Location: NE Schuyler and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Peter and I have been driving by this Rise Up mural for months and every time we pass it I can’t stop admiring this artist’s work. This mural inspires greatness. The color, the shapes, the message. I love it!
What does it mean to me to “rise up”?
To me, to rise up means to show up. To love others. To be present. Giving your best. Be brave. …no matter what peril or hurdle is in your way.
I’ve been hiding behind the publish post button for awhile on this blog post. Would I ever feel ready to share how I’ve been? What would others think if they found out what I’ve been dealing with? Would I ever feel ready to be real and let others in to the hell of emotions I’ve been feeling? Don’t worry, I’ve let others in, but that’s only a few people that I’m close to.
People love to post all of the “pretty stuff” on the internet, myself included. It’s time that we are real with each other. So, today I’m pressing go and opening up a bit.
Did you know on average 1 in 6 deal with depression? But yet, it’s never talked about.
We all have our own behind the scenes. Some people have life-threatening struggles. Others have emotional or physical struggles. For me, moving to Portland has been quite the adjustment. Through this process, I have shamed myself into thinking that my issues were foolish, selfish, all in my head. I understand that my struggles are not comparable to dying of cancer or starvation.
I understand that I’m extremely blessed and that everything that I call mine is most certainly God’s and I am just a steward of it for the time being. That doesn’t mean that the emotions that were involved with uprooting my husband and I’s life were not a struggle, though. We pulled up our stakes in Corvallis and jumped on board for an adventure that was sure to be riddled with everything from spiritual attacks, physical attacks (surgery + illness), and emotional attacks. We moved to be a part of a church plant here in Portland and as with anything that is purposing to bring forth God’s Kingdom in a bigger way–adversity is bound to be present.
So why this back story that many of you have possibly already read?
- My “online” life might consist of fun pictures, but some days are hell: you are not alone if you also have days where the last thing you want to do is smile.
- Stepping out in faith will hurt. We’re called to live like Jesus–and when was his life easy?
- We are all able to rise up.
To rise up takes strength, courage, gusto. During the past years, since about mid-way through college, I have struggled with depression. Through the course of my journey, I have had people shame me into thinking that I just wasn’t a good enough Christian if I was depressed. Internalizing this I have avoided talking about my struggles, keeping everything in. Where I am from that is what you do. In the Midwest, there is a culture of never showing your backstage–only pristine performances. I put on a show for years especially for those I was closest to.
With many months of talking to a counselor and then my doctor I finally filled a script for some medicine to help balance out the chemicals that have caused me to have “low” feelings and to feel depressed. I don’t have a medical degree but I think what was made clear to me was how my depression was not something I was inflicting upon myself. Sure, there I can always be a better Christian. I can trust God more. I have more growth in my faith to pursue. But, it’s okay to get help if you’re feeling low. It’s okay to take a pill to help balance your mood. It is okay to get help. It is okay to not have a “perfect life”. You are no less a Christian, a child, a spouse, a friend, a person if you take a pill that helps you not feel low.
Rising up sometimes looks like accepting help and not doing things all on your own anymore.
It’s been over a month since I began the medicine. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions. The highs are great and the lows, well they suck. When I experience lows (which isn’t often, thankfully), woah they are low. But, I know that God is with me every step of the way.
As a whole, I wake up happier. I feel joy again. I haven’t been having panic attacks. Ah, I finally feel like myself again!
Eating healthy, exercise, spending time in the stillness, fully quiet with God sure helps me continue to win this battle.
I firmly believe that God can and will bring healing. Until then, I’m going to keep pressing on and rising up.