I spent the last two-weeks almost in a bit of a haze. Something was bothering me but no matter what I did I couldn’t shake it. I told Jeremy I don’t know of its stress, lack of sleep or even the fostering (to be fair it’s probably all of the above). I know I don’t necessarily feel overwhelmed. Or more stressed than normal. All I knew is that I feel incredibly down causing me to struggle these last few weeks. I’ve felt off.

That’s depression’s cycle for you. Me and Blue, we like to dance in this cycle.Even with this current struggle I know I’ve conquered depression because it can’t control me. It tries, boy does it try. There is nothing I would like to do at this moment than to curl in front of the tv and just veg on popcorn and ice cream and just blah out. I remember a few years ago when a feeling like this hit I would do just that. I’d become almost unresponsive. I’d not want to eat (actual food), go out, even talk to my husband. Now, I feel the need to get it out there, say it out loud so my body knows hey, you’re feeling like this and it’s ok, just remember to look up.

I can tell you during moments like these even that can be a struggle. I hear doubts in my head how I’ve not grown or healed. I’ve not learned anything these last few years. I hear how I am still broken and damaged. I hear how inept I am to beat this battle, to beat this cycle. If anyone has battled depression they can understand these emotions. It can be so tiring. But, I want to encourage you today.

This week I’ve tried to stay connected to my friends. Not just any friends. I’m blessed to have these group of women who know how to pray, who love God and their relationship with God is so important to them. I’m not saying I told them, “Hey you! So, I’m uber depressed right now because I’m a total failure so pray for me.” Not that that would be bad. They would take my hand immediately and pray. But, I know I don’t have to. I know that they lift me up in prayer, just as I do for them. Instead, I just made sure I stayed around them for the simple fact that there is strength in numbers.

The enemy likes to make you think you’re alone. You get depressed and you keep yourself away from the people who can help. I know from experience. For majority of 2014 through 2016 that was me. I dug myself in a hole because I heard I wasn’t good enough to be loved and to be happy. I stood alone, afraid to let others support me because I was an absolute idiot and didn’t think I deserved that support. Oh, dear friend, if you knew half the things I did in those two years you wouldn’t feel so alone. I’ve been where you’ve been. Literally. I know how heavy your life is. But, I want you to know, you are not alone.

Depression wants you alone. It wants you to accept every single negative thing you can possible drum up about yourself and your circumstances. Blue uses it so you can’t think straight. You lose focus. You lose yourself. The enemy snickers at you as depression wraps its claws around you planting the seeds of doubt, perplexity. The darkness cheers as you push yourself away from family and friends. It laughs watching you belittle yourself for mistakes you’ve made all the while you spiral out of reach.

During my darkest hour, when I least expected it, when I didn’t want it, when I was just doing the motions to get someone off my back, God used my pretend motions to touch my heart. To remind me that through all of my mistakes I was forgiven. To remind me that through all of my failures I was not alone. When I decided to fight the depression I realized I had some pretty amazing women around me willing to take my hand and go to God for me when I couldn’t. And as I found my own strength in Him to stand God has blessed and healed my life. All because, though I never really asked for help, I clasped on to dear life to friends who could bridge the chasm between me and God.

Listen, my dear friend, whoever you are, everyone has a chapter they don’t like to read out loud. But, oh darling, imagine if you took that chapter, opened it up to God and said, “This here is my darkest secrets. My most damaging pain. If you can use anything Lord, use this for Your glory.”

I love you, friend. And I want you to know you are not alone. There are people out there who want to help you. Find your squad and allow them to give you a shoulder to lean on. I’m praying for you. xoxo