Project Semicolon Starts a Tattoo Trend

You may have heard about a growing trend via USA Today or Huffington Post that is raising awareness of mental health issues: people are getting tattooed with a semicolon.

Why a semicolon?

According Amy Bleuel, founder of the faith-based Project Semicolon,

A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life

Amen to that, Amy.

I can’t begin to count that ways that living in this world makes us want to put a period at the end of today. But I hear a reason for hope for today and tomorrow. I listen to a promise given to whoever will utterly depend on God,

I will never leave you nor forsake you.—Hebrews 13:5

This is what we call the gospel. It’s the good news we didn’t expect and don’t deserve. It’s the love of God He lavished on us through His Son, unexpectedly, undeservedly.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners [and needy, and broken, and desperate], Christ died for us.—Romans 5:8

Let God hold your days, each one. And at the end of them, at the end you don’t choose, you will find His promise true.

Dawn and I are staking our live on it. Millions through history have done the same.

Life is hard;

You feel alone;

You feel you have failed;

Someone abandoned you;

You were abused; betrayed; exploited;

The chemicals in your brain won’t come into balance;

You can’t escape that memory; that moment;

;

But God…

Selah.

There is real hope for you, from God, in Christ, today.

You can read more about Amy’s life and hope here: Why Me God? Why My Testimony? – A Story of Hope in The Midst of Despair

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Living With Mental Illness Is Hard

Living with mental illness as a mother is even harder.

When I first became deeply ill, I did not realize the impact it would have on my children. At the time, I thought I was doing a pretty good job of hiding it. But, I have discovered they saw more than I thought they did, and they didn’t like it.

Dawn at Tallulah Gorge, GA

The youngest one was only 2, so she doesn’t really remember. The older two were 9 and 11. They remember. They remember the emotional absence, and that’s painful for me.

Continue reading

Being Angry With God

You know what amazes me? – that God loves me.

Darkness

As readers of Average Us know, I experience recurring cycles between what I call “feeling good” and depression. During the depression cycles, I feel all sorts of dark, awful things. I lose control of my normal thought processes. I feel pain inside and out. And the only thing that anchors me is the hope of future freedom because of what God did for me in Christ.

I want to tell you about one particular cycle. I had all the same pangs of depression, but this time there was also something else:

Anger

I was angry with God – not a loud, in your face kind of anger – but a tired, brooding anger that was so buried inside that I couldn’t even admit it to myself. But I knew it was there. The anger and tiredness led to despondency. I was to the point of not caring. My soul was so thirsty for Him, but He felt trillions of miles away and was very, very silent.

And Worship

One night during this time I awoke with a start. I was filled with fear and panic. On the edge of losing it, I cried out to God for help. Then, alongside the fear came worship. Worship songs started to fill my mind. I should have been thankful – but I wasn’t. I was still angry. Angry that I woke up (AGAIN) with panic. The next morning I awoke with my mind again filled with music…worship. This pattern of waking up to worship songs went on. It was beautiful. My tired soul welcomed it. But I was still angry. And because of that anger, I did not “see” God in this experience. He was still miles away. Trying to pray and read the Bible was a disaster because my troubled mind still could not concentrate. That made me even angrier. But, the music went on…every morning and now throughout the day.

And Love

Do you see it? Do you see the love? Despite my anger toward Him and despondency toward the life He has given me, He sang over me. He sang over me every day and I ignored Him. I weep. Not because I was angry, but because in my anger I missed seeing Him. The prophet Jonah wrote, “those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” I could have seen that love and rejoiced in it. But instead I clung to my idol, my anger.

And Tears

But I also weep to know of His amazing love for me. My anger did not stop Him from loving me. My anger did not change His grace. I just couldn’t or wouldn’t see it for a while. I’m amazed at such a love that forgives even as I am angry. Was my anger a sin? Probably. But His kindness moves me to repentance, and today, today I am basking in the love I don’t understand.


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