Sharing our Burdens

September 18, 2006 at 10:12 am (Faith, My ramblings, Testimonies)

I was stopped at work by a lady who used to be in my recovery group with me. She looked at me, hugged me and thanked me for encouraging her in her struggle with depression. I really didn’t know that I had! I inquired about what she meant and she told me that because of my openess in sharing my past addictions to drugs and alcohol and my lifetime struggle with depression, it made her realize that she too did not have to conntinue to suffer.
Hers is a pretty sad story and it amazes me that she did not turn to chemical dependency, she just held all her hurt in and it manifested itself in major depression. From what I can remember about her, she has suffered many losses, including her brother to suicide when she was in high school. The sad thing about it is that for the last 20 years, she blamed herself for his death. She relayed to me the last time she saw him alive. It was Christmas and she said that he was ruining everyone’s holiday because he was being excessively rude and nasty and she told him maybe he should leave. Shortly after, he commited suicide.
When she came to Celebrate Recovery, I remember all she did was cry. She looked so sad and she could barely talk about her brother and this was over 20 years later. In our group, I shared about my struggle with depression and constant attempts at suicide and how much my life has changed since I began to process and look at all the hurt and pain I had inside of me.
That was about a year and a half ago and when I saw her in the hallway at work last week, I was looking at a different person. The immense sadness and pain that was so easy to see in her eyes was gone. It was replaced by a look of peacefulness. She shared that she has been off all antidepressant medication for her depression for 5 months. What a miracle. Now anyone who knows me knows that I am not against meds at all. What I am against is the fact that doctors are over prescribing them to everyone, thus putting a band-aid on the symptoms and not caring for the deeper issues. I think meds are great when used appropriately but I also think and know from experience that to take something to not feel unprocessed pain and hurt is like waiting for a timebomb to explode. That’s my little rant…
The point to me sharing this story is this, when we take off our masks and admit our hurts and struggles, we find out that we are not alone! When we are open and honest and yes, vulnerable too, this is when people identify with us. When people see what Jesus can do with broken lives and messed up people like myself, it gives them hope. Hope that their life can change too.
Meeting Jesus changed my life, but merely meeting Him did not erase all the pain I was in at the time. Working through the pain and shame with Him and other people is when the healing began.
I take no credit for anything that has happened in my friend’s life. If not for Jesus, I would not have been in that group, nor would she have been there. God is always working out His perfect plan and I am proof that what the enemy meant for harm, God uses for the good of His kingdom.
When Paul was persecuting Christians, who knew that he would one day pen most of the New Testament? Who knew that when Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, he would one day be second in command of Egypt? Who knew that when Joni Earickson Tada had her diving accident and was paralyzed she would go on to found her ministry which gives hope and healing to people with disabilities? Who knew that God would take someone with a hideous past, who has broken all of his commandments, and take them out of a lifestyle of addictions and use it for His glory?
The answer, as one of my dear friend’s would say is, always Jesus…
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

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