Depression will often make you believe that you want to die, when what you are really craving is to feel alive. There have been so many times over the years that I desperately wanted to put an end to my misery and I mistakenly thought that looked very much like suicide. I couldn’t find my way out of the darkness and pain I had fallen into—yet my overwhelming desire to end it all was a response to my inability to obtain life and joy from everything that used to bring me fulfillment.
I would gaze in bewilderment at the people around me, going about their everyday lives, and I would scream at them internally, “Don’t you feel it?! Don’t you feel the disaster of my existence, the utter annihilation of my very soul? How can you not stop and stare in shock and horror at the destruction of everything I once was?” I was bleeding out my very essence into the universe and yet no one had the slightest clue. They blithely kept on living while my life had come to a sudden and unexpected halt.
Being on the outside looking in engraved some of the most brutal lessons into my shattered soul. Mainly, how important it is to notice the people around you. Not just their outward appearance or the expressions painted on their face—but to really see the person underneath. Being forced to a complete stop in a world that constantly rushes forward at the speed of light showed me how often I would trample over people in my climb to the top—never once noticing or even caring if my actions hurt someone in my rush.
Learning the simple act of kindness came with a terribly steep cost and one I am loathe to ever have to learn again. But unexpectedly, I was also left with invaluable gifts that could not have been obtained in any other way than making my way through that darkness.
Sometimes God places us in tumultuous waters not to punish us, but to push us forward into a better place where we wouldn’t have ventured ourselves due to being complacent with the status quo.
Continue reading “Suffering as a Christian”
You frighten me.
When you ask me for things like friendship,
a night on the town.
An invitation thrown carelessly,
like a pebble in the water,
as you walk away without a care in the world.
As you walk away without realizing
that I am made of glass
and a misplaced throw may shatter this perfect illusion
of my reality.
I tighten my grip as anxiety roars to life
and settles on my shoulders with its familiar cold embrace.
“I’ll be there,” I whisper
Because I’d hate to disappoint you with my silence,
my mysterious disappearances.
But I breathe in and swallow my fear
because even a broken clock
tells the correct time every once in a while.
If you’ve never truly hated someone with the deepest of bitter resentment and the hottest fire of burning rage–then do you truly know what it is to love someone?
If ever the black crashing waves of the purest loathing have never pummeled you, sucking you under in the fierce current of their bottomless depths, then tell me–how do you ascend into that sweet paradise of sublime beauty in equal measure?
To love deeply is to risk letting the pits of hell take you into their unrelenting embrace.
To crash unexpectedly into that fiery inferno, arms and legs akimbo as you pinwheel helplessly through the air.
To feel a thousand deaths as you watch your dreams sputter and die, winking out one by one.
But the glaring tragedy here is not having to survive such unbearable loss, no–the real tragedy here is to never have felt that kind of consuming love at all.
Invisible in a world full of molds,
We search desperately for someone who will see us–
Beneath the masks, beneath the facades, beneath the uncertain smile.
Will today be the day that someone will finally take notice of me?
Hear my words, look into my soul,
Acknowledge the small flame of my existence?
Will you be the one to stop by for a moment,
And warm your hands briefly by my fire?
To let me know that for a moment in time,
I was not alone in a world full of molds.
We collect scars like trophies,
Running our fingers down each shiny surface
As the dust of years dissipates with each stroke
And pain, like the grandest of glittering diamonds draped around our neck
Each memory a sharp-edged facet cutting deep within its cold embrace
While the finest cloak of purple–so carefully draped around our body
Is knit of wounds and bruises too slow to heal in time
And yet so regally we stand
Gazing silently upon the carnage wrought throughout the years
As echoing within we hear a whispering refrain
Who set me to rule
over this desert land?
“Let me share with you the riddle of the vine, mistress. The vine needs to suffer. Going down into this earth-fighting to survive among the stones, among the lime rock–this is what gives it its aroma. Its taste. Its unique character. These grapes will create a wine few other vineyards can compare with–not because their life was easy, but because they had to struggle to survive.”
-Tessa Afshar (Harvest of Rubies)
To wrestle with God
is to prevail in the face of adversity.
It’s to have hope when there is none.
To keep striding forward
when all you want to do is lay your weary soul to rest.
To wrestle with God
is to battle your very self
A silent companion
Whose sole purpose is to shred you to pieces
Over the smallest thing.