I'm Transparent, But Not Confident

     I have always been pretty open about my struggles with my mental health. This by no means is a demonstration of confidence. I always have the trepidation of being judged or getting bad feedback from being so transparent. Ultimately, I have seen time and time again how my testimony has helped people. Every so often, I share a bit of my testimony on social media or in a sermon. Every time I do, I have at least one person contact me later saying that they have been struggling with the same thing and it was refreshing to know other people do to. The devil likes to tell you that you are all alone.

     The devil wants to isolate you and so does your mind. God made us to live in community and to encourage each other. That becomes difficult to do when we think we are the only person with depression, anxiety, bipolar, an eating disorder, etc. Being alone only exacerbates the problem. We all have a story to tell and that story has the power to unite. The thing that keeps us from sharing our story is shame. I sure did have a lot of shame with the things I have been through and the choices I have made.

     It took therapy and medication to get me to where I am today. I no longer have shame, but I still wouldn't say I am confident in sharing my story. I share my story because that is what God has called me to do. I have been through a lot of unique situations and struggles that have shaped me into the person I am today. God brought me through it. He calls me to share that story to show people there is hope of getting through the toughest of circumstances.

     I have struggled with addiction, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, depression, anxiety, bipolar, eating disorders, heart break, and so much more. I have overcome a lot in a short span of 22 years. While I could have let it beat me, I stayed resilient and my faith is in the Lord. I am a child of God, I am loved, I have worth, and I have a purpose. None of that comes from anything I can do, but because of my identity in Christ.

"We need to see ourselves the way God sees us-as victors and overcomers."
-Chuck Tate