If you asked me about the future when I was growing up, I’d often say psychology. That that is what I want, that is what I’ll do with my life. I wanted to help people, I truly did. But at the same time I didn’t expect to find out, I didn’t expect to truly know if I’ll make it in that field. And this was because I had a 19 year old deadline, a thought that permeated every part of me. What I mean by this, is that I thought I was going to die before my 20th birthday. Now I didn’t necessarily think the way I would die was by suicide but I did think that I wouldn’t be alive longer than that. I was so so scared of the future (I honestly still am) that I decided it wasn’t for me. I didn’t want the failure, I didn’t want to continue in such a painful world. I just wanted to feel safe. I wanted to feel truly secure. And nothing this world could offer me gave me that security. I was a safeguarding nightmare (and I still can be to be honest).
My home sickness, meant that I knew this world wasn’t my true home, I knew that it wasn’t where I would truly feel safe. And because I knew I could never experience this feeling of being truly safe and secure until I was with Jesus, anxiety was the result. You know when you are anticipating something great and you can’t concentrate, it’s all you can think about? That’s how I felt, but there was a problem. There was something in between me and that future hope and reality, and that was life. What started with homesickness and my feeling of anxiety, ended in a mission to die. The anxiety got worse and worse, and I still experience this to a very high level. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t feel the pain of anxiety. Where I don’t feel the darkness of it.
People say life is a gift, and it is. But Jesus is so so much better than anything this world can offer. He is everything I know I need. And I feel it. Deeply. I want a relationship with him without the presence of sin. More than anything. And the waiting, is painful, hard. Some days I cannot move for anxiety, the depression overtakes me. And opening about that it very difficult. My anxiety tells me that it’s better to keep everything a secret. Why would I tell people when I know they would freak out? Why would I tell people when I knew they just ‘wouldn’t understand’? But that sells them short. It’s hard to hear that this is a struggle for me, but its harder for them to not know, and find out I’m in hospital.
No matter what my anxiety tells me and how homesick I truly am, my days are numbered. And I will not go a day before God want’s me to. That may scare you, but really it should be a comfort. If God wants me to live until I am a 100, I will. And nothing I do will change that. For me, I have to trust him.
Even though nothing makes sense. Even though everything is confusing and painful, God is still God. He is still Good. And he has a plan for me. For this life, for all the pain and all the laughter, for all the crying on my kitchen floor (or more like my bed, I wouldn’t lie on my kitchen floor), for all the heartache and joy. For all of the things that make no sense. They don’t because I don’t know the ending. I don’t know the reason I have the struggles I do. But I do know that there is a point to them. And there is a point to yours too. The anxiety we feel, the longing to be truly home, there is a point to it. Maybe we won’t know what they are in this life, but even if it is to encourage a person that you have no direct contact with. We don’t live without impacting other people. Every person we meet, is affected by our decisions and what we do with the struggles and situations we face.
I don’t ever what to be known because of my struggle with anxiety or depression, I want to be known by those in my life, as someone who loves Jesus and them, imperfectly this side of heaven, despite of my anxiety and depression.
I have said before and I’ll say it again, all the days of my life, our struggles do not define us. My past doesn’t define me. It impacts me, but it doesn’t change my identity. If it was, I would have a very unstable identity.
But as hard as it is, I don’t know want my past to be a secret, if it could help someone feel less alone. If, what was meant to harm me can be used for the good and saving of people, no matter what I go through, it’s worth it.