I had a breakdown about a week before I released my EP.
The truth was, it was like the third breakdown I'd had over the course of three or four weeks. But this one was actually in front of people.
What really triggered it, was a conversation my husband and I were having with some friends who were visiting from out of town. We were laughing and catching up on life, our recent move and how things had been going for them.
But these aren't the type of friends who we just touch the surface with. And it quickly got to a place of "real-talk."
My husband began to open up with them about some of the personal struggles we were having (a lot of what we believed was the result of some intense spiritual warfare). I alluded to it in my last post when sharing the story behind my EP. But sparing the ugly details, it was one thing after another for us in the months following our move. And it affected us in every way - emotionally, spiritually and financially.
So there I sat, on the brink of tears, while Josh openly shared his heart with our friends.
I wanted to keep things lighthearted.
I wanted to celebrate and focus on all the good that was happening in our lives.
I should be happy, I thought, as I bit my lip and squeezed my eyelids together trying to force back the tears that I knew were inevitable.
But when they finally came, I now understand why - I felt unknown.
Have you ever felt this way? Like you have so much going on behind the surface, but don't know how or why or if you should share?
But your Instagram looks good. And you're still getting Facebook likes on all your cool jokes. So people think you're doing okay.
But then, someone who actually knows you comes over to your house and stares you in the face and asks how you're really doing... and there you are, a puddle on the floor.
Yeah, me too.
Sitting there on the couch, crying my eyes out in front of our friends, was humiliating, YES, but also freeing. Because they didn't run or excuse themselves from the conversation (never mind that they were staying with us that night and had nowhere else to go), but instead responded with, "us too." And we were able to hear how they were really doing and know how to pray and encourage them more.
With all the depression, anxiety and silent battles people are facing, I am more convinced than ever that being our real, honest selves is the only true way to live.
That's much easier to know than believe. And much easier to say than do. I understand. It took many prayers and my hard shell of pride breaking down to admit it. And also, this quote:
But really, THIS QUOTE.
I'll never forget after my husband and I came on staff at a prior church, one of the volunteers made a comment to someone that we looked like "the perfect Christian family" and that they "could never relate" to us.
Nothing broke my heart more.
Because... if they only knew.
So much of me wanted to find that person and spill out my life story. Tell them every pain and heartache Josh and I had faced in our lifetimes, and how it all felt undermined by their one simple assumption.
But I didn't.
Instead, I took it as a reminder to never judge a cover. Because there is so much more to every person's story, than the Hallmark movie you've probably made up in your head.
And I also took it as fuel to continually strive in being known. But ultimately resting in the fact that I already am.