Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some wicked products of depression

So, I figure depression yields some pretty wicked writing. & in no way am I talented writer, my disease just makes words flow.

Confessions from a Crushed Spirit
I'm pissed. Every tiny thing sets me off. 'Why the HELL are you looking at me?'. 'Dammit, I have to piss.' Now I'm anxious. Nerves are shooting up and down my body. I feel it coming. I have to stop it from coming. But how? It's too late. Draining. My energy is draining. Where is it going? 'No, no, no. I hate this. Why is my body doing this again?' I squirm. I let out a small groan but luckily no one notices. Now I can't move. 'Just squeeze your hand.' I try but fail. Try again. Nothing. I stare at the TV screen, but I can't comprehend a thing. End of the movie. 'Get up; move.' I can't. But I can squeeze my hand. Stare. Time goes by. I slowly force myself to get up. 'Dammit, why does it have to be like this?' I walk slowly out of the lobby and towards the place where Candace is studying. The walk seems so long, 'can I make it with these wobbly steps?' I cling to my blanket. 'God, please get me there.' I get to the table and collapse in the chair. I sob into my blanket. A fuzzy voice asks if we should go to my room. I force myself there. I open the door; 'my roommate's here.' I place my head on my bed and cry. I try to keep it quiet so Abi can't tell. "What's wrong?", she asks. Candace walks in. She rubs my back. I fall onto the floor. I sob. I've lost control of my body. Convulse. Abi gives me a massage. She asks me questions. I can't make words. I just cry. Candace is sitting next to me, I can feel her there. My crying subsides. Abi tries to comfort me; tries to help me lay down. Nothing. 'Depression has taken over me. I hate this, I hate this.' I begin to cry again. 'God, why?' I calm down. I sit up. Stare. Catatonia. Nothing. Time. Candace plays with my hair. 'Oh yeah, I'm human. Wake up.' Blank. I sit, I stare. 'I don't think this will ever end.' "You're going to get through this", Abi says. Blink. Nothing. Blink again. I snap out of it. 'I want to sleep.' I get up, Candace tells me goodnight. 'It's over, for now.'
Time slips away.
But I don't notice.
I can't notice.
No thoughts. No surroundings.
I stare at the wall.
My eyes play tricks on me.
No movement.
You sit by my side
And watch as the seconds roll away.
Where am I?
Who are you?
Touch me--
I need to know I'm still human.
I think I'm talking to you.
But no words are coming out.
Why aren't you answering my questions?
You think I'm crazy?
Well, so do I.
I don't expect you to understand.
Where am I?
Who are you?
Hold Tight
The tidal wave is coming over the horizon.
Take a deep breath.
It comes closer now.
Hold Tight.
The force knocks you down.
Hold Tight.
It's just an attack on your faith.
Muster your strength.
Your body is broken and bruised,
But your Spirit is still struggling
For a fighting chance.
Hold Tight.
It will pass.
It will pass.
Cling for dear life.
Hold Tight.
It will pass.
Hope will keep you alive.
Hope will allow you to win
This brutal war.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I don't like where I am. Location & Heart.

I seem to be good at making myself and others miserable. I thought this school was going to be great. I pictured college as the place where I could finally do something crazy every night and have fun all the time. I thought it would be a place of exponential spiritual growth as well as the time that I would make my lifelong tight group of friends.

None of that has happened. There have been points where God moves on my heart and reveals a tiny slice of He holds ahead for me. But it's nothing like I expected it would be here. And I certainly haven't experienced even an ounce of what most people would consider "fun".

I can't be myself here. I haven't met anyone that I can open up myself to that won't shoot me down. I butt heads with just about 98% of people I've met so far. The people I know don't know what fun is. Well they do, but our heads just can't think of anything fun to do. The people I know I could have fun with don't even like me because I don't fit with them.

I want to live radically for Jesus. Most people here look at me like I have 8 heads when I tell them I want to change the world. They want to have their traditional services where they can have alter calls and snot fests until the next day when they forget about Jesus. When they hear someone actually wants to think about Jesus all the time and actually move, it's like they ingested something foreign.

I'm on my own with no support. & I've gotten to the point where I'm comfortable sitting alone in my room in misery just because it's what I've grown used to. I hate living like this, but I just create endless misery circles in my mind that I can't escape. I ask for freedom from this bondage and read my bible, but I haven't felt anything but a restless heart.

