Out Of Place
was at a statewide retreat alongside thousands of other Christian women.
I was a Christian.
I was a woman.
I loved girl time.
You’d think I’d be having the time of my life...
But I felt 100% out of place.
I observed as women around me worshiped Jesus while I questioned if I still believed the words they were singing. Only a few friends knew the battle in my mind. If any other lady there knew what it was like to live with depression, I sure didn’t know. Like many, I smiled on the outside and felt completely alone in the secret places of my heart.
The enemy loves to convince us that no one else struggles like we do. Satan’s plans thrive when he can deceive us to believe that we are alone or that our struggles are worse than everyone else’s. I’m learning that sometimes it only takes one person to start an entire movement of authenticity. And true community blossoms where there is vulnerability. We must never assume that no one else can understand our struggles since “No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
I hid in my bottom bunk bed to discreetly swallow the medicine I was new to taking and still felt shame and disgust over. Just as I picked up my pill box, my anxious hands dropped it, scattering pills all over the tile floor. Women looked as I scrambled to desperately pick them up. Each bounce they made sounded as if it were playing through a megaphone. I was mortified.
One of my friends came over to me and asked if I needed to talk. I loved her, trusted her, and sadly, in a moment of panic, lashed out at her. I stormed past her and went outside where I cried.
While sitting in that bunk bed, I never would have imagined that I would someday not only be in women’s ministry but voluntarily speak out about mental illness. But that’s the redemption of God. He uses our brokenness to uniquely gift us with compassion for others.
If you feel out of place at women events at church, come sit by me....I get it. There are more women than you know who also feel out of place.
If you have a loved one who struggles and lashes out, be like my friend who didn’t let my behavior sever our relationship. Her patient, enduring love held me tight even when I was difficult. This morning, as we had coffee together and talked about ministry and life, I praised God for her ministry to me so that I can minister to others....so that I can minister to you. Your consistent love for your depressed loved one matters.