Thursday, November 11, 2010

And that's over.

All it takes is two little conversations to send me crashing into the bottom of everything from being in such a good place. I didn't even feel like I was in a particularly high or manic place, just a good, sustainable place. But it wasn't sustainable. For every good decision, moment and period of my life, I feel like there are a hundred times more bad decisions, moments and periods. I'm frustrated. Why does my coworker, who doesn't seek to glorify the Lord, get to go home to a boy and get to get promoted and get to be happy and laugh things off and drink and smoke and not have to go home alone and depressed and filled with self hatred? I don't want anything extraordinary. I just want to not have to fight off suicidal and violent feelings of self loathing. Especially not right now, when I have to go home and deal with my family and my say good bye to my best friend. And it's three in the morning, so who am I supposed to bother with this. I know that in any other time I would say "next time I'm there, I'll turn to the Lord, I'll pray, I'll read Scripture" but I just can't. I just can't do anything but wish I was someone else, somewhere else. Maybe tomorrow I'll remember the blessings that come out of these times. But not tonight.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


This Sunday at my church we had a sermon about Lot's hesitation. I've been thinking a lot about why I hesitate. I've also been reading "Radical" by David Platt and I've decided to start the process of being sent abroad to an unreached people group in the next few years after some intensive training here in Austin. And my best friend is getting married and moving away this weekend. Basically, I just feel like God is doing some intense things to my heart through people, circumstances and life.

I can think back, or read back, to just a few months ago, when I felt that the idea of becoming radical was scary, or weird, or unnecessary. Now it feels imperative. By the grace of God, I desire more and more clear opportunities to act in obedience. Whether it's something simple like taking the time to listen to someone I don't necessarily want to talk to or shutting my computer and opening my Bible, or speaking out at community group about a deep struggle, I want more. I want more times to say yes. I sit at work, looking at my coworkers, wondering how to start the conversation.

And at the same time, I feel like I'm finally starting to grasp what it means that I can't do anything on my own. I'm finally realizing that the first step is humility, coming to the foot of the cross, asking Jesus to fill the emptiness. Maybe I'm just finally realizing that all this time I thought I was not doing things on my own, I really was. There wasn't humility and brokenness in my obedience. The ability to obey and love comes from an overflow of Christ's love, hope, and joy, which is awfully hard to accept through all the walls I have in my heart. I keep trying to go out without filling up, and I run out of gas really quickly. I end up looking just like the world, because I tire of fighting my flesh. I drink too much, I speak too harshly, I judge too quickly, I don't love well.

I'm just having a lot of thoughts. I want to be Radical. The Bible has been read by so many people and so many people have met Christ (not enough, but just bear with me), but so few seem to be living surrendered lives. My roommate and I were talking last night, and we both discussed our fear that we will end up complacent, that all this fervor and desire to radically surrender to God will dissipate some how and we'll find ourselves middle aged and discontent with all the things we pursued instead of God's love. We know that it's not suburbia or a husband or children or money or a house in themselves that are bad, but we just don't want that to be it. What's that song? We were meant to live for so much more. I just want to taste that! I want to be living for more.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sometimes songs say it better

And I know this: Whatever happens next is in Your hands, in Your plans, nothing less. Every day there is a choice, and through the joy, through the pain, I will rejoice. I am Yours, do what You wish. I am Yours, I am Yours, and I know this.

Save me 'cause I need it, and I can't help but feel desperate. My desires, they seem were coming to their endings, but I will trust it's not the end but a great beginning.

Light, The Rocket Summer.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Self talk

Today marks the first day I left therapy more confused and frustrated than I went in. But it also marks the day I first openly talked about some huge terrible painful things.

I really feel like my therapist is too nice to me sometimes. I feel like her message is that things aren't my fault and I have to give myself more grace, but I know that things are my fault, and I don't deserve anymore grace, not from myself. No one deserves it from God, but that's not an optional thing. She doesn't let me call ridiculous things I feel ridiculous, she doesn't let me take the fall for situations I really feel I caused. And maybe she knows better than I do, but it makes me not trust her, to some degree.

