Even When It Hurts
This daunting portrayal by Daniel Rochelle illustrates society today by depicting how many people are existing and feeling on the inside. We're exhausted, anxious, overwhelmed, addicted and sadly, a lot of us are depressed. We may look radiant and put together on the outside, but this depiction confirms what's really going on inside. This illusion portrays anything but being peachy-keen!
Is it too far-fetched or imaginable to slow down and open our hearts while daring to take the time to feel, experience and peel away the layers that clutch those deeply hidden tears long enough to identify the underbellies causing this horrid despair? We might be shocked to learn how many people today quickly remove this facade once they're safely behind closed doors in their rightful places of refuge called home. This only causes more of an epidemic with isolation.
Beloved, there was a time in my own life where I portrayed this persona of having conquered the world and achieved all its accolades that "worldly success" derives from, yet I was so lost and empty. You know that image, the one in which dreams are made of? It caused resentment through higher education, liquid assets, affluent lifestyle and, you know, having drinks with the mayor over at the country club (so overrated!!!).
I was screaming to get out of my own skin because, for one, I didn't feel I belonged because I wasn't good enough or worthy enough; and two, I felt as if I had to perform to a higher expectation without blemish in order to fit in which had me running away to deny its pressure. I became oblivious to who God designed and created me to be. That tug of war that exists between flesh and spirit is intense!
I still struggle with fears that haunt me occasionally today. Fear of being laughed at and rejected. Being plagued with great insecurities and fears throughout my adolescent and teenage years conceived this grave depression that manifested into suicidal tendencies. Depression is smart, it leeches onto and attaches itself to the life-sustaining vital organ that could nurture and cultivate its growth: Our beautiful hearts. It's a silent killer!
It took me years to learn how to explore and/or process these hurtful emotions or even to understand the magnitude of what I was feeling. No one prepared me to deal with these screaming emotions ticking away with an already fragile, unstable heart. How could I become prepared or equipped to be honest enough with myself and others about my feelings with all these voices clamoring for attention? I had no idea how to discern the difference between simple experiences of sadness versus anger, joy or dread.
This fear and lack of emotional stability even leaked over onto my precious children who are learning themselves today as adults how to claim victory in this battleground. Tragedy was developing and occurring before I could even process suffering that occurred over a decade prior which contributed to my being emotionally absent. I was present physically, in a shell, but unable to be emotionally present and intimate because of the raging war going on underneath my hood. Talk about living in the wrong neighborhood. Our mind is a powerful gift.
We are living in a world where image rules and oftentimes either opens or closes most doors. Society dictates we are to be seen and not heard. Probably why I've become unleashed in my passionate pursuit to share with the world how loved we are, that our lives matter and are needed, and how we are amazingly considered God's precious and priceless works of art.
If you read Jeremiah 18, you will understand this very notion of being molded into these masterpieces by Love Himself. We are pliable in the Potter's hands. This allows the Master Crafter the opportunity to transform us each and every day, the imperfect beings that we are, living in an imperfect world, in order to prepare us for when we will be perfect; eternal destiny for those who believe. He's never rushed. All He asks is for a little time with us.
God promises to take our tainted hands and fainted hearts that hurt like hell after having cried a Noah's Flood ushering us into His loving arms not only to be mended and healed, but stronger and more vibrant than any wish-upon-a-star could deliver. God promises to wash us in His Great Love. Depression sucks and it hurts and burns much like the enemy's branding iron marking its territory as it penetrates our lifeless hearts shaming us to believe in his lies. Hence, my motto: There is no shame in our game; Jesus is His Name!
This mental illness classification is nothing to be ashamed of. It means it's recognized and can be treated. I have been healed completely for decades all due to this Great Love affair I engage in. This heartbreaking depression builds walls of shame that become so thick and tolerant with heights constructed so high, you become a slave shackled in your cells of hell without any windows, exits or doorways. It destroys more hearts than the one afflicted. When I drove myself off the cliff 37 years ago, a lot of hearts were damaged in my family.
This is probably a good point to pause and reflect. I will pick up next time when we meet again. So much to share. I would love for you, however, to stay a little while longer so you may be blessed by this beautiful song from Hillsong United called "Even When It Hurts," which is dedicated and prayed especially over you, my new friend!
Blameless and Forever Free Ministries believes if you need a lifeline because of thoughts of suicide, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8522. There is no shame in reaching out. It requires bravery to grab ahold of that hand extending down from heaven.
Until next time...
Thank You For Being Beautiful You!