3 Ways to Combat the Thorns of Insecurity and Depression
- Megan Shook Alpha and Chris Shook
- 2016 14 Mar
Beauty begins in brokenness. That sounds counterintuitive, but it’s God’s way of displaying His beauty through shattered lives. We are all broken. The truth is there are really only two types of people – those who are broken and admit it and those who are broken and don’t. Beauty begins when I come to the end of myself and totally surrender to Him. God has the power to take the shattered pieces of our lives and make something beautiful out of them. In our book, Beauty Begins, my mom and I have discovered some practical ways to combat the thorns of insecurity and depression that rob us of our sacred reflection, and these have had a huge impact on my life personally.
Embrace Your Brokenness…
It is never easy to deal with depression or any event or situation that makes you feel an overwhelming amount of despair and loneliness. Maybe you’ve felt that way as well. I couldn’t understand until I felt that way myself. I found myself believing there was no meaning to life and being so sad and upset and in such pain that I felt nothing would make me happier than to go on to heaven. In a way I was right. We are meant for heaven, and nothing on this earth is going to totally satisfy us. But we are meant to live satisfying and fulfilling lives while here on earth. Looking back, I’m grateful I had such a hard time simply because it made me depend on God! Think about it. If everything were perfect in your life, you wouldn’t need God. You wouldn’t pray and connect with Him. You wouldn’t rely on Him. And you would miss out on the whole reason you were created – to be in a relationship with your Creator. My brokenness led me to the Beautiful One and the true source of my beauty.
Everyone has had a broken heart, and some of you are facing broken hearts right now. Some of you have just gone through the pain of divorce, and your hearts have been crushed. Some of you have lost a loved one, and your hearts are aching. Some of you have a child who is living in rebellion, and your hearts have been decimated. Every moment of every day your heart gets ripped apart. Just know this: there is a God who holds your heart together. He will heal your heart. He’s the only One who can. Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” If you have a broken heart today, God has never been closer than He is right now. He’s right next to you. He is right there to bring healing. Surrender your heart to Him so He can make something beautiful out of it. When you embrace your brokenness, God can begin healing your heart. He wants you to know how incredibly precious you are to Him.
Expect the Miracle in Your Mess
I used to think of miracles as being like a knight appearing in shining armor on a white horse or a fairy godmother swooping her wand. Poof! Everything’s perfect. The truth is that life is messy, and God works best in the midst of that mess. Life is a beautiful mess most of the time. It’s beautiful because God gets into the mess with us and turns it into a miracle. As I turned my attention toward other people, I began to see God working a miracle in the middle of my mess. Did it immediately cure my depression? No, but during that difficult time I finally had hope that God was going to bring me out of it. Repeatedly I would forget and feel as if the sadness would never end, but whenever I took my eyes off myself and put them on God and others, I felt hopeful and okay. Sometimes it was just the little acts of kindness that brought me satisfaction. I began to see that helping others brought me joy on normal days, and in the hard times this overwhelming feeling of fulfillment and joy could be enough to break me free from my chains of despair and loneliness.
Many times I have asked God why He allowed me to deal with depression. Only after I was able to walk another girl through her depression did I finally realize that beauty could come from such an ugly thing. Scripture tells us, “He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us” (2 Corinthians 1:4 MSG). God has taken my biggest mess and turned it into my most powerful message! God is turning the ashes of my depression into the beauty of His purpose. He has a way of taking our brokenness and making something beautiful out of it. Ask Him to take the mess of your mistakes, sins, and failures and turn them into His miracle.
Exchange Your Weakness for God’s Power
We believe, as women, that one of our biggest thorns is this constant insecurity about our looks or our bodies, so we focus on changing our appearance. But this only feeds our insecurity. This thorn reminds me of a man in the Bible named Paul who was given “a thorn” in his flesh, something he constantly struggled with that kept him from becoming proud and required him to lean on the Lord’s power and not his own. The problem is not the struggle to feel beautiful. The problem is that we don’t turn to God in the struggle. The Bible says that when Paul turned to God in his struggle, he prayed three times, begging the Lord to remove this thorn. “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me…For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:6-10 NLT). God can use our insecurities to drive us to Him where we can exchange our weaknesses for His strength. Your beauty comes from God and is eternal. God’s love for you never changes. When you choose to exchange your weakness for His power, you can rest in His love.
Publication date: March 14, 2016