Do you ever feel like you live two lives? Like you have the image you portray to the outside world, and actual truth and state of your heart. To be completely honest, I do this all the time. I portray this image that I am open and honest about my life, that I openly talk about my struggles and battles. That I am seemingly sometimes too open, but it’s not true.
‘But,’ you may ask, ‘I see the posts, I see your honesty’, but you see I carefully allow people to see what I want them to see, I allow them to see some of my struggles but quite often not the heart of it. I will tell you I’m struggling with depression stuff, anxiety stuff, and while that is true, I don’t say anything that I wouldn’t mind the world knowing, I don’t say anything that would mean I actually have to trust you. And I also wrap my posts up nicely with a bow, but the truth is messier than that. The truth is that I still struggle with what I post about. The closest people I allow to get near to my actually struggles is my church family (some not in my local church but in the big church), there I will breakdown, there you will see me in distress, but even then I only outwardly show 20% of what is actually going on.
My close friends know this, and this mask, this need to hide from everyone, is exhausting. And this is why I haven’t posted, because the things I’m struggling with I would rather no one know. I’d rather stay behind the mask of a broken open person who can still function like a human. Compared to a broken person, who is struggling massively, who struggles to function like a human. Who doesn’t want to talk, eat, do anything.
Why? Because I am still riddled with shame, riddled with guilt, riddled with embarrassment. Because who wants to show the world, this things? I have no issues with people knowing I’m broken, I have many issues with people knowing my specific thought patterns, specific troubles.
I would like to tell you the solution to this, I would like to tell you how much I’ve grown, but to be honest, I don’t feel like I’ve grown in this at all. Because I still try and guard my own heart, I still get scared of people knowing the true me. The me, that I don’t want people to see.
But regardless of whether I want them to see it or not, someone does. Someone sees my fake facade, sees my mask, sees the double life I live and loves me anyway. Loves every part of me regardless of my sin and shame. And he doesn’t just love me, he died for me. He died for my broken, sinful mess of human life, and gave me a purpose.
My purpose is to share the good news of Jesus, but it is also to show the world that Christians don’t have everything sorted, we all still struggle, we still struggle with sin. I love Jesus more than anything, but I still struggle with depression, and although some Christians stopped struggling with it when they got saved (and that is amazing and we should celebrate it), while we still live in a broken world, we will still struggle. I do. If you do, know it’s okay. No christian, (or non-christian) has their life sorted. If we did, we wouldn’t need Jesus. If we did, we wouldn’t need to be saved from not only ourselves but our world too. That doesn’t mean we retreat, it means we endure, continue trusting in Jesus, but knowing that still battling with mental health is okay, and it doesn’t mean God hates you, it means the opposite. Because through the continued trial, we are reminded our desperate continued need for him just to get through the day.