Last Thursday morning I woke up early to the morning sun shinning through the walls of my tent. I had a morning prayer and then laid there for a while. In part to open my ears to God’s voice and in part to relax yet as I heard no one else stirring in our campground.
When I did hear stirring I got up and put on my running gear. We, two of the women leaders and I, went for a nice 2 mile jog. We got back, slightly sweaty and hot, stretched out and got ready for breakfast. It was going to be another wonderful day filled with fellowship and music here at the Sonshine festival. I was enjoying getting to know the youth group that I was helping to watch over.
Fast forward a couple of hours. I am sitting alone, leaning up against a tree. Crying. I had been crying for at least an hour and I could not stop. I was feeling like a high school girl again. Left out and forgotten. Why could I not seem to cement together a friendship, why was I always the person on the outskirts. Most of these feelings were completely unfounded. A demon or two had managed to find me here, tap me on the shoulder, and whisper in my ear. My friends were trying to get a hold of me, even though I told them I wanted some space. I did not want anyone to see that I had been crying. I tried and tried and tried to shake these feelings. I prayed, I talked to James on the phone (he would be arriving at the festival tonight) and I asked God why I just could not feel better right now. Well, He knew why.
I eventually pulled myself together and headed back to the group. Despite that little upset, the day went wonderfully from there. We watched more bands and I learned some new games with the youth group.
Evening came and we gathered at the tarps by the main stage. After a bit the main female youth leader, who is also one of my closest friends up here, came over and sat by me. One of the girls in the youth group is struggling greatly with depression and cutting, I knew this, it was part of the reason I gave my testimony in church a few weeks back. It was something I struggle with as well. Anyway, the youth leader had noticed the girl seemed to be struggle today. With all the spiritual and emotional stuff going on around her, I am sure her spirit was trying to break free and feel the joy of the day and I am sure her darkness was trying to drag her down. The youth leader told her that she knew she could come talk to me, but this youth was worried that I was fine, that I now had it all together and wouldn’t understand anymore. Ha. So the youth leader asked if I would watch for an opportunity to talk to her and see if I could connect and help. I said sure.
As LeCrae, a rapper that one of my friends was excited for, was ready to take the stage a bunch of us went to head to the front. Only one youth group kid remained, the one who was struggling. I stopped and asked her why. She had wanted to head back to the campground to grab something she had left behind and was waiting for a time to ask the female youth leader to go back with her. I said, oh you could probably go ask her now, and as she got up to ask I turned and continued heading up to the stage, not really thinking.
WHACK. Spiritual two by four to the head. Oh, Oh yea. . . um that probably was my opportunity wasn’t it God? Oops. I turned around and caught them just in time and I offered to take her, since the female youth leader had already walked three other kids to the camper and back this evening.
The youth and I gabbed all the way to the camper. I really didn’t know how to start this conversation. I am not sure if she even knows that I know about her depression. I just kept the conversation going hoping to find an opening. On the way back she quietly asks, “Were you scared when you gave your testimony?” Here goes. I talked about my thoughts on giving my testimony and the conversation went into more of my struggles and how I feel when I am depressed. “That’s how I feel too!” She actually seemed to have a little excitement in her voice.
I did not try to help today. I did not try to tell her what to do to feel better. We just talked about what we feel and what we think and she was comforted to know that she was not alone. That these problems were not just her own, but that for once she had found someone who could relate with her. I told her I had broken down earlier that day and that even though I haven’t cut in over six years I still struggle with depression. I told her it gets better. Some days I can manage it better.
I am the way I am for a reason. I am broken. I am perfect.