He is good.

The front door shut behind me, and the warm breeze ran slowly across my face – a reminder that I wasn’t in California, that I was in Virginia. Running a minute or two late, as is so often the case for me these days, it was a rush to get out the door and on my way. I plugged the address for the church into my phone as I walked down the steps outside my friend’s house, and once in the car, I was on my way.

Once in the car, I realized that my headphone jack adapter for my phone – the tiny piece of equipment that allowed me to listen to my music in the rental car – was still inside my friend’s apartment. Not having time to turn around, I saw that the drive wasn’t all that far anyway.

It’s a large city here, I thought to myself. Finding a Christian radio station shouldn’t be that hard.

And it wasn’t. Soon enough I had the local station pulled up in the rental, and soon enough I pulled into the parking lot of what would become my church home out here in Virginia. At the time I could kind of sense the imminent change, yes, but everything was happening so quickly. So much change, SO fast. It was happening so fast that I barely had time to hang on for dear life each time the Lord took me around another hairpin curve on this roller coaster called life.

Lunch on that particular day was good. Great Mexican food, especially considering we’re in Virginia. Good company, beautiful conversation. I could tell God was up to something, but I couldn’t see much of it yet. I mean, trying to catch up on the last 20 years in 45 minutes is a little tough, especially when your move to this community – 3,000 miles away – is imminent.

I remember walking away from that lunch meeting just absolutely in awe of what God was doing. Overcome with emotion. Excited for the adventure, terrified for the adventure. Virginia… it’s just, so far… I remember thinking to myself.

But then I looked down at my left forearm.
Then I remember.

Each time I look down and am taken aback with the reminder, I take a deep breath. In those moments last September, I thought back over the last five months, and all I could think of? He’s not about to stop now.

I got back into the car, ready to drive back to my friend’s apartment where I had been staying. Ready to rest some – seeing all that God was up to, the emotion was exhausting! As I was following the GPS on my phone closely, trying not to get lost, the Christian radio came back on in the rental car. You know, because I had forgotten the adapter for my phone.

I know I heard other songs on that drive as well, but there’s one that I still remember. One that will forever be etched into my brain as part of the soundtrack for that season in life.

“You are good, good. You are good, good.”

As I heard those words and that tune, a song that’s incredibly familiar, I couldn’t help but also think of all the times I’ve heard that song over the years.

One of the first times I heard it in our worship service. A dear friend and sister was leading it, a sister who I know has seen the same darkness as myself. Someone who knows the struggle and battle in ways like my own, someone who knows the deep and intense battle it can be some days to sing those words and truly mean them…

“You are good, good. You are good, good.”

I remember telling her that day how much that song – and her being the one to lead it – meant to me, how it spoke to me and my heart.

Then I thought of the times more recently that we’ve done the song. Another dear friend (and sister, these people are my family!!) had been the one to lead it in recent months. Someone that means a lot to me, and a song that speaks to my heart in ways that few others do. Someone that, in that moment, I knew I would miss terribly should this whole Virginia thing actually happen. Someone whose words of encouragement I can still hear tonight, nearly a year later.

(Spoiler alert, I do miss her terribly – and SO many others!!)

The version of this song playing on the radio was a different one, one that I had not heard before. But I fell in love with it. In part because it was the one that happened to be playing in that sacred moment, yes. But also because it includes a part of the song that many recordings and versions do not…

“And when the night is holding onto me, You are holding on.”

I mean… I couldn’t have said it much better if I tried.

An incredible brother of the faith and someone I respect so much, he puts this idea so very eloquently.

“What I’m most deeply grateful for is that God’s love for us, approval of us, and commitment to us does not ride on our resolve but on Jesus’ resolve for us. The gospel is the good news announcing Jesus’ infallible devotion to us despite our inconsistent devotion to Him. The gospel is not a command to hang on to Jesus; it’s a promise that no matter how weak and unsuccessful our faith and efforts may be, God is always holding on to us.” – Tullian Tchvidjian

It’s not about us holding onto Him.
It’s about Him holding onto us. Even when we can’t see Him or feel Him, even when we want nothing to do with Him… He’s still holding on.

Over this last year, we’ve gotten to sing the song at my Virginia home church a number of times. And each time we do, it’s so very special… after all, if there’s one song that is the soundtrack to God’s miracle of the move out here and that whole season… this is it.

