On a cold snowy night last December I found myself alone in a dark room lit only by a small Christmas tree, on my knees sobbing uncontrollably. I was finally facing something that I had run from for weeks. I found myself sinking. Again.
Years ago I found myself in a mess of depression and anxiety and it took me by surprise. Though I've been a chronic worrier all my life, I never suffered like I did during that season of my life. I had been through a few huge devastating blows and it had all proved to simply be too much. It caught up with me. God saved me though. He used people like my mother (mark my words-I'm fairly certain her mansion in heaven will have an extra room or two for walking through that season with me the way she did), a few close friends to confide in and cry on, and good Godly counsel. It was a chapter I was eager to close and move on from and minister to people the way those people had been so gracious to minister to me through. And that is exactly what happened.
Fast forward a few years...I'm married now with a completely different life, happily still ministering to others out of my pain and my mistakes and growing and learning. So back around November when I had some of those same feelings pop back into my life I was completely taken aback. At first I wrote it off as just "being too tired", I needed some rest, I needed a break. I fought myself for weeks convincing myself that I was still fine-just having a bad day...everyone is allowed a bad day right? But if I were being real with myself those bad days were happening daily. I was too afraid to admit it though-even to myself.
Finally I broke the "tough exterior" on that snowy night in December. I wept before my Father and cried out, asking Him how I got here again? What happened? I thought I was completely over that, I thought that old person was dead. I told God (its ok to laugh at me at this point...really I am too looking back) that I was done with that part of my life, that depression and anxiety simply could not effect me anymore. I had a family of my own now and too much to take care of to waste my time with that and further more it's Christmas time and I just want to enjoy it and have fun this season...so this "rubbish" I really have no time for and I won't be messing with it anymore. I politely ended that little "speech" with...Thank You God. Clearly I had somehow told Him how it was going to be and how this was all going to go down.
For reals. Who in the world did I think I was?
The next morning I woke up in an incredible mood with a new found resolve and attitude from my "talk with God" the night before, wondering why I hadn't done that weeks ago. I cheerfully woke Mr. up and almost said the words to him...Hey babe, I know I've seemed a little off lately, but don't worry that's over now because I told God I was through with that last night. It's still going to be the best Christmas ever, ok?"
Gratefully I didn't. Grace ya'll...pure grace.
A few hours later the resolve had vanished into thin air and I found myself weeping all over again and completely dumbfounded by it. Hello? I was done with this. I told Him!
Can I let you in on a little secret? I lie to myself so much. Unintentionally as it may be, I run around acting like I decide this or that. I protect myself by doing this or not doing that. I call the shots. But in reality?
Not a chance.
It wasn't over like I had decided. God wasn't through with it-even if I was. There was so much more of my "stuff" that needed healing.
Christmas was a nightmare. It's hard to be around happy people on the happiest day of the year and pretend you're happy too when inside you feel terrible. Christmas night was literally one of the hardest nights of my life. But I ran smack into Him like you wouldn't believe.
While most people were celebrating the New Year and making resolutions I could only think of one-survive.
At the beginning of the year I found myself back in counseling, and as I explained-or couldn't really explain-what had brought me back there, I could do hardly anything but weep uncontrollably. Which is basically what my first appointment was---me weeping uncontrollably as I just kept thinking....how did I get back here??
I'm still in the thick of the thing. Some days are better than others, but nonetheless, I know He isn't finished with what He has planned for this part of my story. I heard someone say the other day how when we are going through something so difficult and it's just you and Jesus and you don't know how you'll get through then you keep your eyes on Him and you make until noon on Jesus. Then you make it until dinner time on Jesus. Then until bedtime. Then through the night. And suddenly you have made it through the day on Jesus Christ alone. That's my story ya'll.
There's a part of me that would snap my finger in an instant if this whole thing would be over, but there's another part that is so grateful for what God is doing that I will instead simply let Him continue to work and move like only He can. He's showing me that just like I can't control anything in my life that I tell myself I can control-my circumstances, my life, my protection, my happiness, my days, my relationships-I also can't control the grace and the mercy that He floods me with when I'm sinking. Nothing I do, no matter how much I mess up, could stop that either.