I Want To Be Real With You

Making Room for Peace

I want to be real with you.

Even though God graciously healed me from the anxiety and depression that I used to suffer from, I still go through occasional bouts of each (lasting anywhere from 3 - 10 days).  These bouts can be triggered by a variety of things but more often than not stem from: a hormonal imbalance and negative thoughts.  I talk a lot about "peace" around here and I want you to know that you can still have it even while occasionally struggling with these issues.  There is an old hymn that goes:

There is peace, there is peace.  There is peace in the presence of the Lord.  There is peace that's real, not matter how I feel.  There is peace in the presence of the Lord.

The song goes on to say the same thing about "joy" and "truth".  I love that...  As Believers we can simultaneously rest in God's peace and joy and truth while having a "thorn" in our side.  The thorn may occasionally distract us but we can still show up and live for God.  The key is to keep our eyes focused on Him (Isaiah 26:3) and to not give in to feelings of despair, but rest in Him and ground yourself in truth.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says that God is "the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort that we ourselves have received from God."  Wow!  When I read that a few weeks back it blew my mind.  It made me immediately think of James chapter 1 where it talks about embracing suffering, how we are to count it a joy when we go through trials because God is strengthening and maturing us.  It made me think about my thorn in completely new light.

While it can be hard in the moment when I find myself going through another period of anxiety and depression, I try my best to count it a blessing.  God is taking me through these trials because He loves me - He thinks that I'm worth maturing and using!  He's strengthening me during this time as I lean into Him and His word; He's comforting me so that I can now go and comfort others who are dealing with similar issues. 

I want to encourage you to try and look at your suffering in the same light.  Whatever your going through, embrace it.  Keep your eyes focused on Him and His truth.  Embrace His comfort so that you can be comforted and in turn go and comfort others.



Photo Credit: Zoe Grant.