Each time we sing it, I think of all the times I sang it back home. I think of my beloved friends that I miss so much.

But most importantly, I’m reminded that we have a God who is good. Who loves us. Who never, ever lets us go… even when we let go of Him.

As I was gathering information and looking into a couple of things before writing this post, I looked at some old posts to confirm – “King of My Heart” was in the set list for my home away from home church in California THE DAY BEFORE I moved out here. As I saw that post, that photo, as those memories came flooding back, as I’m thinking about it all now… I get a little choked up. Not gonna lie. I would give ANYTHING to be able to worship alongside those people back home right now. To be at my church there, in that place where God worked so many miracles in my life.

But then I hear the words again…
“You are good, good. You are good, good.”

And I remember – God is good no matter what the circumstances in life throw our way.

He’s good in the joyful times, sure.

But He is good even when life is not. When the diagnosis comes, when the money is drastically short. When we face everyday battles with our minds and our health. When the relationships crumble and when bridges are burned. When miles separate us from people and places that mean so much…

And yes, even when COVID-19 runs rampant in our world.

Through ALL of that, and whatever else life may bring… He is good.

He’s never going to let us down, ever.
And when the night holds onto us, when it feels like that night will never end… that’s exactly when He is holding onto us so tightly. Even if we can’t feel it or see it… He’s there.

And because of that, dear friends…

He is good.

Our God is an AWESOME God.

I can still hear her voice ringing in my ears.

“Mary, I know you’re hurting. I know it’s hard. Here’s what I want you to do. Pick an attribute of God and study it. Tell me what you find.”

I can even still feel my eyes rolling into the back of my head.

Countless times these words were spoken to me, and countless times I resisted. I would refuse to take her suggestion and would instead just sit there and wallow in my own pain. I may never know how or why she refused to give up on me, but here we are – and her patience and persistence with me is just one example of many.

Now what feels like an eternity removed from those days and conversations, I get why she would give me that suggestion. She had pretty much become my mentor, and though I don’t think either of us could see it at first… God was working in amazing and beautiful ways for both of us.

But now, this eternity and 3,000 miles away… I get it. When our eyes begin to shift their focus towards God and away from our problems… somehow, they just slowly fade away. Not in an invalidating way, but in a “you know what, my God really is bigger than all of this” kind of way. And when we feel completely lost, when we are barely hanging on for dear life, choosing an attribute of God to study and focus on is a very tangible way to begin that shift in focus.

This idea of studying the attributes of God has come to mind numerous times since moving to Virginia. And each time it makes more and more sense. Each time it’s able to help in the moment a little bit more. As I said earlier… I get it now.

Right now I’d like to talk specifically about how this idea came to me on Saturday.

Here in Virginia, summer storms with powerful thunder and lightning are just… normal. They’re a part of the normal weather here. It is taking some getting used to, that’s for sure, but I think before long I’ll really come to love them. After all, what better way to see God displaying some of His incredible handiwork??

Saturday as I was out on some errands after work, we were getting a little bit of thunder and lightning. For one of the first times since moving, I was… dare I say… enjoying it, especially the thunder. I mean, walking to your car outside and hearing the loud CRAAAACK thunder in the clouds overhead? Talk about some incredible handiwork of our amazing creator God.

In that moment, hearing some thunder while outside, I thought of a song…

“Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from heaven above. With wisdom, power, and love, our God is an awesome God.”

I couldn’t get to my car fast enough to play the whole song. I’ve managed to find some pretty cool recordings, everything from the original Rich Mullins version from 1988 to a Hillsong recording, just repeating the chorus over and over again in praise and awe of our God. As I was listening to the original recording on the way home, a couple of different lines from the verses stuck out to me…

“There is thunder in His footsteps and lightning in His fists. Our God is an awesome God.”

I remember being a kid, hearing that line, and not having much context with which to pair it. In Northern California we get the occasional rare thunder crack and lightning bolt, but it’s by no means a regular occurrence like it is here. (Ask me about the ONE time recently that there was thunder in Santa Rosa at 5am, I was home lying in bed and Facebook BLEW UP!) But here in Virginia? We’re starting to have thunder and lightning so often now that in just another month or two, I’ll have so many more experiences and memories to associate with this song.

But it’s a line from the second verse that’s really prompting me to write and share another piece of my heart today.

“I hope that we have not too quickly forgotten that our God is an awesome God.”

Woah.

