I had shreds of memories swirling and used Kleenex’s in my lap as I sat in a counselor’s office. It was wintertime and felt myself sinking again. Some call it seasonal depression. Some call it going through hell and back a few times. Either way, it’s pretty brutal.
I’m an overachiever when it comes to dealing with my junk so I took out my prayer journal on those nights of endless wrestling with my thoughts and sheet covers. I had figured out my root of depression. It was only four words, but those four words took me down toxic trails that caused me to try harder and spend myself to the point of exhaustion. I was just the human version of a show dog jumping through hoops.
The words rolled out and clarity came.
I told her those four words and how those four words took on a much larger shape of unrealistic expectations. Those four words became a foundation that I built upon, walls and rooms filled with striving and measuring sticks.
The devil is a punk, he using the same tricks on all of us. It’s the same four words on repeat.
I am not enough.
Later those four words became “I am not okay.”
For every lie we believe, there is a stronger, more powerful truth found in God’s word.
I started praying scriptures. Sometimes I could only pray one-worded prayers like, “Help.” But, I knew that was enough because I learned the power of a God who specializes in wordless groans. The Spirit helps us in our weakness. When we don’t know what to pray for- the Spirit himself intercedes for us through those wordless groans. (Romans 8:26)
God has us covered, so we don’t have to worry about having the right words to pray.
I learned how to take thoughts captive and figured out that it really was possible for me to be the boss of my emotions instead of my emotions bossing me.
When those feelings surface and try to take the shape of those four very small words that used to feel like the biggest punch in the face, I shut it all-the-way-down.
I’m not a good wife.
I don’t call enough.
Reach out enough.
If real love is unconditional, why on earth was I working so hard to earn it?
It all came from a sweet and sincere place of wanting to love and serve and be, but people-pleasing is my Kryptonite.
Do I want to be and do everything for my family and friends? Yes, I truly do. But, I know that my love is fierce and loyal and grace-giving so I trust that my people can love me back like that.
Do I still try hard? Of course, I do.
But, this time I know that I am enough even when I’m not, even when I’m too much and talk too much…or say too little.
I know that when I’m weak, God is more than enough. He is the foundation I need that is filled with provision and grace and not one room where I find him have I felt shame. I feel secure and satisfied.
For every lie, there is a stronger, more powerful truth.
There are treasures hidden in dark places and sometimes we have to mine for the diamonds. We have to dig in his word and go to counseling and do the hard work to be free.
And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness–secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name. (Isaiah 45: 3)
Here are a few of my favorite scriptures to pray and stand on:
“…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV)
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8: 26)