There’s a phrase I use to describe myself on the regular. It may be cliche and overused, but I find that it really captures being human.
Especially a human with depression and anxiety.
Especially a Christian woman trying to navigate through so many uncertainties of her existence.
Especially a believer who is more often than not overwhelmed with doubt and fear from the enemy.
I am broken and bleeding.
Of course, up until—well, now—I avoided showing this side of myself to the world.
I kept my smiles strong and my attitude positive. I maintained my default settings and answered, “good” and “fine” to all the “how are yous” and “how’s it goings.”
I had to take time to reflect on why I did not allow myself to be vulnerable on the outside.
I was not worried about what others would think of me. That part of me evolved after turning 30.
I guess I kept it hidden because I simply did not want to acknowledge it.
I had long believed that ignoring negativity took away its power. I had lived many years insisting that denial was the best medicine.
After all, you don’t have to feel it and deal with it if you don’t recognize it.
What a lie that was implanted into my brain by a variety of loud, evil voices born into this world to keep me focusing on my inadequacies and failures.
The voices that told me my story did not have a place in this world. In fact, it told me my story was so irrelevant I should not even take the time to breathe life into it.
But then there was this quieter voice.
A calm, soothing, and peaceful one.
A voice that told me to keep going. That my story would inspire someone on the verge of giving up. After all, there have been countless stories of hope and perseverance that have encouraged and continue to encourage me to be better.
I would not have been able to survive in the isolating silence the enemy longed for me to surrender to without those other voices of light to combat it.
So, I fought. And I keep fighting.
I find myself, more often than not, behind closed doors and blackened rooms with my eyes closed and hands clenched tightly near my heart space. My head bowed in silent prayer. Running my daydreams by an infinite Being who has only ever asked me to believe He loves me and to accept that I was worth His sacrifice.
I am an unimpressive human on my knees looking for supernatural strength from a most impressive God.
I am a woman saddled with uncontrollable sadness and misplaced guilt, overwhelming fears, and unexplainable doubt. But nonetheless, a woman who is working toward having the faith of a mustard seed so I can move mountains.
These moments remind me that it is not about me. My life alone is not an inspiration and really, not more interesting than anyone else’s.
It’s what I let Jesus do with my story that will move others to live the truth in their own lives.
It starts with being honest and aware.
Raw and relentless.
It starts with realizing silence does not solve problems, and in fact, it only serves to magnify them.
Ignoring demons does not make them disappear.
They are just lurking in the shadows of your soul waiting for the moment your defenses are down to reveal themselves.
I am learning that the way to defeat demons is by exposing their lies to light.
Our demons are counting on our fear to maintain their power. We are capable of stripping it from them and putting it back into the hand where it belongs.
In doing so, we encourage others to do the same.
Silence those hard to ignore voices and keep fighting.
Your story matters when you tell it.
And so does mine.