I feel like after a night like tonight in a living room full of girls who love Jesus and who each have beautiful hearts, I need to just write out several thoughts. For those of you who know me or have read some of my blogs know that I have a passion for theology but this will look a little different, a little more personal and practical. I need more of that these days and I came to understand that tonight. In all honesty, I haven’t been pursuing community around me or investing in relationships that God has blessed me with, but tonight something beautiful happened. I not only knew in my head that God rescues sinners and broken people, but on a heart level I experienced the weight of it tonight. We were created to experience community and to know and be known by others because the God of the universe is a community within Himself (Father, Son, Spirit). Sorry to get all theological, but that really does say something about our God and his desire for community. We are created to be in community, to share struggles, to cry together, to laugh together, to be vulnerable and transparent. The most beautiful thing about it is that for those who know Christ as their Savior have been given freedom to share deep stuff because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Anyways…
Tonight was beautiful. We each shared our stories and how God rescued us from sin which never gets old to hear. It says so much about the grace of Jesus to mend something so broken into something beautiful. We laughed together, and did a whole lot of crying too, which was so good. I hadn’t realized how much I neglected community in the season that I’m in and used school as an “excuse” to remain comfortable and not truly do life with those around me. I am generally comfortable when I have time to myself and am isolated from others for a particular reason-depression. I’m not diagnosed by a doctor but I have come to realize it’s an honest struggle that I believe I’ve dealt with on and off since 7th grade or so. I hesitated sharing this because I know that many people might be reading this right now, but it’s been heavy on my heart to share on here for the past couple weeks. I shared tonight in a room full of girls as they also shared struggles. I feel like God might use a struggle like this to show His grace in the midst of non-ideal circumstances. Jesus has come to bring hope and has rescued me from myself, so my identity isn’t in myself anymore. It’s not in depression, it’s in Christ. For this reason, I like to focus on God’s goodness in spite of my struggle, yet without neglecting the struggle either. I’m confident that Jesus doesn’t only use our struggles, but turns them for our good and His glory. I know this because struggling with depression has honestly deepened my faith in Christ to be all that I need. I don’t always know how he does that, but I trust that he works all things for good even when I cannot see. I’m not God so I don’t know his thoughts or ways that he works and I’m glad that I don’t or else I’d never have to depend on him. Through this struggle all I can think about is how God has shown me his unwavering love and grace that brings a greater joy and hope than this world can offer. I will gladly rest in that truth, because not only have I experienced it, but was reminded tonight that our stories are really His story about redemption. He’s making all things new and that trumps any light and momentary struggle in this life. He’s making all things new through the blood of Jesus and his resurrection.
2 Corinthians 12:9- “But he said to me: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
This verse is beyond comforting because for one it reminds me that I don’t have to rely on my own strength. God’s grace is shown to be sufficient in times of weakness. In my own experience, Jesus seems to be magnified when I am wrestling through something. I love that the word “perfect” is used in that verse. We like to think our struggles somehow surprise God, but they don’t. I love that he sovereignly makes much of himself through people’s brokenness. It displays that HE himself is sufficient and that we need a Savior outside of ourselves. The reason I’m sharing this is because of the last part- that I get to boast not in my strengths, but in my weakness, FOR the purpose of Christ’s goodness and power. Jesus is unwavering, firm, unshakeable. And I think we only come to know that when we reach the end of ourselves by acknowledging our weakness. We don’t have to have it all together or be perfect. Christ has come to be perfect on our behalf and shown himself to be all-satisfying in his grace. I love that I get to use the word depression and joy in the same sentence. It might seem twisted but it’s true that joy isn’t tied to circumstances. I am filled with joy because I believe Jesus is making all things new and he faithfully shows me that he is greater than all my fears, all my struggles, and all my “victories.” I am humbled to serve such a beautiful Savior. I am humbled that his power is made perfect in my weakness, and therefore, if depression doesn’t go away, Jesus remains the same yesterday, today, and always.
I started out by talking about community and how blessed I am by each one of those beautiful girls who filled the living room tonight. I was reminded that we get to carry one another’s burdens and encourage one another toward the Cross. We’re not meant to hide our struggles (as society would say we should so that we might look self-sufficient and better than we truly are). The truth is we are fragile and are in need of honesty and transparency. I hope you all take something from this and you are encouraged that Jesus is still so good in our weakness. Feel free to let me know of anything I can pray for. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot me a Facebook message :) Love y’all!
For His glory,