“When we persevere beyond our natural strength and endurance, we hand the pen to God. We give God permission to write a story we can’t write ourselves.” Carey Nieuwhof from Leading Change Without Losing It.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou
Every single person you meet has a story to tell. Whether it’s a friend, family member, co-worker, grocery store clerk, doctor, hairdresser, etc. You get the picture. Over the last few years, I have come to realize how important it is for us to share our stories. We are designed to encourage, inspire and support one another. The more I have opened myself to sharing my story, the more people ask me to share. So here it is…I want to share my story, thoughts and experiences through this blog.
What is the story I want to tell? Well, in a nutshell, I am an extrovert, people-person, who loves to talk. If I can bring a smile to someone’s face, that makes my day. I was an atheist, now I am a Christ Follower who has found hope, strength, peace and love through our Heavenly Father. In my work, I am a coordinator of family services, leading volunteers and staff while making a difference to the under-resourced in our local community. And…here it is…I suffer from depression. Yep, to know me you’d never guess. So many times when people find out, they say “You?? Really??”. Yep, it can happen to anyone…even me.
In the fall of 2009, I fell into the deepest, most severe depression of my life. Thankfully, through the support of my family, friends and my new-found faith in Jesus, I was able to come out of it…alive. I wasn’t depressed. I had depression. Huge difference. Depression is a disease that happens to you, it’s not who you are. And I won’t let it define me. I am a child of God; perfectly, wonderfully made. At first, I was totally embarrassed by my “weakness” and didn’t want anyone to know. Through lots of research I now know it’s a medical condition, just like diabetes or cancer. Those of us who suffer don’t choose to have depression. I don’t claim to be an expert by any means. My hope is that God will speak to you through my words.
In the bible, one of my favourite “characters” is King David. Throughout scripture he experienced seasons of pain and suffering, but also seasons of joy and praise. God called him a “man after [his] own heart.” ( Acts 13:22). Throughout the months of my severe depression, I looked to Psalm 142 for comfort. Read it here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20142&version=MSG And I knew that
if when I made it out of my dungeon, I would thank God in public. Am I scared to share my story? You bet! But I’m finding the courage to step out of my comfort zone. And if my words can help even one person, then it’s definitely worth it!
Depression is only part of my story. I am a mom, trying to do the best I can to raise my 3 kids (age 12, 10 and 7) to be healthy, independent, strong adults. I am a “new” Christian, trying to figure out life through a new set of eyes. I am a community focused woman, wanting to empower everyone to serve their fellow man. I am a leader, endeavouring to make a positive impact and lift up others to lead. As with everyone, we have many chapters that compose our life stories..
What’s your story? Do you have something that you want to share or do, but fear is holding you back? Try and find the courage to step out of your comfort zone and go for it! I just did! 🙂