Sometimes life feels like a series of fleeting moments when we become lost in the confusion and chaos of it all.

Just a few months ago, I found out one of my best friends was severely struggling with suicidal thoughts. She was facing obstacle after obstacle, swimming in a sea of trials, just trying to keep her head above water. She almost took her own life, but thankfully God put someone in her path to steer her in an alternate direction.

Sometimes life feels so dark and heavy that we are on our knees, begging for just a speck of sunshine and good news to come our way.

Just a few years ago, my husband and I were drowning in a sea of debt, stress, and inner turmoil. We felt like we were spending our days in an emotional dark hole, just praying the light would seep into the darkest, angriest parts of our hearts.

Just a few weeks ago, we found out a close family member was having an unfortunate inner struggle we knew nothing about. It was a struggle our world labels as unforgivable.

Suicidal thoughts. Addiction. Loss of communication or intimacy in marriage. Identity crisis. Grief. Overwhelming parenting struggles. Financial ruin.

Everyone around us facing a battle, a struggle, something we know absolutely nothing about.

This past year has been one of overwhelming growth, facing fears, and trying to be honest about the inner struggles we face.

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Almost one year ago, I began experiencing tremors and I thought my battle with Huntington’s disease was beginning. Huntington’s disease is the despicable, fatal, genetic disease that every child of a carrier has a 50/50 chance of inheriting. It has no cure. It is best described as having ALS, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease—simultaneously. Once the symptoms appear in mid-adulthood, you have about 10-15 years to live.

My father lost his battle when I was 18, and I have spent my entire life fearing and imagining the worst-case scenarios in my head over and over. With every pregnancy, I was presented with the idea to test my unborn child and abort if they carried the gene.

I thought this was it. My best years were behind me. We began looking at our life insurance policy so I could go through the testing process.

While COVID was surging, I tested negative for this wretched disease. The tremors stopped shortly after I received my results. I felt a deep sigh of relief and have since experienced survivor’s guilt, just hoping and praying my brother yields the same result one day.

To anyone observing me during these months of testing and waiting for my results, you would not know I was waking up all hours of the night, pacing the hallways, having panic attacks, crying out to God to please spare me from the thought of not having the choice to have another baby, to see my children fall in love and have children of their own, or to cheer them on as they dream big and plan for their futures.

There are so many people suffering in silence. Having panic attacks in the middle of the night, crying in the shower because they feel so empty and alone, and feeling as though they cannot ask for help at the risk of being judged.

Life is going to throw us unexpected curveballs.

We might face inexpressible grief that makes us feel weak in the knees and numb in the jaw.

We might be afraid to admit our struggles because people can be so mean and judgmental.

But, lean in for a second: God will never abandon you.

There is something so therapeutic about talking through the deep-rooted struggles of your heavy heart.

There is something so beautiful about telling your spouse your most intrusive thoughts and crying together, praying together, and dreaming big together.

There is something so healing about checking on a friend, asking how they are really doing, only to find out they really needed that check-in.

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God-winks come in many ways, shapes, and forms. Sometimes it’s a random coffee gift card you send to someone who is having a bad day or buying coffee for a random stranger.

Sometimes God-winks are allowing yourself to be vulnerable, which opens up the pathways to someone else’s heart, allowing them to do the same.

There is something so healing about a good cry when life is heavy or a jam session to your favorite worship song when a prayer is answered.

Never stop reaching out.

Never stop asking for help.

Never stop crying out to God during the heaviest and darkest of seasons.

Your story does not end there.

Lizzy Christian

Lizzy Christian is a toddler-chasing, coffee-sipping, firefighter wife, and vacuuming enthusiast who has a passion for writing. She is the founder of the Fire Wife Chronicles, which is geared on topics of motherhood, marriage, faith, & first responder family life. Lizzy received her undergrad in Crisis Counseling from Liberty University and her Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling – Crisis Response and Trauma from Liberty University’s Graduate School. She is a two-time NYC Marathon finisher and avid runner, and former School Counselor and Athletic Director. Lizzy married her high school sweetheart and together they have a son and a daughter. Visit www.lizzychristian.com for additional resources and upcoming projects.