Stepping Out Into the Sun Again.

Depression is one of those funny things in life that unless you’ve ever trudged through it, it can be very difficult to understand how it can drain the life right out of you.

It’s dark.
It’s uncomfortable.
It’s painful.
It’s numbing.
It’s consuming.

It makes stepping into the sun unbearable at times.

After all, it’s much easier to just stay in the hole that you’ve created for yourself.
It’s comfortable.
But greatness doesn’t come from being comfortable.

We are called to be more.

Brokenness exists.
In all of us and in different forms.

For me, it’s accepting the reality that my earthly parents are gone.
It’s being honest about my struggle with depression.

For you, it may be something completely different.

But beauty also exists.

For me it’s in the faces of the students in Refuge.
It’s in the faces of each person in my current cover photo on Facebook

It was in the simplicity of a Florida sunset and it’s rise the next morning.
It’s in my best friend.
It’s in my Creator.

I’ve spent most of the last almost three months hiding in the darkness.
Afraid to step back out again.
Afraid to fall.

But recently a wonderful friend reminded me that I do fall, but I always get back up.

Florida not only reminded me of the beauty in the sun, but also the Son.
He has blessed me with incredible people and an incredible story to tell.

Is every part of that story pretty and easy to tell?
Absolutely not.
There is a lot of hurt intertwined throughout my words.
But there is also a lot of beauty.

This is where faith comes in.
Trusting that no matter what happens, I will still give God the glory.

Three weeks ago, I tried to take my life on two different occasions.
I carefully wrote out a note addressing some key people in my life, saying goodbye to them.
Today, I want to carefully write to them again, but for a much different reason.
This time to say thank you.

To my intern family: I mean that last word with everything in me. Family. That’s what each and every one of you have become to me over the past two years, but more specifically the past two months. Thank you for holding me up on the days that I couldn’t stand on my own. Thank you for seeing me through this darkness and reminding me that there is still plenty of light to be felt.

To my Refuge family: You are world changers. And I’m so glad that God has chosen someone like me to be a part of your lives for such a time as this. You remind me in the simplest of ways that there is still so much beauty in this world. You have taught me how to love and how to hope.

Lizz: You are everything that a best friend should be and more. You have always walked beside me. I am so proud of the woman you have become. Thank you for loving me at my lowest and for giving me the strength to rise up again.

Murr: You have impacted my life in such a remarkable way, that at times it leaves me speechless. You have never been afraid to ask me the most difficult questions nor let me give the easy sugarcoated answers. You have challenged me to step outside of the comfort zones I’ve created for myself. You have reminded me that being honest about the dark and painful parts of life is okay. You have provided wisdom and guidance when I needed it most. You have given me the tough love that at times I’ve needed, but you’ve also let me cry when I couldn’t hold it in any longer. You are my friend and mentor and I’m so incredibly thankful that God allowed our paths to cross when they did.

There are so many of you that have brought hope and restoration to my life in recent days.
You have embodied what it means to be the hope to the hopeless and a constant reminder that people need other people.
You have held your hands against these wounds.
You have reminded me that even when it doesn’t feel like it, there is always hope.

Darkness is loud. And it demands to be heard. It can become easy to hear only that. To hear the chaos, the doubt, the lies that you aren’t worth it. But hope is always there, whispering. If you listen for it, you’ll hear it’s still, small voice in the midst of the chaos.
Hope is there.
He is there.
Whispering against the darkness that tries to consume you.

Stepping back in to the sun again can be scary.
But there is so much beauty and warmth to be found.

I pray that you are reminded that you still have warmth to feel and that you can still hear that quiet whisper of hope reminding you that it’s okay to step back out again.

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