Image used for post by: Serkan Goktay
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalm 34:18, NLT.)
We were driving home from a friend’s wedding, when I decided to come clean to my husband about how I had been feeling. As we rounded the corner of the long winding country road and turned onto the entrance ramp of the highway heading for home, I realized my opportunity was staring me in the face. “I need to talk to you,” I said rather suddenly. “For a long time I’ve been struggling with something. I think, no, I know…I’m not okay.”
The words escaped my mouth before I could even process what they even really meant to me. We should have been talking about the centerpieces (men love talking about that stuff don’t they?) and the delicious wedding cake. We should have been talking about the bride’s beautiful dress and their sweet first dance.
But we weren’t. I had brought up something I had been keeping in for months and now we had no choice but to deal with it. We spent the rest of the way home talking about the three words I’m sure I had just shocked him with. I’m not okay.
My anxiety had reared its ugly head again and had left me with feelings of hopelessness and despair. My levels of fear and worry were at an all-time high and I found myself not knowing what to do next. But there was one thing I did know. I’m not okay.
If you have dealt with anxiety or depression before, I’m sure you can relate to some similar feelings. Anxiety is so very ugly. It creates a barrier between you and others, even between you and God sometimes. The enemy’s attacks can be so strong.
I felt weak and so very broken. It’s hard to dig yourself out of a pit like that on your own. Something about anxiety and depression, often makes you suffer in silence. It’s simply much easier to hide behind fake smiles and appearances that everything is okay.
In this rather dark and hard season there is something I have learned in walking through this process of voicing my struggles.
There is a freedom that comes with saying “I’m not okay.”
Once I opened up to my husband about my struggles with anxiety, I felt so encouraged and relieved. It was as if I had been carrying around heavy weights and suddenly they were released from my grip. I shared my struggle with my mom and a few friends. It seemed easier each time I said those three hard words: I’m not okay. I realized that I didn’t have to hide anymore and I didn’t have to let this define me. Not as a woman. Not as a mother. Not as a Daughter of the King. And sweet friend, if you find yourself in a similar place today, know that you don’t have to hide anymore either.
You do not always need to be okay. The world puts so much pressure on us to always have it together and not to show our struggles, but there is such freedom in acknowledging that there is work that needs to be done in ourselves. There is beauty in taking off the mask of perfection and showing our desperate need for Jesus. That is where the freedom comes in… Jesus.
The enemy is real and he is prowling around waiting for opportunities to show us that our brokenness defines us. John 10:10 tells us. “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Satan is very good at his job. He is clever in his attempts. But he does not get to win.
Your brokenness does not define you. Your struggles do not define you.
They open you up to a deeper relationship with Christ. The Healer. The Deliverer. The Victor.
“You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great” (Psalm 18:35).
So maybe today you start the healing process and say the words, “I’m not okay.” Maybe you say them to your spouse. A friend. Your prayer partner. Or maybe, you say them to yourself for the very first time. I know it’s scary. I know it’s painful. But this isn’t anything God in His infinite grace can’t handle. This is His business. He knows all, too well, our struggles and fears. Yet He gives us an open-ended invitation to let Him do the work that only He can do in us.
It’s an invitation to freedom.
I’m not okay acknowledges our desire and need for a Savior who works in our mess and through our mess. It showcases that our strength can only be found in Jesus. In our weakest and weariest moments, freedom is found in Him. What a sweet freedom that is, friend.