It’s been a long time since we’ve spoken, and I can’t pretend that I didn’t write that with a smile on my face.
For so long I thought that I would forever live in your shadow.
For so long I came up with every conceivable coping mechanism to no avail.
For so long I resigned myself to feeling completely alone on this journey, on a path that was yours to dictate and mine to follow.
You spent so much time telling me what I could or couldn’t do, but now I have something to tell you: you were wrong, you are no longer welcome and your voice no longer has power over me.
Where your lies once loomed I now listen to someone whose words bring freedom.
When you say the future is terrifying in its uncertainty -
“The Lord is my light and my salvation -
So why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress,
protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?"
When you say I’m alone -
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”
When you say I have to face another sleepless night -
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”
When you say I’m weak -
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”
When you say everything is falling apart -
“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.”
When you say I have failed -
“Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself,
“I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”
When you desired to control and suppress, His desire was to see me set free, because His Kingship is not built on the anxiety of His people.
When you threaten, I make Him King.
I want you to know that despite your constant attempts at corruption and decay, Jesus breathed life and hope back into my heart. He stripped away your lies, He shouldered the burdens that I had taken upon myself, He commanded me to trust in Him. In His care and love I found rest. Instead of hoarding up my fears like you taught me, He’s shown me how to take a day at a time and not fear for tomorrow, because when I wake up, God will still be God.
No matter how many times I need to repeat it to myself, the truth is that Jesus does not want me to feel anxious today or any day - He wants me to know the peace, joy, calmness and serenity that He bought for me.
So, anxiety, I choose to not come to you this morning, or any morning. I’m sick of listening to your rules and foregoing my dreams, instead I choose Him first, and you have no power over that. He has a life out there for me that you were doing a good job of hiding, but that ends now.
You are most definitely not missed,
Someone you used to know once.
*This article was written by one of our team who has battled with anxiety and wanted to share how meditating on truths from the Bible has helped their mental health.
It’s creatively framed as an open letter in an attempt to ensure that it isn't seen as a definitive list of guidelines on how to overcome mental illness, but rather as an insight into how one person found strength, hope and healing in being reminded of her identity in Jesus.
Our aim is only to share someone's positive experience in the hope that it could be helpful to others. If you’d like to discuss the issues raised with a member of our team we’d love to talk.