As I sit here before the sun has come up for the fifth day in a row, I’m at a loss for words. I have written and rewritten this so many times trying to find the right thing to say, so this morning I’m going to try let God do the talking.
I woke up at 2:00 am earlier this week and was unable to sleep. I started scrolling through notifications and emails and one caught my eye. There was a comment on something I had written from a girl pleading for an update because she was dealing with the same situation. She was confused, hurt, and I could feel her hopelessness as I read her words. It completely broke my heart. So, this is for her. This is the update I feel compelled to share.
Last December, things were bad. I tried to blame it on seasonal depression and just move on, but in my mind I knew that I had really just lost hope. I was having suicidal thoughts, I felt completely alone, and I was driving away the only real friends I had. Since then I finally gathered up the courage and got help. Well, actually my mother got me help.
Since December, I had quit my job, started a tutoring course for my big education exam, and I had really made big plans for myself. I was going to pass my test, substitute teach until the end of the year, student teach in the fall, and have a job by the next year. Everything was falling into place….except it wasn’t.
After months of studying, I failed my test. That same week I had a man threatening me on Facebook and I was actually worried about being attacked. I wasn’t sleeping, my doors were deadbolted, and my parents were ready to come to my rescue if needed.
Then, my best friend dumped on me that I was too much for him. I was too sad, too overwhelming, too dramatic. He said we needed time apart. I was devastated. So devastated actually, that I couldn’t get out of bed one day. I woke up at 5:00 am and stayed in my bed until noon crying and pleading with God to fix everything.
Why was it all crumbling down at the same time? What had I done to deserve this? What was my future supposed to look like now?
My mother found me crying in my bed. That was the day I consider my breaking point. I’m a proud person, but I had finally reached my limit. Since then I started therapy.
Do you know what I have realized since starting therapy? There is absolutely NO shame in talking out your problems with a professional. While my friends had been there as much as they could for me, sometimes you need a professional to ask you the tough questions.
What makes you happy? Where do you want your life to go? How do you feel about your current situation? How are you going to change it?
It was amazing to me how little thought I had put into everything. I quit my job, uprooted my life, and just expected everything to go as planned. I hadn’t prayed, I hadn’t asked God His opinion…I just jumped.
I have since realized that God had bigger plans for me.
I failed my test again, but I wasn’t even sad about it. That same week I received word that I had been accepted into the Miss Indiana USA pageant this fall. It’s my final year I am able to compete and if I had passed my test and done my student teaching I wouldn’t have been able to participate. I have small jobs set up until then which is giving me the freedom to prepare myself as much as I can for the competition. I had basically given up on the idea of competing and was convinced that I wasn’t good enough or pretty or smart enough. Instead of jumping, I let God give me a push.
I’ve decided to pray before taking anymore plunges. I have the next six months to prepare my mind and body for the pageant, my health and my heart for whatever direction my professional life goes in, and my soul for any work for God’s heavenly kingdom. Six whole months. I consider myself lucky to have this time to do some soul-searching and to get my life in order. I am nowhere close to where I need to be, but I am trying every single day to find direction and purpose.
As far as my best friend goes, you know that saying, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder?” Yeah, it’s true. Do I still love him? Yes. Is he in love with me? No. Are we happy anyway? You bet.
He gave me the wakeup call I needed. I was dumping all my sadness and trials on him and never sharing with him my excitement or happiness. That’s a horrible way to be a friend. I’m embarrassed that I even let it go so far. But now I feel real joy and real hope every day and I am able to share those feelings with him. It has made out friendship stronger and I’m so thankful for him every day.
Through everything with him, I was reminded not to be like that with anyone….even God.
“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear…”
True, He is ever-ready to listen when we go through struggles and trials, but what about our joy? What about those happy, perfect days? I’ve been abusing my relationship with God as much as I did with my best friend. Within these next six months I’m going to make a strong effort to show God my appreciation for everything He has done, even when I don’t understand it.
So for the girl who needed an update: I am better than I was, but I’m not the best I can be. God is working on my heart and bringing me up from the hole I dug myself into. If I can relearn to have hope in Christ, you can too. We are stronger and better than the trials this world has thrown at us.