I almost always start my blogs out with a salutation of “Friends-“. I do this because I do in fact count you as my friend. You have taken the time to read what I have written, some even follow my page and other leave comment…all are so appreciated. I have found WordPress to be an open and accepting community of writers and supporters of writers. I have found this space to be safe to share ideas and thoughts, not to persuade or coerce readers to believe in or endorse my ideas…simply expression of such. I thank each of you for providing this to me and I hope in return you have felt similar emotions.
I have been very forth right in my faith and belief in Jesus Christ and entrust my life to His service. “With that being said,” that’s a pun for my dearest of friend (BDC). Truly, I accept that I am fully human and I fail at things every single day even several times every day; however, through the grace of God I am forgiven and given new opportunities with every new sun rise. Being a Christian is not the picture that has been burnt into some of our minds as pretty, neat, orderly, calm, routine, simple…It is rough, very rough at times. It’s falling down, it’s asking for help, it’s humbling, it’s costly in ways that money could not even image, its chaotic, its loud, its confusing…and so much more. Do you know why? We live in a conditional world, we are sinful humans with a spirit that thirsts for more than what this temporal life offers. Our bodies will fail us and we them, our spirits will live on forever. I cannot explain forever and eternity, our minds cannot calculate beyond where time does not exist, at the very least, mine does not. My trust is in God and I hold onto those promises God gave us through the prophets and the writers of the books included in the Bible and in those books and manuscripts not included within the canonized Bible, why you may ask…because they too have value.
To my friends and family at ACC, I share these thoughts because I love you all dearly. I have missed connecting with you on Sunday mornings, Wednesday morning Bible Study and participating in the Women’s group (Esther’s Circle). I have been absent for a multitude of reasons, some worthy and some maybe not so much. My absence is not due to unhappiness or conflicts relating to the church and the congregation (my family). I am energized whenever I walk into the church, even when I’m the only person in the building. It’s home! It’s the smiles, the hugs, the laughs, the conversations…it’s connection. You see there’s only positivity when I am in the presence of ACC. You might be asking yourself, why in the world would you ever be absent from something that is so life-giving? Excellent question and observation.
I ask myself that question a lot! I often tell myself my excuses keep me from doing things. I blame myself sometimes for making bad decisions or poor choices. Life becomes a blaming game. That is a hole that can be very difficult to get out of once you jump in. Isn’t life about learning? How does one learn? Trial and error, practicing to do something correctly means we must have tried it and failed. I had a coach in college that used to say, “Practice does not make you perfect.” “Perfect practice can make you perfect.” If you practice a skill incorrectly you will never execute it perfectly. (Thanks Coach Shemwell).
My struggles are no more or less important than anyone else’s. This is a value statement, we all should tether it to ourselves, a life vest of sorts. I struggle with depression, it is often exaggerated in times of change and stress. Change is a funny word and can relate to so many things in life. I have a multitude of health concerns going on in my life at the moment, some could be greatly improved through better life choices and some just are. With medical concerns comes medical appointments followed by medical bills which usually causes increased stress. None of these are unique to me and I’m sure if everyone reading this were honest, you could say that you too can relate. Sure you can, because life can be difficult and unfair in our opinion but we are survivors and we see light at the end of a dark hallway. My light without a doubt is Jesus and His arms are stretched out reaching for me. I hope that is your vision too.
Most of the time I fight my depression, I feel the cycle begin and sense the familiar. I have many people I can count on in times of difficulty, personal and professional. I thank God for all the wonderful individuals in my life, some are close and some miles away but always close in our hearts. I know that there are times in which I can make it very tough to love me!
And, then there are times I sink down into it, feel it cover my body like a deep, thick fog on a lake in the middle of the night with only a sliver of the moon glazing down upon it like glass. I close my eyes and imagine the glass sliding across my skin, making shallow cuts and streams of crimson cover my pale skin. I take a deep breathe and exhale, open my eyes, nothing broken, nothing hurt; only an emptiness that I desperately want to fill with something, with anything. I thank God for His protection and clarity during these times. I pray for those who suffer with these afflictions. I understand it and even at times yearn for it. I know it is not the answer I seek, filling a void with useless material is no different than the void itself. So, I am choosing to sit with the void, perhaps even make friends with it. It’s only my enemy because I allow it. I am even going to go out on a limb and say that the void is merely space that I have yet to grow into.
As I come to the each of this post, I pray for you. You have touched my life in ways that I may never be able to tell you or show you. Know that YOU matter and that YOU are loved!