My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
It’s been circling my brain lately. In not such a good way.
‘You aren’t good enough to mentor high school girls. You aren’t experienced enough to find a decent dental assistant job. You aren’t devoted enough to be a good Christian. You aren’t selfless enough to love your husband right. You are undeserving, inexperienced, messed up, selfish, and broken. There is no way you can do that. You are inadequate.’
It plays on repeat. I try not to listen. I live my life despite it. But eventually it wears me down until I’m simply too tired to do anything but watch some Friends and laugh.
The thing is alot of it is true. I am broken, messed up, inexperienced, and selfish.
What I forget is the counter truth: Jesus.
He makes up for my inadequacies. He is everything I am not, he has everything I am lacking. And I have him so I am adequate. He is what makes me good enough to face life. By myself I’m not so great, and definitely not all that qualified for anything. But he is.
the beauties I came home too. Cody still holds true to his promise that I will always have flowers. there were even flowers waiting at Mom’s house when I got there from the airport. he had them delivered.
The summer has been different. Good different. Also bad different.
Mostly because I transitioned from nannying four hours a day every day; to ten hrs a day, two weeks on, two weeks off. My work days are now opposite of Cody’s, so we essentially don’t see during the week. Which feels completely stupid.
On the other hand, the two weeks off have given me all sorts of time to visit people and be crafty. The craftiness isn’t going quite as I had planned. But the visiting has gone superb. I spent two nights with my dad and baby sisters. Then two nights in my hometown visiting five or so friends and some family too. Then a whopping nine day trip out to Montana to go on vacation with my mom, step-dad, and family, where I contracted the most impressive tan ever. I’ve also had a visit from my grandma, a visit from my mom and sister planned, a hopeful camping trip with my dad and another hometown trip in the works.
It’s been crazy. Which is good. It distracts me from my sad little self…usually. I found myself fighting tears for two days straight while on vacation with my family. Frustrating to say the least…sun, boating, tubing, and sisters should do the trick right? It reminds me that my depression is real. It’s not drama. It’s not overreacting. It’s life and me and my hard thing right now.
I start to feel like there is something wrong with me. I must be brain damaged. Or sick and delusional. Or crazy out of this world selfish. I beg Cody through tears to tell me what’s wrong with me. His answer is always: ‘Nothing. It’s ok for you to feel sad. It’s normal. Stop telling yourself there’s something wrong with you, because there’s not. Everything’s ok. You’re ok and God is good.’ I really should tattoo that on my arm so that the poor guy doesn’t have to repeat it so often. And I hope I figure it out someday for real. I hope it sinks in so that I don’t panic when I can’t reverse my sadness. But for now Cody will just have to repeat it.
It’s a bit late…but one year ago, this happened: It’s still the best decision I ever made. Cody is my hero…he encourages me to do the things I’ve always wanted too, tells me it’s ok to be sad, reminds me of Jesus, makes me think, and kisses me all the time. He works hard at a frustrating job, and is passionate about finding ways to serve Jesus more. I live to share a laugh with him, and I’m even more proud to be his than I was a year ago.
It has been along time. And my excuses are not that impressive:
I don’t write if I don’t have anything noteworthy to say. Which is a bad habit for any writer. Brilliance doesn’t come when you’re sitting around waiting for it.
I learned that depression is real and not made up by overly dramatic people. One result of continuous bummed-outness is a downward plunge in the desire to be social or communicative…even on blogs.
It’s not necessarily healthy to indulge my tendencies to seclusion; but being depressed doesn’t make it any easier to transform my introvertedness into something social…ish.
I hate admitting my struggle with depression. It’s far from the horrors it could be, and I feel guilty knowing my sadness can’t even compare to degree others suffer from it. Things in my life are actually pretty swell too so it feels like I’m overreacting to nothing. If anything I should be overjoyed with life right now.
But there’s no doubt it’s real. There’s clear moments where I know I’m not being silly, emotional, or exaggerating my feelings. My heart rate goes up, irrational fear fills me, and it feels like I’m watching myself do normal life from a dark dirty corner. Literally.