I just don't trust anyone. I never think people are telling the truth, or being themselves. I'm insanely cynical of people. But it's all internal. Sometimes it comes out in the way I treat someone that seems particularly fake. But how the hell should I be allowed to say who is a fake and who isn't?

I guess I'm angry, and sad, and frustrated, and that's why I'm taking such a negative tone. I realized this week that I don't trust God, to some degree. I can say and read and think and discuss until I'm deaf, mute and blind that God's way is higher and better for me in the end, but I don't believe it. I'm angry that I feel so alone and isolated from everyone else, and even from my own self. I don't feel whole, I don't feel a part of things, I don't feel desirable or lovable or any of those things. I just feel like it's unfair. It's unfair that I'm expected to trust God to fulfill all these unmet needs that he gave me in the first place. He created me, He knows me, and He knew how hard this was going to be, and let it be anyway. I know I'm wrong. I know there are plenty of other needs He does meet in my life, and like I said, I know His ways are above mine. I believe that about external situations, but I'm having a hell of a time believing it about how miserable, lonely, depressed and self loathing I feel right now.

I'm sorry that I don't trust you, Lord. I'm sorry that I value my own satisfaction over your glory, because apparently, for some reason, my lack of satisfaction right now will ultimately lead to your glory. But I just want a glimpse of hope, peace, joy, understanding, love, and maybe one day some contentment. And honestly, I don't want to be alone. I know this life is a vapor, but to the mind you gave me to think with, it seems like one awfully long vapor to spend by myself.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's been two months.

I just have too many thoughts. I feel like I'm too introspective, too thoughtful about things that don't affect other people. I'm constantly trying to figure everything out instead of just living a life of love and compassion. And I'm also frustrated. I thought I had a lot of things figured out. I thought I was doing pretty good as a person, and that my large group of friends was proof of that.

Lately, it's been brought to my attention that I love people very conditionally. Maybe this is something I should have noticed before, but I didn't, and now I feel wretched. I think this is our natural way - we're always told "You can't get along with everyone." Which is true. But also, that doesn't mean you are excused from loving them.

I keep coming back to God's grace. It is for everyone, not just the people that are nice to and praise him constantly. I get God's grace when I sin, and when I worship. And Christ's sacrifice! Our Jesus gave all - of - him - self (which is a heck of a lot more than what I have to offer) for people that didn't even bother to come to his crucifixion.

So when I look at a person in my life that I "just don't get along with" I have to wonder - is that because there is some part of me I'm not willing to sacrifice to love them? For me, this is often a trust issue. I don't trust people's intentions and I'm very unforgiving when it comes to people lying to me. Why is that? I guess I think I deserve the truth. I think it's against me that they are sinning, when really, if they are lying or being fake or deceptive in any way, there is probably a deeper issue there that would be better solved through love, patience, compassion and conversation than it would be through me snubbing them.

This doesn't feel like fully developed thought, but it's all I have for now. I'm trying to love better and less selectively. I think in turn this will help me with my constant desire to be loved "most" in a group or by a person. Anyway, on a related note, I read this incredible blog post, which also had incredible responses, yesterday that really made me think about this whole love and forgiveness issue. There is more to say. There is always more to say!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I used to get really offended when I told people I was sad and they found it necessary to point out the "real" suffering in the world. Actually, I would still probably find this offensive, or just insensitive. But today I feel like it's been a blessing to spend some time knowing that there is a lot of real, hard, physical suffering in the world.

It made me think about how hard it is to know that God is in control of all of that. The next thing I think about is the truth that I know from my own life. When things look bleak, when I'm depressed and full of shame and sinfulness, it is because we humans are sinful and our sin caused this world to be broken. Additionally, God doesn't call us to sit there and get mad and yell at him about it. We might do that for a while, but eventually we have to get proactive. God gives us tools. He gives us the strength to use those tools. People have to start orphanages and adopt children and raise money and build homes. I had to see a therapist and a psychiatrist and force myself out of bed and keep a journal.

