesus came to give life, and to give more abundantly. I'm praying that one day I'll get to the abundant part. But for now, I will go through the pain and the hurt, so when I get there, and I enjoy it with no regrets, with no second thoughts. I love you all.
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.