My Life Has Always Sucked (and other generalizations that stop us from being healed)

Psalm 13

1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.

I wanted to share a live recording of a very short song I wrote and played in college. It is from Psalm 13. I find that putting psalms to music helps me memorize them.  I hope it helps you to encourage yourself in the Lord by memorizing His word and speaking or singing it to yourself.

Sometimes it just feels like you have felt bad FOREVER. Time stands still when you are hurting, physically or emotionally. We tend to no longer remember any days that were good, and we rewrite our personal history to be a simplistic, condensed version of the truth, such as “My life has always sucked.”

But that’s not true either, because you have had moments of joy throughout your life. You are just choosing right now not to remember them because those memories don’t support the picture you have painted of your life as always having been bad. When we are exhausted from the battle against sorrow and disappointment, we tend to over simplify and generalize, because we just don’t feel like we have it in us to relive and deal with the specifics.

But therein lies the problem. Depression and anxiety cannot be healed without dealing with specific events in your pasts, not generalizations. When I ask women to drill down to the specifics of what has happened to them in the past, to tell me the last time they felt happy, the last good friend they had, or when their depression started, and they can’t tell me anything at all, I know they are blocking memories. They are blocking them because it is easier to live in depression and anxiety than to fight against it, and by simplifying and generalizing your past, there’s nothing to deal with. You can just “give up” and say there is nothing to be done about it.

But that is not the truth. The truth is that specific things happened in your life to set in motion your current paralysis of emotion. You must be willing to drill down into your past and dig those things up so they can be healed, not ignore them and pretend they didn’t happen. You have to REALLY WANT to be healed, and the dangerous thing about depression is that it sucks the life out of you so you don’t feel you have the energy to deal with anything. With anxiety, the problem is that you don’t want to deal with anything that will make you more anxious, so you avoid dealing with your past. So you avoid your past, and by so doing, entrench yourself in your present misery.

So what is the answer? You have to believe that you CAN be healed. You must have faith that God WANTS you to be healed and believe He has the power to heal you. Many of you have been determining God’s character according to what fallen human beings have done to you in your life and have come to the incorrect conclusion that He isn’t good and that He doesn’t care for you. BUT HE IS GOOD AND HE DOES CARE FOR YOU. He sent His son, Jesus, to die on a cross for you so you could be with Him forever. If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more does our Heavenly Father want to give good gifts to you?

I want to encourage you to attempt to believe in God’s goodness once again. I want you to trust in His unfailing love for you, and give Him the opportunity to heal what caused your pain and loneliness. You have your entire life ahead of you, and you actually CAN change what the rest of your life will look like IF you are willing to trust God and do the work of cleaning out the specific emotional debris that is clogging up your life. My prayer for you is that you will finally be able to say: I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been so good to me.