|Pumpkin carving party 2012|
I woke up at 3:41 this morning with my heart pounding. I'd had a strange dream, though it wasn't exactly a nightmare. For some reason, though, I woke up freaked out. This happens to me sometimes. One of the demons I wrestle is anxiety. In the night, imagination fills in the shadows of the room, and of our worries. Just as the lamp can look like a looming monster, a normal thought in the day can grow to a giant concern in the nighttime of our fears.
One of the phrases I stumbled across in another blog was "Depression is a liar". I found this on Jenny Lawson's humorous blog, theblogess.com, and you can read more on this idea here, here and here.
Depression is a liar. Anxiety is a liar. Fear is a liar. Insecurity is a liar. They fill in the shadows of the room and amplify our worries. They make our weaknesses seem monumental and obscure our strengths so we forget them. They isolate us so we feel alone and our problems become overwhelming. We may even intentionally isolate ourselves because of these feelings. If we could flip on the light and see the truth!
If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, fear or insecurity.... these beasts are lying liars. Please don't believe them! Yell at them if you need to, and show them the truth...
You are worthy... faults and fears and depression and all!
You are capable.... even if you're not perfect (none of us are!).
You are strong... you have strengths and gifts you may not even realize!
You are important.... you are needed!
You are loved.... as you are... no matter what.... even if you are struggling!
I love the picture that my friend Chadwick took of us at his pumpkin carving party (above). We both are striking a pose of attitude, and I'm looking at the camera with a look of "I'm not believing your bullshit." This is the look I want to take with those lying liars of depression, anxiety, fear and insecurity. Don't give me your bullshit. I am not going to let these lies derail my plans, my sense of worth, my hopes or my dreams.
At 3:50 this morning, I turned on the TV, which can be a nightlight for me. But then I turned it off again right away. Somehow, even though my heart was pounding in my chest, I knew that I was being lied to. I am going to be ok. The worries that seemed so unbearable are going to be ok. I thank God for helping me find the truth in that moment of shadowy lie. That doesn't always happen, but last night it did, and I fell asleep again to wake up rested this morning.
If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, if you are afraid or insecure, don't let those beasts convince you that you are anything less than an amazing creation.You have been uniquely made and you are needed in this world. Last night I was able to go back to sleep without the TV, but sometimes we need help. If you need help, please reach out to your support network, find someone to talk to, and remember you are not alone in this. You are loved. You are needed.
God of the day and of the night. Sometimes we feel so heavy with the weight of our worries or our depression. Lift that weight so that we may see the truth of your love for us, and that we are worthy and needed. Walk with us through the hard times. Help us to reach out to others. Strengthen us. Hold us. Remind us that we are loved, no matter what. Thanks, and Amen.