An Open Letter to a Friend

Dear Abby with Issues:

Your posts make me smile, sometimes even laugh out loud. I want you to know that something you do is touching the heart of someone you’ve never met (me). You are doing something meaningful and smart. I admire your sass and wit.

But you’re in a dark place. In your last blog post you described yourself as

“being stuck at the bottom of a deep, dark hole with no idea how you’re going to make your way out. There are times you can see the sun up above and feel the rays on your face, but yet you are still down in that hole, surrounded by nothing but darkness on every side.”

I’ve been in a hole of my own. The circumstances are unimportant; I can just tell you that I stood in the hole and came to a place where looking up at the sun hurt and I wanted the comfort of the darkness. I resented the ropes thrown to me. I wanted to feel nothing.

I was diagnosed and treated for depression and then anxiety most likely brought on by the anti-depressants. It kept me steady and able to live day to day, but that’s it. It took away the sadness but it also took away the ability to feel joy. I lived in a place of no feeling. My circumstances didn’t change and neither did my desire to avoid the sun.

I think I was brought to that place for a reason. There was an emptiness that nothing could fill, or to return to your analogy, no rope was the rope that would draw me out. I hit rock bottom and realized that only one could bring me what I was searching for. Only the One.

Maybe you don’t know the peace that comes from Him. Paul writes this amazing letter to the church at Philippi and it closes with this:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

I promise you – He is the rope you’re waiting for.

I grew up a Christian with an ordinary testimony – that means I didn’t have a dramatic conversion or an interesting path to a relationship with God. I just knew Him and He was part of my consciousness always. The day I heard this song by Casting Crowns “Praise You In This Storm” was the day God revealed His purpose to me. The song is a cry from someone in a storm who can’t see God, but praises Him anyway. I certainly understood. I couldn’t see God. I couldn’t feel God. I didn’t feel loved by God. The problem wasn’t God. It was me. He was there, and I was letting the storm keep us separated. I broke down and cried in my car on my way home from work. I realized that my circumstances didn’t have anything to do with God, and they couldn’t keep me from praising Him. I was finally ready to look for the sun.

Blog posting might not be the ideal way to share the gospel of Christ – literally the “good news” – but I’m living proof of the power of Christ. I wish I could have met you for coffee to encourage you instead. I hope you find the lifeline you need. I’d love to answer a question if you have it. and I’m still reading, friend.

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