“Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story- those he redeemed from the hand of the foe.” – Psalm 107:2 NIV
Guys, I’m not going to lie- this is the post I’ve been waiting to write. This post is my “why”- the purpose I have for wanting to start this blog. This post is the post I want to shout from every rooftop. My heart is pounding just thinking about it.
I am relying on God to give me the words to write today because I want this story to glorify him. He deserves the credit.
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
I was born and raised Catholic. I attended church, and still do, on a regular basis. I have many people in my life that taught me to pray; most of them being of the older generation. When I was younger, my family and I would often say prayers together prior to bedtime and before each meal of the day. Faith was part of me, whether I chose it or not.
But I always felt like there was more than what I was exposed to…that my faith was only in the shallow waters and I wanted to go deeper. I found myself reciting prayers on autopilot, while thinking of other things simultaneously. My heart wasn’t in it. It wasn’t until I experienced anxiety and depression, when I moved away from home for the first time, that I began to realize I needed to make a shift.
My best friend Lauren (love ya Laur!) introduced me to prayer journals when I was in high school. Simply put, it is a blank notebook where you write down the prayers you have on your heart. This was a revelation to me because a) I am so scatterbrained and writing my prayers allowed me to focus and b) each entry felt like I was writing a letter to Jesus; as if he was my friend 🙂
I held my prayer journals close to my heart during my time of anxiety and depression. If I look back, a lot of my entries were one in the same; I was in pain. However, each one is a testimony to my faith. I held onto Jesus, pouring my heart out to him, praying for deliverance. I began to listen to podcasts of sermons from Joyce Meyer and Church of the Rock. I read the bible, Christian books and dedicated time to devotionals. I was determined to find what I was looking for. The more I practiced my faith the stronger it got; just like when you workout your muscles.
Circumstantially, I was living alone at the time, and anyone who knows about anxiety and depression knows that loneliness is the fuel for making it worse. I longed so much for a partner in life… but I decided that I would choose to live my single life devoted to developing the most important relationship I would ever have: God. And I did. I am so thankful for those years!
However, my faith was tested when I became a first time mom. The familiar taste of anxiety and depression creeped up on me. I was overwhelmed and defeated. I failed. Back to the darkness I went…
However, I could tell my experience was different this time. Inside of me, a voice was demanding that I knew how to fight this; that I have the right tools to dig me out of this pit. I had to get creative, and ask for a lot of grace, because I didn’t have to the time to invest in my faith practically as I did when I was single (#babiesdontsleep). Nonetheless, I put my armour on, and I fought.
I have not arrived, but I am making progress, and I will be for the rest of my life. And I know God is guiding me every step of the way.
The purpose of this story is not to push my beliefs on you; everyone has their own journey. But rather, it is to honour and praise God for who He is. One thing I know is that He has been my rock. The darkness that I faced could only be truly overcome by the brightest light of all: HIM. He is my peace, my strength, my hope, my joy, my comfort, my armour, my stronghold, my best friend. To know God is to know love. He is the most beautiful presence I will ever know.
- Jess 🙂