I heard that yesterday, and I just… wow. No words.

With everything that has happened in our world lately… from COVID-19 to a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, and everything in between… I feel like so many of us (myself VERY much included here!!) so easily forget the God that we love and serve. The God that loves us, the God that gave up His one and ONLY Son JUST so we could have a direct and intimate relationship with Him.

I can’t say why exactly this song took on so much popularity. When doing a little research prior to writing this post, I saw a quote from Rich Mullins that he always felt that this song was NOT one of the better ones he had written technically/musically. But the chorus is just so… simple. So profound.

So powerful.

I think also we are so often concerned with our words or actions when we are talking about God. He’s the creator of the universe, He is the I AM. So… we have to always speak about Him in a super proper and perfect way… right?

Not exactly.

I mean, let’s not be disrespectful. He’s God.

But when we think about “attributes of God”, any of us who have grown up in church might start a list that sounds something like this…

Powerful
Faithful
Just
Forgiving
Gracious
Omniscient
Omnipotent
Omnipresent
… and the list could go on.

Don’t get me wrong, all of those things are true. They are all incredible, beautiful things that make our God who He is. But in our pursuit of learning more about this God and building our relationship with Him, let’s not forget that He died and rose again so that our relationship with Him could be one that is so much more personal.

And so while we want to be respectful, sure, we can also be personal. Honest.

And if I’m going to be completely honest with you right now? In thinking about my life this last year and a half, in thinking about all of the ways that I continue to see God at work… not trying to over spiritualize but just to have open eyes and ears… guys, our God is pretty freaking awesome. There’s really no better way of saying it.

That eternity later, feeling like those conversations with my mentor were a lifetime ago… now I get it. Because when I start thinking about how awesome this God is, everything else doesn’t just POOF disappear, like it’s some magic wand. But by remembering how awesome He is, how big He truly is… everything else just starts to fade away. The everything else is still just as real, yes. But it pales in comparison to this God.

Let’s say it (or sing it!) again, one more time…

“I hope that we have not too quickly forgotten that our God is an awesome God.

“Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from heaven above. With wisdom, power, and love, our God is an awesome God.”

Friends, let us not forget today just how awesome this God really is. The same God that carried the Israelites out of Egypt, the same God that came to earth as an infant child, the same God who raised Jesus from the dead…

It’s the same God who lives in us and with us today.

Through COVID-19.
Through social unrest.
Through economic uncertainties.
Through any challenge, question, heartbreak…

We have the same AWESOME God who promises to be with us. Always.

This post is dedicated to a dear friend, brother in Christ, and as my mother described it back in 2010, a “church uncle”. He lost his battle to cancer in the fall of 2010, and today he is singing with Jesus. He and his wife were on both the winter retreats of my middle school years, and it was on those retreats where I first began sharing about my struggles with mental illness. Barry was always so open about the demons he had faced; I have memories of him sharing that nearly every time he was in church, he would end up crying. Having grown up with Jesus I never really understood why or how someone could have that much emotion during just a normal church service…

When I posted on Facebook last night that this blog post was on its way soon (I had just written the rough draft), I was reminded by his wife that “Awesome God” was Barry’s favorite song. It got him through the cancer treatments, we sang it at his memorial. It’s funny… Saturday as I had begun listening to the song on repeat, they were on my mind. I wasn’t sure why, because it was a different song that broke out spontaneously at the end of his memorial.

Well, now I know why he came to mind. And as I began recalling all of those memories of Barry and Jan and junior high snow trips (LET’S MOVE ANOTHER FIVE FEET, WOOHOO!!), I remembered so many things that he shared with us during those years… including how he would always cry during church.

And what I can say is this… I get it now. I get how someone could be so moved during just a “regular” service. I get how even just the mention of God and His goodness and graciousness (and AWESOMENESS!) could bring out so much emotion. Why? Because I’m now that person. I’m now the person who was just so far lost, so badly hurting, but the person on whom Jesus never gave up. The person who now knows that they are fully known AND fully loved by one amazing and awesome God.

In thinking about what life has brought me since Barry went to be with Jesus, there are so many conversations I would love to have with him now. So many things… the good, bad, difficult… so many things that I get now that I didn’t then. Unfortunately those will have to wait, because since I’m still here on earth and still alive and breathing… there is still work to be done. There is still Love to be shared.

