Braving the Storm

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

                 -Joshua 1:9

My mind is a storm.

My heart is a hurricane.

At times I feel like a weak man inside an old and leaky paddle boat in the middle of a raging ocean.

The reason I haven’t written a blog post in almost three months is because of this pit of depression I’ve been trying to climb out of. I want to talk about that, but first, let me give you some background on this situation.

Back in January, I slipped on the icy parking lot at my college. I managed to get myself a moderate traumatic brain injury known as a concussion. Since that time, I’ve developed a struggle filled case of Post Concussive Syndrome (or PCS for short). Symptoms include dizziness, confusion, horrible migraines, short term memory loss, random personality changes, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. I have suffered every single one of these symptoms, especially the personality/anxiety parts.

Finding joy in even the most enjoyable things was a struggle.

I dreaded things that I normally love.

I avoided things that I would normally seek out.

I fell into what was recently diagnosed as moderate depression.

My closest friends and family would try to encourage me with all of the joyous things in life, but it’s as if I refused to even open my eyes to get the smallest glimpse of beauty. I praise God for their perseverance and unwavering dedication to being the overly excited Disney land employee to the grumpy old man who wanted to sit in his chair of ugliness and complacency.

This all came to a tipping point and my doctor put me on prozac, one of the most popular antidepressants.

I praise God for that door being opened for me. I feel like He used it to help me re-focus on what my heart needed…

To see that I’m not the one in control. God is.

All of this anxiety and depression, at it’s core, is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear that I might mess up at whatever  opportunities have been handed to me.

Fear that I might lose control.

Here’s what I neglected to realize in this arrogant and hardened heart….

I was never in control in the first place.

This is something that I’ve come to realize just in the last few weeks. God has me in His hands and He is not letting go.

My God is bigger than the storm of my mind.

My God is bigger than this ocean of raging chaos.

In Him I can find my strength to carry on, even when the stinging wind and rain blows against my face, He is strong.

Even when my mind feels like it’s clouded by a fog of confusion, He is the lighthouse on the shore of security.

One of my favorite songs by Jon Foreman says this –

“Why should I worry? Why do I freak out? God knows what I need. You know what I need. Your Love is strong.”

This is a journey that is not yet finished for me. The seas of my heart are just now beginning to calm. The fog of my mind is only starting to lift. As it burns off from the warm and glorious light of the beauty of God, I can rest in Him.

In Him I can brave the storm of the chaos of my mind.

I hope you’ll continue to join me as I start this journey of healing and recovery. This is a journey I plan on sharing about through this blog. My prayer is that through it, I might be able to share with you a bit of my heart and whatever encouragement I pray that God will bring out of it. Thank you for reading.

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18 thoughts on “Braving the Storm

  1. Hey Jacob,
    You’re not alone my friend 🙂 I have struggled with anxiety/depression my whole life, and I know sometimes it feels like no one understands. Even when people around you are trying to cheer you up and you try to do things that usually make you happy, you still feel like you’re in a pit.
    It is very brave of you to share your emotions and experiences through this. It is also very encouraging and inspiring to me 🙂 So thankyou for sharing 🙂 I’ll be praying for you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jacob – this is a beautifully written post. I can so relate to your depression. Two years ago I fainted in my kitchen and broke my neck. It’s been a rocking boat trying to find a new norm for my life. I will pray for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Bless you for writing this, for being so vulnerable and transparent. I’m excited to read more of your healing journey. Having had my own bouts of depression and anxiety, I found myself relating to much of what you wrote, especially about fear and the illusion of control.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jacob,
    I am so sorry to hear that you are dealing with depression. I think that the more we are honest about this disease, the more people will be able to find ways to fix it. I wrote about my own experience with depression here (http://elihuscorner.com/2015/07/15/the-overlooked-truth-about-depression-and-faith/). Im hoping that it can encourage you during this difficult period.

    You’ve got your mind and heart set on the Lord—He won’t fail you! Keep on keepin’ on.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your experience. =] You are allowing God to speak through you to others who may be experiencing similar situations. It is so important for you to use your gift of writing to share what the Lord is revealing to you. Thank you for your honesty.

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  6. Jacob, can’t say that I’ve ever had a major medical problem. I get a cold, I’m depressed. I have however, had a major faith problem. And it taught me a great deal. Once you have accepted Jesus as your savior, you are NEVER alone. Oh, He will stand back and let you make a complete fool of yourself as you assert your will over His; but, He will also answer your call when you turn to Him. Sounds like you have figured this out. Stand firm. You and God make an unbeatable team. Loved your post.

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  7. Thanks for responding to my blog. I read yours on Braving the Storm and commend you for, not just your writings, but also your faith in the Almighty. I think, for many of us, one of the hardest things to do is, “Let go. Let God”.

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