I don't really know if these thoughts are making sense. I just feel somewhat good today, and I'm happy. I think it's a mixture of an improved perspective, some lifestyle changes, prayer, antidepressants, and the people God has given me that love me well. I'm learning, finally, I think, that my identity doesn't lie in anything but Christ, and in Christ, I am clean and righteous and can do good things. I've learned this for a long time, but it's sticking better.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I can feel it coming, a wave of depression. All I can think to do is complain. I am grateful for many things right now, I want to remember that before I complain. I am grateful for my new home, my new roommates, my new life lessons from God, my old friends, my job, my salvation, God's grace, and God's love. I think my circumstances are overwhelming me, and I'm not exactly fighting it. I want to get sad, because I feel more ______ when I am. I don't know the right word for that blank.

1. real
2. alive
3. important
4. aware
5. all of the above

My family is crazy. My mom is freaking me out. I don't trust any of the members of my family, and I don't feel like I am a part of my family, and I don't necessarily feel a grand desire to be either. There, I said it. I just can't handle how difficult it is to have any kind of conversation with any of them.

I got this dog and it's so much work and I don't know why I imposed such an overwhelming responsibility on myself. Anyone can tell you. I don't really like dogs. Maybe I was trying to do something selfless, or maybe I was trying to impress someone (not sure who), or maybe I was trying to be normal. Normal adults get dogs all the time. I think the dog thing is what is really getting me down. Which seems crazy.

Oh there is also the normal, constant issue in my life, which changes names but is never positive, and that is my relationships with members of the opposite sex. And I keep getting stressed out about theology. Am I a seven day creationist? Am I a middle roader? Am I going to hell if I don't believe in the inerrancy of Scripture in all matters, even those not spiritual? I like to think that my love for Jesus, my experience of God, my understanding of the need for Jesus' death, and my desire to know more and live more like Christ every day, though I fail constantly, is enough, and these quibbles can be discussed (I love theological debate) but they don't determine my righteousness. But maybe I'm wrong?

I have been reading this week (on my smartphone) the Psalms, because I am always reading the Psalms, and I read a few verses recently emphasizing waiting on God. I need to learn this lesson. I am quick to seek satisfaction in life for all these needs I think I must meet right then and there. If I could just wait on God. I wouldn't keep falling in these holes.

Friday, August 6, 2010


I am trying to relax. I am trying to breath slowly. But I am stressed. out. It's making me anxious, and nervous, and I think my new dosage is adding to it by increasing my energy just a little too much. I keep finding myself shaking my leg and it's driving me crazy. I had a slight panic attack today, if such a thing is possibly, I definitely felt awful and panicky but I was trying so hard not to let it overcome me because I was with my new roommate and I didn't want to freak her out. But it sucked. Everything is frustrating me. Moving is stressful. My family is stressful. Getting a pet is stressful. Trying to overcome sin is stressful. My best friend telling me she's moving away months earlier than I thought is stressful. Organizing my social calender is stressful. Training for a new job, keeping up with my old job, thinking about my future.

I need to catch a break.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wretched sinner

I had a big, fat flop yesterday. One of those times where you stare sin in the face, call it sin, and then open the door and offer it milk and cookies. I knew while it was happening that I would regret it, that I would be burdened with guilt and anxiety. But I ran right into it. God opened some doors for me to step out of it, but I shut them in His face.

How do I accept God's forgiveness as well as the gravity of my mistake? How do I not dwell on it to the point that it creates a rift between me and God, but also not flippantly stamp forgiven on it and toss in the wastebasket?

Maybe it's best to get to the root of it, then commit to praying that God help me believe and know that He fills that need, that He satisfies fully, that He loves me, delights in me, and truly wants the best for me.

I need to stop hating myself. I keep saying this, over and over and over, but then someone hurts my feelings and it all comes rushing back and I feel worthless, pitiable, alone, and vulnerable. Last night, instead of truly turning to the Lord with that feeling, asking him to remind me where my worth comes from, which would have been so simple, so satisfying, so beautiful, I took the world's advice.

Here's the rub. I did feel better. The relief was instant. The world's answer brought me some joy. I know in the end it will fail me. I know it's not God's will for my life, so it cannot be the best. Lord Jesus, I believe, but help my unbelief.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Whatta week.

