Almost a year ago, I promised to write weekly to document life as a 25 year old, but I chickened out. Though no one had directly judged me, at some point last year, I started developing excessive anxiety about people’s opinions on my faith and life in general. As the year progressed, I grew more timid and feared I would say something offensive. Or I would do something “wrong”. Never wanting to attract negative attention, I stopped posting altogether. I even stopped speaking out as much. Inconspicuously, I became more of a social recluse. I didn’t enjoy gatherings anymore.
I felt out of place.
If anyone asked how I was doing or what was going on in my life, I automatically lied and kept it short. “I’m fine”, I replied, “And you?” I found myself stuttering and fumbling over my words. Every time I spoke, I’d anxiously wonder, “Am I oversharing? Do I sound daft? Do I have any credibility?” It was exhausting. 2019 was exhausting.
Fast forward to 2020. I thought I had finally started to heal and move on. I laughed more and enjoyed socializing again, rarely experiencing emotional lows. Life felt better.
Then seemingly out of nowhere, Covid-19 paralyzed the nation, confining us all to our homes. Months of progression towards healing deteriorated in the span of a few weeks. I didn’t anticipate the hard blow. And I didn’t understand. What had gone wrong?
But it was never about what caused this second trigger. This was an already pre-existing wound simply patched with an old band-aid. I never healed properly in the first place.
I had only temporarily treated my broken spirit with shallow self mediation.
I no longer recognized myself. And more eminently, I had forgotten Christ.
The one I claimed to love wholeheartedly. The one who endured hundreds of lashes and the scorn and betrayal of men. The one who was crucified upon a tree, yet defeated death. The one who rose victoriously –
to save the lost.
To save a broken spirit like me.
How then could I live as though Christ was not enough? How then could I stop speaking of His redeeming love? Was my fear of people’s thoughts more important than the truth that set me free?
I spent the past year trying to suppress the most important part of my being- truth. By doing so, I morphed into an unrecognizable person. The opinion of others and the trends in politics and social media dictated my actions and thoughts.
The weight of this conviction rested heavily in my heart all throughout quarantine.
I know following Christ is not a popular trend and is often received with hostility and disdain. But I do not want to live in fear. Nor do I want to live as a lukewarm believer. What I know with clarity is that Christ has not called me or His people to live with one foot dipped in truth. It’s either all in or completely out.
In a time of great uncertainty and suffering, we must cling to truth all the more. Because though everything on earth continues to fail us, Christ never does and never will. Our hope is in the things above and not of this earth (a much needed reminder to myself every day).
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4 ESV
Thank you, Jesus for reminding me of what’s important and giving me courage to speak.
(It feels good to be back.)