When No One Understands Your Struggle, You Are Enough

made perfect

When something in the church world makes me angry, I have a tendency to go on a spiritual high horse.

Or at least, that is what I’m calling it. But the problem is it isn’t always as spiritual as I’d like to think.

A few weeks ago when I reposted a previous blog about depression, I had to get off the horse restrain myself. Comments and stories of being shamed, isolated and belittled came rolling into my inbox, and I was livid.

If there was ever a time when the fruit of the Spirit called self-control needed to manifest itself, it was in those moments when I heard from my readers, because I was sure some self-professed Christians needed to hear from me.

But the more I seethed, the more I realized what I really needed was some time away from social media to breathe and collect my thoughts. Most of all, I needed to let the Holy Spirit speak.

He does speak to you, you know. There in the space of quiet when the kids were outside playing in the sandbox and it wasn’t quite time for dinner, I could almost feel his embrace in a ray of sunlight, in the kids’ shadows dancing on the amber, knotted wood.

When the voices of the world become so loud it’s deafening, I need his peace the most.

And do you know what He pressed on my heart? To those who were told their depression wasn’t real: you are enough.

To others who heard it was impossible for a true follower of Jesus to be depressed: you are enough.

To my readers who are living with family members who do not understand why they can’t snap out of it and simply be happy: you are enough.

You are enough because God has made you complete through Christ Jesus. He did not pay for you with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of his only Son.

When we take up our cross and follow Jesus, we are not promised a life free of trouble, heartache or pain. No, Jesus guarantees we will face difficulty as long as we are in this world.

There is a part of us that aches for place we can’t even yet define…the eternal, the heavenly, the perfect. It is how we are designed.

Joy and celebration will come, but there will also be valleys and seasons when we have to rely on the strength of God to get us through. It is during those times when his power shines through us.

Being part of the body of Christ does not mean we are perfect. It means God’s power is being made perfect in us.

We all suffer. And the sad truth is that some of our troubles are hidden from view of others because we can’t bear another judgmental remark.

It is then that God uses women like Ann Voskamp to restore my soul when she says, “When the church isn’t for the suffering, then the church isn’t for Christ.”

It is not the well who need a doctor, friends. And while God does not desire for any of us to live in complete darkness, it is through our struggles that he does some of his most brilliant work.

Your dark can be transformed into evidence of his Light.

And that, dear body, is nothing short of magnificent.

 

*Photo credit (text added)

*Linking up with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday. Come join us and be inspired.

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28 thoughts on “When No One Understands Your Struggle, You Are Enough

  1. Feeling so encouraged today – first reading Suzie’s post about extending empathy, and then having that message confirmed here – as you share that suffering and hardship can be expected, and that He can shine most brightly through our dark seasons. I resonate with your words, “There is a part of us that aches for a place we can’t even yet define…the eternal, the heavenly, the perfect. It is how we are designed.” Oh, how I understand that longing. “There will be a day with no more tears…”
    Many blessings to you, Abby,
    Kamea

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    • Yes, Suzie’s post was such an encouragement to me too, Kamea. And I’m so thankful that there will be a day when all that pain and suffering is wiped away. Thanks for visiting today. Have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Abby,
    I, too, tend to get on my spiritual high horse when it comes to how people and the church specifically judge people with depression. I applaud you for being vulnerable in order to help erase the stigma of depression/anxiety and mental illness in general. I believe God’s heart goes out to those of us who have or do suffer from it because He knows the depths of our suffering. Amen to letting people know that even with this awful illness, in God’s eyes they are more than enough!!
    Blessings to you and love,
    Bev xx

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    • Yes Bev, it’s certainly something that’s been on my heart and I’m grateful people are speaking up so that hopefully we can erase some of the stigma that’s been created. You are such an encouragement and a blessing to me, friend. Hugs to you.

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  3. What a message of truth and hope. What a beautiful way to come alongside those who have been told, “You are not enough.” Abby, I love this. Thank you so much for being a part of #livefreeThursday.

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  4. Dear Abby…You know I crack up when I say that Friend!

    This is beautiful. Thank you for encouraging your Siblings-In-Christ today! Yes…I am enough…You are enough…We are enough!!!

    I know you are linked up all over…but today, I just wanted to come an hang out here…and I am glad that I did!

    I love this!!!

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  5. “Being part of the body of Christ does not mean we are perfect. It means God’s power is being made perfect in us.”….. just, YES! Beautiful post, Abby! We are enough because we are HIS! Blessings! #livefree

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  6. Abby, your words are beautiful and true here. I have two close friends who struggle with depression/melancholy. Sometimes I wish they’d go for counselling, see if it’s chemical, but they persist with Christ alone and are going from glory to glory. Your post makes me want to cheer. Great sticky statements here. I want to tweet them all!

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    • Betsy, I do believe that God often uses medication to heal but have also heard many adverse effects can take place for those who start medication for depression or anxiety and then later try to ween themselves off of it. It is such a personal choice, but it’s wonderful that you are supporting your friends and I’m sure that’s the best medicine they could receive during tough times.

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  7. I have a lot of mental health issues because I have bipolar disorder, but I seem to be in a real time of blessing right now and want to share that hope with others. It is possible to live a fulfilling life in Jesus even with a mental disorder complicating your life. I want to spread that message and love to see posts like this one that understand the same message. I don’t know you, but I thank you.

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    • I am so glad you have entered a time of blessing and are sharing that hope with others, Julie. God is faithful. Thank you for stopping here and God bless you.

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  8. I find myself praying often for those going through depression. “We all suffer. And the sad truth is that some of our troubles are hidden from view of others because we can’t bear another judgmental remark.”….so true and so sad! I want to stand in the gap and be the one who offers grace so we each can speak up and be helped. Thank you for always sharing!

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    • Prayer is so powerful and it’s wonderful to hear that God placed it on your heart to pray for those suffering from depression. I have seen him work miracles through those prayers. Have a great weekend.

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  9. Thank God for His grace and mercy for all of us. You know with depression, a lot of people just believe Christians should never feel depression. We have Jesus but we are still humans living in a fallen world. We will have troubles. Unfortunately, some will judge harshly. We just have to stay in prayer.

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  10. Tough to figure out who to listen to sometimes, loudest voice usually wins. If God’s voice is not the loudest perhaps we need a volume check. Thanks!

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  11. Abby, how very right you are about our need to pull away and listen for HIs Voice and drink in His words of wisdom and love. There are so many voices on social media and we must be careful to not let them drown out the words of the Lover of our Soul. When we know we are His favorite(!) nothing can move us from His side.

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