I believe our expectations can be self-fulfilling prophecies, to some extent. However, this belief did not stop me from expecting this week would suck, nor did it stop this week from sucking. I went to a funeral, one of my best friends, which happens to be one of my most difficult relationships at the same time, moved away, and I'm packing and moving, which is just stressful.

But I am thankful for some things. You know when you have a minor injury and you keep checking to see if it still hurts, like poking a bruise? I've been doing that, thinking to myself, do I think my life is worth continuing today, or would I prefer it be over? It feels crazy to say I have ask myself that but it's been nice to answer with the former.

A large part of this change has been resting in the fact that God loves me no matter what. This is a concept I've heard about my whole life, but never understood the importance of until lately. It seems so simple. It seems simple to say "My identity and worth do not come from others but from Christ in me." But it is an entirely different thing to realize it is TRUE and live out of that truth. This week when I obeyed the Lord, I saw the worth that my life has, that I can be His hands and feet and exemplify His love.

I'm so thankful today. I am thankful that God's grace has kept me alive, I am thankful that He gives me opportunities to love my friends in meaningful ways, I am thankful that He enables me to allow friends to love me back.

But I'm also scared. I'm moving in with some girls soon, and I have really good feelings about it, but the nagging insecurities about whether I am lovable, or even likable, won't go away. I want them to like me and be glad I am their roommate and I need to pray that God help me stop myself from making their approval an idol in my mind.

It feels good to process these things.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Every time I've tried to post since last week, it's kinda fallen flat. Today I have to because I'm feeling something awful and this week I was instructed not to distract myself from terrible feelings or "deal with them later" but deal with them now. I just got a call from one of my closest friends. I'm friends with her and her significant other, and today his mother died. We all knew it was going to happen, he's been spending lots of time with his family in preparation, but no matter what we know or perceive death always feels like a sucker punch.

It's weird, too, how it's kind of secondhand grief. I've been fortunate in my life to not yet have anyone close to me personally die, but it's always been people close to those I'm close to, like a close friend's little brother in high school. I think it's a good person to be in the lives of those affected. I'm one step removed, so I can listen and pray for them without feeling completely destroyed.

But because I'm me, I always have this guilt. There is so much badly placed guilt in my life, lies from Satan to keep me from intimacy with God. It's good for me to declare that I know that is what the are, and that Satan has no power over me. But anyway, it's like I'm not allowed to be sad, or as sad as I think I would be if I allowed those feelings to be felt. It's weird how you can shove feelings down. What are feelings? Is it a brain click that we are some how able to unclick with the power of unhealthy coping mechanisms? I get an image of them coming up from my stomach, I guess like vomit, but then there's me, always forcing them back down.

I digress. I need to go home and pray about this. I need to get filled up so that when I speak to them next I can pour out the only thing I know is real and good for true comfort in this world, which is God's perfect, perfect, perfect love. This has been a theme in my mind, reading and meditations this week. God loves me. This isn't emphasized enough in the tradition I'm in. People seem so fixated on our sinfulness and wretchedness that we speed through the Good part of the Good News.

I know our wretchedness is deep, long and terrible, but I was born and have lived with extraordinarily low self-esteem my whole life. I need some comfort after facing the darkness inside of me. I read a bit of Brennan Manning's The Furious Longing of God, and I know people think he focuses too much on the Good and not on the dirtiness of our selves, but it was SO helpful to my soul. I know there is a required context and nuance to the verse below. But for now, it's going to rest on my heart, comfort me, and give me the strength to comfort people I love so, so deeply.

I am my beloved's,
And his desire is for me.
Song of Solomon 7:10

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another thing.

Not to overwhelm the blogosphere or anything, but another realization I had this evening:

It is TRUE that our value does not come from others and their opinions, but from the already completed amazing work of Jesus Christ on the cross that makes us whole and perfect to our Father God, who created us, loves us and chose us.

