Being my honest self, not wearing my Sunday face, what would that look like? What story would I tell you?

I might tell you about how my life hit an all time low not that many years ago. We had three boys at the time, my husband was a freelancer, two of the boys had special needs, my life revolved around keeping us afloat, doing therapy, getting kids to preschool, and living in constant depression. I thought about divorce a lot. I thought about death a lot. I thought about how any life but the life I was living would be better than the one I had. I remember sitting on the floor one night, crying, ugly crying, asking for God to end the world because I literally could do no more. Broken. That might be an understatement. I would like to say those feelings were fleeting, that God came to my rescue that night, that suddenly my marriage got better,  my kids were healed, my depression left. I would love to be able to say any one of those things. The truth is, nothing changed that night. I simply had to get up off the floor and take care of my kids.

Healing for me did not come in a magnificent miracle. Healing came for me in one small step after another. It came in picking myself up off the floor. It came in the form of a year of marriage and personal counseling. It came in the form of several family therapists. Healing came in acceptance of my children’s disabilities and the hope that we could always push them further. Healing came in the form of friendship. Healing came in the stillness of a savior who walks besides you, not one who comes and changes your circumstances.

Why am I telling you this? Because my family is deceiving. You would meet us now and you might be tempted to think we have it all together. We don’t. We are far from having it together. The depression is close and real and scary. I fight for it every day. Every day. When I feel the boney fingers of it reaching for me I reach higher for a God who will sit with me. I reach for a friend who will speak truth and love into my life, telling me I am important and loved. I have to fight for my marriage because every day something comes trying to rob us of the work we have done. I choose to find Joy abundantly in this season of calm for my children’s health. Because I know, I know the path is hard and uncertain and things can and will happen. I know mental illness and brain surgery will walk the path with our family for all our lives.

I am choosing to tell you these things because I would never want for you to think for a minute that you are alone. You are never alone. We have all walked hard paths. Most of us continue to walk hard roads. I lived quietly in my sadness for years. I never told anyone that I was miserable in my marriage. I didn’t talk about my depression. I bucked up and tried to do my life. Don’t be me. Find someone who is safe and tell them. And if you are in a season of ease, or if you cannot relate to my story, be open. Be open to the friends around you who are struggling. Live life with them. You may be the only person sending encouraging words into their lives. You might be that persons Jesus. Don’t run away from others suffering, engage it.

 

That would be me, the real me, taking off the mask of happiness, of having it together. That’s the me behind the girl who writes novels and does crafts. That’s the me that my dearest see and help. I’m just a broken girl fighting every day.