Three threads have been weaving their way into my story lately. While this post may seem a bit jumbled, I ask you to please stay with me as I share my heart with you.
Thread One: Fight or flight
I've been pretty quiet lately. My well of words, inspiration, has felt as though it has run dry. I have sat down to write a few times and I've started posts but never felt the release.
Quiet. It has surrounded me. But one thing I am an expert at is creating noise. At times I love quiet, but rarely is it a complete quiet. I have a sound machine, I have multiple soundscape apps on my phone, I sleep with the tv on AND my sound machine. Yeah, you might say I have a problem. I use noise as an escape.
Escape is another thing I am truly great at -- I can make my face turn completely blank and shut you out if you bring up a topic I don't want to touch. I can turn on the Bachelor and eat a pile of junk food when I feel like crap and don't want to think. I can spend hours zoned out with a book or a game. Ask my family, they know all too well.
But creating noise and escapes rarely, if ever, helps me. They are coping mechanisms I use and you know what, they haven't produced a whole lot of forward motion in my life.
Life looks insane right now. The world is shutting down, there is fear and panic spreading globally, there are unhealthy coping mechanisms in abundance wherever you look. For the past few days I have been queen of this. Nonstop tv, reading, music, SOUND SOUND SOUND, cookies, sleep, popcorn, games. Hear me: I am not condemning anyone for doing these things. I just know that right now for me, this isn't healthy.
Thread Two: Faith
Before I was diagnosed with cancer I started this website and a public Instagram. I wanted to pursue my love of writing and connecting with other people through writing. I was also hoping to turn this into something that brought income in for my family. But two months after I began, my world changed and therefore, so did Loveisloudest.
I have been honest about my health battle and my emotional struggles. I have asked for prayer and I've shared songs with you that have encouraged me. But all the while, I've felt like I had to walk an invisible line. I didn't want to share too much about my faith, for fear I would lose some of you, dear readers. I didn't want to offend anyone or make anyone uncomfortable. I have been even more careful not to cross that line on Instagram.
Thread Three: Depression and anxiety
As I have previously shared, I've struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life. I thought about committing suicide as a very young girl. In middle school, I remember collapsing in the hallway of my house, sobbing through the uncontrollable sadness I felt. And in college, I was finally diagnosed and started therapy and medication.
Lately, my depression and anxiety have started really ramping up again. When I was in active treatment for breast cancer, I was so focused on survival that everything else came in a distant second, including my daily emotions. But with treatment over, these things have come back full force.
I love reading and I've been doing most of my reading on my kindle lately. But the other day my kindle battery was dying, so I decided to look for a physical book to read.
My friend Reba and I went to first grade together and then found ourselves classmates again at a different private school years later. We reconnected a year or so ago over our mutual love of books. I sent her a book last summer by an author we both love and about two weeks ago, I received a package in the mail. Two books, along with a note from Reba saying she had been meaning to send these books to me for months.
The books both had beautiful covers and I was excited to read them sometime down the line.
But I am a firm believer in God's timing. I walked into my home library after my kindle called it quits and saw one of the books on top of my table. I knew now was the right time to read it.
I read that book in one day. I laughed, I cried, I took pictures of quotes (I can't bring myself to highlight my books, eek) and I felt so distinctly that God was speaking to me through the author's own story.
That day things turned around. I felt a lightness return to my heart and mind. I felt a much needed renewal and I knew God saw me in the midst of my pain.
The tapestry being woven
The two threads of my depression and anxiety and my fears and desire to avoid them cannot be drowned out with noise. I cannot escape them through unhealthy coping mechanisms.
My faith is my foundation. My identity is found in God and I cannot separate who I am from Him.
My story hasn't been easy. It has been messy and painful and has been full of unexpected bumps. But you know that second thread, my faith? It has turned my tangled mess of a life into a tapestry. It has brought colors together that shouldn't work, it has brought patterns that appear disjointed into a unique order and I know from heaven, it is being made into the most beautiful and unique tapestry. Something that even my eyes couldn't handle if they were to see it right now.
So while I live from this vantage point, I trust. I leave the details to God and I remember that all of this is for Him and His glory.
All my love,