I have this long-lasting sick demented way of thinking about myself that depends entirely on others, and sometimes on just one person. To the extent that several people can love on me and God can show me He loves me but if this one person doesn't love me or treat me right that day, I am devastated. I give him this power over my self-worth that he has done nothing to deserve. Thank the Lord that I have friends to remind me that it's not because of me being worth less than any one else that this person doesn't love me.

This is what God knows is best for me, right now. He knows it is not best for this person to love me. He knows there is a much more abundant life than what I want.

And I have to write this down, because I know it will happen again. I'm so quick to forget these lessons.

Quit pussyfootin' around.

Lately, a lot of my friends have given in to God in HUGE ways and decided to say yes in hard, scary situations. Mine is not as big as theirs, their decisions to move overseas and get married or not get married or tell someone about Jesus, etc. But I finally did something today.

I won't say God told me to do this. I will say that He placed an opportunity in front of me. He's done this before. It was a few months ago, and I pussyfooted around long enough that I just never obeyed, and ended up staying in the job I'd been doing and not loving.

Then someone e-mailed me about a job. A potential dream job. But I said "I can't do that. If I do that, I'm choosing a path for my life. I don't want to choose a path for my life." This, I think, is my depression talking. I'm not good enough to choose a path. I'm not good enough to be successful in something I actually love. I need more schooling, more personality, more good looks.

But today I walked into work and I looked around and I realized: "This is a nice place with nice people but I'm not excited to come here. It pays the bills. It doesn't hurt me. I can stay here. But why don't I at LEAST try to get my dream job?" And then I wrote a cover letter, updated my resume and sent off an application.

It would be awesome if this was God's plan for me and I got the job. But even if I don't... I think I'll be a little less scared next time a door opens. I want to run through doors God opens for me, not look at them and spin around in circles and make excuses. I beg God for direction, for answers, for a reason to live. Then he puts one in front of me and I ignore it? That's stupidity, and depression.

I feel so free right now. Thank you, Jesus.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


So, now I'm obsessed with reading online about dissociation. Interestingly, it's really typical in everyone. Like anxiety or depression, those who study it think everyone experiences it at times to certain degrees, but that it can be extreme and problematic in some lives. Everything I read just makes sense of my life. Not just the terrible memory that I mentioned in my other post, but also my other diagnoses, my self-criticism and overall uncomfortableness with myself, etc.

I'm also trying to read through my old LiveJournals (geez, was I candid as a 15 year old) to remember things. It's not pleasant. I've always felt the way I do now about myself, I'm realizing it, but at some point I began to internalize it.

This morning was terrible. I got to work feeling miserable. I felt like I'd offended numerous people and acted terribly. I have to stop analyzing every social interaction and conversation when I walk away from them. I have to stop replaying situations and determining how I could have acted better.

My mom triggered me this morning, with her typical guilt trip and accusatory statements. I'm trying to set boundaries, and I'm incredibly frustrated that she isn't making an effort to treat me carefully, because she knows what is going on. That just made me grumpy and then I started checking out of this gathering I was at. There was a talkative guy there so I let him talk and talk and talk, and some part of me appropriately nodded at times.

I don't know. I'm so down today, but it's better than recent days because I keep feeling this nudging that says "This isn't it. I'm here and I'm healing you. One day at a time." And that's nice.

He asked life of You,
You gave it to him,
Length of days forever and ever.
Psalm 21:4

Christ in me, the hope of glory

God in my laughing
There in my weeping
God in my hurting
God in my healing

Why is it so hard to let God be everything? What else is worth it?

Friday, July 9, 2010


There's this huge, enormous comfort in knowing that you're not the only one who feels or has ever felt a certain way. I think it's because deep down we greatly fear that we are alone, that we will end up alone, and that's because we aren't properly getting that need met in Christ. I don't know how to fix that. But I do know that I felt so much better today when I finally said to my therapist "Ninety percent of the time I feel completely detached from my life. I have these jarring moments of self-realization when I think 'Oh, this is my life I've been living all day. That's me in the mirror.'" I've never been very good at explaining this feeling to others. But because she's a therapist she knew what questions to ask and how to figure me out.

