I am a writer who connects through words that I am currently struggling to find.
So here it comes — the hard truth.
I often write about vulnerability and the power of a story, and even still, it is far from easy to be transparent enough to tell you that I'm currently in one of the darkest seasons of my life. I feel like I am trying to pour from reserves that are below the empty line. I am battling lies that I hear in my head about my present and my future, and there are days when my only prayer is to help me make it through the next hour.
I have been in the pit of depression before. God and I have been through some things, to hell and back, or so it seemed at the time. Always together, since He so willingly lowers Himself into my darkest night, making His bed there until I've found the strength to hope again.
I have a lot of questions, and I don't know for the life of me why some things happen. I don't understand why God seems so late to arrive at times, even though He is aware of how pressing our need is. And I think admitting that or confessing that I feel like I'm drowning over here is one of the hardest things for those in public arenas of writing, speaking, or leadership to admit.
There is a fear of being judged since humans have this tendency to make unfair judgements based on fragmented pieces we see of a partial picture. There is the fear of being too messy, of appearing weak, or less spiritual, or less mature, or less whatever. All of which are lies that keep us in the suffering of silence and drive us further into the darkness and disconnection from the very people who help bring healing.
The longing for some answers isn't going to be fully satisfied on this side of eternity. I only know that I can relate to Mary in John, chapter 11 when she hears that Jesus has finally arrived four days after she sent for Him and four days too late, and instead of going out to greet Him, she stays in the house.
Was she bitter? Maybe. Confused? Probably. Depressed and apathetic? The One she trusted with everything seems indifferent to her need. Who wouldn't be?
I am Mary, sitting in the house with my questions and whatever emotions feel more consuming than my ability to handle.
But I also know something Mary didn't at the moment. I know the end of that story. I know that Jesus finally does arrive and not too late. I know that he asks for Mary by name because He noticed her absence. I know that He understood how she was feeling and the intricate web of the why's and He cared deeply. I know that He arrived and breathed life into death and grief and so much sorrow, the way that He always does.
Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to admit that you are not okay, or that you have doubt and that your faith feels fragile right now.
"and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out." Isaiah 42:3 (NIV)
It's okay to feel weak sometimes. It's okay to feel like you are a smoldering flame and one more slight blow might be the one that snuffs you out. You are not alone in that struggle. You are not more broken than the rest of us. There is not some inherent defect in you that makes you unusable, unlikable or less than.
Reach out. Talk to someone who loves you and is a safe person for you. If you don't have that someone, write to me.
Know that Jesus asked for Mary by name. And He's asking for me and He's asking for you. Even still. No matter what you are sitting in the house with today.