Why You Are Amazing

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. Statistically, at least one person you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, or another mental illness. Considering the national number is estimated to be 1 in 4 adults, probably more than 1 person you know. Maybe it’s you.

I know it’s been me. I’m in a good place right now. It’s been hard work over the past couple of years, but right now I’m winning that struggle. So let me tell you some things that I’ve learned, that are true whether you are the 1 in 4 or not.

God loves you RIGHT NOW. Not the future, happier version of you. Not the future, less anxious version of you. Not the ideal you set for yourself of what you SHOULD be. He loves YOU, right now, with all of the power that spoke the universe into being and all of the might that calmed storms and all of the love that sacrificed His only Son. You are beautiful and wonderful not because of what the world says is beautiful and wonderful, but because He made you.

Think of everything that has to happen in your body for you to keep living. Think of all the systems working together just to allow you to read these words and understand them. Those things were not stamped out by some cosmic assembly line. They were intricately crafted by a master craftsman who looks at His work and says “It is good.”

If you’re anything like me, that voice in your head has already piped up: “But I’m a sinner. I’m not good. I do this wrong and this wrong and I fail in this area and I’ve messed up this relationship.” And yes, true. But none of that changes the fact that the God of the universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, sees you and loves you and made the ultimate sacrifice for you. You have not surprised Him. He is not sitting in the clouds somewhere, shaking His head at how silly and messed up you are. He loves you desperately and passionately, just as he loved Moses, the murderer, David, the adulterer, Rahab, the prostitute, Peter, the doofus, and Saul, the Pharisee. That voice that’s telling you this doesn’t apply to you? That is shame talking and it is lying.

Depression lies. Anxiety lies. Mental illness lies. They will tell you that you are worthless. That no one cares about you. That the world would be better without you in it. That you are not good enough and you will never be good enough. It is all lies.

The world will tell you that the answer is to try harder. To pull yourself up by your boot-straps. To fake it until you make it. These are also lies.

Here’s the deal:Ā admitting you’re not okay is strength, not weakness. Getting help is strength, not weakness. Taking medication is strength, not weakness. Curling up into the fetal position after work because you know that’s the only way you’ll make it to tomorrow is strength, not weakness – you made it to the next day.

If you need help, ask for it. I don’t mean to make it sound like it’s easy; it is beyond difficult sometimes. And maybe asking for help today doesn’t look like making an appointment or calling a hotline; maybe today it’s just admitting to yourself that at some point soon you are going to ask for help. That counts. Consider it a victory, and then get ready for the next baby step.

But never forget: you are not alone. Ever. You have people around you who care about you, even if you can’t see it. And even more than that, you have the all-powerful, all-seeing God who was lifted up so that we could be called sons and daughters. If you are His, you are free. Take one small step today towards living in that freedom.

If you or someone you know is struggling, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a phone number (1-800-273-TALK) and an online chat. The lifeline can also provide information for you if someone you know needs help and you need advice on how to help them.

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  • A collection of ramblings and musings on Jesus, life, education, family, and anything else that pops into my head.

    Twitter: @rachel_heather
    Email: raltsman@gmail.com
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