I know that my last blog post sounded a little bleak, but my current outlook is much brighter, and I was also so encouraged by those of you who sent me thoughtful notes and shared your own stories of struggle and personal suggestions! Â You are each a reflection of why it is better to share life with one another – to speak truth and love into our lives. I understand that we are often unaware of the internal struggles of other people because the surface can seem so “normal”. And yet, there is usually a small voice inside us saying “Let go…” Sometimes its let go of your anger, or bitterness, or self-righteousness, or selfishness, or resentment, or shame. And sometimes we even go through moments or entire seasons when our internal sense of joy is robbed from us and no matter how much we know it should be there, we feel nothing.
This reminded me of my bleakest season of life when God was working even when I couldn’t see or feel His presence. When I was a sophomore in college, a phase of depression and anxiety consumed me. It was aÂ culmination of low self-worth from childhood issues and heartache from losing my first love.Â The loneliness and pain was aggravated by the fact I had been struggling with bulimia for years which I could not seem to overcome. I couldn’t “fix” myself – no matter how much I prayed, or read my Bible, or succeeded at school. My joy just gradually ebbed away until I couldn’t find it anymore. Yet there was something inside me that persevered, I knew that joy was promised to me in presence of Christ in my life. I clung to that for dear life. For whatever reason, I started looking up encouraging Psalms and scripture and emailing them out to everyone in my contact list at the time. It was like being in a black hole and sending these words out into the abyss – I don’t really even know why. Months later, I took a semester off of school to focus on my personal and emotional healing and met regularly with a counselor. While on was on hiatus, a former high school friend reached out to me. He gifted me a sweet and inspirational book of friendship that he has written personal notes and messages throughout. When he gave it to me, he shared that he had been struggling with thoughts of suicide, and that was when he started receiving my random emails of encouraging verses and thoughts. These words that I hadn’t even felt at the time had reached straight to his heart and “saved his life”. I have never been more amazed at the power of God’s word than sitting in the car listening to his story. God’s word never comes back empty! Truth and love can save us and even make beautiful things out of our brokenness.
There is a beautiful song that reflects this theme that God can use suffering to serve a beautiful purpose called “Beautiful Things” by the band Gungor. Lead singer Michael Gungor explained the inspiration behind the song in an interview. “My wife Lisa and I wrote the song together because we were seeing our friends going through suffering and pain. This song is an expression of hope that God will make beautiful things out of the dust in our lives, and God will somehow use us, use our obedience and love, our feeble human effort, and build Himself a kingdom. I see that God is using suffering to bring us closer to Him.” (Excerpt from Behind the Song with Kevin Davis atÂ http://www.newreleasetuesday.com/article.php?article_id=384#_
You can listen to the song here.