The One Where I Come Clean…

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If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that I’m very much a proponent of authenticity.  I believe being real is the way to encourage one another, and share hope.  But, in many ways I’ve been a fraud.  The very title of my blog is a lie.

Serving Joyfully.

It’s my desire, but not my truth.

Because the truth is, I suffer from an invisible illness.  I’ve made reference to it a few times, but mostly it’s a topic I’ve shied away from.  Because I don’t know what to say.  I don’t know how to put words to paper.

So I waited.

I waited for my healing.  Waited for the time when I could talk about this thing called depression from the other side—the victory side.  Life is so much sweeter on the other side, and that’s what I wanted to share.  Not the darkness.  Because it’s hard.  It’s uncertain.  There are days when I forget that there is any other place besides here, in the senseless sadness.

So I waited.

This illness is so misunderstood, with harsh judgments.  There are misconceptions and so much shame.  I internalized the idea that this sickness is a sin that must be repented, overcome and in the past before I could bring it into the light. But it isn’t.  Depression is not a sin, because it’s not a choice:  it’s an illness.

So, I waited.

I waited for the other side.  I didn’t want to share from this side.  The defeated side. The one swallowed in darkness.

But it’s where I am.

So here’s the truth:  I suffer from depression, anxiety, which have led to an eating disorder.  In many ways, I feel that depression is an attack of Satan, just as could be argued for any sickness.  Jesus said the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and that’s what depression does.

It takes every ounce of my energy every day not to let this illness win.  And sometimes I still feel like I’m losing.

You may remember that I don’t have health insurance.  For this reason, treatment hasn’t been an option for me. But even if it were, I’ve watched my dad struggle with depression my entire life, despite treatment.  There is no cure all, until God fulfills the promise He spoke into my life for healing.

I don’t know why depression has to be a part of my story, but I want to use it to His glory.  So, I’ve been waiting, praying for God to show me how and when to share.  Tonight, I sat down to write up a recipe, but this is what came pouring out.  I pray that you will look past the misconceptions, past everything you’ve ever heard or believed about depression (that it isn’t real, that it’s a sin, that it’s a sign of weakness, that it’s selfishness, that it’s just an excuse), and see the heart.  Not just for me, but for thousands of other people who are suffering from a very real illness.

I strongly prefer natural remedies, so if you have any info on non-medicinal remedies for depression, I would love for you to share!

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