“…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~John 8:32, ESV
The last few days I’ve hit rock bottom. When my friend, Natalie, suggested the reason I’m so tired lately was due to feeling depressed, I knew that was it. I hadn’t allowed myself to even go there. I’ve tried for 3 months to be strong, tough, see the bright side, have hope, peace, and contentment, but in truth right now this situation is kicking my butt.
So, instead of kicking myself and pulling myself back up, I just let me be for a few days. I let myself feel frustrated and depressed and tired. I let the house go and did only what was absolutely necessary for a few days.
Sure the dishes stacked up, I didn’t do much grocery shopping, the boys wore no pants, and when Jeremy got home Friday, I had a slightly crazed look in my eyes. But I gave myself permission to fall apart for a few days. A few days to just be and feel all the emotions tearing me up inside. And you know what, though I still feel tired, I also feel better.
I feel better having admitted to myself and God and my family that this situation, especially the indefiniteness of it, stinks! It’s hard. No, it is not as hard as some I know about, but it’s hard for me and for my family.
Allowing myself to feel and to stop stuffing all my emotions down a hole is really helping me begin to move forward. As Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the trust shall set you free.” For me the last few days, this truth has applied to my feelings. Denying the truth only made things worse. Acknowledging the truth gave me a clear picture of where I am, so I can begin to move on.
Another thing I was doing was beating myself up with thoughts like, “There are millions of people on planet Earth who would be thrilled to be in your shoes! Why are you so upset, you spoiled American?!” This train of thought was so not helpful. Is it true? Maybe. Helpful? No. It only make me feel worse for feeling bad in the first place, and then it blocked me even more from allowing myself to feel and be truthful about my feelings.
So I did it. I faced the reality of how I was feeling, gave myself permission to feel, and now I’m going to be good to myself. I’m going to take the boys outside and to parks more often, and let more sunshine in the apartment, even though the electric bill may rise a bit. I’m going to schedule more dates with Jeremy and my girlfriends, and find a book I love to read and give myself permission to read it. I’m going to cook my favorite meals, and take more baths after the boys are in bed. I’m going to do lots of little things that feed my spirit, so I can begin to get back up again and find joy right here where I am, and so I can be the mother, wife, and friend those around me need.
I need to focus on finding something each day no matter how insignificant it may seem and feed my spirit. It can’t run without nourishment any more than my body can. And without nourishment in either area, I’ll eventually end up flat on my back like I have been the past few days.
So here’s to facing the truth about where you’re at, giving yourself permission to not feel bad about feeling bad, and to finding the little things each day that feed you.
For further thought on this topic, here are some verses and reflection questions:
– Mark all the times in this reading that Jesus uses the words “true” or “truth”
-What observations can you make from Jesus’ use of these words?
-Who is he speaking to here?
-What lies of Satan are you choosing to believe right now?
-What truths of Jesus can you use to combat them? Note the specific verses and read them when Satan speaks his lies to you
-How is the writer truthful about his feelings here? What specific phrases speak to you?
-Are there any truths you’re hiding from right now? How can you be truthful about them with yourself, God, and your family?
I just heard this song by The Afters, You Lift Me Up, and it really goes along with this post: