No One Understands

Depressed-Girl

On February 15, 2011 I posted to Twitter, “No One Understands.”  I read this today and knew exactly what I was referencing 4 years ago. After 6 years of giving my life to Jesus, falling in love with Him, and following hard after Him – I hit a road block.

You see, when I met Jesus and He captured my heart, I fell hard for Him.  I wanted everyone to know about Him and what He had done for me.  I wanted to lead worship, I wanted to lead Bible Studies, I wanted to write, talk, and share in any way about Jesus.  Instead of soaking Him in, I wanted to go out and do … which isn’t necessarily bad but sometimes in the process of surrendering our hearts to Jesus, we just need to rest in His presence.

In January of 2011 I was working for a company where I was challenged daily by non believers and a very religious person. The non believers wanted to challenge everything I believed.  Very angry toward Jesus and always wanting to debate.  The very religious person used to try to tell me I wasn’t saved.  She was trying to share Jesus with me and help me come to Christ … but I already WAS!  I already knew Him!  She would breathe such guilt over me –  guilt for my tattoo, guilt over the thought of cutting my hair, guilt over my clothing.  It was exhausting.

When I posted on February 15, 2011 “No one understands.” I had hit a road block in my walk with Christ.  I attended church, hosted a women’s Bible Study, and attending a life group with our church — but I wasn’t even sure if I believed anymore.

I felt so lost.  I was so confused. I felt guilty.  I went from being on fire for Jesus and believing Him to not feeling His presence and doubting everything about Him.

I went to work every day and I tried to defend Him but I just found myself filled with doubt and unable to give an account for why I believed what I believed.

I had no idea on February 15, 2011 that in 14 days I would experience my first panic attack and be consumed by General Anxiety Disorder and depression for the next year.  I had no idea that my 26th year of life would be numb.  I had no clue what was coming right around the corner … something so terrifying, set out to destroy me.  I had no clue how Jesus would show up in my life, rescue me once again, remove guilt, shame, doubt, and fear and fill me with my true identity.

On February 15, 2011 I was so alone.  I felt like I could not express my doubt about Jesus and my faith to my Christian friends.  I remember we went to our life group and when our host started praying I just started sobbing.  I knew that I knew that I KNEW deep down inside that Jesus was real … but I just felt so numb. I expressed my doubt in our group and I just felt that no one cared! I was broken back then – quite annoying, I’m sure.  I was the girl that couldn’t handle the silence in the group and always filled that silence with my drama … so I’m sure my tears that day did not bring upon much compassion due to being THAT annoying girl… ha! … but nonetheless I needed someone to help me, to lay hands on me, to pray over me and instead I just sat there sobbing alone.

This was so heavy on my heart to write TODAY.  I was actually JUST cleaning my bathroom and have a TON to do on this Sunday afternoon because I went on strike against all my weekend chores yesterday – but I just knew that I had to stop what I was doing and put these thoughts/memories into a blog.

I want you to know that you are never alone.  It doesn’t matter how alone you FEEL – you are not alone.  God never moves away from us.  Never.

I’ve had people tell me they admire my faith and want to know God the way I do.  You don’t need know him the way I do – heck, I’m in progress just like you.  You need to know him for yourself.

I don’t receive special treatment because I’m better than you or because my sin list is shorter than yours.  4 years ago I was cruising right along in my walk with Christ and slammed into a brick wall.  A brick wall so hard that I didn’t even know if I believed in Jesus anymore.  I’ve been following Jesus for 10 years.  I don’t understand it all.  Bad things still happen to me. I may not know it all but I know Who does.  I know that Jesus walks with me daily.  I know that The Holy Spirit guides me.  I know I’m forgiven and set free!

you may be in a place in life where you feel like no one understands … and you may be right.  Trust me, it’s not very comforting to sit in a room full of believers and share that you’re not sure if you even believe anymore and have the room stay silent.  You’re not alone.  The people around you are just mere humans.  It’s great to have people to walk with and confide in but people don’t save us … Jesus does.  People don’t set us free … Jesus does.  People don’t heal our brokenness … Jesus does. People will let us down and never live up to our expectations.  People may not understand … but Jesus does.

What are you waiting for?  What’s holding you back? What do you have to lose?

February 15, 2015 – 4 years later and I can tell you that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He understood exactly where I was when I was confused about my faith and He understood when I started suffering from anxiety and depression.  He walked beside me when I thought of suicide.  He comforted me when I couldn’t get out of bed.  He sat next to me when I was paralyzed in fear and couldn’t move from my couch.  He met me right where I was – with only a mustard seed of faith and nothing to offer Him.  Jesus meets us in the pit.  His love reaches down THAT far and meets us right there.

They say hind sight is 20/20 –  I still don’t understand it all and I don’t need to.  I just know that the most difficult time in my life is also the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I would not experience the freedom that I’m experiencing today if God did not allow that year of my life to crumble.

We can trust Him.  Surrender.  He understands.

Below are staple verses from my 2011 journey.  He surely brings us back from captivity. Let’s stay the course.

Jeremiah 29:11-14New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosperyou and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.[a] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

April

Breaking Ties

Held-Back

As soon as I feel like someone is trying to trip me up on my mission and post as a stumbling block, I break ties. There is work to be done and either you’re rollin’ with me or you’re not. I spent MANY years circling the same mountain, tripped up over people and drama. Once God opened my eyes to that hot mess I knew I would never return.

I want to encourage you to stay the course. I want to tell you that you are better than the hot mess that pulls at you. I was stuck for years with “friends” who never built me up. They tore me down, they made me feel inadequate, they were jealous and competitive. They gossiped about one another (I was guilty too) and built up quarrels among the group. After suffering from anxiety and depression I knew that I would never settle again. I would rather be alone than be surrounded by drama, back biting, jealousy, etc… just to say I had friends and to have someone to hang out with. It wasn’t worth it anymore.

I logged into an old email account the other day and saw an email from a long time ago where I was having an email “falling out” with one of those girls and they said to me – “Oh whatever, April! Why don’t you just go back to your perfect life since everything is so amazing for you!”

This made me chuckle. I was so stupid and insecure. I can’t believe I ever allowed this in my life. It was a part of my journey though.  I’m grateful that God doesn’t leave us where we’re at when we’re seeking Him and seeking more for our lives.

I chose to be alone and believed that God would bring the right people into my life and He did.  God provided amazing friends to me.

People treat you the way you let them treat you. This seems so simple, right?  I know it’s hard to let go.  I felt so much guilt every time I would try to let go.  The more I understood my identity in Christ, the more secure I became.  God unleashed great courage and confidence inside of me.

You do not have to settle, my friend.  When you surrender to God, He takes care of the details. So if you feel a wedge coming between you and others that you have been questioning for quite some time … it may be time to loosen your grip and release them.  I loved the girls that I released but unfortunately it didn’t end well. That’s okay.  I forgave them and repented to The Lord about the areas where maybe I didn’t handle things very well.  Then I moved on.  I had to move on.

I can only tell you that my life has been blessed abundantly.  Don’t force people into the vacancies in your life.  Those spots are open for particular people.  People that will come along side you and challenge you in loving ways to see you soar higher.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

Don’t let anyone trip you up.  Being loving and show grace – but sometimes you have to break ties to keep moving forward. God’s got them – and God’s got you.  Trust and surrender.

Be free.

April