So now, one more time to remind us all…
“Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from heaven above. With wisdom, power, and love, our God is an awesome God.”

The Father’s arms are open wide.

It’s a beautiful thing when a song you’ve known and sung for over four years just wrecks you. Comes out of nowhere, totally blindsiding you.

Just… there it is.

Staring you in the face.

I knew the song right when it first came out. Elevation Worship was newly on my radar, and it was one of their more popular tracks from their latest album (Here As In Heaven).

I listened to it.

I sung along to it in the car, at church, even at a concert later that year (2016).

But while I have a few distinct memories of singing the song, I don’t have distinct memories of singing the specific words. These lyrics. These beautiful, life giving truths.

Sitting here, summer of 2020, years later, and now even 3,000 miles away… I can tell you exactly why.

Everything that this song proclaims. Every drop of truth that it brings… it is EVERYTHING that I needed for so many years, but it’s also everything from which I was unknowingly running as fast and as far away as I could. Having grown up in church and grown up loving Jesus, I couldn’t possibly be the one who felt unforgivable to the point of suicide… could I??!!

Long story short, not only could I possibly be that person… I undoubtedly WAS that person. And I HAD been that person for so many years, I just had no idea.

I was that person even long before this song was released early in 2016.

So… I figure that’s why I don’t really remember singing any of the specific words in this song. Even though I didn’t really know it yet, my subconscious heart and mind was doing everything it could to distance itself from the brutally hard truth. I didn’t know it, but I was running.

Listening to this song, now a lifetime away in 2020, it gives me this picture of someone who is weary. Someone who can’t take another day, who can’t face another moment. They’re so tormented by their failures and shortcomings, they fear that one more moment and they’ll take a solution for that pain into their own hands and get rid of the darkness in the only way they see how.

I hear this song, and I picture God speaking words of healing directly to the heart of that person… and that alone is enough to wreck me.

But then listening to it some more, I am reminded that our God will stop at NOTHING until we are safe in His arms. Even as we run, He is chasing us. Waiting patiently for us. Loving us. Never once giving up on us. 

The specific timeline of this song and my own journey is the final piece that gets me.

Long before I could even BEGIN to see it myself… my Heavenly Father was there. With His arms open wide, waiting for me. Waiting patiently for me.

So, dear friends… just when we think nothing good could ever come from our lives again… Remember. There He is. Turning those ashes into something far more beautiful than anything we could have ever imagined.

Are you hurting and broken within
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin
Jesus is calling
Have you come to the end of yourself
Do you thirst for a drink from the well
Jesus is calling

O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today, there’s no reason to wait

Jesus is calling
Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy
From the ashes, a new life is born

Jesus is calling

Oh what a Savior Isn’t He wonderful
Sing Hallelujah, Christ is risen
Bow down before Him For He is Lord of all
Sing Hallelujah, Christ is risen

Bear your cross as you wait for the crown
Tell the world of the treasure you found

But… is it well?

There are times when a post or other piece of writing just comes. Regardless of how long from the initial idea to when I sit down to write… sometimes it just flows freely, straight from the Lord.

And then there are those times when I know what I want to write about, when I’ve been thinking about it for days… and yet I still have to spend time planning, preparing, researching. Finding the right scripture. Praying over the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, in these circumstances the words are just as much from the Holy Spirit – but they just don’t come as easily.

This is one of those times.

It’s been on my heart and my mind to write again for some time now. Not only is it a way that can help me grow and process and heal, I know it’s an avenue through which the Lord uses me to speak to others. The state of our world right now with the coronavirus is one that needs Jesus, and we need Him more than ever.

Over the weekend I discovered a new worship song, and I haven’t been able to get enough of it. It incorporates the chorus of the famous hymn “It Is Well”, and it does so through the theme of reminding us that God is still in control, no matter what.

Control – and the little of it that we as humans have right now – is a buzzword for sure. But not just in society and the world around me… it’s a buzzword in my own life. See, since moving to Virginia, I’ve been realizing that while I have grown and healed in some pretty incredible ways that can only point to Jesus… one of my, umm, unhealthy coping mechanisms of choice… one of them still likes to try and get at me. It likes to try and rent space in my head. I haven’t been able to shake it completely, and it has been the source of so much frustration.

That coping skill would be an unhealthy relationship with food.
That coping skill is an eating disorder.

