This week I’ve been completing work experience as part of my college course. I’ve been at a fantastic place called ‘Designs in mind‘. They’re a designer and maker studio refered through mental health services.
I have another week left at the studio and I can say that I’m throughly looking forward to it. The project is just amazing and they’re making such a positive impact in people’s lives and the in the local community.
During this week I’ve had a lot of time for relection on my bus journey home. After talking with some of the people there I’ve looked back on my own path and my mental health and wondered how I’ve made it this far.
I haven’t had the easiest life. Please don’t mistake that with me saying I’ve had a terrible life to date, because you’d be wrong. I’ve had a fantastic up brining all things considered, my mum really went all out to let us have a ‘normal’ childhood, but I haven’t had an easiest life. A combination of coming from a ‘broken’ home, to being bullied four separate times in my life, to living in a bad situation and environment at home, left me on a path of self-destruction and with many mental health illnesses.
I wonder how I’m still alive.
I’ve been in some very dark and lonely places, the details of them I’m not willing to share on the internet.
However, this week has got me thinking how I’ve made it this far.
How am I still fighting these invisible idleness all things considered?
I can honestly say that God is the only reason I’m writing this post today.
He’s the only reason that I haven’t flew off the rails in these last few years and the only reason I’m writing this blog as well.
He’s the reason I’ve applied to University.
He’s the reason I’m living a life of recovery. Sure I relapse, slip and fail but my recovery is built on him. I will always pick myself ff the grown and try again when I’m knocked back.
You see, I’ve been in a bad place for a long time. I was 11 when cracks first started to appear. They only grew and grew. Before I knew God I was close to giving up. In fact I think I was ready too.
I had no plans to meet God.
My dad used to talk to me about this God when I was a little girl. My fondest memories so far with him are when I would spend weekends at his house. It would be breakfast and he’d talk to be about God and Jesus. Of course I wasn’t bothered about this God, I had no reason for one. But they’re my best memories with him.
My dad once told me that he’s always be praying for me to know God. Sarcastic 9-year-old me first thought was “keep on praying because it will never happen“.
Rather ironically, I now am sitting behind my keyboard as a child of God. So keep on praying because it will happen. God does answers prayers, it might be 7 years later. But I now know God.
And boy, I’m glad I do.
I had a real, raw heart to heart with a friend a year back.
That conversation broke my heart.
In the thick of anorexia, depression and other destructive habits my friend told me that she wanted to be like me.
She said I was loved, that even on my darkest days I would still fight, I forgave people, I was kind and cared deeply for others even when they didn’t deserve it.
She wanted to be like me.
The person she saw wasn’t me though. Who she saw was Jesus.
She saw his love through me.
I am a broken, bruised girl who not one of those positive attributes should be possible to come from. But they’re there because of the God I follow.
I know my God is loving, that he knows me (Psalm 139: 13- 14). I know Jesus died for me on the cross and through that my sins are forgiven. I know God has a plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11) and that he cares for me.
My identity is safe in Christ and my identity is IN Christ.
For that reason, I can get up in the morning.
I can love others.
I can forgive others.
I can help others
I can learn to love myself.
Because God loves me, he forgives me, he helps and he’s teaching me to love the person he made.
It’s his perfect love that’s kept me going.
So to answer the question how I’ve made it this far?
I’ve made it this far because of the God I follow and love.
And I look forward to my faith growing, being challenged and my relationship growing deeper and deeper.
My God is the creator of the universe. He knows my name and he calls me daughter.