if you’ve been following me on my blogging journey since last july, you’re familiar with the post I titled an open letter to the broken spirit. july will likely always be a month where I reminisce on what the Lord has done for me + I will be in awe of the things to come – so with that being said, I’ve been spending a lot of time looking back on who I was one year ago and who God made me into today.
because you see, it’s been a year since I was at my lowest, when everything around me felt like it was closing in on me and I felt suffocated by my anxiety and the depression that followed. my life was under a lot of reconstruction – I had just graduated college and was exploring new territory as a young adult, I was unemployed, I felt abandoned, and I felt alone in a ghost town of a college town.
I vividly remember losing my job July 1st. fears of what ifs flooded my mind and I didn’t know what would (or wouldn’t) be coming. would I find a new job? how long would that take? would I have to abandon my plans to stay in Oklahoma to move home to Dallas? then came the embarrassment and pain of telling my loved ones of what had happened. to make it worse, all I wanted was to be near them – but I was 195 miles away.
I spent independence day by myself. I had only a few friends in the area, all of which already had plans. I tried to make the most of it by going to pool and seeing fireworks, but being an extrovert spending a fun holiday alone is rough – especially when you were essentially alone every other day of the week.
july 12th I received some unexpected news that sent me spiraling into what would end up being a month and a half of panic and, eventually, depression. perhaps a situation I had the ability to nip in the bud, but frankly, I didn’t have the strength. I already felt so knocked down that I couldn’t bear to let something else go and I refused to see the reality that was right in front of me. luckily, july 13th (exactly a year ago today) is when I was offered my position at the university, so things were starting to look up, but I still found myself struggling with the anxiety, loneliness, and hurt.
I spent evenings and weekends feeling paralyzed and unable to get out of bed. I remember telling myself to move, to clean, to do something to make myself feel better. in those days that turned into weeks, the only solace I found was in Christ – I hauled myself up in bed in a fetal position (sorry, unusual visual but it was what it was lol), worship playlist on, crying until I had nothing left, and using the silence that followed to talk to God. in those moments I felt safe, but the next day at work when I couldn’t block out the world and silence my thoughts, the heaviness returned.
for that couple of months in my life, it truly felt like nothing was going to look up. I knew it would, but I lived every day wondering when that would be.
but what the enemy tried to use to break me was what God was going to use to reshape me. because on july 12th I had someone look me in the eye and tell me “you deserve better.” at the time I scoffed and was thinking, “what do you know?” but the truth is, God knew. He always does. because while the situation sent me into a dark place, I believe God used it to show me I deserve the best and nothing less and taught me to never settle. not just for a person, but in life.
to the broken spirit: I’m here to tell you things are going to get better. even when it feels impossible, it will. because my testimony is this:
God delivered me from debilitating anxiety.
God taught me how to be okay with being by myself (thanks Arlyn).
God surrounded me with incredible friends + community.
God revealed a boldness within me I didn’t know I had.
God provided me with stability.
God brought me opportunities that have brought my hopes + dreams back to life.
God proved to me that I did, in fact, “deserve better,” as that someone once told me.
life comes in ebbs and flows. there will likely be another season in which the enemy tries to break me once more, but it’s reflecting on times like july 2017 versus july 2018 that will remind me that while I may feel broken, I am not beyond repair. in fact, when God pieced me back together, I felt stronger than I did before.
broken spirit, I’m writing today to tell you to keep your chin up. it’s okay to feel broken, but remember to never give up. there is a Hope beyond all comprehension, and I can promise you that it is a Hope that will never disappoint you. you may be sitting in the midst of your hurt and disappointment, wondering when you’ll start to come out of your brokenness, just like I felt – but our God does not take away without giving us back more than we could have ever imagined, and without making us stronger for it.