Once upon a time, my sweet friend and Bible study leader, Nancy, told me about the “me too” gospel. It’s like when someone shares their struggles with mental illness and how Jesus has met them in that, and it speaks wonders to others struggling without hope that Jesus changes everything. It is saying to a nonbeliever, me too, in their struggles, and meeting them where they are, and inviting them to bring Jesus into the picture.

This doesn’t mean the hurt and brokenness go away, but it gives hope that it will be okay. Last night, as I sat in the hospital until dusk, my heart rate and vitals being monitored from my little overdose of medicine, I was reminded of the outward reflection of what has been true all along at every moment: I am very broken, yet God loves me. He loves me the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and is with me.

And we don’t have to walk alone. When sharing this with another dear friend, Megan, she encouraged me that she would love to be there with me and for me, and walk alongside me. There are so many in the same boat, outwardly battling anxiety and depression, but these conditions reflect a deeper brokenness of my mess in this fallen world, and my longing to be in relationship, walked alongside with, and loved by my Father.

And so, I’ll end with this: through the shame and fear of being in the hospital, the broken mess that is me, and all of these difficulties to keep fighting, God loves me just the same and that frees me from the chains of others’ perceptions and helps me to fight another day. His love changes everything.

Just like the starfish story, it matters to that one: those angels and morgans of the world, those megans and mommys and daddys and brothers who draw near when you cuddle up close in the web of your own thoughts. It matters to that One King who decided I was worth creating and living each and every day that He places breath in my lungs. It matters to my Father who isn’t finished with me yet.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7-11

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