The diagnosis was post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with depression. She offered me antidepressants. I was too proud to take them. And, I was afraid that if I felt better, I wouldn’t do the work necessary to move past the memories of the icky neighbor. I was certain that if I didn’t do the work Curt would leave me. Really, I was afraid he’d leave regardless. If he left, that would prove my deepest fear about myself-that I was truly unloveable.
It was in the midst of this work that God began teaching me a very important lesson. A lesson that not only helped break the grip of depression but also strengthened my relationship with Curt. God made it very clear that I had to tell Curt everything I was going through including my deepest fears-most importantly my deepest fears.
Proverbs 15:3 Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
I was so afraid of saying out loud what was in my heart that I had to write it out for him to read first, and then we could talk about it. The most amazing thing happened. He looked at me and said, “That makes total sense that you would feel that way and I’m not leaving you.” His reassurance that I was “normal” took all the power out of my fear. Thinking about it still makes me tear up. He extended the hand of Jesus, the hand of love and grace. Not only did this help me heal from the PTSD and depression, it strengthened my relationship with God. I started to believe in my heart, not just my head, the love and grace of scripture. Curt was the messenger bringing joy to my heart and health to my brain.
We all need someone in our lives who expresses unconditional love to us, to hold us up when we are down, to extend the hand of Jesus that gives a lifeline. We are commissioned to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Now, I know why. Through Curt, Jesus was able to start healing those dark places in my heart that I didn’t think I would ever share with anyone. But, in sharing, came God’s light and love in monumental, life-giving ways.
Where is God calling you to extend a hand? Is there someone in your life you need to reach out to? Or, is God telling you that is time to get gut level honest about your fears and brokenness? Telling Curt accelerated the benefits of therapy. Start talking. Share your story of someone who extended the hand of Jesus to you. It will encourage me and others.