August 18, 2014

“Genie, you’re free.” -Aladdin

This quote is from one of my favorite movies of all time, Aladdin.  It has been quoted often in the past week as the world has mourned the loss of beloved comic and actor Robin Williams.  All over the news and social media have been the pictures and movies of this incredible person with such an epic talent who ultimately took his own life.  Just tragic.

With this sudden death mental health has been brought to the forefront of social media.  I am so thankful for this.  It is something that must be talked about.  In my high school days I had some dark seasons of depression.  But no one ever knew.  On the outside I was a happy and bubbly cheerleader with lots of friends and a great life.  On the inside I was insecure, unsure, hurting and broken.  And that was even after I had found Jesus Christ.  I felt like the darkness would come over me like a heavy blanket and had days where I thought it would be better if I just didn’t wake up.  Better if I just let the car run off the road into the dark.

I don’t have thoughts like those anymore but I do have dark days sometimes.  I do have down days.  I do feel that blanket creeping up my legs some days.  Jesus meets me in these moments.  His voice speaks to me like a loving Father out of His Word and deep in my heart.  I have learned how to shake off the feelings and put myself in situations that will help me to throw off the blanket.

During my time in the United States I met up with some close friends who recently lost a brother and son to suicide.  We spoke openly and deeply about it.  We wept.  We sighed.  We sat in the sadness; in the deep darkness that was created because this person we loved chose to end his life.  And yet we are still here and there is still life to be lived.

The message being shared by this family who recently lost their beloved family member is to “BE FREE.”  They are spreading this message because a person who is struggling with mental illness and other issues such as addiction just desires to be free of their pain and they think the only way to find freedom is in death.  But there is life in Jesus and there is always a way out of death.

At my friend’s funeral they gave out these small beaded blue bracelets.  I wear them daily to remind me of my friend and all others who struggle with mental illness and addiction.  I am reminded that we ALL long to be FREE.

 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

I want to say that if you feel dark you are not alone.  If you feel pain there is still hope.  In this world we will only find true freedom in JESUS CHRIST.  He is real and He will meet you in the darkness.  And HE will set you free.

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