She said that we call this disassociation. Being the avid googler that I am you think I would have tried that term. But the thing is, I didn't know if it was really that out of the ordinary. Lately, though, I've felt like it's getting in the way of my life. I feel like I needed to ask her about it.Anyway, I did google it when I got home, and I read the Wikipedia page (alright, sure, it's just Wikipedia, but still) and I was just comforted that maybe there is a name for this thing I keep feeling.

I know some people hate labels and it makes healing more difficult, but for me, it helps. I feel a lack of personal identity, and a great difficulty finding that in Christ. I fight in worship to feel present. I connect most with God when I'm singing and dancing and clapping for Him because I'm engaging my senses and I have to be present in that moment. I don't feel Him as much when I read scripture or pray because my words feel fake, unless I'm in great distress.

The scary thing was when she started to say that this is usually in regards to childhood trauma. However, because I feel like I've always disassociated, and we remember things we associate with strong emotions, I don't remember my childhood. I hardly remember anything. People will tell me things that happened in the past and I will believe them and that's where my memories come from. This is scary because she wants me to pray about starting to remember things. And to focus on trying to be present in moments. And when I do disassociate, if I notice, try to figure out why.

So maybe my whole life problems are just this one coping mechanism. It's made sense of some particular sins I struggle with, and my bad memory. I think the trauma, which doesn't have to be super intense to cause such a thing, is growing up in a household with lots of anger, fighting, screaming, etc. I didn't feel safe there. I was always scared. No one physically hurt me (that I remember or have been told) but I was never emotionally comfortable. I've known that for a long time. It makes me sad because I know my parents just did what they could and have tried their best.

It also makes me sad because I feel at fault for so much. I'm realizing more and more than I have a terrible view of myself. I always assume I did wrong, even without negative feedback. I think I internalized consistent negative feedback and have made this my gut reaction, so that I can't be criticized before I criticize myself.

I'm scared to take this journey. I'm scared to remember things, I'm scared to potentially feel things without detaching mentally. I'm scared to love myself, really. But I know the Lord has brought me to this place to lean on Him and know Him and His love better so that I can really love others and spread His Gospel better. I know that. I don't feel that but I'm just going to keep reminding myself. With Scripture, with Prayer and with Worship and David Crowder's help.

Your love is relentless
And I'm glad for it, I'm glad for it
Your love is relentless
I am glad
Your love is relentless
And if not for it, if not for it
I'd perish for sure
If not for it
Savior for the faithful
We're in the hands of God
Love has come
And we are safe
Hope has come
And we are safe
We're in the hands of God.

I don't even feel like I wrote this. But I KNOW I did.
Please Lord, take this confusion away.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Well alright then.

Clearly, that last post was written when I was in quite the bad place. Lesson learned: alcohol + antidepressants don't mix. And when you get home after drinking too much and you just want to go to sleep... don't take your sleeping pill. I guess my judgment was impaired beyond belief.

Thankfully, I was wrong, and I did have a friend that cared and knew what was happening when I called and came over to save me from myself. And the next day, the day I was so scared of, was terrible at first. But I opened up to another friend and I let people love me and pray over me and I felt better. I did.

I woke up depressed again this morning. I was supposed to go volunteer but I didn't want to. I felt worthless and selfish and angry. I felt suicidal. But my friend was in the other room and she cared, and another friend sent a text right then saying she prayed for me. These are both people I met in the last two weeks. Our God is an amazing provider. I'm about to cry, sitting in this coffeeshop, just thinking about how present He is and how much He loves me to have brought these people to me. Even though I hurt and I'm depressed, I am thankful at least for that.

I've been reading the Psalms since January with very little consistency. I'm only on 18. But here's what I read yesterday:

28For it is you who light my lamp;
the LORD my God lightens my darkness.
29For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
30This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 31For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
32the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
33He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I have a lot of friends.

Today I want to die.

And quite frankly,

None of them know. And none of the care.

So i guess the right word is acquaintances.

Happy birthday, America.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I'm sad right now. I'm sad because I've been feeling happy. This is nonsense, I know. I wrote that post yesterday about something I was really thinking about. I was really thinking about theology, and wanting to know more, and not just thinking about my depression.

