DIGNIFYING THE STRUGGLES

Hey Kath,

Super cool thing. So I got introduced to you insta-page a few months ago by a friend i.e. I was on her phone randomly doing the insta-story stalk (is it called stalking, if it's out there for you to see? - I think either way: I have no shame haha.).

Long story short: your openness and words really really resonated with me (like really).

This year has been extremely strange for me. I've been following Jesus for most of my life, but this year (being my third year in university), I finally stepped out and joined a church, started doing missions: And I can't explain it, but my heart was lit on fire. The Lord rid me of a lot of confusion and changed my heart in ways that i know I couldn't have changed by forcing a "positive attitude". I saw so much promise in my church, and I finally felt like I was realising who God had created me to be, and walking in that.

Fast-forward a few months I had found myself in a situation where I was under a lot of pressure at university (I thought i was going to fail -ahh it was tough), but I'm a person who has really high expectations of myself. And for that time I completely neglected all of my humanly needs, and just studied.

Spoiler alert: It did not turn out well.

I had all these hectic emotions and no idea how to process them, and my mental health spiraled, but most importantly I had lost sight of Jesus.

I couldn't understand how we are promised joy and peace, and yet there were none of these things where I was at. I was praying and declaring and worshiping, and still they were yet to be found. For most of this year I would say that I have been dealing with anxiety and depression, and it has kind of reached the point where I had no idea who I was, and I for reals did not know if God was even real anymore.

I still don't know who I am at this stage, but I've tried for really long now, to discover that I am seriously just a really ugly-kind-of-dysfunctional without God, and I actually do not think I will survive without Him.

Right now I guess I just need advice on how you've turned back to Jesus after letting doubt, and mental health override your belief; how to do mental health with Jesus: and a really important one for me: How to be authentic with struggles without being a victim to them.

Especially authenticity with struggles with mental in the church; and how to try dignify the struggles.

I feel like I've almost lost everything: my friends, family, potential church relationships, myself, and I don't really know how to live again.

But I know it's only possible with God, and that I want to.

Wowzer congratulations to you if you read this Kath. And thank you.

All the best things

Cindy

My dear Cindy,

Wow. I feel like I just saw a reflection of the inside of my own heart through your words. I want to start by saying THANK YOU for sharing a snippet of your story with me. You are so so brave. I also want to encourage you by saying, the fact that you are striving to get better and longing to be is a sign that God is moving in your heart. I have found, sometimes when it feels like things are the worst they’ve ever been, God is doing the most work behind the scenes that he has ever done in your life. I can’t even tell you how many times I have looked around at all the rubble laying around me, convinced I don’t have the strength to, and said “God when are you doing to pick all of this up?” And heard nothing. But what i am coming to know, in bits and pieces, is that God is saying I am strong enough, and to pick up even one tiny little piece, even if I don’t know what to do with it once I’m holding it. And in the small act of me picking up the rubble one piece at a time, that’s when God begins to work. It is in the act of my weak shaky hands simply trying, that His strength doubles and begins to transform some things in me.


I guess what I’m trying to say, is that I too, am still trying to figure out how to rely on Jesus and trust Him after what can oftentimes feel like unending pain. What I do know, is that it has to start over everyday. Especially when it feels hardest to. Each morning when you wake up you have to stretch out your arms and extend them to God, all of your gunk, all of your fear, all of your mistakes - just toss it all at God, He’ll catch it. God doesn’t need us to be put together, He needs us to be honest.


I am also coming to know that in accepting that I still feel far away from God sometimes, but that I know I can’t do any of it without Him, and vocalizing it, so many people come out of the woodworks saying, “me too.” Vulnerability breeds vulnerability. And we are all in this humanness thing together. My pain might not look exactly like your pain. But we can all find common ground when we just keep choosing to show up, over and over again.

I love ya. I’m proud of you. I believe in you. God loves you SO much. He sees every tiny piece of you and He is piecing your heart back together as we speak.

With Love,

Kath