Friday, February 7, 2014

Living at the Edge



This is not the post I intended or wanted to write. I have three others that I have started that I just can't seem to move forward with. I guess this is the story that's begging to be told...the story that I need to tell. Someone needs to know they are not alone. I need to know that I am not alone. 


I've been living at the edge of depression these last few months. This darkness that sits just at the periphery. It would be so easy not to fight it. To let is wash over me. To let myself fall into it and be carried away. I find myself awake until 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning where I am painfully alone with my demons thoughts. In the quiet of those wee hours they speak loudly and clearly.


You're not good enough. You're not thin enough. You're not talented enough. You're not beautiful enough. Your dreams are worthless. You're too judgmental. You don't love well. You don't forgive easily. You're not trustworthy. There's not enough grace for you. You are simply not worthy of any good things. How could God ever use someone as messed up as you are? Why in the world would He even want to?


And in those early morning hours, I begin to believe those voices. It's easier to give in than to stand up and fight. Easier to accept because they explain why my life is so shitty at the moment. Why I'm not in a position to fulfill my dreams and desires. Why relationships balance precariously on the edge of destruction. Why nothing seems to go as I had planned or wanted.

And oh, the daylight hours. I just can't bring myself to face them. The comfort of my bed and pajamas are my close companions most days. Those voices that are so convincing at 3:00am are harsh reminders of my failings in the cold light of day. Reminding me how alone I am. How broken I am. Because, let's face it, as Christians we are supposed to have our act together. When someone asks us how we're doing, we're supposed to smile and say we're fine.

Why has the church so sanitized Christianity that we can't be real with each other? That we can't be honest when that question is asked. It seems the church has become so afraid of tainting their witness (ugh) or more accurately, their reputation, that we can't and won't tell the truth. We're afraid to be judged and found unacceptable. The church is afraid of our brokenness. Jesus has been made into a sad caricature of who He really is. Our pie in the sky savior who makes everything perfect and all people happy and problem free. Or the uncaring king of the hill who expects perfection and bullies us until we fall in line, defeated and broken.  Smiles plastered on our faces as we sink deeper into the darkness.

Those of us battling depression, addiction, anger, bitterness, or (insert your poison of choice), have no place in the church. We are the marginalized. We find ourselves living on the fringes. Outcasts hoping for Grace to find its way to us. We've been forced to find community outside the traditional walls of the church. Where we're not afraid to say the hard things because we know we will be accepted. Where we know we will be loved. Where we know we will be cared for. Where we know we can speak our truth.


Life sucks right now. I'm living at the edge of depression. I want, no, I need that drink, that line, that pill. I'm pissed off. I'm drowning in this sea of bitterness. I want to feel the release as the blade makes it's mark. I want to lose myself so I don't have to feel anything. Yet, I long to be known. I long to be seen. I long to be validated. I'm hanging on to the fact that I love Jesus and that it's enough.


It's in these margins that we can speak our truth. It's here that we see Jesus as he really is. He's the one who stoops down and writes quietly in the sand at our feet while those who would judge us look on. He takes the time to sit with us by the wells that are brimming with our mistakes, our addictions, our anger, our bitterness, and our depression. He loves us enough to simply be with us in our brokenness. He accepts us just as we are.  He wraps us in arms of Grace. His breath against our cheek, hope whispered. He never promised us that everything would be perfect. He only promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us.


My God is changeless in his love for me.
Psalm 59:10 

6 comments:

  1. What you said.

    I won't say "beautiful" but I will say "it's so true." Thank you, and don't stop sharing. God bless.

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  2. Carol, you are right, there are people out there that need to read something like this. We all have struggles, but some us get depressed with those struggles. I was in a very dark place about 6 years ago. I did something in my dark days that I have paid for in more ways than one. I felt very alone. I even asked for help, but didn't get any. I prayed so hard for God to help me get out of that dark place and I didn't feel like He was there for me. But He allowed those darks times and for me to get to rock bottom before I could start pulling myself back up. I still have a bitter taste when it comes to church. I haven't been in a year, but am working my way back. I actually plan on attending a new church this weekend. I know what it's like to not want to get out of bed and stay in my PJ's all day. I couldn't sleep, couldn't function during the day. I came up with every excuse in the book to miss work. But it took that rock bottom day and to pay the consequences for my choices before I could start my way back. I can say now that I am vey happy and happy with life.

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  3. Tina, I'm so sorry that you've had to go through those things. It's difficult to deal with stuff alone, especially having to carry the burden of rejection when we've asked for help. I'll never understand why churches are so afraid of dealing with the brokenness in our lives. They want us to have a back story but only as long we come to them after we've dealt with it and can be "good PR" for them. Makes me so angry. How much more could people be impacted if they were allowed to see and participate in our stories from the beginnings. I haven't been to church on any type of regular basis in a long time. Thankfully I am finding that community in other places. Praying that you find that as well, regardless of what that looks like for you.

    Again, I always appreciate you taking the time to leave your thoughts here!

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  4. Carol, you've written my own heart here in this post. Thank you.

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  5. Natalie, thanks so much. It was a difficult post to write but just wouldn't leave me alone. Had a hard time hitting publish...

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