But today, I feel like the medicine is working, I feel like I'm doing good things every day, I know everything looks right. I'm sleeping, I'm serving, I'm exercising, I'm eating well. But I can't shake the feeling that I should be doing more, which makes me want to remain in my depression, which makes me sad.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10

Not by works, not by works, I know it's not by works. I know that I can't DO anything, I can't add to God's grace. I know that. I just cannot live it. I cannot make a connection between my head and my heart. I cannot shake the feeling that pervades my relationship with God and my relationship with every person I know that it is what I do that gives me my value. I just want to do everything. I want to be smarter so people will think I'm smart. I want to be nicer so that people will be drawn to me and say nice things about me. I want to be funnier, prettier, more talented, happier, more normal for the same reasons.

And I know that all of these things are empty, will fail me, will not satisfy, will not fill me up. But I keep chasing. I'm running the wrong race. But my flesh won't let me go.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I had another positive day today. I volunteered, went to the gym, did work and ate healthy meals. At the gym, I took an Ashtanga Yoga class. It was my first of this kind, and I enjoyed it. Exercise is hard for me. I don't enjoy much of it, and when I find something I do, that works, I generally want to do it more. This happened with ballet classes, which are too expensive.

Yoga works for me. I enjoy it, I feel the burn, I sweat, and it helps me with anxiety and depression. So I googled the term "Christian yoga," because my therapist said "Wouldn't it be nice if more Christians taught yoga?", after I mentioned that I'm taking Yoga classes, and that when I do, I pray and meditate on Scriptures that I have memorized and I avoid saying "namaste" and bowing, etc.

But... as a scholar of religious studies, it's hard to argue with the fact that Hindus have been quoted many times as saying "Yoga is Hinduism," like in this interesting Time magazine article on the topic. The poses are considered sacrifices to Hindu gods, and the practice is a method of reaching closer to their pantheistic concept of God (please excuse my gross oversimplification of something I'm not even close to fully understanding. hopefully you can see my point anyway).

I'm not comfortable being that crazy, legalistic Christian. I'm scared when I think (or the Holy Spirit suggests through His nudging) "maybe I shouldn't drink. maybe I shouldn't watch that TV show. maybe I shouldn't listen to that music." I was raised as a privileged American, in this sweet land of Liberty. And we do have liberty and freedom in Christ! But where do we strike that balance between being libertines and legalists? Particular forms of music, TV, movies, activities, whatever may not be inherently bad, but that doesn't mean they help us run the race we are running toward Him.

So, is it enough just to focus my attention on Him during yoga? Does it require "redeeming" poses and renaming the practice, like the creators of PraiseMoves? For now, I'm just really not sure. I'm going to talk to a few close friends that are believers, because I don't fully trust every Christian I met via their website. I'm going to pray about it. Actually, that should be first.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Feeling blessed

I went to the therapist again yesterday, and the psychiatrist today. Maybe I'm crazy to think this, but I took the first dose of the anti depressant prescribed to me and I feel better. I know it doesn't work that fast. But maybe it does. Or maybe it's triggering mania, and I have to go down that road again. Either way, it was truly a blessing this evening.

An old friend came to me in that way that only old friends can after not being close for a while. She came to me for advice. She has always been my go-to girl when I'm extremely down and she listens and advises, and when she has come to me in the past, I have always felt inadequate and unhelpful.

But tonight, she was going through a lot of the same feelings I've been going through. And I was ready! I was reading with God-centered, edifying advice. Advice that I couldn't have offered, though of, or known, if the Lord hadn't chosen to teach it to me through my depression and counseling.

So maybe this is a false, medication induced high. But maybe, definitely, God is working in that.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I think every Friday I'll have a list. Firstly, because I love lists. Secondly, because it will make my blogging more consistent. Today's list will respond to last Friday's list.

Successes I had this week:
1. I went to the gym twice. Once for a class and once for cardio.
2. I responded to my friends and family that texted, called and e-mailed me this week. I spent quality time with a few close friends instead of spending quality time in bed.
3. I e-mailed about joining a Bible study group at my church.
4. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist and my therapist both for next week.
5. I cooked healthy foods and ate them.

