But let us also recognize, that for some women of faith, there is an additional area where they may feel as though they have been reduced to something smaller, something less than, something unimportant. That the very body of believers that they meet with, has diminished their gifts, talents, treasures. And then - let us recognize and proclaim that this is not Jesus.
I will raise a hallelujah even in the darkness. Even when the chaos descends. Even if my peace gives way to my anxiety. I will raise a hallelujah. He is with me. He's got this. I will keep singing. Hallelujah.
I know these things, and these things tell me that I’m definitely screwing this up. I’m definitely not Good Enough. And I’ve not been Good Enough for quite a few years. My oldest is 17, and as I think about launching her into adulthood I feel the questions bubble back up and catch in my throat again and again. “Am I doing this right? Am I screwing this up? Is this Good Enough? Am I Good Enough?”
I’m making a concerted effort to give myself credit. I did this. I fought through this. I lived through this. And you did too.
The idea that our journeys, both with Jesus, and with progress through our mental illness will be a straight and easy line is a falsehood. It is not as easy as deciding to make a change, or do the work, or follow the path. It’s a winding trail, full of obstacles and switchbacks and hairpin turns. And you will stumble. I have. More times than I can count.
It hasn’t been easy, these past twenty years. It HAS been beautiful and amazing and some days are perfect. But it has also been a battle. I’d be lying if I tried to sugar coat it.
I remember that I need the sun like I need air to breathe. I remember that the darkness makes me feel like I’m crawling within a fog, that I’m living a life I can’t quite recognize. I remember that between the dark and the cold and them impending holiday chaos, I feel as though the world is ending around me.
Love brings change, primarily because it changes us first. Find your hope in God. Rest in the knowledge that He’s got this. He’s got you. He’s got us.
Hope that progress, small and steady, can be made. Hope that can be found in the belief that Jesus hears your cries, and holds you closely. Hope that there is purpose in this journey, and that joy can still exist - both within the journey and on the other side of it. I won’t pretend that the darkness isn’t real. But I will light the candle regardless.