Throughout my life, I was always searching for something I thought I was missing. I struggled deeply with depression and feelings of emptiness and worthlessness, often thinking, “What’s the point?” I felt like if I went missing, no one would know. I believed nothing would ever heal the emptiness I felt in my soul and that the only way to end the pain would be to end my life. Depression pushed me so far into a darkness that I thought I’d never get out of it, and every time the depression came back it felt more consuming. Constantly comparing myself to other people and wondering if things would ever be different was a tiring way to live.
Right before COVID started, I felt more depressed than ever. As a nurse, I was assigned to work at a COVID testing site and knew I would need to further isolate and quarantine from everyone. I was terrified because isolation and loneliness always intensified depressive feelings for me. However, at the same time, I felt like I was working in the exact place I needed to be as a nurse. I felt desperate and was willing to do anything.
Little did I know, this desperation was my push right into God’s hands and the life of freedom he offers. In talks with a friend from my gym, I was moved to start getting to know God. This friend sent me the link to start streaming the virtual service at Covenant Fellowship during those first few weeks of COVID, and I saw the announcement for the Bridge Program. In complete desperation, I signed up. I asked my friend about it because I was so nervous and new to the church, and he kindly signed up too, walking through it with me. God so graciously placed people in my group who I could have vulnerable conversations with. He drew me closer to him each week through discussion and prayer. I found myself asking, “Who else but God could save me from those thoughts I was having?” “Who else but Jesus could restore my peace?”
I thought that my darkness was too deep for me to ever find joy, that the feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and suicide would never go away. I always thought I had to figure this out on my own. I never knew where to turn and thought I had to find a way to just be stronger every time. Growing up in the Catholic church, I always assumed I was good enough to get to heaven, but I never truly knew what it meant to identify with Christ as a committed follower of Jesus.
But Jesus showed me, and what I learned through being saved by the mercy and grace of God is that my perspective is not always God’s perspective. Unless I gave up control and surrendered everything to him, I would always be fighting a losing battle. I learned I don’t have to figure everything out on my own because I have Jesus by my side every moment, and his love is enough for me. He will fight for me. And above all, I found what I’d always been searching for: God, who made me for his glory.