It is Well

My last post prompted a flood of concerned messages and questions from followers of my blog. I am so grateful to have people in my life who care. In that post, I felt called to share my deep dark secrets, the struggles I prefer to keep close to my chest. In this post, however, I am obliged to demonstrate that God is faithful to bring suffering to an end.

I have not won every battle with self-harm and depression; my readers know that. But by the grace of God, I am poised to win the war. I have been seeing a counselor and spending more time with God. I have been on antidepressant medication for nearly 3 years, but my mental health has progressed so much that my dosage has been cut in half.

The more I reflect on my healing, the more I see that it has had little to do with my own efforts. I had nothing to bring to Jesus but broken pieces, shards on which I continually cut myself. If I have become anything more than that, it is his doing.

The truth is that I am still a broken human being. I always will be. I may always have recurrent depression. Sometimes I still feel anxious for no reason. But I have come to a place in which, even then, I can say “it is well.”

This morning I helped lead worship at my church. The last song the congregation sang was the old hymn “It is Well With My Soul.” As I reflected on what Jesus has done for me, the words carried new meaning:

When peace like a river attendeth my way

When sorrows like sea billows roll

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say

It is well, it is well with my soul.

When I am at peace and my life, by all measures is going well, it is well. This is a gift from God. When I am alone in my apartment, distractions have left me, and I begin to feel anxious, it is well. He has assured me that looking to Him will provide me with the peace I long for. When I begin to feel depression creep back in and I’m emotionally tired from fighting it and frustrated that it won’t go away for good, it is well. Victory does not lie in having a perfect emotional state at all times. Victory lies in allowing my struggles to drive me to my knees in communion with the Lord.

Knowing Christ is meant to be our source of joy, and of peace. Because Christ has promised to never forsake me, my circumstances do not matter; still I can say it is well.

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