Monday, February 21, 2011
"I am somebody cause God don't make no junk" ~Ethel Waters
The way he said it made me smile (well, smirk). Telling a story about high school he made sure to include the term "varsity" before the word basketball. Whether or not he played varsity ball in high school had zero bearing on the story he was telling. So why include it? I've done it a million times: feeling insecure for one reason or another, I name drop or include useless facts that somehow might impress someone. It's ridiculous. A group a adults turn into insecure 17 year olds trying to be accepted or noticed or one up someone else.
When we first moved here, to Iowa, I was 24. New baby, first time as a stay at home mom, only four years of marriage under my belt, I struggled with my identity. I tried to fit in to my little community but every time I opened my mouth about anything from politics to religion, music to decorating, faith to movies, I received either blank or incredulous stares. That's how I perceived them, anyway.
Then, as more babies came and I continued to struggle with everything in life, the realization dawned that I was depressed.
I read my Bible fervently, endlessly.
I prayed, begging God for relief and healing.
I sought counselling.
I learned coping skills.
I trained my thoughts so I was telling myself Truth.
I took meds.
All of it helped. A little.
After years of struggling with the ups and downs of both major and chronic depression,there's countless times I feel like God made a mistake. I was a mistake. He didn't want me this way. I didn't want to be this way. But try as I might, I couldn't/can't change it.
"I" couldn't...can't change it.
I can do what I'm called to do and responsible to do (basically the above "list") but only God can bring healing or change.
And although He's granted times of reprieve, there's not been healing to this point.
He's also began to teach me that things I've seen as a result of depression, or things I hate about myself are simply part of who I am. They're not always good or bad, they just are. They're part of the personality He gave me.
We walk around (especially as Christians) and make value judgements about things that we have no business judging. Happy people=good people. Sad people=bad people. Happy, positive=faithful. Sad, melancholy=faithless. The thought process goes something like: If you're trusting God (reeeally trusting God) then you'll be happy (joy filled, positive, and probably quoting lots of scripture). If you're doubting, sad or depressed then you must not be trusting enough.
Yes, I've over simplified it, but there it is.
So what do you do? When you think God's made a mistake with you--at the core? What do you do? Keep trying to change it? Give up and give in? Accept it?
God doesn't make mistakes. I'm sure of that.
He also wants to keep stretching and growing us for His purposes. I'm also sure of that.
But beyond those two things, the only thing I'm sure of is Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.