You are about to realize that I’m actually a nutcase.

It’s been a long week of minimal social interaction. For real. A fifteen minute interview Tuesday and youth group on Wednesday. And no work. Cody doesn’t count…and phone calls don’t really either. Although in my desperate need for a social life I can truly say that an hour long phone call with my mom is the most girl time I’ve had since she visited a month ago.

I realized about 5 minutes ago that it’s all starting to get to me. I very suddenly reached a point where I began having fake conversations with my lesbian neighbors and started making the facial expressions and hand gestures like it was real…while I walked in circles in my very small kitchen trying to decide if I was hungry and what I should do. Which lead into a tuneless song about Harry Potter while I went to fetch the book from my room. The people on friends, Harry Potter and I have our own little club for 10 hours every day while Cody’s at work. It’s great. Until I break off from the group to obsessively check craigslist, sitter city, and care for new job postings. Nanny websites are my new facebook.

And then I woke up from my reverie of fake neighborly conversations and realized that these crazy moods surprisingly don’t happen all that often and I should take advantage and write something weird and entertaining that I’ll later regret.

I’m pretty sure this is the fastest I’ve ever written a blog post. Also the longest I’ve ever allowed my paragraphs to be. I hate fat paragraphs.

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i have no idea what this post is about. i felt the need to be a more consistent blogger…so I opened it up and wrote

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.

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to be real

It has been along time. And my excuses are not that impressive:

I forgot.

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.

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…cody still holds true to his promise to never let me go a day without flowers . it’s 2 1/2 years…