My head rested on the green-tiled bathroom floor next to the weapons that could put a period on the short sentence of my struggle-filled life. A ceaseless river of tears fell to the ground as I battled the overwhelming thought that today was the day; a permanent solution to the hopelessness that had conquered my once fierce heart.
While depression had bobbed its head in and out of the waters of my world since middle school, my life at 23 felt past the point of no return. As I stared in the mirror at my pathetic existence, I truly believed that I had schmucked everything so badly that no one could save me.
Death was my only option.
On that dark day, I wrestled with the questions that so many of us ask ourselves when life knocks us down:
Is there really a God?
Does he actually care about me?
Where is he in the midst of this unbearable pain?
If he is all-powerful, why does he allow such destruction and heartbreak?
The truth is that just like the younger brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son, I had wandered into a seductive life of sin and carelessness, of chaos and empty pleasures (Luke 15:11-32). I too had found myself completely alone eating the pig scraps of self-pity and unshakable shame, blind to the destructive choices that had led me there.
What I didn’t know was that when the walls were closing in, when everything felt lost and hopeless, when it seemed there was no way out – waiting there for me was one of the greatest opportunities of my entire life: the chance to turn around.
Although I would never wish that day on anyone, all these years later I can see the lowest moment of my life was in fact one of the best things that ever happened to me. It wasn’t until I was completely wrecked from my own feeble attempts at living that I realized, what if this isn’t the best way to live? What if there is a greater plan for my life?
And there totally was.
While I believe that God does not intend for the terrible things in our lives to happen — the sin and the pain — I now know that:
God is real.
He promises to use all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).
Regardless of how alone I am feeling, He promises he will never leave me or forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Choosing to follow Jesus, focusing my life on loving God and loving the people around me, is the only thing that will ever make me feel fully and recklessly alive.
You see my friends, whatever feels dead in your life, whatever seems like it will never get better may actually be an incredible blessing in disguise. For any part of our story that moves us closer to God is a part of our story worth living, even if we can’t see it in the darkness.
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Every second we have the choice to stay in the pig pen we’ve created or run fearlessly to our perfect father. We always have the choice to wallow in our mess or to get down on our knees and ask for the forgiveness we don’t deserve.
And the best news: God will always run out to kiss us and welcome us home.
So if you have found yourself alone on the bathroom floor of your life, perhaps today isn’t the worst day of your life as it may seem. Maybe that restlessness you feel deep in your core isn’t a call to give up, but rather a call to come home to the life you were meant to live.
Whatever you’re up against, whatever seems impossible, take one brave step towards the God of unfailing love. Tell someone about the struggles you never share. Ask for help instead of pretending everything is okay. Get out your bible and read the incredible things God promises to those who love him. Find a community that can walk with you and carry you when your strength is on empty. Choose to believe that against all odds, things will get better (because spoiler alert, they will).
And some day down the road when you’re able to look back on it all, maybe then you’ll see that today wasn’t the worst day after all.
Maybe, today is actually the best day of your life.
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