Well, the cat is out of the bag. I struggle with depression and anxiety, and they have been swingin at me left and right for the past few months. For a long time I didn’t share with anyone about my struggles. But the Lord has shown me how He wants to use my struggles with depression and anxiety, how He wants to use my fight against the enemy and his lies, to help other college and twenty-something girls go from darkness to light.
For the past month or so I have been seeing a Christian counselor. Not my first rodeo with counseling, but my first time with a Christian counselor. My hope going into this experience was that she would listen to my crazy thoughts and fears and tell me that I’m being dumb and not believing specific parts of the gospel. And she has sorta done that, but she has done so much more than that. She has shown me patience, grace, and love as she points me away from the lies I’m believing about myself and God, and points me toward the Truth of the gospel.
In my most recent time with her, we talked about how I feel too much shame to come before the Lord and lay before Him my weaknesses. So she suggested for the next few days to sit for five minutes in silence, just sit in the presence of God. At first it sounded a little scary and a little impossible (how will I sit in silence, quiet my thoughts, and do nothing for five. whole. minutes?!). And she suggested I journal whatever came to mind after those five minutes were up (now that part sounded a lot less scary–if you haven’t figured out by now, writing out all my jumbled and crazy thoughts is sorta my thing). The following few paragraphs is a glimpse into my first time trying this:
My heart feels heavy (literally and physically). I desire certain things, but based on past events and situations, I just assume nothing will come of them. I know God cares about and knows the desires of my heart, but I feel as though He just totally disregards them. I know He may be saving me from pain and heartache, but sometimes I just wish He would let me experience it anyway. But that is totally my flesh talking. My head wants what God wants for my life, but sometimes my heart doesn’t. Many days my heart wants what I want, what my flesh wants.
Lord, I desire to be in a relationship. I desire to be loved and known by someone and to love and know someone. I desire to be done raising support. I desire to move to Los Angeles–where you’ve called me to be. I desire to be back on campus sharing the gospel and living life with college girls. But, Lord, if the desires of my heart don’t line up with your desires, take them away. Surgically remove them–no matter how painful it may be.
I’m writing these words–I really mean these words–but man is it scary. It’s scary to realize I really don’t have as much control as I think I have or as much as I want to have. It’s scary to totally give your life to the control of someone else. But I have to remember: God isn’t just anybody. He’s the Creator of the universe. He’s the Savior of the world. He’s the King of my heart, and I want Him to rule my life. (Side note: read the lyrics for the song “King of My Heart” by Love & The Outcome, but don’t actually listen to the song because it’s super cheesy. Also, if you’re familiar with the song “King of My Heart” by John Mark McMillan, it’s not the same song.) I know in my head that His plans, His control, are infinitely better than anything I can dream up. I’ve witnessed that firsthand in my life already, but I still struggle to believe it. I want to believe it in my heart. I want to live in such a way that shows myself and the world that God’s way is better. I want to live in such a way that my life is a testimony that anxiety and depression can be a thing of your past, and they don’t have to be something you struggle with your whole life.
Lord, take the burden I’ve created for myself–the burden of depression, anxiety, worry, fear, and hopelessness–and replace it with your burden of hope, joy, peace, and love. I want Your way, not mine. I may not understand your ways (Isaiah 55:8-9), but I know that they are better. You promise to take care of me, not to harm me, and to do what is best for me (Jeremiah 29:11). Help me to believe that with all my heart.
I share this with you not to say, “Hey look at me! I spent time with God! I sat and did nothing for five. whole. minutes!” I share this with you with the hope that a look into my thoughts, fears, and struggles will somehow resonate with you. I share this with you with the desire to point you back to Christ. And I share this with you asking for accountability (I bethca didn’t now reading this blog post would come with some responsibility!). Now that you have read some of my innermost thoughts and desires, you have permission to hold me accountable to my desire to give my whole life–fears, hopes, dreams, desires, plans–to God. You have permission to ask me how my heart is. You have permission to ask me how I’m doing with giving up control. It may lead to some awkward conversations, but I’m up for it if you are.
But above all else, I’m writing this with the hope of bringing glory to the Ruler of the universe and the Lover of my heart.
“I’m in a war every minute
I know for sure I’ll never win it
I am David up against Goliath
And it’s a fight for my attention
I’m being pulled every direction
This world tells me trust what I can see
Lord, won’t You help me believe what I believe
You are bigger that any battle I’m facing
You are better than anything I’ve been chasing”
–“King of My Heart” by Love & The Outcome