The pastor of my church called me onto stage this morning and gave me a hundred dollars in cash. He actually gave me $111 dollars and asked for $11 dollars back, as an illustration of how we should tithe and trust the Lord with all of our finances. Walking off stage, my hand was sweating and heart pulsing through my clenched fist holding the cash. As I took my seat, I quickly placed the money on my friend’s lap sitting next to me. I kept wondering what the congregation must have thought of the pastor inviting a well dressed, mid-30s white woman onto the stage out of all of the people he must have known in the congregation who could ‘really’ use that money to put food on the table, pay the electricity bill, buy diapers for their newborn. The congregation didn’t know that I’d spent the last 22 months applying for literally hundreds upon hundreds of jobs and enrolled for unemployment benefits. For nearly two years, feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, being forgotten, ashamed, and dismayed have taunted my head and heart. I’ve prayed, even begged and pleaded, that God would end my misery and take my life. Throughout the sermon this morning, I was reminded of God’s steady presence in my life. There’s a powerful opportunity in the here and now to trust that my life is not meaningless because I don’t have a job, husband, or children, just as it is not meaningful because I hold a Masters degree, have travelled the globe or once had dinner with Tom Cruise. In the midst of being focused on fixing my unemployment status, I began to believe it was ME who was solely responsible for getting myself into this pit and solely ME who needed to pull myself up out of it. There are fabulous friends in my life who adhere to this philosophy and believe that if we’d all visualize ourselves in Utopia, we will manifest it. However, I have visualized myself as a teacher, a wife, and a mother for years and no metamorphosis has occurred to free me from my current cocoon. I now know that I did not get myself into this rut and I cannot get myself out. Daniel had no chance in hell of escaping a lion’s den on his own volition and it is time for me to recognize this for my own life. When I do finally get a job, there will be no ounce of me, no power in visualization, no secret, no voodoo magic that has caused it to be so. It will be a miracle and I will boast of God’s mercy, love, provision and care over my life.
If you are struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, worthlessness, hopelessness, or grief...I would love to talk with you, go for a walk with you, be beside you in this tough season. I have no easy answers, I will not throw scripture at you, I just don't want you to feel alone.