Over a year ago when I first started meeting with my counselor, she had me draw a diagram of my extended family, describing each person in a few brief words. She was struck that I described myself as "burdened." I had no idea at the time how significant that word was when applied to me.
I was always the girl who had it all together. I was perfect. I followed the rules. I was smart, funny, capable, understanding. A good listener, encouraging, always had the right word at the right time. I was a good writer and a talented musician. I took care of kids like a pro and adults loved me. I could solve problems. I never lost my temper. I was mature, responsible. I was everything to everyone. I didn't complain about sickness or sorrow. I fit into the landscape so well that I might as well not have been there.
I was so busy helping other people with their lives that there was no time, no energy for my own life. And I was so stubborn, so tough, so committed to remaining this girl everyone could rely on, that I would have continued living this empty life indefinitely - probably until I died. I knew somewhere deep inside that if I failed, if I let things fall apart, certain people in my life would be angry and disappointed with me.
You don't think of God rescuing you with suffering. It almost seems obscene to say it. But if I hadn't gotten so sick and depressed that I literally couldn't function anymore, I would never have given up. I wouldn't have paused long enough to see the lie I was living, the horrible emptiness of it, the desperate settling for scraps of happiness.
I had to abandon the me that had created that life. To live something better, I had to let God remake me from the ground up. And He did. He's pretty awesome that way.