Why do I share so openly, why do I name it… well, a few weeks back, sitting in therapy, I realized that the shame that surfaced a year ago… that same shame is wrapped up in this eating disorder. That shame is what’s keeping it around. And what’s the quickest way to start dispelling shame? To start shining the light in the darkest places, all in the name of Jesus.

This post isn’t to sit and talk about the eating disorder for days and days, but it is relevant to the overall theme I’d like to share today. Eating disorders are incredibly complex struggles, but one of the most common triggers, one of the most common needs that needs to somehow get met, one of the most common below the surface aspects to the whole thing…

… control.
An eating disorder, more often than not, is at least in part about needing a sense of control in one’s life.

So when I heard this beautiful worship song last weekend, and when not only it incorporated such a beautiful hymn but it did so by way of a theme that could not be more relevant in my life… well, one could likely understand why it has become such a favorite already.

But this theme of control. As I’ve wrestled with it in preparation to write, I wanted to find a scripture passage that could help convey my heart in all of this – a heart that ultimately wants to line up with His heart. I find it so ironic that the passage I decide on speaks so specifically to some of the themes and practices I share when talking about how I’m able to hold such peace and joy during this season… but then again, that’s just like God, isn’t it?

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:18-28 ESV

Some, if not all, of these words likely sound familiar. Romans 8 is one of the more famous chapters in the entire bible, and rightly so – it not only speaks to so many fundamental themes within the Christian faith, it also provides some pretty incredible promises that we can cling to throughout our lives here on earth.

I think it’s safe to say that these particular verses are incredibly relevant today. I mean, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the chaos that is all around us today. More unknowns than the world has ever faced. And yet… if we as Christians really stop to think about it, this life is temporary. There is suffering in front of us, yes. But our God promises us His glory, face to face, at the end of it all. As it says elsewhere in this chapter, if God is for us, who can be against us? He loves us so completely, so passionately… His love and God Himself is all we ever could need.

When I go back and read this passage in its entirety, I am reminded that in times of trial, in times of hardship, in times that just feel so out of control… the best thing we can do is turn our focus to Jesus.

Not to try and STOP being anxious.
Not trying to push away the fear and anger and questions.
But instead turn TO Jesus.

Whether it’s worship (music), reading scripture, remembering all that God has done for us… the best thing we can do in this season is to run TO Jesus. 

See, when we try and run FROM all those negative things… well, more often than not, we’re trying to run with our own power. And you and I both know that as long as we are the ones trying to move mountains… those mountains will never move.

I cannot tell you how many times, especially in this last year, that in moments of hardship or pain or anger I have said – you know what, these negative emotions and thoughts, they are what they are. But I’m going to turn my focus TO Jesus, to Him and nothing else.

And it’s amazing… when we stop trying so hard to NOT worry, when we just run to the foot of the cross? It’s amazing how the worry just… disappears. When we stop being worried about our worry, when we stop feeling like horrible Christians because we’re angry or because we don’t know where the money is coming from to pay the rent in April and May… when we let those things be what they are and say “Jesus, I need you”… it’s amazing what happens.

Joy happens.
Peace happens.
Jesus happens.

The song I mentioned is “Still in Control” by Mack Brock. The first verse is as follows…

“How can I say it is well when my voice can barely speak?
How can I sing You a song in the midst of suffering?
Jesus, will You meet me here? Let Your peace wash over me
I need You now more than ever, teach my soul to sing”

The words acknowledge that we cannot make the suffering go away. We cannot make the natural human emotions as a result of that suffering go away.

But… we can ask Jesus to come. We can tell Him just how much we need Him. And the moment that we do just that, He will be there.

As I share all of this, please know that I am still learning more and more every day how to live under this understanding. It has taken me years of hard work, therapy, seeking the Lord… it has taken me a lot to get here. I was talking with someone recently and they remarked how I have all of this great knowledge of myself and the world around me, how I’ve managed to learn everything at such a young age. I replied and reminded them that for seven years after high school, yes I worked for most of that time, but really… this path of healing and learning and growing was really my full time job. God works a different timeline for each of us, and for some reason that only He can know, He has allowed me the time and space to have the knowledge that I do today.

That’s why in this season, with all of this chaos and uncertainty, I truly feel He has prepared me for just such a time. And not only that, but with as clear as He made it for me to move to Virginia last October? I firmly believe that He has me here in Virginia very specifically during this season. He has prepared me and brought me here to be a light, His light, filled with a peace and with a joy that can only come from knowing Him.