For years I firmly believed that depression was sin. Black and white. A person saved by Jesus should be constantly ecstatic. He has saved me, loved me, showed me mercy, grace and forgiveness literally without measure. He is so much bigger than my pain or problems. If sadness hits…it seems only true that God’s goodness in me should so dwarf my pain that dwelling on it would be wrong.
And maybe so…
But what about all those times in the Bible where Yahweh himself is sad:
Then the Israelites put aside their foreign gods and served the LORD. And he was grieved by their misery. Judges 10.16
Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. Psalm 78.40
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4.30
Then Jesus wept. John 11.35
Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it. Luke 19.41
And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground. Luke 22.44
Jesus was in such emotional turmoil about what his circumstances that he even asked the Father if there was another way. Jesus was perfect.
God himself is sad and upset by the messed-upness of this world. The people he made in his very own likeness whom he dearly loves and adores live in a chaotic horrific world that leaves them broken at every turn. Not to mention the way we have relentlessly hurt his heart and abused his love many times over.
God knows better than anyone how well things will end. How at the end of it all, his church will be saved, and the world will be as it was supposed to be when it was made. He does not doubt his own plan, goodness, and love. But he’s still sad. The reality of goodness doesn’t mean we have to deny the reality of pain. Both are equally true.
And as far as my own little crying heart goes…that’s pretty much all it has figured out. To not deny the realness of the pain. And to recognize that there are legitimate reasons for sadness and even depression.
Still, joy is a learning curve. It takes practice, choice, and guts. And this I don’t have figured out. I can choose joy…but I squash the sad. Or I give into the sad and can’t choose joy. Both are wrong.
But I realize…I’m excited to learn. It may take years and years. But my Savior will not leave me treading water. He will teach me how to balance grief and joy and I will know him better for experiencing both.
…cody still holds true to his promise to never let me go a day without flowers . it’s 2 1/2 years…
my apologies for being a lousy blogger. but i have a life (code for nothing smart enough in my brain to write about). so get over it. however I will try to appease your gallimaufry withdrawals with this little photo update:
Cody turned 21…finally. i no longer have to buy his beer. You’d think being his sole provider of beer would be a wonderful advantage as his wife. Unfortunately I’m too nice for that. Which makes it simply a pain.
If you think about it honestly…who really wants to sing to harp music and be blinded by golden streets for eternity. It’s definitely better than the other option but still…as much as I am ecstatic be with Jesus, I will admit the traditional picture of heaven gives me the yawns.
I really don’t think this is what heaven will be like at all. God created us with the built in desire to create, imagine, work, and socialize. This was part of life before things went wrong in the beginning, and I’m fairly certain these human traits won’t just vanish in the end either.
I’ve always imagined heaven more like C.S. Lewis describes it in the last Narnia book. Narnia heaven has the same geography as the old Narnia…everything is just so much magnificently better! Who knows what it will exactly be like. But I’m fairly certain that when Christ comes back to establish his perfect kingdom…it’s going to look like he intended it to look like in the beginning: his people living in unity creating and working and building for him. Only this time we won’t have the option to mess it up.
Two years ago today my grandpa died. And then life went on. I guess things happen and there’s no choice but to keep living. So you do. But sometimes the loss hits you and you remember what life was like when that person was around and it gets you all worked up to tears again…even two years later.
I think it’s worth it though, to remember. I will probably forget the sound of my grandpa’s voice when he called me ‘sweetheart,’ or his chuckle when I joked with him…someday. But not today. Today I’ll remember even if it makes me cry in Starbucks right now. I’ll remember the way he took care of his truck, the time he kissed my grandma in the kitchen, the box of rocks he gave me for Christmas…it was our inside joke. I still have the box. His flannel jackets and old time country music. Getting paid 5 cents a cone for picking pinecones out of his lawn. My cat he named ‘Stupid.’ He was quiet and steady, a watch from the corner person…like me. And I still don’t know why we called him ‘Papa-d0.’