I'm unsettled with the thought of how I live. Going home isn't much relief either because everyone has built their own lives. The only way to be settled is to go to a different school where I can experience what college is really supposed to be like.

I have to be here another semester. Either that or go home to Carroll, and that doesn't sit right either.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Changing the World

October 2, 2008

God has been constantly speaking and breaking my heart more and more each day over this last week. Last night I just prayed that I would never forget anything that God has done in my heart this week, because it has truly been life changing.

I’ve been struggling a lot at college because I didn’t feel like I had any support from anyone here, because I feel like no one knows me and no one bothered to know me. I’ve been consistent with God and I felt like I wasn’t moving anywhere. I would get upset every night because I just wanted one person to support me and get to know who I really am. It got to the point that during Fire Fall (our campus revival) I was almost sure I was going to transfer somewhere else next semester or next year. I just wanted to go home and feel the support I had constantly felt there.

On the last night of Fire Fall they told us that on Tuesday the only chapel was going to be Bush Chapel. I don’t enjoy Bush Chapel because it’s too churchy for me. I go to Encounter every Chapel which is much more personal and reflective. But there was only one chapel on Tuesday because we had a guest speaker, Craig Groeschel. Staci has been talking about him for weeks so she was super excited. I didn’t know what to expect.

So I went to chapel. When he got up on stage, he said “I don’t say this very often, but the couple times I have, it ends up being right. I feel an overwhelming supernatural power that there are 2 people on this campus today that have received a huge vision from God.” As soon as he said that, I knew it was me. God has given me such a huge passion and such a huge vision that when I think about it, it’s crazy and completely impossible. I have no idea where God is going to lead me with it, but I know he’s called me to it, so I’m going to follow. Craig basically said that God loves to use insecure idiots because they definitely won’t put faith in themselves to accomplish the vision. He said that everyone around us is going to tell us that we can’t do it, and that we need to keep going even if everyone goes against us. He also said that we are going to experience the most pain because of the heart breaking things we will have to see, but we should consider that pain a blessing. The last main point he said was that we need to daily step out of ourselves and step into God’s anointing and power. We also need to take huge risks because the greater the calling, the bigger the risk.

All of that day, my heart was pounding with passion because God had broken through all of the layers I had built up to protect myself here. He struck my heart and set it beating for him again. He renewed my passion for those who are struggling. He gave me a familiar restless night because of the pounding passion of my heart. Although he renewed my passion, I still didn’t feel support from others.

The next day (Wednesday) God gave me the amazing opportunity to go to RAW TV where Renee Yohe was speaking. She has been on tour to share about her new book, Purpose for the Pain. All day I was pee-my-pants excited. No lie, I was bouncing off the walls. All throughout the program, she was just completely honest, open, and transparent with all of us. She explained a little about her story and read a few excerpts from her book. At the end, there was a Q&A on the air and a Q&A off the air. I asked her a question on air about where she sees herself going in the future with helping people through her story. She said she’d basically like to change the world and help make the healing process for others easier by providing them with things she needed while struggling. Throughout the show my heart was pounding because I felt that Renee’s heart resembled mine quite a bit. She specifically mentioned that she wanted to get her hands dirty to help those through the messy healing process. She was being completely honest with us that there is no hope or healing without God. Her heart is so beautiful and her spiritual journey is inspiring.

After the show, Renee had a book signing in the Bolin library. While I was standing in line I just thought “wow, I really want the book so bad but I’m a poor college student.” The girl behind me in line gave me a random piece of paper that I could get Renee to sign. A lot of people ahead of me were sharing their feelings and stories with Renee and her heart was so open to hear everything and respond with humility. It was amazing to watch her kind compassion as she listened to complete strangers tell her about their life. She truly wanted to share life with us for that night while she had the chance. I got up to her in line and just told her that my heart is in the same place as hers because I went through some of the same things. I told her I was a psych major and that I want to change the world and just DO SOMETHING. She smiled wide, and I really felt she truly cared and was able to connect to my passion. Although she had only signed her name for everyone before me in line she said “what’s your name?” I told her my name and she wrote me a simple but incredibly powerful and encouraging note and signed her name. All she said was “Jill, we WILL change the world. Keep fighting. Love, Renee Yohe”. I got a picture with her and gave her a hug. She whispered to me, “I’m SO glad you’re here.” I walked away and waited for Candace. When Candace came over, she had a book in her hands. She said, “do you want it now or later?”. I flipped out and told her to give it to me for my birthday. So I’m super looking forward to reading Renee’s book! We left Bolin to walk back to the dorm and I decided to call Nikki to tell her about my amazing experience.

