I had an incredibly rough night. In fact, every night has been like that lately. I cried so hard I truly feared I would vomit. There is no way to actually explain in words the difficulty of what I’m facing, day in and day out; I’ve tried to explain it, but usually words just fail me and I end up getting odd and confused looks. Right now my life is full of the chaos of “getting through.” I get so tired of that phrase. That is truly my main goal for every day and it’s tiring. Every night this week I have expressed my belief that I would not make it through until morning. And each night I do, but it takes that much more of my strength with it and leaves me feeling worse than before. Sleep would help tremendously, but I haven’t been able to get much of that. I don’t feel like myself at all.
Upon waking I checked my messages and found one from a dear sweet friend saying, “I hope you have a fantastic day.” I smiled, but mentally my first response was, “That’s sweet, but I don’t have fantastic days.” And I began to go on a little rant in my mind.
I don’t have fantastic days. My days are full to the brim with making it by and I don’t have room for fantastic. A better encouragement for the day would be, “I hope you make it out alive.” At least that’s how I feel about it. Fantastic just isn’t a part of my life right now; not when my morning routine leaves me exhausted enough to take a nap. Fantastic sounds great, but I just can’t do it.
I began to realize that perhaps my days truly were filled with the fantastic and I just didn’t recognize it as such. Lost in the pain and the tears, the hours that crawl by and the weakness that ensues, there is truly something fantastic happening. Not apart from all of that, but because of all that.
In my mind, fantastic meant that I got out, did something fun, had a great time, laughed until my side ached, got something I really wanted, or something along those lines. I was thinking a short lived kind of fantastic, not realizing that God is daily working the kind of fantastic that lasts.
Fantastic Strength –
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” -Isaiah 40:29
It’s a fantastic thing that I’ve made it this far. It truly is. Unbelievable and amazing. I can’t even believe it when I think about the hardship that these past three years have brought me. And people think I’m so strong. People say I’m so amazing. But I’ve given up on this thing so many times. I’ve spent the night in a psych ward due to suicidal depression. And yes, I’m still here, but I’m not really even sure how, except by God’s strength and grace.
You see even the strength within my own self, the stubbornness that keeps me pushing forward in this, is from Him. He is the one who put that in me from the start and He is the one who has strengthened me throughout my entire life. I honestly have not yet felt some amazing flow of supernatural strength flow through me to get me through, instead it feels as though all this strength has flown from within me and at the price of my own energy. The way I know that it’s God’s is that somehow it still comes even when I know I don’t have an ounce of strength left. I know it’s from Him because the only way I make it through each evening of teary oceans is through crying out to Him. I know it’s from Him because He puts it on the hearts of others to pray for, love on, and encourage me, and that gives me strength.
Fantastic Love –
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” -1 Thessalonians 5:11
The first year of my illness it truly felt as though I was forgotten by my friends. I don’t believe they intended for that to happen, but when I’m stuck at home it’s kind of an out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing. I don’t regret that time. It drew me closer to God and put my dependance fully on Him. Not only that, but when friendships started blooming and encouragement started flowing, it gave me such a deep appreciation for every bit of it.
As Beth mentioned in her post, Delight is a truly amazing ministry full of girls with genuine love for God and for others and I have been blessed to be a recipient of that love. To begin, I have been flooded with cards, letters, texts, phone calls, snapchats, and Facebook messages from these girls. My mirror and dresser are piled high with all of those cards and letters, over twenty in number. And then as I sat down to write this post this morning the doorbell rang announcing a special delivery.
I cannot say that in the midst of this great pain I am not blessed immensely. On top of this love from the Delight girls I have an incredible support system at home and in family and other friends. I could not face this battle without my parents. If not for them I would not have made it this far. I have made it this far because God has given me people like them. People like my boyfriend, who calls me in my nights of insomnia and reads the Psalms to me to help me fall asleep. People who refuse to give up on me, even when I give up on life.
I’m honestly writing this from a numb heart. The love, the cards, the thoughts, the words. They’re all just kind of there. Sometimes they even frustrate me, because they don’t make the pain go away. They don’t take away the nights of tears and the battle that I’m still daily fighting. But they give me strength to endure it, encouragement to keep fighting, a push to keep seeking the blessings. I know that if God has orchestrated such encouragement, such prayer, and such love into my life then He must be doing something. He must be working somewhere. This must be something big. He is taking every hard, painful, mundane, impossible day and working in it. Working something fantastic.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” -Philippians 1:6
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” -Psalm 43:5