manifestations .

I’m sitting on a bench that overlooks the sea, it’s a full moon tonight and I’ve got a front row view. Only a few metres from the shoreline, I watch as the sun sets and the transient veil of night hastily darkens my surroundings. My view now only slightly lit by the moon, as it glistens over the ocean in a thin line.

I think back to last night where I sat on the edge of my bed, wrapped in a dampened towel. It was cold but I lacked the motivation to stand up and change into my pjs. I remember water dripping onto my forearms and thighs, as my wet hair began to settle into its natural ringlets. I followed a drop of water with my eyes as it gently trickled down my forearm. I watched on as it gracefully slid over each mark I’d left with such little grace. My thoughts gravitated toward a darker place where self hatred and feelings of worthlessness set in. I’d often wondered what people see when they look at me? Do they only see me for how I look? Do they see what’s inside of me? What do they see in me? It’s hard to imagine that they’d see anything really, I can’t. To be frank more often than not, I myself deeply dislike the reflection I see in the mirror. Though I realise I project my insecurities onto others as I try remind myself that just because I only see my short comings, it doesn’t mean everyone else does.

J’s words intertwined through my thoughts as the darkness began to dwindle; “You are a wonderful person just as you are now, even in your deep depression you are beautiful, you are precious, you are no burden, you are no disappointment. I accept you as you are now, you don’t need to be funnier, skinnier or happier. You’re witty and clever and stunningly beautiful, a powerhouse combo! One day you’ll take the world by storm. I know I can’t talk you into feeling better – I just want you to know how much I appreciate you, you’re not alone and it’s okay not to be okay right now. xx”.

I simultaneously find it incomprehensible and impactful. These words came at a time when I needed to hear them most, contradicting my inner beliefs with such authority. It astounds me time and time again, the way in which God speaks to me through others, the way in which He places people in our proximity with such purpose and the way in which everything unfolds so perfectly according to His will. I’m ever so grateful.

I mindlessly stare into the distance until I’m drawn back to reality with a pinch on my arm, mosquitos are back. A change in seasons as winter is diminishing and spring is beginning. I totally understand the concept of seasons, I understand that I’m in a season of depression and I understand that in a similar way to how winter fades to spring, so my depression will in due time, fade. Though in this season, in this moment and as I sit here – the depression is real and it’s impactful.

I don’t understand how one moment things seem okay and the next I find myself uncontrollably plummeting downward at full speed. I had a lovely day yesterday, I spent time with people who are dear to me. I felt safe and heard, un-judged and relaxed in who I am. I felt okay. Time neared closer to midnight and it all came crashing down. I didn’t sleep much last night, restlessly waking each 40-60min. Though if I’m honest, this sleeping pattern has become a regular occurrence. My mood is ever changing and I feel so emotionally unstable. To be frank, being sad is exhausting and it’s as if the depression is sucking all the life out of me. As if I’m drowning, so cliche, I know, yet so accurate. I feel as if I’m constantly gasping for air and battling against the heaviness and manifestation of; self hatred and harm, self disgust and destruction, deep sadness, crippling anxiety, questionable uncertainty, worthlessness, emptiness and a desperation to perish. I’m frustrated because none of those things are from God, they’re not who I am, yet they hold such power over me. Why? Why am I so easily breakable? I’ve been trying to be proactive in achieving a change for the better, however, each step forward feels like 3 steps backward. Is this a battle I’ll ever win? I have everything I need, each tool and word of encouragement to help me move through this season, yet I don’t know how to push forward. Why? I worry that I’ll reach a point where those around me give up, where they may perceive me as ungrateful for their efforts and the seeds they’ve planted. I so hope they know how deeply appreciative I am, its not their fault and its not their job to keep me afloat. Thats on me. I hope they know I’ve tried and I’m still trying. I just hope they don’t give up on me yet.

In pursuit of a proactive approach to change, I first deleted social media in hope of rekindling my relationships with family, friends and Jesus. Yesterday marked exactly 3 months since and if anything, my relationships have regressed. My family and I feel so distant from one another, things were going well for a while but now I’m unsure of how to mend it. I’ve begun to unintentionally push the little friends I had away, all other than J and C, though since C moved to Brisbane, I’ve been lucky to hear from her once a fortnight despite the fact that we used to speak daily and catch up at least 3 times a week. I miss her. My relationship with Jesus feels like its been so inconsistent on my part, I mean He’s always there but I find myself constantly running to and away from Him. Grappling with desperation, guilt and shame. I’ve been trying to be more intentional with my time but often find myself either writing here, writing songs or staring blankly through walls. In an attempt to pursue Jesus and mend my relationship with Him, I’ve tried to be more intentional with my prayer and worship time. Additionally, I’ve fairly recently started attending a new church. I’ve gone with a friend once or twice but last Sunday was the first time I’d gone alone. I enjoy attending. This afternoon B invited me to join her life group within the church. I feel so anxious about these changes but simultaneously think it may be a positive opportunity to meet likeminded Christians and to grow in my relationship with Jesus. I’m not sure if I’m ready, spiritually, emotionally or mentally. I’m praying into this. Once step at a time.

A blanket of stars appear across the nights sky and I feel small. I recall an intermission during a worship song; “lets talk about praising through our circumstances. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1). Even when we don’t see God working, we know He’s working and even when we don’t feel Him working, we know He’s working because that’s what His word says. He’s doing something that you can’t see right now.” I find myself in constant need of humbling and reminding that God is in control, I need not do this on my own. He meets me here. Jesus is within me and walks beside me. I should rather praise God, as B said last week during a devotion with our kids; “If you focus on praising God for all His blessings, you’ll be filled with so much gratitude that no matter whats going on in your life, you’ll find joy in Him. There is a larger story unfolding and this season is simply a part of it, a painful and real part but a part nonetheless.

As the sounds from the ocean play over, I rest in the presence of my Saviour. He has met me here. In prayer I surrender unto Him. I pray that the love of Jesus will manifest within me, His light becoming greater than the darkness. I pray for peace this evening when my heart is troubled. I praise Him for His grace, forgiveness and unfailing love.

– c x

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