Why Would I Talk about My Depression?

Because God uses story to binds us, His most priced creation.

God uses story to Bind Us, His most priced creation

I remember fretting over whether or not to publish my story, the beginning of my journey living with depression. I worried I was slipping further and further away and all I need to do was get closer to Jesus. The Christian world doesn't talk about "mental health." Even the few people in my past that I knew dealt with or had dealt with anything of the sort acted as though satan had taken a hold in their lives and then Jesus delivered them from it, leaving me feeling, once again, like a faithless Christ-follower. An imposter. The others dealing with this just didn't talk about it. Some didn't deal with it. If there was family history, you just brushed it behind that giant neon green elephant in the room and acted like it wasn't apart of who they were, where they'd been, or even what they were living in at the moment.

Depression is:
a mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep. Synonyms: unhappy, sadness, melancholy, misery, sorrow, woe, gloom, low spirits, heavy heart, despair, hopelessness, etc

The Main Causes of Depression:

There are lots of things that can increase the chance of depression, these are just some of those:

  • Abuse
  • Certain medications
  • Conflict
  • Death or a loss
  • Genetics
  • Major events
  • Other personal problems
  • Serious illnesses
  • Substance abuse

Pretty much, it's all Serotonin's fault. It's one of many brain chemicals, the one associated with "happy feelings". Depression, no matter the cause, is a chemical imbalance in the brain.

God has given me writing as a tool to work through the stuff floating around in my head. I often read something, hear about hot topics and am not quite sure what my option is on it. Maybe that's a middle-child thing. Anyways. Not only does writing help me walk myself through how I think about things it helps me identify how I feel. It gets all that emotion out of me. Sometimes its super silly and others it's totally nasty. Some I publish and some are still "drafts".

Depression is one of those "draft" topics God has ask me to open up with others rather than just He and I {and my computer}. I wasn't sure why at first but after the anxiety of pressing the publish key, I felt relief. Like this was one less thing satan was holding over me. One less 'secret' he could use against me. One less thing I feared if it came out. It was out. It didn't matter how anyone responded to it. I was free. That's all I needed, to shake those chains off.

Talking about my depression hasn't *fixed* it. I so wish it had. Sadly {budump bump}, I still take a medication to help levelize the chemicals in my brain. It helps me feel less...crazy. Psycho mom. Yeah, I said "less". Again, I wish this was a healing story as some may have come looking for but this is something I'm still walking through. The term bipolar comes to mind at least once a month as I experience good days and then very quickly bad days. {Thanks Aunt Flow. Rrrrr}

I guess, I'm writing this as a follow up of sorts. God has confirmed over and over again that my tiny little blog and a simple post series about my experience are a blip in the conversation that so desperately needs to be blown wide open in the Christian community.

From long-distance, life-long, and in-my-own-back-yard friends, there is someone I know who is secretly going through this alone. Satan is winning if we hide, ashamed, in the dark. He wins if we can't confess our habitual brokenness. He wins if we hide it, protect ourselves against the murmurs that 'might' happen. We are unable to fully grasp the gospel in our personal, well-worn lives. We are denying that we need Christ's blood to ooze into this crevices in our world, as if He didn't already know about it.

From former students, my own peers, or strangers, confessions of living my story have tumbled in! Do you know what that did? Shamed us? Killed us with that gut wrenching pain? NO! It bonded us. I'm not even just talking about believers being bonded over suffering from the same downfalls. I'm talking Across. The. Board. God wants to unite. Glue together. Tether. Fasten. Attach. Knot. Eternally Secure His most prized creatures to one another and Himself.

#realness is my anthem!
This verse my song.
Boast *happily* in weakness!

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

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“Be Holy as I am Holy” Ehh?

As Christians, especially those of us who are "lifers" {been in church since the womb}, have a hard time naturally "sharing the gospel". Can I get an amen? 😉

I think the biggest reason this is unnatural is because we're taught so often that we are to be holy. And we are. And we don't get what that means. We are supposed to be holy -set apart- but that doesn't mean separate [from "heathen" things]. Set apart does not mean separate. Christians are "set apart for God". We are chosen for a purpose. We are chosen to be a part of God's plan.

I think it's kinda like a recipe. Let's say the recipe ingredients calls for 2 cups of mozzarella cheese but in the directions is says, "Mix in 1 and 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese in to [yada yada] and set aside the other 1/2 cup to sprinkle on the top at the end. We are the 1/2 cup of cheese set aside for the top. We are set to the side because we have a different, more specific purpose, not because we aren't to be part of the main dish. God has a plan to spice up the recipe!

