One year ago, today, is a day that I don’t want to forget. I will be forever reminded of just how fragile we are as human beings. Our minds and bodies were not meant to take on all that we often allow causing us to spiral out of control and unknowingly crash and burn. It’s when we feel the flames of life that we realize we are burning. The embers sizzle, crackle, and disintegrate into ashes of crushed emotions. Mental illness is the ember that burns for so many. I don’t want to forget because that is the day the Lord had my full attention. That is that day that I became new and full. That is the day I realized that the masking of pain shattered. For that day, I am grateful and humbled.
On April 6, 2016, I crashed and burned. The heat of life started at my feet and rose into the pit of my stomach dragging my mind down into the form of Clinical Depression and Anxiety. Throughout the following year, I took medication, attended counseling, and made drastic changes. I immersed myself into material to gain knowledge of what and how to walk in what many call the, new normal. What is normal about being emotionally devastated and mentally exhausted? In vain I searched for an outlet, a drastic change is what I desired. God had other plans. God in His infinite wisdom kept nudging me, prompting me, sending messages, until one day, I heard Him loud and clear, "be still and know that I am God." The Holy Spirit remained the “present help” at every turn I tried to make and every thought I tried to think warning me, that’s not it. I couldn’t catch any air, I couldn’t think, I didn’t want to speak. I smiled to hide the brokenness inside of me. I shut myself off from living as best as I could, still had to go to work and grocery shop. I didn’t want to leave my house or answer the phone. There were days a shower and toothbrush were the enemy. I couldn’t write let alone read. My bed was my closest friend.
Crashed and burned. I cried, I screamed, and I shouted. Then the process began, God’s process of peeling back the layers of what I held onto. He peeled and peeled. I cried and I shouted. After a few months of medication, counseling, and serious soul searching, I heard Him. I seeked Gods face in everything and God sought me in my dreams. In these dreams, I received the message of Jeremiah 29:11 that says, “For I know the plans I have for you, “says the Lord.” They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. I started moving furniture, cleaned out closets and drawers. I organized and planned and planned and organized. I prayed and prayed. After listening to Pastor John Gray and his sermon called, Dominion, something got into me, or should I say, Someone got into me. I listened to this 4 CD sermon so many times, back to back. I took notes and I read those notes every day.
What I gained from this journey is that I must surrender it ALL to Him or this life will take me out. I had to give ALL my cares to Him. I had conditioned my mind and heart to just deal with it and move on. I had conditioned myself to not feel the pain of loss, abandonment, anger, and the lack of trust. I trusted no one to stay, to be honest, to be authentic, or to care. I didn’t trust myself to trust. I stuffed every experience into a black hole and God used that black hole to show me that we are to trust Him and Him alone. With everything else it is a roll of dice and we must take that roll at face value. Everything has a cost attached to it. Our choices, cost. Our lack of attention, cost. Our words and our actions, cost. We bankrupt ourselves just by refusing to acknowledge and accept responsibility. We bankrupt ourselves by living outside of God’s means for our lives.
My brothers and sisters, today is April 6, 2017 and after all that I have fully experienced and learned in the past year, I have moved from Tacoma, Washington to Miami, Florida. I am listening to my Heavenly Father and trusting myself again. Though the storms in my life are not over, I am praising through them and living again in balance and total surrender. I am trusting God do just what He said He will do and I'm standing on Jeremiah 29:11. If you are reading this blog and you are struggling know this, all of us have a history and because of our history, we must stand firm and fight. We must not hide our scars and we surely cannot ignore the flaws. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to hide. For generations, we have been taught to “suck it up” well hear me, speak up for your healing. Speak out for yourself and those who have lost their voices. I know many who will not share their story out of fear, there is no fear in God. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not defective. You are not a mistake. You are however, a child of the Most-High God and you were created in His image for a purpose.
Take the steps to become healthy and whole. Let God peel those dark and musty layers off of you to reveal the beautiful and magnificent blessing that you are. If you don’t change something, nothing will change and it will be no one’s fault but yours. You hold the key and God has the power to do abundantly above all that you can ever imagine. So, with that, bounce back one step at a time towards who you were created to be. Authentically and outstandingly amazing.