Not Defined By My Anxiety

GUEST BLOGGER: ASHLEY WILLIAMS

"And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows." Matthew 10:30-31

Life is messy, but how beautiful is it that we were each created in the image of such a perfect God? To know that the very hairs on my head are all accounted for helps me realize that I was made for more than depression. I was made for more than anxiety. Some days we get lost in our anguish and in our pain; and that's OK. Being a human is hard work, and Jesus came to earth in the flesh so that He could experience firsthand what we would experience. Sadness, anger, frustration, heart wrenching loss, betrayal and heartache. These are all things that we experience here on earth and some days it weighs us down more than others.

Today, I feel gut wrenchingly sad. I feel like all of my hope has been sucked out of me. But then I remind myself of the joy that comes through God. 

"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." 1 Peter 1:6-7

What peace this brings me. Although things are hard right now, I need to hold on. My purpose is bigger than this, and so is yours.

I challenge everyone to look beyond your pain. Trust me when I say that I know what It feels like to be stuck in darkness. I know what it feels like to be drowning in your own emotions. I also know what it feels like to not want to be alive. Most people who know me would never guess that I struggle with thoughts of suicide, but the warfare that goes on in my head is real and it's hard to listen to. So when I say I understand, it's because I truly understand. You are not alone.

Life can be really hard and the human experience is something that can really break people. However, I refuse to let it break me. My life was made for something beautiful and although right now I can't see that beauty, I remind myself that it is there. Although life is hard and messy, it is also remarkably amazing. Every breath that we take is a blessing and every day that we are here is an opportunity for growth.

So today was hard and has left me feeling defeated, but tomorrow is brand new. Tomorrow holds 86,400 beautiful seconds and I have that many opportunities to do better and to be better. I need to hold on to that hope. The hope that joy is coming. The hope that God loves me and created me for something amazing. The hope that depression and anxiety will not define me. The hope that I was put here to be a light amidst the darkness of the world. The hope that I deserve to be here. And the hope that better days are coming. Tonight I am holding on to these hopes with all of my might and reminding myself of this:

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world." John 16:33

This battle is not mine to fight. So tonight I hand it over to God. Because although life is tough, I've got a God that's tougher.