Holiness: Set Apart as Part of the Plan to Spice Up Life

Well, hopefully that made any sense. You know He's a lot smarter than my cheesey illustration and our purpose is much more grandiose than extra creaminess. {budump bump} 😉 Basically what I mean is, we are not made to huddle together with those who believe, think, look, parent, talk, dress, etc just like us. We're meant to get our hands dirty with the real ingredients of life. It's not always pretty, it will be a LOT of messy, sometime challenging, but it'll taste awesome when it's done.

Be Holy -------> Jesus -------> Friend of Sinners

We're told to be holy. Holy like Jesus. Jesus was a friend of sinners. So what should we be doing? Befriending sinners! Not walking along side them at the store/game/restaurant and thinking how much better was are because we follow Jesus. We are to break down our misplaced pride, remind ourselves we are just as sinful as the next person {follower or not}, and actually care about others.

Holy means set apart for a purpose. Not just tossed to the side to be looked. That's wasteful and there is no waist in the economy of God. Don't separate yourself and become useless. Be Holy as Christ was Holy.


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Sentralized 2014

Sentralized 2014

My hubs, Matt and I went to an amazing conference this past week. He's attended before and we've been journeying through the paradigm of missional living. You've likely hear be bumble through trying to share what that means and how its fleshed out but this group of people helped me hear in new language and see it through practical living. I just want to start sharing with you some of those things {guess that's a good place to jump back on the blogging-wagon, ehh}. Today though, I just want to tell you a little about Sentralized, the conference we attended, and the foundational verse this years gathering was focused on.

You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.

You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.

Isaiah 58:12 MSG

Sentralized is designed for anyone who calls him or her self a Christ follower. It's the perfect learning opportunity for pastors, church planters, individuals, and teams of church members that are working through the issues and ideas of missional living, learning, and leading.
First, we believe there is a need to continue to bring clarity to the missional conversation.
Second, we want to ensure the missional conversation moves beyond theory.

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THIS is an Intervention

Kids meals? We never do kids meals. But sitting at a Taco joint with friends whom I had no idea would forever be in my heart we splurged. These little kids-meal-toys are a reminder of how God has funny ways of moving us through seasons of blessings.

Don't get me wrong, in every season we are blessed but the form in which they come is ever changing. That night, a journey of blessing would start from that parking lot; one that can never be repaid.

THIS is an Intervention

On a wintry night weeks earlier, our dear friends were approaching God on our behalf. At the time, we were only weeks away from launching and having our first ever service at the valley...and we still lived an hour and a half away. They plead for God's intervention through tears of compassion knowing God has something crazy in store. And God Answered!

Minutes later, our intercessors were approached by another family who knew God was asking them to step in but didn't quite understand how they could help. A few days later, those pieces of God's master plan were exposed to us in glorious fashion.

As we finished up tacos and my children were shocked by the "spiciness" of fruit-punch from the fountain, we were unprepared for the amazing tool we was going to use in our lives for this season. We walked into the parking lot and met a family that would bless us without even knowing us as we proceeded in a caravan through the woods, down Hidden Valley Dr to be offered shelter after a season of drought.

Thus began our season of the borrowed home in the Hidden Valley. A home that fit our family's needs perfectly was placed before us and ask "will this work?" as if there would be any question in our minds. God prepared this, there's no turning down such a blessing out of pride because there's no way we could ever repay such an offering.

In March of 2013, humbly and beyond excited, our world turned the page on a new chapter and in less than a week's time, we moved our essentials into a borrowed home and lived there 4 months. That season was filled with moments that still bring tears to my eyes as God lavished His love upon us through the love of others, family bonding, and rest. Much needed Rest. Rest we didn't know we needed in a time of fast pace preparation.

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I'll never be able to express how thankful I am to both of those families for being willing to be used by God in such a mighty way during a season we so desperately needed them but in short

Thank you for the natural oasis that was a perfect classroom to teach us what making memories as a family can look like. The first, adventures, learning, and memories we created during this season will forever be treasured in my overflowing heart.

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The other day, the hubs and I went to the marvelous Chick-Fil-A with our littles. We are still working off “hot-spots” on our phones which means, my part-time job(s) involving nothing but the net suck through our media packages leaving those jobs paying for nothing but the overage charges on the phone bill. Hence the family outing to “chick a lay” for a coke, playground, and the beloved wi-fi!


