All the Heavy Stuff + How we Find the Light

Totally vibing this song and album by Josh Garrels for #musicmonday. All kinds of feels and reflection to start the week. On point πŸ‘Œ.

There has been a lot of talk about anxiety, depression, drugs + suicide after the events of the past week. My family has personally been affected by such a loss and it has forever changed me. This is heavy stuff. And it's reality. The reality that life weighs so heavy upon us in this world. That sometimes we feel like we are suffocating. Alone. Overwhelmed. Searching. Wanting more. Trying to escape. To fulfill. And yet we are still left feeling empty.

That used to be me. I was beyond a perfectionist. A so-called "goody-goody". I felt like I had to put on a show to the world. I tried desperately to fit in the box of expectations established by society. And yet I was so lost. Quiet. Fearful. I was searching for answers in all the wrong places. It wasn't until I surrendered,  opened my heart to Jesus,  followed Him with intentional obedience,  embraced the love He had for me,  accepted the forgiveness He extended to me,  laid down my life as He laid down His,  and returned the paintbrush to His creative hands that everything clicked. I felt peace. I was given a voice. I stood with confidence. I was unrattled. I appreciated and loved life in all its forms. I became whole. And I could finally feel joy and see beauty even in the midst of pain. I was set free.

If you feel the depths of despair right now,  know that you are never alone. Never forgotten. Never abandoned. You are so, so loved. With every breath of life in your lungs, you are meant to be here. You matter. You have a great purpose. Please,  please don't give up on yourself.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , β€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord , β€œand will bring you back from captivity.” (Jeremiah 29:11‭-‬14)

Just like the song sings,  farther along, we'll know all about it. Farther along,  we'll understand. So in the meantime, please get connected. Speak up. Share your story. Let your gifts surface. Accept love + help. Open your heart,  get on your knees,  and pour yourself out to God. Know that He captures every single one of your tears. He hurts when you hurt. He wants to carry you. He has already fought your battles and won for you. And He rejoices over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17) no matter how many times you fall. Fix your eyes vertically on Him and He will direct your path.

Know that there are people that care. Know that I am one. Never hesitate to reach out. Friends,  we cannot lose sight that we are His church. We are His hands + feet. We are here to serve others and extend compassion. To love. The answer is always to love...and that love IS God. That is how we find light and beauty in the rubble. Let us never forget.