By Karis Rogerson, Online Managing Editor
He is here.
That’s what I want to get tattooed on the inside of my arm, where the scars are.
He is here.
You see, I’m trying to remind myself of this very important fact: God is here. Today, tomorrow and forever. No matter what trials I’m going through, I can rely on the fact that God is here. It is my firm belief that you can, too. Don’t trust me? Let me tell you a story.
I’ve been through some pretty bad trials in my life. Not bad in that I was raised in want or put through awful abuse. Bad in that my mind has been subject to emotional torture for the past seven years. Bad in that I have suffered from depression, bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts. Bad in that my sophomore year I spent three days in the hospital because I came so close to ending it in the Miller bathroom.
I have felt alone during the darkest times—like a stranger lost in the desert, who can see people around her, but finds she is enclosed in a glass cage every time she tries to get close. I felt like there was no one in the world who loved me, no one in the universe who would even care if I died.
It turns out I was wrong.
My story of attempted suicide doesn’t take the route that I prayed for someone to come to me and, within seconds, they appeared. It doesn’t involve being rescued by anyone. When I found myself in that bathroom with the knife to my wrist, I prayed that God would send someone to me. I prayed someone would walk through the door and save me. And that is not what happened.
Instead, the more I prayed and the more desperate I became, the louder the still small voice in my head became. The more I screamed at God that He had abandoned me, the more intensely I felt His presence surrounding me. And with the subtlety that only a true master can acquire, He slipped a thought into my mind—you are worth getting help.
I realized that I had reached a true crossroads, where I could choose to continue down my path to destruction, or I could turn to those around me and find help. In my darkest moment, He was there to save me.
I don’t know what your story is. I don’t know what you struggle with, what keeps you up at night, and I don’t care. Okay, let me rephrase that: I care that you are hurt, but it does not matter to me if your trial is homesickness, perfectionism or porn. And it doesn’t matter to God either. He wants to be there with you, right in the midst of the pain and the struggle.
There will be people who tell you you can’t doubt or struggle if you’re a real Christian. They will say that faith overcomes all, and if you just have enough faith you can get over any struggle. And that is just not true. There is no reason to be ashamed of your mental illness; there is no reason to be ashamed of what tempts you.
Because if Jesus can look at a prostitute and say, “I love you,” can eat with a tax collector and forgive the man who denied him, I think he can handle anything you have to throw at him. He might look at you and tell you not to sin anymore, but when you do, he’ll put his arm around you and offer forgiveness.
Most importantly, he’ll remind you: He is here.