“Chains fall, fear bow; lives healed, hope found – here, now, Jesus you change everything.”
– HOLY GROUND, PASSION WORSHIP –
I know we’ve all felt it – the pit in our stomach, the tightness in our chest, the lump in our throat, the dull, gnawing pain.
You put on your happy face when you have to and try and live by the phrase “fake it til you make it.” But at the end of the day, you’re right back where you started; thoughts raging, depression weighing you down so much you feel like you can’t move.
The reason why varies.
Maybe you just graduated college – or are possibly well established in your career – and feel so far away from where you should be. Doesn’t anyone recognize your potential? Shouldn’t you be enough?
Maybe you’ve experienced loss – loss of a loved one, a job, a close friendship or relationship, maybe even loss of hope in a situation.
Maybe you’re struggling to let go of something that happened in the past or live in numbing fear of the future.
Maybe your insecurities or mental illness won’t leave you alone and you feel trapped and have lost hope that you’ll ever escape it.
Maybe you’re fighting off the deep, unrelenting pain of loneliness.
Whatever the case may be, your heart is yearning for something.
Medicine, alcohol, drugs, superficial relationships, even regular, everyday distractions… These are all common things we find ourselves running to in order to hide the emptiness inside of us. It might make the pain disappear temporarily, but we all know the flood of emotions will come rushing back and the bitter truth is that we have fixed absolutely nothing.
Some of you reading this might be thinking, “well duh.” Here’s the thing: I’ve grown up in church. I have been raised around the notion of turning to God in times of trouble or hurt – and I do. But sometimes we get so used to going through the motions of “pray a little prayer” and “read a couple verses” that we shove what it actually means to turn to God onto the back burner.
To the broken spirit: I see you and I feel you. I know how it feels to be alone with your thoughts that make you feel so heavy that you can’t get up out of bed. I know how it feels to believe that you have to struggle to find all of your own answers and solutions to your situations. I know how it feels to think you have to stuff down your emotions and pretend they don’t exist because somehow that’s what “being strong” and “turning to God” has seem to become.
But in the moments when you feel glued to your bed, get up. Turn up some music and let yourself release what’s inside of you. God understands if you want to cry, if you want to scream; He’ll never make you feel bad for doing so. The amazing thing about our Father is that He never tells us to not hurt, He just asks that we let Him comfort us. And in my experience, when the crying is over – when there’s nothing left to let out – that’s when He speaks promise. It’s when we can finally silence our minds that He has room to speak hope and bring light into the darkest corners of our minds. It’s in the promise that we can find the courage to step out in faith. It’s in the promise we can find the power to cast the enemy away in the name of Jesus and tell him that his lies, his fears, his burdens have no more control over us. It’s in the promise we find the boldness to pray and speak truth back into our lives. It’s in the promise we find the strength to surrender.
And we can stay in that place however long we want. It could be 15 minutes, an hour, the entire night… Let yourself be restored. Remind yourself daily of what it means to cast every fear, every thought, every burden into the hands of the One who died so you didn’t have to feel this way; the One who died so you could have the choice to hand it over to Him if you give Him the chance.
Broken spirit, you don’t have to be broken. There is a Love screaming out to you, a Love that wants nothing more than for you to find it and take hold of it so it can never let go of you. Take advantage of it – life will knock you down, the enemy will try to hold you there, but there is a freedom that is yours for the taking.