"I don't really want to be here - in this body, in this place. I don't really want to be here, looking out from behind this face.”
These are the opening lyrics to a song I wrote when I was about 13. I was miserable. I was desperate. I hated being alive. And I hid those feelings from everyone.
I didn't know God then, but I'm sure I would have hidden from Him too.
Even though I know we are all broken, even though I know it is our flaws and our need that pushes us toward God, even thought I know it is my imperfections and my mess that will be a microphone for the Gospel - even though, I still hide the mess when I'm in the middle of it.
I often wait until I've already dealt with something before I talk to any of my people about it. I don't let them see the raw, aching, gut wrenching part - the part where I doubt and I wrestle - I wait until it's over.
And it's not that I leave those parts out of the story I tell, it's that I'm keeping my people out of those parts of the story. I'll tell them all about it - when it's over, when it's wrapped up a bit, when I feel like I have a handle on it - but too often I leave them out of the messy middle.
Too often I leave God out of the messy middle.
And with depression and anxiety - this can literally kill us.
When I leave God out of the messy middle, I inevitably arrive here - "I don't really want to be here - in this body, in this place."
I arrive in my familiar hidey hole, surrounded by anger and cynicism and angst, curled up in a little ball, breathing quietly, hoping no one will find me here, wishing I would turn to dust.
In the messy middle of anxiety, there are whispers. The whispers say you wouldn't be here if you REALLY knew God, or alternatively, you wouldn't be here if God is REAL.
Those whispers are lying.
I don't need to mend myself for God to be with me. He is near the broken.
I don't need to peel my own self off the floor - He saves the crushed.
I'm NOT a monument - I'm NOT a shiny, beautiful, unmoving sculpture pointing people to Him.
I'm a voice in a microphone - flawed and raw, a living, breathing, messy testament to His redemptive power.
Shame and hiding and pretending and white washing - these pave my road to more brokenness.
Honesty, vulnerability, laying it down on the altar - these pave my road to redemption, these will amplify the good news of the Gospel, these will be the microphone for my voice.
And I will lift my voice. From the messy middle, if I have to, I will lift my voice. I will tell the good news. As long as I have breath, I will speak into this microphone. I will whisper prayers for the ears who hear. I will spend myself for this worthy cause - for the glory of God, for adding to the Kingdom population, for you.