I don’t know if I can go into too much detail about what has been occurring in my life, but let me try to explain the number one thing that has been pressed on my heart since I have gotten to college.
I had finally gotten out of high school, which were the worst years I had ever experienced. I figured that once I got out, entered a new environment, and ridded myself of unhealthy behaviors, I would be free. But sadly, I was not as correct as I thought. Although at college I felt better in certain aspects, other issues surfaced.
Maybe you could call this “optimism”, or being overly idealistic; thinking that everything will go perfectly, once I just rid myself of the problem. But sadly, this issue is not one of being overly positive. This battle, of learning to not run from our issues, but recognizing, and then embracing them, can be agonizing.
I have been so challenged lately, with so many “why?” questions. When I went to counseling in high school, I assumed that my depression was situational, and would soon fade once I got out of that place. Sadly I was wrong.
When I got to college, everything was perfect. I was away from relationships that had damaged me, my painful memories, and who I “used” to be. I was brand new, right? Now I was “perfect”, ready to be used by God and be the beautiful girl I was “supposed” to be all along.
But I couldn’t have been more wrong. I noticed about half way through my first semester, unresolved conflict, disruptive thoughts, extreme sadness, and lots of anxiety were still within me. Massive waves of sadness would come and then go and I would be fine again. Anxiety and pain edged their way back in my heart yet again. Sometimes, I don’t feel heavy at all. In fact, I feel like I’m on top of the world. I feel like I can accomplish anything, do everything. Then the depression hits again and I feel defeated, like I have to start my healing process all over again.
After a very hard conversation with my best friend, who by the way could not be more of a gift sent from God to me, she helped me realize how badly I needed to go back to counseling. I needed to start to be honest with myself. Who ACTUALLY wants to be so honest that it hurts? What about those thoughts that are so morbid or so embarrassing, you are afraid if you even spoke them you will be shamed and never looked at the same?
Sometimes we don’t want to do that, do we? We can be as honest with people, as honest as we want to be, but wouldn’t you say that even for the most vulnerable human being, there is that one question that can make you shut down? There is that one topic that when it gets brought up, it can make your heart drop to your stomach almost immediately? You stop dead in your tracks and it’s almost like your whole body cringes as your peer tries to ask you a deep question. That was me, sitting in my psychology class one day.
God spoke to me within that hour, about many topics we were touching on. He showed me how I had kicked so many of my hurts and struggles to the curb because of how badly I strive to be perfect. For some reason, I have always thought that would be when I am finally beautiful. Perfection suffocates me. I am always so focused on where I want to be, how internally healthy I want to be, how happy I would kill to be, and how much I want to please everyone, that I lose myself in it all. And time and time again I forget to even be concerned about my own well being.
For years, upon years, I have prayed for God to please take away these emotional and psychological things that I try to handle within me, and yet they don’t go away. Why is that? Aren’t we so scared sometimes to question God? We don’t want to be disappointed. And, we don’t want to ask ourselves the question: whether He chooses to heal me, or He doesn’t, will I still praise Him just the same? Will I still view Him the same, rejoice in His name all the same, and follow Him just the same?
We don’t like to ask those questions, because that requires trust to the highest degree, and if there is anything in my life that I wrestle with more than anything at all, it is trust. And yes, I have noticed that often shows up in my relationship with the Lord as well.
I can remember being 13 or 14, asking God to take away these painful thoughts and terrible feelings, and yet they have stayed. But, I have decided that I am not going to be too scared to ask why anymore. And I am not going to run from myself. I would rather start to embrace what I have been given, then wait for change and stay stagnant.
What is the question you’re too scared to ask God? Maybe you’re like me, and you have a type of internal disorder that you have to battle daily. Maybe your question is why did you allow my family to fall apart? Why won’t you heal my loved one? Why don’t I feel Your presence? Why does no one love me? Why can’t I love myself?
Whatever it is, do not be afraid to ask. Your doubt, lack of trust, pain, whatever it is, can and WILL bring you closer to the Lord, if you let it. What will stray you away, is yourself. It is hard to not shy away and hide when we are sad, confused, or ashamed. But we are the people He came for, the hurt people. Not the proud people. In John 16:33 He says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” This verse is so bittersweet. We have the victory, but that never comes without a price. He has already paid the price for us, but we have to be willing to receive it in order to make any progress. We have to admit our brokenness and get vulnerable.