I believe… At least I want to.
For the last few months I’ve sat down and tried to write, but I hated everything I wrote. In the midst of this frustration, I kept sensing God nudging me to be more vulnerable in my writing, like my last post about Chelsea. Well, here we go. This post is for everyone else out there who struggles with depression, anxiety, and any other issue affecting how we view ourselves in relationship to God and people.
Two months ago I put in my notice at my old job. It was an incredible feeling. I was leaving Apple for the third time, and just like the other two times I was leaving to pursue something that lined up more with my passion and calling. I was so convinced that I God was leading me to write more – blog more, to write music, to be creative for His Kingdom. It was going to be awesome, nay, it was going to be legend – wait for it – dary! It was so clear that God was up to something, that He was opening all these amazing doors for me to walk through. Chances to lead worship were opening up. I have been given the opportunity to speak at a spring break camp and to do a four week series on living in the Kingdom. A job that paid better and had better hours basically fell into my lap! Holy crap, was God good to me! I couldn’t wait for February first to get here. No more would I be leaving work drained after hours of being on my feet in retail. No longer would I work 50+ hour weeks between my job at the church and my job in retail. And come February first did. And then I did nothing.
You see, in my head I understand and believe that God is who He says He is. I understand and believe that God is Love – Perfect Love. I consistently teach and remind people that Jesus passionately loves them and that absolutely NOTHING can separate them from His love. I believe. In my heart, however, I am convinced that I suck, that I’m stupid, ugly, and completely replaceable. So yeah, I believe… At least I want to.
I REALLY want to.
I want to wake up every day happy to be me. I want to look in the mirror and see God’s beloved, not that loser guy who is struggling with this, that, and some other thing that he’ll never ever be free of. I want to fully know what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 11 when He said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” That kind of life sounds amazing, but you know what? I’m not quite there. Nope. Instead, I’m a lot more like this other guy you might have heard about in Mark 9. I get that guy. He’s heard all these awesome stories of what Jesus has done. He probably understands that Jesus is the only hope for his kid being healed. He’s standing right in front of Jesus – God in a bod – and he STILL says, “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can (bold added for emphasis).” I get that. I identify with this guy even more a minute or so later when he tells Jesus, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
I know there are a lot of truths we can draw from this story, but I’d like to focus on just one. This story reminds me that I am not alone in my struggle to live like I believe Jesus is who He says He is. If your struggle with depression, low self esteem, poor self confidence, anxiety, or any one of the number of issues that showers you with lies has kept you from walking in the freedom and healing that Jesus freely offers, you’re not alone. It’s really hard sometimes to walk the path that God has placed before us. Fear has a way of gripping our chest and stealing the breath from our lungs. But our God is bigger. His love is greater. There is rest for those who will cast their cares upon him. And that rest gives us the means to strike out as Kingdom builders – people walking, in faith, the paths that God has laid our for them. Even if it does take a couple months.