Unbind Me: Thoughts from the Valley.




Untie my strings and unbind my knots. Rewrite my stories and unbind my heart.

When life doesn’t seem to change it’s tune, it’s easy to see the repeating pattern and give it a name.

Depression. Disfunction.


I’ve been sad for a very long time.

There are good days. There are a lot of good days. I wouldn’t say I’m the poster child for depression.

But when the days are bad, they’re really bad.

I try to hide it and hide it and hide it until I can’t anymore. And I break down. I lose control.

I feel very alone.

I’m surrounded by people and I feel like I can’t peek behind the mask that hides the truth and whisper, Hey, I’m actually not okay.

And is it my fault or theirs?

I’m so lonely.

I’m afraid. It’s the fear that holds me back.

What would they think? What would they say?

To admit the pain, to reveal the darkness hiding just beneath the surface.

It’s the shame, too. The shame runs circles around my pain.

I can’t believe I feel this way. I can’t believe I’m struggling with THIS. Am I weak? Do I not love God enough? Do I not have enough faith? This is so embarassing.

The shame won’t shut up.

And the shame builds these stories.

The pain is so strong you want to cry out for help and the shame is so strong all you want to do is hide.

So the thing you need the most is the very thing you’ll keep running from.

It’s an endless cycle.

Pain demands help. Shame resists it.

I’m caught in the middle, confused. Holding so much weight. So much hurt.

And a story is created.

I’m so messed up and I will never get better.

I’m so lonely and will never find help.

I want to be seen but no one will open their eyes.

I’m not brave enough to seek help.

It’s easy to do because you need to hold on to something in the midst of chaos. When you don’t understand why you’re crying or why you’d rather stay in bed all day or why can’t see or feel any goodness, you rely on the stories you’ve always told yourself to make sense of it all.

After a while, I’m just surviving. Numb. Trying to make all the right moves so that the sadness won’t come. Trying to dance this delicate dance and not do anything to upset the balance.

Chris and I were talking recently. To be honest, I was mostly listening. I had thoughts, but I didn’t want to share because of the emotions connected to them.

I knew as soon as I started sharing my heart, that the avalanche would come. That I’d open the floodgates and all that pain that I try to hide, that I try to lock away behind smiles and walls built with bandaids… That pain would rush in.

And I didn’t want it.

I was content to keep my mouth and heart shut and save myself from being drowned in the mess again.

Because that’s what happens. As soon as I give my heart permission to feel, everything comes rushing in. From all sides. And I’m in the middle, trying to keep my head above the waves. But I’m not doing a very good job because I’m afraid and I can’t see any light. I’m scared and I can’t breathe and I’m spending so much energy to just tread the water and resist the waves coming at me from every direction.

It feels like I imagine drowning would be.

Fighting for your life.

And so I’d rather not talk about it. I know what the triggers are. And I’d rather keep it all locked up. Away. Where it doesn’t threaten to overtake me and send me into a dark, tumultuous fight.

But he urged me to talk to him. He wanted to hear what I had to say. He wanted me to be open and honest.

I did. Trigger. Release. Fight.

And he said something I’ll never forget.

"Invite God into that pain."

Invite God into the mess?

I’ve always been sensitive to God’s Spirit. I know that I know that there is endless grace.

But somewhere, wires got crossed.

Somewhere in my journey, I put an expiration date on myself.

I figured, if I was still in the same struggle, still battling the same things, stll unable to crawl out of the dark, then there must be something wrong. Surely, God’s patience and goodness and grace can’t cover this anymore. I’m done. I’m giving up on myself.

And I don’t think I ever thought those exact words. “Surely, God has given up on me.”

But it’s the story my heart believed.

Surely this is all too much. Surely He’s annoyed. He can’t be proud of this. He can’t be proud of me.

I’m past due. I’m expired. I’m useless to Him now.

My shame has become pride.

I can handle this. Let me fix this. Then you can use me. Then I will be worthy of your love and to serve you.

When I put a stipulation on God, I’m cheapening everything He’s about.

We don’t get to set the terms. When you say yes to God, you say yes to getting messy. To looking your humanity in the face and inviting God into your pain.

Untie my strings. Unbind my knots. Rewrite my stories.

Its crazy how I can believe the best of God and that He will transform other people, but I can’t believe it applies to me. Because it’s a lot messier to apply God’s grace and love to ourselves when we know the depths of our brokenness.

And I hear God saying...

There’s nothing too deep where I can not go. There’s no place you could run to hide where I would not find you. Nothing is too deep. Broken things don’t bother me. I was broken. I was bruised. I went through the brokenness to find you. To love you. And I would go to the ends of the earth to bring you back.

So you can dive deep into the sea of your pain. You can keep running straight into the hurt because it’s all you know.

Just know that Jesus is right on your tail, waiting for you to invite Him in.

I'm still in the struggle, in between the waves, but I want to learn how to ride them instead of being tossed by them. I want to walk with Him on the water and the waves.

I want Him to rewrite my stories. I want Him to rearrange the pieces of my heart until it only declares His truth. Until it only sings His love. Until it only reads His grace.


Untie my strings and unbind my knots. Rewrite my stories and unbind my heart.