Overcoming Messy Milestones (Part Two)

Graduating from high school is the moment we all look forward to, but for me it was a constant battle between fear and depression. I had a plan to attend Liberty University and major in nursing little did I know that my plan would be torn to shreds. As the semester went by I began to sink deeper into depression and ultimately failed out of school. Between my fear, depression and embarrassment I withdrew from school and made plans to attend the local community college. I felt like a failure and that the plan I had worked so hard to create was no longer working.
I am so thankful that when our plans fail God steps in and reminds us that his plan is better than anything we could have imagined. The Summer of 2009 was my breakthrough moment, God showed me that children brought me so much joy and that my ministry was serving them. I went back to school that Fall with a plan to major in Early Childhood Education. In 2013 I graduated with my Early Childhood Education Degree with a 4.0 GPA. I went from failing out of school, fear crippling my dreams to relying on God and following his plan for my life. Below are a few tips that I used when dealing with depression, things don’t change overnight but with persistence and patience you can overcome your messy milestones!

#1: Get involved with a local church or group.
I would have never thought that God would use my church’s summer camp to unfold his plan for my life. I took a leap of faith and dedicated any time I had off work to assist and to serve those kids. God used that moment to show me that without him things will continue to fail but once I surrender he will be right there to lift the burden. Being connected to a good church with a solid foundation or even a good group of friends can help you cope with those rough days.
#2: Pray Consistently
Oftentimes when I had a rough day the last thing I wanted to do was get on my knees before bed and pray to God. Despite how I felt I would get on my knees and I would often just lay there and cry. Our tears, our silence still speaks volumes when we are at the throne of Jesus. Prayer gives us a direct line to Jesus and to the angels. As time went on it became the thing I looked forward to at the end of the night. My prayer life grew and I developed a deeper relationship with Jesus. I was able to speak about the things that were really on my heart and I was able to sit and hear his voice. There was never a time I felt like he didn’t hear me. Even if he didn’t come through when I wanted him I knew he heard every prayer.
#3 Seek Counsel
Counseling gave me the chance to speak without reservation; it gave me a chance to hear another point of view. I wasn’t judged or condemned it was just a safe place where I was able to share my heart. I encourage everyone to surround themselves with good spiritual mentors or people who can give me honest, Christian advice. While I was attending counseling I discovered that a lot of my depression stemmed from my adolescence and early teenage years, a rocky divorce and my family splitting up caused me to bury my pain. Seeking Godly counsel from your pastor or leaders of your church gives you another avenue to express yourself but to hear what God has spoken to them on the situation.
#4: Be Honest
When I was in the thick of my depression the last thing I wanted to do was to be honest. Whether it was somethings as small as a friend asking how my day was or putting on a facade that I was okay. I will never forget the moment that my doctor diagnosed me with depression; it was on my 20th birthday. One of the happiest days of my life and what started out as a simple checkup turned into a reality check. I realized that there was no need to hide or run. I learned that being honest with myself and with the people around me is the best thing that I could do.
#5: Fight
It’s time to put on the boxing gloves and fight! Fight because your life depends on it, your dream depends on it.  Fight through the insecurity, the pain, the regret and the hurt. You can make it! You will survive depression. God has given you everything you need to endure this battle just continue to seek him.


Katie said…
You are an inspiration and I look forward to reading more of your posts!

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