The Secret to Not Feeling Alone: Go First.

I use to think if someone went to church, read their bible, and loved Jesus they didn’t struggle as much as others.

Bless it. I was so naive.

Jesus made it clear He came for the sick did He not?

You will find sin and brokenness in every soul who walks on this planet, some are just better at hiding it than others.

Why do I say this?

Because God never wants us to feel alone.

He never wants us to feel we’re the only ones struggling with a certain issue. I always say we all have issues, they just have different names.

When I finally decided to get on medication for my depression and anxiety, I discovered feeling alone and ashamed was worse than the actual depression.

It felt I was the only Believer struggling with mental illness.

I would search endlessly on the web for other Christians suffering with a chemical imbalance and there just weren’t many stories.

I desperately needed someone to put their arm around me, weep with me, and to reassure me I was not alone.

As I continued looking for stories I kept feeling the Holy Spirit whisper to me:

“Go first.”

The day I finally decided to call U of M and make my appointment to get help, I was angry with God that He wouldn’t heal me. I had said all the prayers, believed for healing, and had jumped through every spiritual hoop.

Still, the healing did not come.

In anger one day I told the Lord I would never be His poster child for depression and would never share my story.

(Just a side note, you don’t ever tell God what you are going to do and not do. It’s really just not a good idea.)

By the time I got over my pride and ego, I decided God was not asking me to be a poster child for mental illness.

He was simply asking me to share my story and offer my weaknesses and brokenness as an extension of His love and grace.

The enemy of our souls knows that when we share our stories, we become free. So his goal is to continue to whisper lies to keep us bound. I wonder if you’ve heard any of these lies:

 “Keep quiet. Stay silent. No one will ever accept the real you.”

“No one has the problems your marriage has….

“No one has kids that talk back like yours…

“If people only knew that secret thing you struggle with…

“You must not really love Jesus because you struggle with…

These were the lies I believed for years which prevented me from getting the help I needed.

I finally got the clue that no one has this thing called life figured out. We are all walking with limps and sometimes the only remedy in not feeling alone is to go first, to give away what your soul is craving.

So I asked my Heavenly Father for the courage to help me give away what I was needing.

When I shared my story of mental illness with my sisters, I had the honor to hear their stories and to hear the two words my ears had been dying to hear:

“Me too.” 

I have wept with my sisters, prayed with them, and we have shared in the glorious hope of Christ together.

If that alone is the reason God decided not to heal me, then what a gift of grace.

I know that sounds crazy, but I truly feel that way. If I can help one sister feel less alone and breathe some courage into her then Jesus have your way.

Friend, what are you feeling alone in? 

The next time God puts someone in your path you will have a decision to make: Will you give away what you are needing and trust God for it?

It may be risky.

It may feel embarrassing.

It may cost you some pride.

But, if you decide to go first I promise you will be set free.

Maybe not of your ailment or circumstance, but free to be yourself and loved just as you are. And, you and your friend will both feel a little less alone in this world.

What a beautiful gift we can give to one another.


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6 comments on “The Secret to Not Feeling Alone: Go First.

  1. What a heart lifting post that will help so very many people! You have unbound courage and only God could have given you that freedom to share the things that you share about yourself and your infirmities that we all have and are afraid to share with others. Thank you for that so much!

  2. Absolutely awesome stuff here lady!

    Took soooo many years for me to get to that place of peace in the same way with physical issues. So many, even well intended, people expected me to live within a box of what they believed I should or should not be able to do and it was pure exhaustion trying to live and grow spiritually that way. Ironically it was a physician from Cleveland Clinic who encouraged me to see this differently when I told him that others just didn’t understand unless they’ve gone through this and he responded saying, ” No, that’s where you’re wrong, nobody knows or understands your journey in this except you and God!
    Now I walk in the truth of knowing that, the heart that seeks after God does not need to seek the approval of others. And it truly amazes me everyday how God continues to bring ladies into my life that need to know this as well.

    Blessings dear sister,

    • Cheryl,

      Hello sweet sister. So good to hear from you. 🙂 I cannot imagine what you go through with your physical pain. I’m so sorry. And I know that you use your suffering to encourage other women with it. I just love your heart. Keep pressing in and trusting him dear friend. Love you! xoxo

  3. 20 years ago I shared about having an abortion [just after it became legal in 1972] with my church on Sanctity of Life Sunday. My husband [who was my boyfriend at the time] and I had mourned our baby for 25 years already by that time and decided that if our story could help just one woman, it was worth sharing. I was, as you said, set free to finally receive the forgiveness God wanted to give me all along. And yes, other women were set free to share their abortion stories with me. I will always point to that day as a testimony of God’s faithfulness to bring good from bad.
    Today I came here by way of your post on Internet Cafe Devotions, Why Change Is So Gut-Wrenchingly Hard. Hit me right where it hurts! At 65 I’ve secretly/not so secretly experienced nearly all of the issues you mentioned, including Oreos, chips, and cussing at my kids. lol! I can say this, when I avail myself of crawling up onto Jesus’ lap for recovery, He is faithful to work it in me.
    Also, thank you for “going first” and posting about your anxiety and depression. Someone close to me struggles with both of those. With not a little trepidation I will pass it to them, lay it at the throne of grace, and wait on God’s time.

    • Thank you so much Karen for stopping by and sharing your story! What a beautiful story about redemption! I love hearing how God will use our stories and redeem every bit the enemy thought he had stolen! Thank you for going first and being His vessel. Blessings to you dear sister. xoxo

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