After I got back to the dorm I realized that I needed to go back to talk to Renee some more. I got the idea that I should ask Renee to talk to Nikki, considering Renee is Nikki’s idol. I walked quickly back to Bolin and made sure she was still there. I waited for Renee to finish the last few signings and went up to her. I said, “I have a really odd request. My friend from home is on the phone and I was wondering if you would talk to her? She’s a bigger fan than I am and it would make her life.” She quickly said “sure!” and proceeded to take the phone and talk to Nikki. I gave them some space and hung out with the other people still lingering in the room. Everyone in the room was saying how cute that was and how nice it was that I did that for my friend. When they were finished on the phone, we hung out with Renee for awhile. We learned a lot about what they’re doing next, we got to see the original script for the movie she’s making, and we heard about all of the spiritual warfare going on with Renee’s ministry. I really believe that Satan is so scared about the incredible impact she’s going to make with her story and he’s just trying to stop it as much as he can. He’s lame. But anyway, haha. I pulled Renee aside and talked to her more about my passion and the incredible vision the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart. She encouraged me in an amazing way when we talked. She told me not to worry about To Write Love on Her Arms ignoring me because the power inside of me is enough to change the world without depending on anyone else to help me. God used her to affirm what He had reminded me of the day before. It was absolutely amazing to be encouraged and supported by Renee. God has such awesome ways of reaching his kids. After we talked, we had a chance to pray over her ministry with her. After the prayer, I gave her a hug and walked back to my dorm.

When I got back to the dorm, I checked my facebook and looked at a photo comment I had gotten from Mel. At that moment, I felt lead to go talk to her to get to know her better. I walked upstairs to find her, and told her I wanted to talk. As we started to walk away, Kari and Anna wanted to hear about my night. We all walked to Mel’s room and I explained the amazing night and all that God had done in a short amount of time. After my story, Kari and Anna left. Mel and I went to the courtyard and just talked for a long time about our passion and visions God had placed on our hearts. She is a social work major and wants to change the world as well. We talked for a long time and spilled our hearts to each other. It was really amazing to know that someone knows exactly how I feel and has a lot of the same passions as me. It was awesome to get her support as well, and I was able to share with her some of the things Craig said just the day before about people like us. I’m glad the Holy Spirit led me to talk to her more and to get to know her heart better. He created an incredible bond between us that I can say I’ve never had with someone else before. I realized that it’s amazing what God is doing in the hearts of this generation. I had never noticed it before that night.

After talking with Renee and Mel, I realized that the three of us are a team. I could easily be angry and jealous that Renee is in the position that I’d really like to be in, but God has placed HER in that position for very specific reasons and He will use me in amazing ways somewhere else, as He will use Mel. I felt our hearts completely connect in a way that only God could orchestrate. It was the first time I felt liberation from my anger with TWLOHA. I learned that God is going to use me whether I’m best friends with TWLOHA or if I never speak of them again. He’s going to use the specific strengths He gave me in order to touch as many lives, and to bring as much glory to His name, as possible. God had restored my personality and for the first time since I’ve been at college, I felt like myself: passion driven and God driven.

This morning at Encounter, I didn’t feel the need to speak words to God. I just sat in His presence knowing that He knew exactly what I was thinking and feeling. I felt my heart was intertwined with God’s in a way that I had never experienced. We just had the opportunity to rest on God’s word and reflect in quiet meditation on the heart of our Father.

In CCU, it was about vision, strategy, and goals. It’s kind of funny how God likes to relate everything to affirm what He has originally told you. I had a chance to reflect and write a few things down about the past few days and write down my strategy and ultimate goals.

Later in English class, while we were taking prayer requests, I felt like I should mention Renee’s ministry. I told the class a little about her ministry and said that I wanted us to pray for Satan to stay away from it. After we prayed, we split up into groups. Katelyn was in my group and she said “were you the one that talked about that movement? Because I’d really like to talk to you more about it later if you don’t mind talking about it.” I was all for it and told her that talking about those hard subjects is my life. We talked a little about Renee’s movement and TWLOHA’s movement. Once again, the Holy Spirit proved movement in my heart.

