For those of us who have been at NorthStar for a while, the phrase “we aren’t meant to do life alone” is a regular one. Pastor Mike says it on a regular basis, especially around fall and spring group sign-ups. But that phrase isn’t intended for just fall and spring group sign-ups. It’s a phrase that we should carry with us all the time. Being in a group allows us to always have someone to do life with, whether group is in session or not. When we make connections in a group, we make connections that stay, and allow us to not go through this thing-called-life alone. I mean, the Bible even states it in Matthew 18:20 “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am with them.” My husband and I have found an amazing group that we’ve been in for two years. But despite that, I have a confession to make… I’ve been unintentionally doing life alone.
Shortly after I graduated high school, I left for basic training in the Air Force. My husband and I got married in 2005 when I came home for Christmas, and in December of 2006 we welcomed our first born into the world. Followed by our second born, four minutes later. The difference was that our first born was screaming her head off, and her sister was born sleeping. We had expected it, because we had discovered it when I was 24 weeks pregnant. I had the girls eight weeks later. After several weeks in the NICU, we brought our tiny baby girl home. But I wasn’t happy. I was an EMT, and self-diagnosed myself with Post-Partum Depression, telling myself it would go away. Unfortunately, it didn’t. After a trip to the doctor in 2007, I found out that I had an adjustment disorder with anxiety and depression.
Two years after my diagnosis, the military essentially told me I was too broken to stay in, and gave me a medical discharge. If the military told me I was broken, they had to be right, didn’t they? Having depression and anxiety makes me feel like I’m on a never-ending ride on the Twisted Cyclone at Six Flags. Depression makes me feel numb, while anxiety makes me feel everything all at once. Depression makes me feel like there is no point in getting out of bed, while anxiety makes me feel like I have a million things to do with only five minutes to complete the to-do list. Depression makes me feel like I’m alone, while anxiety makes it hard to be around people. Depression tells me my husband should know what’s going on, while anxiety tells me he won’t care and that I’m just crazy. Depression and anxiety throw all logic out the window.
For years, I’ve felt like I’m too broken, not good enough, and that I have to fight these battles on my own. And someone reading this right now has the same feelings. But God says otherwise. We aren’t alone. We don’t have to fight alone. And we aren’t broken. If you are feeling like this, I want to encourage you to check out the following verses in your Bible. Then go look up Lauren Daigle’s “You Say.”
- Psalm 34:18
- Jeremiah 29:11
- Philippians 4:8
- Philippians 4:13
- Deuteronomy 13:6
- Psalm 46:10
I may never know why God put this particular Goliath in my life. Maybe it was to help someone else who is also going through the same thing. Maybe it was to make my relationship with him stronger. Maybe it was to be a walking testimony. Maybe all of the above. Maybe none of the above. Whatever the reason, I speak from experience when I say, don’t keep it inside. Talk about it with a friend you’ve known forever or a family member. Ask for prayer. Listen to praise and worship music. Go for a walk. Come find me, and we can cry in the dark while eating chocolate together. If it’s really bad, go to the doctor like I did.
I’m getting better at telling my husband when I’m having any issues, so that even though he can’t make them go away, I’m not braving the storm by myself. And I ground myself long enough to pray. I try to remember that I’m not fighting by myself. God is calming the raging storm, and that he’s fighting for me. It’s not easy. I have to work hard and continually remind myself, but I know I’m going to be okay. And so are you. Because if God is for us, who can be against us?