In your darkest hours, in your finest grief-this is where Jesus does His absolute bestest ever work. Of course, when you are adrift in a sea of confusion, rage and betrayal? You don’t want to think about how strong or wise or ethereal His love-you are way too busy crying, railing or even vicariously throwing inanimate objects at the wall. Your heart hurts so bad you swear it will break, the tears so salty dehydration sets in.
The lights are out. There is nothing of comfort, you can’t see your way through the pain. But here’s the rub: the only way around the feels is through the feels. In other words, to quote Richard Gannon, “you gots to feel the feels.”
As I hike the Spicebush trail, I wonder at the miracle that God still loves me, despite my Irish sighing and in spite of my ineptitude. I am an Israelite, awash in the desert of my own making-complaining about this or that. I catch myself, and ask forgiveness of Him. I have always had exactly what I needed at every turn of the page. In recent times, God has blessed us beyond measure-my husband’s new job, my Social Security disability granted, and, more importantly? We are in love and, for the most part, healthy.
I always turn to Jesus, eventually. I have struggled with depression and anxiety my entire life. I wish I had learned to practice this habit much earlier in life. Perhaps it may have spared me the alcoholism, drug addiction and suicidal ideation.
I wanted to end my life because I thought myself a loser. A miscreant. A nobody.
I couldn’t keep a friend, let alone a job. I knew I was different, that I didn’t fit in, and that for the most part I wouldn’t be missed. The emotional abuse endured at the hands of the people I loved and trusted the most would prove to be a deal breaker.
I broke, into a millions little pieces not unlike the mess you leave when you break a Christmas ornament.
I thought I was coming out of the woods, and I convinced myself that nothing bad would ever happen to me again because I was a child of God and I figured He’s seen me through the worst of it.
I was dreadfully wrong,
With the help of a mighty God I made it through each and every hairpin turn, but just as I was getting my bearings-another tragedy, another slip into isolation and chaos. I noticed this, yes, but I also paid mind to the fact that with each and every arrow flung in my direction (the persecution comes from Satan, but God has the control) the more courageous I became.
One evening I called out His name, I couldn’t take another self sabotaging thought-my depression had resurfaced.
Please, Psalm 91…the arrows that fly by night…all that sort of thing. HELP ME JESUS!!!!
And just as if I were taking out the trash, my body arched-my head flew back. I had momentarily thought of that lion, the one who roars at the enemy-
I. Am. The. Storm!!!
I. Am. The. Storm.
I roared quietly, then not so quietly.
Together, Jesus and I are building my life back up-brick by brick. He sustains me by the Living Waters and wipes the tears from my furrowed brows.
And then…I rally my senses, join forces with my soul and pick of my cross.
For I am His and for that? Oh for that I am well pleased.