I'm in my junior year of undergrad, a month away of being in my senior year. Things are hectic and crazy and I often feel as though I don't have the time to breathe and I know it only gets worse from here. With mental illness and school and work and homework and studying and..........ugh. This is hard. I find myself in times of financial distress, mental distress, and all the other things where you can add the word "distress" at the end.
This semester has knocked me down and kept kicking. I try to kick back but I feel too broken and bruised to move. My grades have slipped away and I feel like everything that could possibly go wrong academically has happened. Lord, where are you? Why are you allowing this? I'm trying so hard!
Mental illness is not something to take lightly. I often find it hard to get out of bed. I randomly get REALLY angry at things that I have no business being angry about. My motivation is so far gone it's living on the opposite side of the world, changed it's name and phone number, and will most likely never be seen again. Through panic attacks, depressive episodes, nightmares, bouts of anger, an eating disorder, and everything else I'm finding it harder and harder to find the good in things like I used to. I don't feel like me anymore. God, I don't understand.. Why are you letting me feel this? I don't want this, take this from me!
I am starting to think heavily about my future. I still have another year but I need to think about internships and getting experience, taking the GRE, applying to grad school....oh no...where do I want to go to grad school? Will I get in to grad school? My GPA sucks! Lord, calm this sea that is my mind. Steer me to where I am supposed to go, help me to get on the right path, PLEASE!
I don't feel beautiful. I feel broken. Am I good enough? I'm not strong enough for this. I can't put up a good fight, this isn't fair it's a million to 1. I am walking a planet filled with billions of people and yet I feel so alone. And scared. And...worthless.. I'm starting to feel like I'll never be enough..
Hello? Lord? Are you there? It's me... I don't see, hear, or feel you anywhere... I've prayed so hard, I've read your words, I've done my daily devotional and prayer journal, I've listened to podcasts and Christian music, I've reached out to friends and family. I've even tried screaming and running and working out. What else is there? Where are you? What am I doing wrong?? I'm starting to think that you have something better to do. In fact, I KNOW you do... but all I need is 5 minutes.. I've always heard that it's the weak that you use as your soldiers. Am I the exception? Why did you leave me when I feel like this is when I've needed you most? What do I do? Where do I go from here? Lord? Hello?.... Are my prayers making it through the ceiling?..
Friend, think of all the people in the Bible that suffered for YEARS. Shoot, Jesus had it worst of all, God's own son! You think God doesn't know what this feels like?? Jesus said he was troubled and sorrowful. He said His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Not to be dramatic but... is this maybe a little bit of what you're feeling too?
Shh..be still. Listen. Sometimes the silence says more than words ever will. He KNOWS you've got this. He wouldn't have given it to you if He didn't think you could handle it. He sees you. He hears you. He loves you. Turn around, friend, and see Him with His arms out wide.
I can't stop asking Him the same questions: "God, can you just change these things? Can you calm these storms?" It's been months and I have felt like He was nowhere near. But I've learned that in the silence, He was quiet because He was focusing on carrying me and hurdling the obstacles coming at us. Yes. US. He was there all along, He was just letting me learn my lesson.
He has chosen not to stop the things in my life that are making me feel this way just yet. Sometimes the question is not "God, can you change these things?" but rather "Will you change ME so that I can handle the things you are walking me through?" I know I'm not perfect. Not by a long shot. But every time I look at the cross I am reminded that I was worth it to Him. That I AM worth it to Him. Jesus said He would be crucified again, JUST FOR ME. JUST FOR YOU. ONLY YOU. Isn't that something to think about?
Think about it: He has never once dropped you, why would He start now?
Joshua 1:9 reminds me of this. "Have I not commanded you? Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for God will be with you wherever you go."
Psalm 34:19 repeats this. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord will deliver him out of them all."
Isaiah 41:10 makes the same promise. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
All of Psalm 23 is a reminder.
With all of these promises, how could I ever doubt?
God urged Peter to come to Him in the middle of the ocean. Peter listened and was able to briefly stand. When his faith started to sink, so did Peter. All he needed was his faith. That's it. How could I ever lose the one thing needed for me to stand next to Him?
Life sometimes gets so hard and it feels like you're being trampled by a herd of wild bulls. Why would He let you hurt this bad or let these terrible things happen? I don't have the answer.. I'm struggling too. However, I do know that it's absolutely okay to feel and to BE broken. It just means He is still shaping you. How wonderful is it to know that when you feel as though you're drowning, your God walks on water, and you can too. All you need is faith, even if it's only the size of a mustard seed.