Yesterday I woke up feeling empty, as if there was a hole in my chest the size of a crater. I felt sad and honestly I didn't know why. But I should have.
Today (Feb. 17) is my late father's birthday. Before today, I can't remember the last time I cried on his birthday, but somehow the pain of losing him felt fresh as ever - like a wound that never healed. Except that it has.
When I lost my dad I was 14 years old and was not a follower of Jesus Christ. His death sent me into a depression - a battle that lasted 10 years. At my worst, I was a shell of a person. Anxiety attacks and insomnia were my normal. Some days were considered successful simply if I could get out if bed and take a shower, or if I desired to eat before 6:00 pm.
Heartbreak and especially depression can have debilitating effects on a person's physical, spiritual, and mental health. The amount of pain we are capable of feeling is immense. It can feel as though it could kill us if we give up.
But it's not bigger or deeper or more powerful than God's power and love.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:4-5
If you've gone through something tragic that has left you in excruciating pain, please remember this - You are not forsaken and you do not have to be without hope.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. - Psalm 34:17-20
I don't say this because I've read it (though it is found multiple times in scripture). I'm telling you this because I've experienced this. God can heal the deepest wounds and make your shattered heart whole again. He is gentle and patient, not condemning you when you can't muster enough strength to get out of bed. He is not numb to your hurt, blind to your situation, or indifferent to your tears. He made you. He loves you. He desires to heal you through his redeeming love.
Life is going to happen and at times it will devastate you, but it doesn't have to destroy you. When I was depressed I tried to handle it on my own. The more I tried to hold the pieces of my life together the more they crumbled in my hands. But when I stopped trying to control my life and gave it back to God - He held it and me together by His grace. It took me surrendering my everything to Him and walking with him through the process; reading scriptures and repeating them until I believed it to be true. It took prayer and patience. There were so many times when I felt as if I shouldn't be struggling with this, but I had to take it one day at time, and crawl with God when I couldn't walk. And when I couldn't crawl I let him carry me until I could stand.
If you are where I've been, then I pray this gives you hope. Yes, today I am sad, but I am not in despair. I am not without hope. There is a rock that keeps my feet from slipping when the ground gives way beneath me and his name is Jesus Christ. I am healed. And in Jesus name so are you. Walk in that truth.