God is continually helping me grow more into the likeness of my Savior and gently telling me what I am to do with my time on Earth. I’m incredibly excited to see what He’s going to do through my life and in those around me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fix your attention on God & you will be changed from the inside out

I feel it's been a long time since I've blogged, So I'll update on things that God has been doing in the last few weeks. Sorry, it's kinda long. haha

I wrote a note to my mom to let her know about my depression and let her know that I was going to talk to my psychiatrist about it. She knew all along that something was going on, and she just wanted me to tell her what it was. This is why we had been arguing everyday since camp. After I gave her the letter, we didn't fight after that. Shows what openness and communication does for a relationship. So, after that, I dealt with the episodes until I went to my psychiatrist. He gave me more medication, (an expensive one at that), and gave me the responsibility of controlling my dosage while at college. I'm a little worried, but we'll see what God does with that. I haven't had any episodes since I started the medication, and it seems to be going well so far.

We had senior send off last Wednesday, which I expected to be an emotional mess. But, it was actually really nice, it was a good look on the last 4 years and great to hear encouraging words from our brothers and sisters in Uprising. There was a little emotion, but not enough to make the night horrible or anything. After senior send off, we had worship night in the parking lot. We parked our cars in a circle, put chairs in the circle, and lit candles and put them in the center. Nate led, and it was an incredible time to spend with my close brothers and sisters, possibly one of the last times we can informally worship our God together. I was able to lay and look at the stars God created. The connection between all of us and God was strong, and it was a really amazing close to this chapter of my life.

I thought about this last night: All of the 2008 graduates have become incredibly close this summer, knowing that we'll have to part ways at the end of August. Through this, we've been interacting and supporting each other through Christ so closely that we can completely sense what God is doing in each other's lives almost as close as we can sense what He's doing in our own lives. This has been an amazing experience, just being able to know what it's like to have friends who know you inside and out, who can thoroughly and honestly encourage you to move towards Christ. This is what the body of Christ was meant to be.

I've been reading so many books and digging into the Word and really engaging with God more than ever. I really feel it's happening with all of the '08ers because God is equipping us to have the necessary strength we need in Him to go away to college. He's given me so much more than I imagined He would. He's mainly taught me to just keep my focus on Him and really engage in my relationship with Him, and He will take care of the rest.

I was convicted to bring closure to a badly ended friendship. We were supportive to each other because we both know what it's like to be struggling through psychological disorders. She's not a Christian, and recently I've learned the way out. God convicted me to share the truth with her, and to apologize for the way our friendship ended. I don't expect her to respond, but I'm praying that God will open her eyes to the truth.

I'm becoming more and more calm about college. I'm learning that God is my only constant while everything else is changing. I need to hold onto him through the transition. Yeah, the goodbyes are hard, but I know I'll see them again in November. I'm praying for God to prepare my heart and mind for what is to come. I was at my friend Dani's house yesterday (she's going to school with me) and I had a conversation with Dani and her mom about college. It was really encouraging, and I'm really glad I was able to talk with her mom. I know God's going to do BIG things down there, in and through me and others. I'm excited for what God's going to do, so I just need to hold on and pray. Fear and anxiety are not from God. I'm incredibly grateful for my last days being spent in worship, prayer, and fellowship with other believers.

Lastly, I want to share something that may help you as much as it's helping me. At the senior send off, Lance gave me a book called "Mind Games". It's all about the traps our mind falls into that causes us to be far from God. There was a chapter about distraction. I don't know about you, but it's so easy for me to get distracted during worship for various reasons. There was an excerpt in this chapter about this. This is what it said:

"Of all the elements of Christianity that define the lifestyle, worship is the one thing that absolutely cannot be about me. Elements like my sin and my lifestyle changes and my attitude are about me. Worship is about God - Just God. It really isn't even how I feel about God. It's just about who God is. He's wonderful. He's glorious. He's powerful. He's sovereign. He's all of those things completely separate from me. If I didn't exist, he'd still be all of those things. And knowing that he's all of those things makes my distractions, my selfishness, and my excuses pretty lame. The solution? If the singing distracts me, I can't sing-just focus on the words and say them to God in my heart. If the light show distracts me, I can't look-I'll just close my eyes and pretend it's just me and God in an empty room. And if none of those ideas works, I'll just be grateful that I can praise and worship God in what I do all hours of the day, not just the twenty minutes I spend in worship at church. Mercifully, two of his best qualities are patience and forgiveness."

I could write so much more, but I've already written a lot. Thanks for reading if you did, and I'd love to hear how God is working in your life!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

You placed the stars in the sky & you know them by name

I am completely in awe and speechless in this moment.

