This weekend has been so hard. I couldn’t even tell you a specific reason why other than Depression is a jerk. Saturday was my birthday so we had some family and friends over and it was such a great time! About halfway through the night, I had to excuse myself because I just abruptly felt like I was going to cry.
The next morning we had a Mother’s Day Omelette Brunch at Church, which should have been fantastic ended up making me feel even worse. I couldn’t sit still during the sermon, I couldn’t concentrate, I literally couldn’t even. So I did what any self-respecting person in my situation would do- I left.
Don’t freak out, I didn’t actually leave the building, but I did leave the worship center. I knew that I needed to spend some time pouring out my heart to God; I knew I needed a Jesus date. So I found an empty classroom at the back of the sanctuary and had my God time. I read through Psalms 77 (which is perfect for a pity-party that will end up putting you in your place) and just talked to God. I told Him how I was feeling, what was going through my mind, and eventually I just let my soul speak for me. I got to a place where I had no more words, but I was still hurting. I was still in the valley so I just sat, cried, and just was with God.
That helped so much, but if the story stopped there it wouldn’t be about community. After that we went to lunch at my Gma’s, got to play with my sweet little ornery cousin, came home, and had some time to relax before heading back to church for a prayer meeting that night. If I’m being totally honest here, I did NOT want to go back to church. I didn’t want to deal with faking it anymore- I just wanted to drown out the noise in my head. But I went because I’m a control freak (working on that) and knew I was supposed to be there. Because it was Mother’s Day evening, there were very few people actually there so we split up into Men and Women and had a mini prayer group. (No we don’t split up every by gender every month, we try a new thing almost every month and this was what we did this month.)
We prayed through Colossians 1:9-20. We prayed specifically for what those verses are praying for then we took it a step further and prayed for our community, our church family, our community leaders and national leaders, persecuted Christians, and missionaries. We thanked God for what he has done for us based on the same verses and then thanked him for the Holy Spirit and His Holy Word. We acknowledged his characteristics from those same verses and tried to praise Him simply because He is God. Then when we were done going through the verses, our Pastor’s wife Toni asked if there was any specific prayer requests happening in our lives that we could pray over. We had a few specific ones that we prayed over right then and there. And then I felt the the need to tell them of the burden I’d been carrying all day. While having my Jesus time that morning helped tremendously, and I didn’t feel like I was drowning, I definitely still felt like I was treading water. And so I told them my struggles. I asked them specifically to pray for Tyler because he tends to get the brunt of my emotions. I told them how I had been struggling that weekend for no apparent reason. I shared my burden with them, and they cried with me. They covered me in prayer, shared their stories of their own seasons of depression and loved on me. I can not tell you how amazing it felt for these godly women to stand in the gap for me and fight for me in prayer. I can’t tell you what they prayed, or even many specifics of what anyone said afterwards, but I can tell you that when I shared my burden with my church family and let them lead me to God to lay it down on my behalf, I felt lighter. I felt like I was finally in the shallow water instead of treading in the deep.
God taught me a valuable lesson last Sunday night. We were made for community. We were made to spur each other on to good works, to sharpen each other as Iron sharpens Iron, to lift each other up in prayer, to encourage each other in our relationship with God, and to call each other out when we’re acting the fool.
Today I thank God for those 6 other women who allowed me to be open and honest about my struggles. I praise God for the impact that each of them has on my life and the spirit of love and genuine truth that I saw first hand. We were made for community. Because of Sunday night I see the church in a whole new way. Sure it has it’s issues, but it also is a very real way that God shows His love and cares for His people.
Galatians 6:2 says this “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
It’s time to get outside of ourselves and attempt vulnerability with the Bride of Christ. Be open and ready to go to the throne of God on behalf of your brothers and sister’s in Christ. Show love and fight on your knees. I believe that’s the sign of a true warrior.