An Encouraging Note

We “mature” (see also AARP-eligible) people seem to spend much of our time bashing what we deem to be the “irresponsible, self-centered, short-sighted actions” of the  younger generation. By the way, if you haven’t watched it yet, there is a fabulous YouTube video by Micah Tyler called “You’ve Gotta love Millennials,” a must-watch for those born before 1980. 🙂 Anyway, I was reminded today of the dangers of generalizing as I witnessed one phenomenal young lady’s act of deep faith and heroism as she very publicly (facebook) confessed her personal struggles with anxiety and depression. While many of her peers complain about their woes because of the “unfair” way they perceive the world treats them, this young lady used her situation as a platform to profess her faith, thank her supporters and glorify her God. I’ll let her tell you her story:

“I have clinical depression and anxiety. I get panic attacks sometimes. In those moments, everything just kind of washes over me and I don’t want to exist; all I can do is lie there and cry and feel miserable. They’re really awful because your basic instinct as a human is to stay alive, and in that moment my brain is trying to do the exact opposite; it’s telling me I don’t want to do that and it’s really scary.

I don’t like talking about this – about what I’m struggling with people because it makes me feel weak. I’ve always felt like I was independent and strong and could do things on my own, and suddenly I can’t. Something I struggled with for a long time was I was afraid to think about getting medication because I was like, “God can fix me,” and yes He can heal me, but God also created medication for a reason. I’ve begged God to heal me of this; I’ve begged Him to take it away. Honestly, it can be really painful to think about God sometimes right now because I have asked Him to take this away; I’ve sought Him so much, but I think kind of what I’ve gotten out of it is God really does act in His own way. Maybe He’s not going to show up in a big way and suddenly cure me of these things, but He’ll show up in my life in other little ways. He’s given me people who let me just cry on their floor until 2 a.m. and comfort me and pray over me. He’s given me incredible friends who love me beyond what I ever felt like I deserved. He’s given me so much in little ways. Maybe He won’t heal me of this and maybe it’s something I’ll always struggle with, but that doesn’t mean that He’s not there; I always have to stop and remind myself that. I really want to make people feel loved and cared about and heard and understood, because I know I’ve spent so much of my life feeling like I mattered to no one: feeling like I’m not loved, feeling like I just am nothing. I don’t want anyone to ever feel like that, because it hurts so bad.”

This young lady, all of 20 years old, has only been a Christian since High School.  She grew up in a non-believing single-parent home and, besides my wife, is the first person in my wife’s family to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Please be in prayer for my very brave and courageous niece, Juliet. She is an inspiration to us all as each of us struggles with our own demons.  May we learn and be encouraged by the deep faith of this remarkable young child of God.

-Pastor Dave Jones