Recently, John and I watched Hocus Pocus 2. As I watched, I remembered my two dear friends who lived up the street from my Dad’s house growing up. These girls were my best friends. We acted in plays together, danced in talent shows, and created songs just for our trio to sing on the top of our lungs while riding our bikes down the street on hot summer days. These friends also dressed up as the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus with me years ago. As I was watching the long-awaited sequel (the first one came out in 1993!) a few days ago with the love of these two friends in my heart, there was something “my character (who I dressed up as on Halloween)” said that stood out: “Power is nothing without my sisters.”
Have you ever felt powerless? All too often, the things of this world entice our sense of worth, position, and power. Yet, when the perfect dream doesn’t come true, where do you turn to? Confessions are always welcome here.
For me, when a friendship is hanging on by a thread, or a dream job turns into a nightmare, I want to hide like a two year old under their blanket.
I hide because the reality of what went wrong is too much to bear. The good news is, you and I don’t have to bear our burdens alone:
“Come close to my side, you whose hearts are on the ground, you who are pushed down and worn out, and I will refresh you. Follow my teachings and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest from your troubled thoughts. Walk side by side with me and I will share in your heavy load and make it light.” -Matthew 11:28-29 FNV
Before I met John, it would have taken a broken bone until I went t see a doctor. Anything less than that, especially what could not be seen, was minor and insignificant, and definitely not worth a visit to the doctors office. It’s not that I don’t believe in doctors, I just never really thought my under-the-surface issues were a problem. Out of sight (aka dark thoughts and sad feelings), out of mind! The moment I opened up to God, who is Creator, and who is Jesus (mind-blowing), with all of my anxious thoughts and feelings, I wasn’t healed instantly, but became alive to a new way of being.
One of the blessings of being married to John are the many ways he intervenes when I go into the “I’m fine” attitude. Someone once told me that saying ‘I’m fine’ really means:
John and I laughed about this expression when we first got married, but our laughter turned into frustration when something was clearly wrong and I’d brush off the negative feelings like I always had: out of sight (aka dark thoughts and sad feelings), out of mind. In reality, I was hiding; new problems stacked like pancakes on top of the broken ones that were not yet resolved in my heart. Then one day, the weight of my heart was way too much for me to bear. I remember that day vividly: I was sitting at my Dad’s house with tears spilling down my face. With a deeply distraught expression on his face, he said, “Nicole, I’ve never seen you this sad before.” I was a twenty-four year old woman, finally showing my Dad that I was tired of pretending everything was fine.
This was the beginning of a journey that went from a deep depression to hope in the generous love that Jesus offers. Although I’m not completely healed yet, I still see the healing that Jesus brings along the way home; not only through doctors, but through multiple people who plopped down on the couch next to me to offer sound advice and guide me when I’m starting to fall into a rut. Do you struggle with depression and/or anxiety? Maybe it’s time to talk. Please hit reply if you’d like to connect!