Wife, mom, photographer, writer, speaker… who fights the pull of anxiety and depression every day through the love of God and love the of my people.
Here’s my family. We got a dog first, then the kids followed after we were sure we could keep something alive 😉 Finn, our dog, was born on May 4, 2010, so naturally we watch a Star Wars movie every year on his birthday. May the Fourth be with you. And also with you.
So, as I mentioned, anxiety and depression are part of my story. And my hope is that MY story helps you put words to YOUR story and help you know you’re not alone. Because, dear one, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Here are two of the most important things I’ve learned along the way:
#1 God is never going to leave you or forsake you. Never. He promises us in Isaiah 41:10
#2 We have to do the vulnerable work of showing up in a community with our real life problems.
We were never intended to do life alone. God, Himself, is a community: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And we are made in His image (Gen 1:27). So we, too, were designed for community. Even when it’s hard. Even when we fear rejection and judgement.
I wonder if you’ve struggled like I have…
Are you afraid to share the raw and vulnerable parts of your life for fear that if people really knew what was going on they would reject or judge you?
Have you prayed countless prayers asking God to take your troubles away yet still find yourself in the thick of it?
It’s hard. And it feels lonely.
But what if it’s not as hopeless as it seems? What if God does hear our prayers but is answering them in ways we weren’t expecting? What if the toughest parts of life weren’t meant to stay hidden but shared, brought into the light, where they can be healed?
Whatever you’re facing today, you are not alone. And it is 100% ok to ask for help – because there is no shame in that game!
Life is hard. But God is near.
I certainly don’t have all the answers. But I’m here to open the door. To let you know you’re not alone. To remind you that God loves you right where you are. To help you reframe your pain through the lens of God’s love for you as you lean into Him and do the hard work of healing.
LET’S REFRAME OUR DAYS THROUGH THE LENS OF HIS LOVE FOR US.
HERE’S A LITTLE MORE OF MY STORY…
Here am I, the month my world came crashing down. Look how happy I look. Look at my beautiful babies. Facebook perfect, right?!
What you can’t see is the overwhelming fear and sadness that had taken over my mind and body. The shame and confusion of being a Christian recently diagnosed with three mental health disorders: Clinical Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and OCD. You can’t see all the hours I prayed, pleaded and begged God to take these illnesses away.
Life is hard. But God is still near. And sometimes, because of His eternal wisdom and perspective, He answers our prayers a lot differently than we expect Him to or hope He will.
While I was praying for God to take my burdens AWAY – He wanted to teach me to trust Him THROUGH THE STORM.
He brought tangible resources along my path: a Christian therapist I saw weekly for over a year, a 12-week topical class at my hospital, a 9-month intensive program called Life Skills that goes deep into the psychosomatic connections between the development of the mind, body and spirit AND permission to stop feeling ashamed and afraid to go on an SSRI (which was the turning of MY healing journey).
When the medication kicked in, I was able to think clearly again. And I realized that no matter what I was facing *I* WAS STILL VALUABLE. God was not disappointed in me because I had anxiety and depression. He loved me.
Now that I’ve done some healing and learning – I want to offer YOU hope that healing is possible. And God loves you right where you are.
Change requires vulnerability and intentionality. But it is a possibility.
There is hope, dear one. No matter how bad it looks or how impossible it seems – YOU ARE NEVER ALONE.