I had a spontaneous visit at Bataan last January and I never felt so excited to travel an all-expense paid. With free hotel accommodation and 2 days full of food trip, it seems like a dream vacation came true for me. Or so I thought. I spent 2 sleepless nights inside a big hotel suite, just pleading with God for peace of mind to come in. And I find myself weeping on my own, in pain and desperation at the last day on that free hotel room. Reason: LONELINESS. Why loneliness? I’m not really sure.
This may be awkward and disturbing to hear, but I want you to know that all my life I’d been MENTALLY and EMOTIONALLY HANDICAPPED. Yup! You read it right! I grew up in this world filled with many brokenness and trauma that led me to be handicapped with my logic and emotions. Let me explain further.
When I was a kid, I never learned how to go well with my emotions. I didn’t know the meaning of happiness, joy, and love until I reach my 20’s. It meant that most of my childhood is reflected in what you called today: LONELINESS. I am the epitome of the word: UNINVITED. I don’t have any friends during my elementary days and grew up being weird around people. Because of that, I wasn’t able to be invited to any birthday parties, school activities, and even family reunions.
Teenage years had passed, I learned to be active and participate in a lot of school and church organizations, just to fill the void/emptiness of my early years. Being with these groups didn’t make me feel happy at all, because it’s ALL ABOUT PERFORMANCE. You do well, you are one with the team. You do things badly or any form of mistake, you are the no.1 subject to be picked on. That’s why I embraced bullying as a “norm” ever since elementary days. Kids tend to throw shady comments and borderline harsh words against me to take advantage of me. During that time, I have no right to complain or fight back, or else no one will talk to me and involve me in any events. So I ended up dealing with it.
These things continue to arise even I graduated college, and my emptiness and longing to be loved just got worst. This “performance trap” just got out of hand, that every approval of men is my ULTIMATE GOAL. I passed the LET (Licensure Exam for Teachers) and fulfill my childhood dream to be a teacher, but still lonely and empty. I became so used to a lot of pain and loneliness, even “so-called-friends” no longer want to deal with it. I always cry myself to sleep and start building panic attacks and anxiety/depression in my whole being.
My life was so down and out until I encountered Christ last 2014. My uninvited life has made new by a Savior and put a new purpose in it. This old, wretched life was now in freedom and peace after few years receiving Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. And so I thought.
I may be following Christ and do whatever it takes to live that way, but in reality, I must admit that I tend to be lonely and still feel the pain in this Christian life. I am the same girl who’s uninvited to weddings and any celebration/bonding moments. I still do a lot of things on my own, cry myself to sleep and experience tons of rejections, neglect, abandonment and hurt from other people (especially from the church).
To tell you the truth, my struggles and trauma haven’t changed much when I become a Christian. In fact, it got much worse when I learned out my mental illness. My anxiety attacks and loneliness is no longer an emotional thing, it grew up involuntarily to become a MENTAL DISORDER. It’s like even though I know that Jesus loves me and redeemed me from the past, it will not sink in easily. Why? Because my whole being is already bombarded with these traumas. No wonder why I’m still lonely.
Do I have a choice to NOT live with this anymore? ABSOLUTELY YES because Jesus is my Healer. But the process is NEVER EASY.
Some people like me assumed that Christianity is a gateway to a comfortable and easy life. But when people encountered His mercy and grace, repentance comes and the healing part (which comes with it) is the hardest. It will lead you back to those painful memories and expose all of your broken and sinful parts. Personally, it is never easy to go back with those memories and let God intervene. I was in denial and pretend that everything is alright, going back to that Christian-facade to hide the pain. But God taught me so much about humility and led me to the hardest way of healing. It is never easy, but I learned that it is BETTER to go to those processes and let God do what’s best.
Why go to the hard, narrow path of healing a broken life with Jesus?
1. God is the ULTIMATE HEALER that everyone can have
God is healing me STILL in this Christian walk, and it’s a continuous process that can lead to my “sanctification part” to completion. Last year, God led me to a different type of healing called “Living Waters.” It’s a movement that helped Christian people who battled addiction and depression to encountered Christ in an intense inner healing journey. The sessions helped me so much to know who God is as MY Heavenly Father and who Jesus is as MY ULTIMATE HEALER AND PRINCE OF PEACE.
These may be encouraging and empowering for me, but I learned that healing is far from over. More than just attending a class session, it’s a lifetime decision that I need to make as I let Jesus heal me from the inside out. It helped me with my faith to be strong as God renewed me to be what He wants me to be. Is it hard to expose your filth and flaws? Yes, but it’s worth it. Because when the vulnerability comes, Jesus also comes to show Himself mighty to save.
2. I am a WORKING PROGRESS, in need of a SAVIOR.
I learned from this journey that I cannot do anything right apart from Jesus. More than just learning from His Word, He continually teaching me to follow His perfect and pleasing will over circumstances, trials and hurt. He made me realized that He will still be moving with me and love me just the same, even though He knew I will fail a thousand times. Knowing that truth made me still walk on this Christian journey and not give up, even if it hurts. And besides, if that’s what it takes for me to EMBRACE CHRIST in my suffering, then it’s worth the pain. This world will tell you to just simply correct your mindset and fix your hormones to ease up loneliness. But without Jesus, true and eternal healing is impossible.
3. God is using my mess into a TESTIMONY.
If you’re suffering from depression like me, let me tell you that your messed-up story has its purpose. And it’s for “all things to work out together for your good, according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). The main reason why I’m still seeking God to heal me because I believe that every pain has its purpose. And one of it is to bring healing to many people. It’s mind-blowing to think and believe that God, in my wretched and broken life, still wants to use me to speak hope and light to people. And I’m thankful that God opened this website, for me to have an avenue to speak up and be used my testimony for His glory. God turned MY MESS into a MESSAGE; all because HE LOVES ME and His PERFECT LOVE CAN HEAL MULTITUDE OF SINS.
At the end of this rollercoaster ride, I learned that even all else fails, even if I will never receive that perfect healing from Him, I will make that decision to NEVER TURN BACK to the way I used to live. In fact, if healing is the ultimate goal and NOT THE HEALER HIMSELF, I will just end up fooling myself and be in the same pain over and over again. Because with all the treatments and talks I heard from experts, I concluded that no one can save a broken soul the way Jesus can. And with that, I rather choose to live with Jesus than not to live at all. To walk in His path that leads to eternal life than walk to those crooked and miserable road to destruction. Why? Because in my loneliness and depression, I learned that He is BETTER THAN LIFE. BETTER THAN ALL HEALING and MIRACLES COMBINED. He loves me too much to let me remain the way I were, and that’s a promise that I can hold on to till’ I see Him face to face.
“Do not be afraid. I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you. For I am the Lord, your God. … because you are precious to me and because I love you and give you honor, do not be afraid—I am with you!”
– Psalm 94:17, 18 (GNTD)
Why shouldn’t I be lonely? Because God is my “Emmanuel-God with US,” and with Him, loneliness is NEVER ALLOWED. Just pure love, acceptance, and completeness in His holiness and righteousness. If you’re still struggling with anxiety and depression, SEEK HELP. Talk to a reliable friend, seek professional help (if necessary), and make a BOLD CHOICE to accept your need of healing. And my ultimate advice, SEEK JESUS and CHOOSE HIS ULTIMATE INVITATION TO HEAL YOU ETERNALLY. No one can ever sympathize and heal us the way Jesus does. And if it’s happen to me, it will happen to you.