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i am goingI rarely write about my faith for Where I Stand. I think partly because in some of my most difficult and trying times I met individuals who told me that my struggle with my own brain was a result of my lack of faith, my own sin, or being disconnected from God. Comments like this broke me in a way that is hard to explain as I was looking up from a deep hole that was my own misery of depression, self-hate, disordered eating, fear, shame and disgust.

This planted a fear in my heart of sending others that same message. Today it’s time to face that fear.

I want to scream from the top of my lungs that your struggles, your illness, and your broken heart are not a result of God punishing you for some “wrongdoing” of your own creation. That idea and thought that people put in my brain that spoke lies to my heart comes from a dark place – a place that is untouched by the light of the Father. Those messages were lies spread by “bullies of the faith”.

You do not “deserve” and you did not “earn” pain, trial and suffering. All darkness in this world exists apart from God. We are faced with trials and suffering, pain and heartbreak because of the world.

It’s NOT your fault.

I have about twenty five journals filled with prayers crying out to God begging for relief and comfort. At times I wondered “what did I do to deserve this?” and “Why is God doing this to me?” The truth however was that God was breathing for me during those times. Each day he gave me grace (sometimes as simple and small as a hug from a friend) that allowed me to endure the pain.

The world is filled with heartbreak, pain, and fear. Some people told me that God was the giver of these things; the reality was he was my refuge from these things.

This post is not to convince you, convert you, trick you, or tell you that God makes any of this easy. I’m writing this to you to tell you that God won’t leave your side. I’m alive today because he didn’t leave mine.

You are loved.

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.