I'm having this internal battle. I want to be able to say I am okay, I am perfectly fine, I can wake up tomorrow with no depression, no need for therapy or medicine, I can live a normal life tomorrow. Because the other option feels like sinking into depression and succumbing to it. How can I get on a healing path? How can I allow myself to start healing instead of trying to jump to the other side or anchor myself under this cloud? Especially when the cloud feels more comforting and stable than a healed life.

I have a seemingly good weekend planned. It involves a lot of socializing. My prayer right now is that I can enjoy the people God has put in my life and let them love and bless me instead of getting anxious, paranoid and retreating.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Semblance of normalcy

This past week has been pretty low. However, after a bit of an emotional collapse on Tuesday, I feel like I have been on the upswing. In fact, today, right now, texting a friend and laughing at a YouTube video, I feel like I'm in a normal, healthy place. Tuesday, I went to the summer program I'm volunteering for in the morning. I got anxious and stressed out by the other volunteers. I determined that they thought I was a terrible volunteer and teacher. I can't say I have a lot of rational basis for this thought.

In fact, often, when I talk to friends about these paranoias I get (this person doesn't like me, this person thinks I'm stupid, etc.) the smart ones will ask me why I feel this way. And usually, my answer is that I can't explain it. I like to attribute this to my deep intuition of people's true feelings for me and others, but I think it's healthier and more healing to realize I'm wrong. I'm not always wrong, there are people who don't like me and I can be an idiot sometimes, but I don't need to get anxious about it. Because even if a person thinks I suck or I'm stupid, even if these things are true sometimes, this is not truth.

The truth is we're all broken and God loved us enough to cover us with the blood of Jesus. We're all idiots sometimes. I might feel like a freak because I have uncontrollable crying fits and seriously consider suicide all the time, but that doesn't make me worth less than someone who doesn't. I saw a homeless man with a cheesy sign today that said "God don't make junk." It's true. It isn't within God's nature to make mistakes. Our God is perfect, infinite, wholly other. This world is broken and it breaks us down because we take our eyes off of Him and Eternity and Truth. But in Him, I know I'll find healing, as I slowly remember more and more each day that I am covered.

On that note, I haven't exactly been seeking it. I've been talking up a really good game for God with some friends that I've gotten real with lately... but I haven't opened my Bible or said a real prayer in more than a week. I feel still connected to Him, because He keeps reminding me He's there, but I feel like that mean friend in the one-sided friendship. So hopefully, next time I write, this will be different.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Making lists

I have the desire to better myself in the ways I know I need to, namely:
1. Exercising
2. Dieting
3. Reading Scripture
4. Praying
5. Building a support structure/community
6. Read and/or write anything constructive
7. Make an appointment with a psychiatrist

But instead I:
1. Lay around in bed
2. Bake and eat cake
3. Watch TV online
4. Don't answer my phone

I don't want to do anything that takes work, I guess. I am lethargic and apathetic. I don't even want to chat with people online any more. I don't want to update my blog. I know that something is wrong because I typically always answer my phone, always answer texts and prefer to leave my home to do work or talk to people. I usually like to get things done. But right now, I want to lay around, and it's making me sink further into this.

I know that I can get better. I know that God loves me. I know that depression is real, and does not mean I am worth less than another person. I know that I can have victory. But I just want to lay in bed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I am starting this blog as I begin to seek professional help and guidance from a Christian counselor for the depression I have struggled with to varying degrees throughout my life.

Most recently, when it escalated to the point of frequent suicidal thoughts, I became scared and sought out a professional therapist that attends the same church as I do.

I want to explore what it means to be saved by grace through Christ and believe in all the joyful promises of God while struggling with an overwhelming darkness. I want someone who is scouring the internet for help, for a reason to press onward, out of desperation and fear to find that they aren't the only one. I want to be able to look back at my progress and how the Lord uses depression in my life.

This blog is titled after a phrase my therapist used that really helped me shift the way I looked at myself and my struggle. Blessed by depression.