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Depression & Anxiety: An Open Letter to My Best Friend

Dearest friend, I have never loved someone who struggled with anxiety or depression. The idea that leaving the house or interacting with people could be so overwhelming was foreign to me. I had no idea that normal, every day tasks were so daunting that you woke up feeling completely defeated. Watching you strong arm your way through brick walls of negative feelings has inspired me. You are one of the strongest people that I have ever met. You smile, serve, and push forward through sleep deprivation, stress, and uncertainty. I know that you wonder what I see when I look into your eyes and into the darn corners of your life. When your house is a mess and your mind is aloof, I see you... and I love you still. When tasks are piled up like mounds of laundry and the day is too long, I will be here. After all the perceived failures, overthinking, and rationalizing, I'll meet you with a hot meal and a kind word. You have changed how I view anxiety. Anxiety boldly lies and whispers untruth. It tells you that you aren't enough and the worst is yet to come. It screams loudly from the rooftops that your mistakes define you and your sins are obvious. I wish that I could quiet that voice for you. My whole soul wants to proclaim your goodness, your grace under fire, and steady your heart. The Holy Spirit in me recognized itself in you. When your heart is heavy and your mind is clouded, remember these truths: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity a man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can anyone keep warm alone? Though one my be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken." I promise to be there to pick you up when you fall. When the day has too much in store or the "to-do" list is too long to bear, I will bring your body back. I will quietly and discreetly unload your plate and release you from burden. I will speak peace into your loneliness by being an honest and sincere listener. I will listen to understand and not to reply. I will appeal to your heart and consider your triggers before responding. I will train my mind to consider your feelings and use language that blesses you. Remember that God is our third strand. He is our bond, our strength, and grace sufficient. Proverbs 27:17 " As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." I promise to lock arms with you and fall forward toward the cross. We will spur one another onward to seek His face. He is our desire and our destination. We can grow together in His name and for His purposes. May the love we bear Him and each other be a light to those in need. Remember that the love that we have flows freely from the creator of love itself. Let us always focus on the fact that our friendship was sealed in Heaven as a gift that is designed to grow us both. James 2:16-17 " If one of you says to him "Go, I wish you well. Keep warn and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." I understand that there are real needs that come with suffering with anxiety and depression. I can serve you in ways that allow for a measure of comfort. I will invest the time to learn your love languages so that you can feel God's love through me. I will invest my money in ways that validate your goals, dreams, and God's calling for your life. I will bring you a meal when you are too tired to cook. I will sit with you in silence when talking is a chore. I will learn how to be God's grace and mercy for you. I will fervently pray for restoration, peace, and deliverance. I will lift your name to The one most high and give Him all the glory for your good days. I want you to know that, through all your troubles and hardship, I ask God that I may see you through His eyes. You are not your past, your mistakes, or your future mess ups. You are not valuable because you serve others or prove that you are worthy. You are valuable because God is within you. You are lovable because the God of the Universe sent His son Jesus for you (and me!). You don't have to earn love or ask for validation. You are already validated by the King of Heaven. With all my love! Megan

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