Where you go, I'll go.

Chris Tomlin is a fantastic singer/songwriter. And he writes about Jesus the way I feel about Jesus: like He's a friend.

One of his songs goes a little like this:
 "Where You go, I'll go. Where You stay, I'll stay. When You move, I'll move. I will follow You. Who you love, I'll love. How you serve, I'll serve. If this life I lose, I will follow you."

I love that song because it is a genuine reflection of my desire to pursue God and pursue Godliness. 

But I often get the two things confused.

On the one hand, God is God. He is a Person. He has thoughts, feelings, hopes. He loves and laughs and gets angry and frustrated, too. He is all that is Good. He is...forever and ever. There is none like Him.

Godliness is perfection. It is a standard. It is a thing. A good thing, yes. But a thing, regardless.

I have made a life of pursuing Godliness and failing. I have not yet made a life of pursuing the One who set the standard.

Even when we pursue God, we will still fail at Godliness because we will still be human. But we are not chained to our flaws the way we once were. We are free from how they can cripple us. We don't have to yield to fear or worry any longer because, while those emotions still exist within our hearts, they do not control us. At least, they don't have to.

Sunday at church, Billy Phenix (one of our campus pastors) said that in order to receive the promises of God, we have to draw near to the Promise Maker. When we take a step towards Him, He takes a step towards us. And the journey will never end on this side of heaven. Because that's how extravagant our Father is. And instead of being overwhelmed by His might, we should marvel at it. Because it belongs to us, too. We belong to Him. We are in this life together.

I wish I could remember these things. I forget so much.

I'm all about new beginnings and new adventures. Every December 31st at midnight, I say a prayer silently to myself (after I kiss the Hubs, of course) about the upcoming year and all my hopes for it. For the last few years, one of my prayers has been that I will cling to Him and that my life will honor Him in every way. Basically, what I'm praying is that I'll stop being so gosh-darn afraid and let faith lead the way. I'm praying that I'll finally start trusting in God, and stop trusting in my own (in)ability to be Godly.

I prayed that this year. And then I got depressed. Great start, huh?

But I recognize that my depression is a result of unnecessary anxiety. Part of it is most certainly a biological issue and, yes, I am currently taking medication to help. But another part of it is spiritual and mental, and I have bad habits I've allowed myself to learn that now need to change. God can do anything, but I can only change if I'm willing to work for it.

I don't want my life to be categorized by how much I felt for God or how much I talked about God. I want my life to be categorized by how I lived for Him. By how I loved for Him. By how much like Him I was, not because I am so amazing, but because I trusted in Him to change me and sustain me.

I spent the better part of January just trying to get through each day. I shared some of that on the blog here, but there were many days while blogging that tears were streaming down my cheeks and fear was raging in my mind. There were many nights when I went to bed early just so I could have some freedom and rest. And I certainly didn't touch my book or even read one, for that matter (if that's not a sign of depression, I don't know WHAT is!).

But then I went to the doctor. I got flowers and cards from friends and family who also called and texted and emailed and came over to sit with me. I talked to my husband and let him hug me even when I wanted to push him away. I went to church and cried at the end of the aisle with my head in my hands, hiding in the darkness during praise and worship, because I barely felt anything for my heavenly Father. And I was scared of that numbness. I cried a lot in January. I lost seven pounds. I stopped being interested in the things I love. And then I cried some more.

But then...I heard it.

On my way home one evening, I heard His voice. I felt a barely discernible, but still powerful, bit of hope. And then, by golly, I read a book.

Suddenly, I felt what others had been trying to tell me all along.

It will get better.

You are worth His love.

We love you.

He is bigger than anything you face.

He is trustworthy.

He is perfect.

He is HERE.

And since that night, it has gotten better. I have finally started to see myself, a little more each day, the way He sees me. I know I am loved. And I know He is here with me. He's not "up there" while I'm down in the depths of despair, reaching but not grasping.

No, He's standing in the muck and mire with me. He's holding my hand, waiting patiently for me to be ready for the climb. And as I grab hold of the walls around me, He stands prepared to hold me up, to push me out, to walk with me away from this place.

Where He goes, I go.


C.Curley said...

Thank you for being so honest and transparent on your blog. I'm so sorry for what you've been going through, but SO glad to hear things are getting better. We had a guest pastor at our church do a sermon on depression once, and he said that a lot of Christians think that if you are a good Christian and love God you can't get depressed. And that is just not true. I'm glad to see you leaning on Him during these hard times, rather than thinking they are reflection of your lack of faith or something. I'll be praying for you!

Emily Brisse said...

I just stumbled here today, but what a gift your words have been. I'm soon (soon!) to give birth, and its so important to be reminded that where ever I go, no matter how unfamiliar and overwhelming it might seem, God goes with me. Thank you.

My name is Wendi. said...

Thank you for reading and for always being such an encouragement! I am certainly trying to rely on Him. Even when I want to, it's hard because, yes, it's work. But it's worth it. Thank you for praying for me!

My name is Wendi. said...

Hi Emily! I'm so glad you stumbled upon my blog. Thank you for reading! And congrats on your sweet little one. I pray you'll have a safe delivery and wonderful, unforgettable years with your family!

Abi Losli said...

Hey girl, just came across your blog today through the Valentine gift exchange - I'm so glad I did! Love the design and layout, but more importantly, I'm loving the glimpses into your heart! Thank you for your transparency in this post. I love this song, and even though I don't know you, it makes my heart so glad to hear that that you are hearing from God. Keep soaking in His love and walking in truth! I'll be praying that you can continue to walk in the true identity God has given you.

My name is Wendi. said...

HI Abi! Wasn't the gift exchange so fun? I love getting to know other bloggers in this online community. Thank you so much for reading and for your encouragement! And thank you for your prayers. They mean so much to me!