This blog is predominately about depression, but as an essayist I will write about a plethora of subjects.
I have a bachelors and masters in religious studies from Lipscomb University. I grew up in Guam, California, South Dakota, Kansas, Arkansas, Michigan, Tennessee and Florida. I’ve lived here in Nashville since 1991, and Carey and I got married in 1998. Our daughter Chloe was born in 2004. We cheer on the Chicago Cubs and the University of Tennessee Volunteers.
I became an essayist when my youth pastor Craig Eckstein asked me to write for our teen newsletter Shining Like Stars. The newsletter title is taken from Philippians 2.15. I love the NIV translation the best.
…so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky…
That was at a church in Flint, Michigan. Those two years in Michigan were formidable to me because Craig and Beth’s shepherding were instrumental in forming my adult faith. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention Mike and Tammy Allen who now live in Arkansas where Mike teaches at Harding University. Their encouragement to teach and write brought Jesus alive even more for this preacher’s kid. Had those seeds not been planted depression would have a whole new story in my life.
God is constantly pursuing us. The Woodmont Hills praise band used to lead us in, “Oh no you never let go through the calm and through the storm. Oh no you never let go in every high and every low.” And indeed He does not let go. He never leaves us nor forsakes us, and even faith as small as a mustard seed in that reality is enough.
Life is hard. There’s no two ways about it. It’s hard for young and old, but the message Isaiah left us is just as true today.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will walk and not grow weary. They will run and not grow faint (Isaiah 40).
I don’t know if you struggle with mental illness if that’s why you came to my blog, but I don’t think you’re here by accident. God brings together the people He wants together, and I don’t think the internet is any exception.
Reach out. Tell me who you are. Tell me your battles. Share with me your pain. Even if I don’t have words to write in reply I can pray, and prayer is one amazing connection we have with the Father who does not ignore us.
You may feel like no one sees you. You may feel insignificant or that acceptance and love are things other people talk about. I’m here to tell you that you have a God who loves you as if you’re the only person on the planet. I’ve been to rock bottom with my depression. There is no place too high or too low that our Abba Father can’t find you.
Adam and Eve thought they could hide from God didn’t they? God played along, but eventually they had to confront their Maker with their sin.
So will we. It’s not an issue of if. It’s a matter of when. He’s not waiting behind a bench to level the gavel upon your judgement. His grace is amazing as the song says, but the bottom line for the God I write about is very simple.
The bottom line for that God is not physical appearance, wealth, square footage, portfolios or performance. The bottom line is love. It’s eternal love because He literally loves the whole world (John 3.16).
He saved us from darkness at the cross, but the contract was signed when His Son wouldn’t stay dead, and neither will we or those we love who have gone before us.
There’s nothing in all of eternity like that. You can’t buy it. You can’t earn it. It’s not yours to give because He’s given it to each one of us if we accept it.
Please accept it. If you don’t know how I’ll be glad to tell you.