I was blessed to be a blessing and I take that seriously so, when Jonathan Jones of #NoComplainCampaign, a faith-based organization dedicated to spreading the positive in a world full of negative, asked me to share a bit of my story I was honored - and slightly terrified...LOL.
Sharing your testimony isn't something that's 100% comfortable. It shouldn't be. More often than not, sharing your experiences on the road to a better you can stir up bad memories and open wounds that have yet to fully heal, but we're called to do this. We're called to share our struggles and our tear-filled experiences because it's important for everyone to see the work God does in His people. Personally, had it not been for others opening up to me about their dark moments I don't think I would have made it through a number of days when depression was very real and very present for me.
I haven't always lived my truth, but two years ago that all changed when I went through the roughest year of my life. I was in what I like to call the trifecta struggle. Financially I was a wreck and barely making enough to survive. Emotionally I was a danger to myself. Pride wouldn't allow me to share my struggles with people who could help and, it seemed, pretending that everything was fine was the only way to really function - or so I thought. And, spiritually I'd checked out. I've always been a believer, but I've always found it hard to trust God completely. The micro-manager in me could never quite let me plant things in faith without attempting to dig them up and handle them myself later. And, after growing up with a wealth of options and opportunities, I'd never really been forced to rely on God. I'd never been in a situation dire enough to bring me to my knees.
2013 found me face-to-face with so much at one time and the weight of it all was unbearable. For years, I'd claimed to love God but I was living for myself. I wasn't thinking about my purpose or how God could work through me, I was more concerned with the things I didn't have and the situations that didn't go my way. I was a complainer. Looking back, I completely see that I wasn't grateful for the blessings I'd been given. God had to humble me severely and one-by-one, the things I'd taken for granted were all taken away from me. Literally. Home - gone. Peace of mind - gone. Comfortable income - gone. Car - gone. Just like that.
I remember so clearly one day I found myself in the darkest place I've ever been. Thoughts of ending my life were so real and so vivid that to this day it brings tears to my eyes. I prayed and asked God to just allow me go to glory if there was nothing left for me to accomplish here, but I woke up the next morning. That, for me, was a very powerful sign that I needed to make some changes. I decided that it was time to turn things around - starting with my mentality. I had a purpose here, at the time I didn't know what, but I knew that God had a plan for me and I had a chance to change my outlook.
As believers, we're made to think that struggle isn't part of this journey. Most times, struggle is more real for us than for anyone else because it sharpens us, it draws us closer to God, and it humbles us enough to realize that our blessings are a gift, not an absolute. I'm so grateful that I've gone through the things I've gone through because I honestly say I stronger and more aware of my shortcomings than ever before.
I still have significant moments of struggle and I have moments when I catch myself slipping into bad habits (*cough* complaining *cough*), but one way or another I'm reminded of 2013 and this truth:
Sometimes the clouds are low
I can hardly see the road
I ask a question, Lord
Lord, why so much pain?
But he knows what's best for me
Although my weary eyes
They can't see
So I'll just say thank you Lord
I won't complain .