Every now and then I stumble upon my journal from 2011. Interestingly enough there are not many thoughts written in this journal – just scripture and sermon notes.
When I did journal, during that extremely difficult time in my life, my words were intense.
I cannot read this journal without crying. Hard.
I’m crying now. I read through this journal tonight.
Here I am, sitting on my patio. Enjoying a beer. Watching the sun set. I just put my 2 beautiful, healthy children to bed. I’m filled with joy after a day fully lived. Fully lived – meaning I woke up at 4:30AM and worked out, had quiet time, spent some time in nature, grocery shopped, did laundry, drank coffee (twice), cleaned my home, food prepped, hung out with my kids at the park, took a nap, enjoyed the company of my husband … and here I am. Alone again. On the patio, with my beer, watching the sun set and reading through old thoughts from 2011.
Completely undone by God’s faithfulness.
2011 was the year my life stopped. Struck by paralyzing anxiety and depression to the point that I considered taking my life to escape the pain. No one could help me. No one understood. I was alone, lost and confused. I felt like a burden.
There were moments where I felt like my life would never get better but I chose to believe Jesus. No matter how I felt, I chose to believe the Word of God. I knew I had to dig deeper than what I saw and felt in order to be healed.
Reading through this journal takes me back to that little, dingy apartment. It was dark and heavy there. I felt hopeless. The walls felt as though they were closing in on me. The carpet was dark brown. The lights were dim. I was out of work and alone with 3 year old most of the time. What an incredibly lonely season in my life.
I don’t know how or why I kept from taking my own life. Wow. It seemed to be the only thing that made sense …. the only thing I could control during that season.
Here is what I wrote on April 30, 2011:
This morning through about 4pm was crazy! Such a hard first part of the day. Absolutely no appetite and lots of work to do – not a good combination on moving day.
I had a great conversation with Sarah (one of my closest friends during this season) as I called her while following Tony to drop off the U-Haul. It was a Spirit filled conversation, talking about how awesome You are and that You are making me dig up bad roots so You can plant great things in me.
I took a nap at Sara’s (my mother-in-love) today after getting hit with a huge migraine. It was lovely to close my eyes and be still.
Today I wanted to give up so many times – but I’m glad I don’t rely on my own strength at all.
I was numb today. So numb. And yet I hurt all over. It’s hard to explain.
Thank you for the vision you gave me today. The Apostle Paul in prison being held captive … but he was so joyful and excited about You and Your Truth and promises. Then the word about the last days – God’s people being taken captive, but that I need to stand. I have to stand! I will stand!
As I showered tonight I sang, “Hosanna, Hosanna, You are the God who saves us, worthy of all our praises. Hosanna, Hosanna, come have your way among us – we welcome You here, Lord Jesus. Cause when we see You, we have strength to face the day and in Your presence all our fears are washed away. Washed away.
Thank You, Jesus.
Please continue to strengthen my mind. I want more of You.
I’m sitting here crying because I know how broken April was. She was in so much pain. So much confusion. So much defeat.
But guess what? I did not stay there. I chose to keep pushing. I chose to keep believing. I chose to believe God over how I felt. I kept waking up. I kept getting up out of the bed and moving forward. I would work out when I felt like sleeping. I would eat whole foods that were good for my body when I either had no appetite, or I felt like eating cheeseburgers.
I read the Word like it was oxygen to my body – which it was!
And here I am.
Right here. Healed. Whole. New. Completely living in freedom.
Yet, I know I would not be experiencing this freedom had I not gone through that season of hell.
Once I stopped resisting the fear and anxiety and pain, I started to heal.
I remember getting so pissed off and thinking, ‘oh well … if I die today, I’m going to make it a day worth dying over.’ And I just started living the shit out of my life.
I realized the only person who could stop me was me. I realized the only person who could advance me was me.
The Spirit of God has equipped us with everything we need to keep going. We are empowered by The Spirit and yet we stop so short.
Here I am. In 2017. 6 years later.
Still in process – but free. Once you’ve seen the glory of God it cannot be unseen. You’re never the same.
Friend – keep going. Keep pushing with all you have in you even when you have nothing left. There is something left.
You may not understand. It may hurt like hell. You may be tempted to fall into a victim mindset – but don’t.
You are a child of the Most High God. You were created on purpose with a purpose. Ask God who you are. Ask Him. Seek Him and find out the power you possess through Him.
And don’t you ever… ever let the enemy tell you to sit down and shut up. The only power the enemy has is that which you give him. Don’t give him reigning power over your life for another moment.
I am a testimony of God’s faithfulness, y’all. I was bat shit crazy in 2011. I had voices in my head. I saw things manifesting from the spiritual into the natural during that season – crazy stuff that no medical professional could diagnose. In fact, they told me I was ‘fine‘. I was not fine.
But I’m here. Of love, power and of a sound mind.
You are too. You just need to meet yourself in the freedom.