I was driving home from the store about an hour ago, and I stopped by the mailbox to pick up the Pinto's always overflowing mail. As I looked out of the car, I noticed the sky. And I gasped. The stars were so clear, so beautiful. I came inside and let Ellie go potty, then went upstairs and onto the balcony outside of Doug & Wendy's room. I took Ellie with me because I knew she would cause chaos otherwise. I laid down in silence (Ellie was actually quiet for once, too) and got lost in the beauty of the stars. Laying under the stars always makes me realize how small I am, and how big God is. After awhile, I whispered "God is big, and God is good." Then I said a short prayer. "God, you're bigger than anything I could ever face in this world. You're bigger than my greatest fears, my deepest depression, and my wildest dreams. You're bigger than the utter mess I am. You're a God who has all things, but still you want ME. Why do want this mess?" As soon as I said that, I saw a shooting star. I really felt God surrounding me, telling me, "I love you. I love you. I created the sky for you. I gave up everything just to be with YOU." I started to whisper the words of Sweep Me Away. God as once again left me in awe. And for the first time, I really feel that God loves me with an overwhelming, unconditional, extravagant love. It doesn't matter that I'm a mess. God uses those who ADMIT that they're a huge mess and can't do anything without Him. That's me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hope in Darkness

I had an "episode" tonight. We went to six flags today and it was a lot of fun, and while we were driving home I felt an overwhelming sense of lonliness. As soon as I came home i made my way up to my room and laid on my bed for a second. And within a second, my entire body had completely drained of all the energy I had during the previous second. After that, i couldn't move. I couldn't sit up, I couldn't talk so I couldn't call anyone, I could barely move my hands at all. I was so frustrated that depression was effecting my body so intensly. I wanted to go to wendy's because I hadn't eaten in hours, but I wasn't hungry and didn't have the will to move. I managed to type a couple of texts, but couldn't close my phone. Normally, I would be able to snap myself out of it sometime, but it wasn't working. I was praying for strength to get me through this time. After about 15 minutes, I got the strength to sit up and read one of the Psalms, and then fell back down. Then after another 5 minutes or so, I sat up because I knew mom would be coming home soon. As I sat up, I was looking at my "encouragement door" which is covered in verses and quotes. I began quietly singing "Salvation is Here". I know my God made a way for me. Salvation is here and He lives in me. It's gonna be alright. This gave me the strength to stand up, and I continued singing; louder each time. I was driving to Wendy's to get something to eat and on the way over I didn't listen to the radio, I just prayed and sang to God. I sang "Shout Unto God". The enemy has been defeated, death couldn't hold you down, we're gonna lift our voice in victory. On the way home from Wendy's, i turned on 91.9 for some reason. (i don't usually listen to this station). The song that came on was "Praise You In This Storm". It couldn't have come at a better time. I know God's going to take the victory through this trial, and I need to continue to depend on Him for strength and hope. I'm in love with a Savior who conquered the greatest thing on Earth; death. And all for me.

"Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." - Romans 5: 3-4

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

True Joy

God has truly changed my heart. I don't like the "camp high" that lasts for a few days and fades away. God has shown me through an inevitable yet painful breakdown that He is in control, and can take even the most broken and turn it into beauty for Him. While battling through anxiety and depression, I know God is still on His throne and never left. He has given me permanent joy that last THROUGH the struggles. A while back in freshman year, Kelsey presented the idea to me that We can truly experience joy even while we're depressed. At first, my thought was "are you kidding?" but thinking over it I found it to be true. Going through depression now, the thought was brought back up to my attention. And yesterday, I experienced its true meaning. Our permanent lasting joy and hope is through Him. He gives us the joy of freedom and victory through painful struggles so that everything brings glory to Him in His perfect plan. The depression may be out of my physical control right now, but I have that lasting joy through it all. God has created everything perfect in its timing and although we want the pain to be gone, He has a perfect plan FOR that pain.

He's also reminded me to be authentic with my pain to my brothers and sisters in Christ. If a part of the body is hurting, it needs to let the rest of the body know in order for the pain to not cause destruction and instead, heal. He provided me with sisters that walked into the junk of my life to help lead me back on the right path to Him. If I'm authentic with my struggles, healing can inevitably come quicker. It's not going to be easy, and I'm not going to like it, but God never called us to a pain-free life.

"If it's in pain that Your Name is made great let it be, Lord let it be."