If someone, even the most “religious” or “devout Christian”, in the middle of all of this COVID-19 stuff did NOT have any worries or questions or fears? I would wonder if they’re okay. No, really. These are circumstances that are so very trying for the human condition. We naturally want to have control of as many things as possible in our lives, and right now… right now that can’t really happen. Like, at all.

So my prayer for you, dear friends?
That you would know just how okay it is to be human right now.
That you would know how much you are not alone as a Christian in being human right now.
And that, more than anything else, you would know just how much there is a seat for you at His heavenly table.

He loves us.
He loves you.
He even loves me.

I say we let that Love be bigger than all of the fear that COVID-19 could ever cause.

That Love… it already is bigger.

That Love is waiting for you.
And His name is Jesus.

somehow, He keeps making a way.

It’s been a week now since the PTSD first appeared at work, and nearly a week since I reacted in any significant way. The ten hour shift on Sunday came and went, and I felt… dare I say it, relatively unscathed.

I’m walking to my car, having a conversation with my co worker. The co worker who has expressed to me that he’s against religion because of all the hypocrisy in the church, the co worker with whom I’ve had some tension, but the co worker who just now wanted me to wait for him so that he would have company walking to his car at 1am.

I’m just about there… and then I hear it.
LOUD.
… a train.
The horn.
It’s really, really loud.

The walk to my car is maybe halfway over when I first hear it. As soon as it sounds, I’m not immediately triggered – I’m just pissed. Really, really pissed.

Why did it have to come? Why did I have to hear it now, as I’ve almost made it through the night unscathed?

I hear it again.
The anger in me rises.
I can’t handle it.
I just can’t.

I continue the conversation like nothing is wrong. I don’t say anything about it to him. In all honesty, it’s probably a good thing I was with someone when I heard it.

The long, cold walk is over, and I get into my car. I sit for a bit… reflecting. Stewing.

As I said, I’m angry.
This whole thing has left me incredibly angry.
Why does my safe place, my workplace, the place that brings me such JOY… why does it have to go and get spoiled simply because the train nearby is making noise?

The phrase repeats itself in my head, the phrase that’s been swirling around since this all began last week…

“That is who You are.”

Okay God, but this is just so… so stupi-

“That is who You are.”

It’s just so frustrating, nearly everything that formerly was a suicide trigger now triggers a very real trauma response. Textbook PTSD.

“My God… that is who You are.”

Fast forward nearly another week. Preparing for my work week, I’m grateful to be feeling… normal again. I haven’t felt this much like myself, this depression free in weeks.

But as my last night before I work again draws to a close… the anxiety sets in again. Perhaps because I’m thinking about it, reaching out and asking people to pray. Is this all in my head? Am I making it worse than it needs to be?

“That is who You are.”

I can’t get over that phrase. I don’t know why, but it just will not leave my brain.

So I ask myself… who is God?

  • Way maker – when there is no way, He does it anyway. He makes the impossible… possible. 2019 was my impossible, and yet it happened.
  • Miracle worker – after what God did a year ago, I firmly and fervently believe that He is still very much in the business of miracles, they just might look different than when He walked this earth.
  • Promise keeper – what He says, He will do. It’s as simple as that. I could look at just a small portion of my life and I would be able to tell you so many ways in which He has kept His promises.
  • Light in the darkness – even in the darkest of rooms, the darkest of nights… the flashlight or candle that, during the day, seemed incredibly dim? Suddenly that light is brighter than anything I’ve ever seen. He is the light that wants to shine in on our darknesses.

As I write, thinking to myself about how all of those names and titles for God apply in my own life… am I still anxious for work? 

Yes.
I don’t want to hear that train.
I really, really don’t want to hear that train.
I don’t want to get triggered.
I want to just… get over this.
I want to enjoy my job, I want to continue finding great joy in it.

That joy… the joy that, a year ago, I feared would never come.

So my heart still beats a little faster when I think about work tomorrow, yes.

“That is who You are…”

It slows again.
So does my breathing.

“You are here…
Touching every heart.
Healing every heart.
Turning lives around.
Mending every heart.”

God doesn’t promise that I won’t hear the train tomorrow.
He doesn’t promise that I won’t react, that the trauma response won’t come.

I will carry Immanuel with me to work tomorrow.
And I will be okay.

Because my God?
That’s who He is.