God had more in mind for us than me getting some work done online. While we were there we encountered several families/friends that we don’t always run into.

Local Ministry Friend

A guy Matt knew from Walnut Ridge, a staffer I met at Super Summer, a dude that is so sweet to keep up with us and our ministry.

Local Recently Engaged Friends from another church

No longer attending the church that helped us launch is weird. We’re not sure who want to stay in contact with us and definitely don’t want to push relationships so people don’t think we expect them to go with us. This couple and their adorable twins are always willing to say hi. So comforting! And we were so excited to tell them congrats!

Out-of-town Family Friends

A fun family we were friends with over 3 years ago and 3+ hours away strolled into “our” Chick-Fil-A. WHAT? This was the family I used to babysit for before/while I was pregnant with Maggie {THAT long ago}. We are so excited to know we are on the vacation path for them and will be a stop on their trips!

{Apparently} Local Friend from High School

This is the one I really don't wanna talk about. I have a feeling I’m not the only one who does this though…that is the Only reason I’m sharing this. You know my goal is to live realness out here in this mystical, seemingly perfect, online world. You know that and make everyone else feel better about themselves 😉

We had just paraded walked in with our littles and headed straight to a back table near the glass window to the playground and right next to the door as to keep an eye on our babes and catch any escape attempts. As soon as the kids had been herded into the playground, removed shoes, and heard the ground rules, I returned to our table and pulled out my laptop to get to work. There’s minimal time before the captives realize, although the cage looks kid friendly & colorful, it is still nothing more than just that…a cage. So, click click click I went.

The first glance up through the glass window to check on my talker who had engaged in serious conversation with the unsuspecting adult who’d placed himself inside the cage, my eyes wandered past the 5-year-old and out the window where people were enjoying the oddly beautiful summer weather on the patio.

“I know her…” I thought as I caught myself staring at girl relaxing and munching on chicken yumminess. I quickly shot my gaze another direction as to not be the weirdo creeping from 2 sets of windows away. I wasn’t quite sure if I really knew her…I have a Terrible memory. Just ask my husband. Wait. Don’t do that; it's just embarrassing.

I couldn’t help myself, every time I went to double-check the littles, my eyes wandered outside. I searched my sad lil memory for a name. Normally I have an awful time not only remembering names but where I know them from. Just hours before I stared at another women, even asking Matt, “How do we know her!?!” This time, I was pretty sure this girl and I had attended high school together. This was a rare and odd occurrence for me. For the last decade {all the years following HS}, I’ve lived a minimum of 4 hours away from my home town. Even when visiting over holidays, I see classmates and can’t recall names.

Worse than that, I am shy…I guess. I never thought of myself as shy but when I see these peers, I most often smile and run the other way. I’m terrified that they won’t know me or if they do, they won’t want to say hello. Maybe it’s just simply insecurity. I can’t remember what kind of relationship we had in high school and I’m pretty sure I was a completely different person then than I am now. Was I a tool to them? A hypocrite? A Pharisee? I once blushed when in Wal-Mart with my mom and an old friend saw me and hugged me…more than once. What is that?

I’m a people watcher. An observer. I’ve always sat on the outside watching {and taking pictures of} things in their natural habitats.. {Hello psychology degree} BUT because of this, I’m never sure how much I knew about people because we had a relationship or because I observed things. {Please don’t be creeped out and run away…}

Wow, that was a really long explanation to say…I didn’t wave, say hi, or go out to visit. I was so worried she would have no idea who I was or care if she did. I did what every sane, not creepy person does. I searched my FB friends. I found her. It was the girl I remembered. She was/is a sweet Christian girl who apparently went to college her in our new town and has called this home ever since, working at the local school. Why didn’t I just wave?

While I had different levels of this tendencies with each of the people we encountered that night, I think the insecurity level of when/where I knew those people from came flaring back. Odd.

Do you have these tendencies of insecurity leading to an outward persona of snot? I told myself when I got a FB that I wasn’t going to live behind insecurity. I was going to “friend” anyone I recognized from high school and start over. I wouldn’t assume they thought I was odd or uncool. Well, the “friending” happened but the interaction didn’t . I’ve fallen back into this state of hiding. That’s no way to live a life for Christ; making disciples will not happen with me hunkered down in my house behind my computer screen. This year is supposed to be purposeful! Insecurity is a HUGE opposition to a purpose filled life. I'll just keep truch’n I guess.

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