This past week, I received some emails from readers that thanked me for sharing with y’all. I thanked them kindly and kind of brushed it off at first, but as I got a couple more, I realized just how powerful sharing our own stories can be. It’s one thing to read about something in a book that was written thousands of years ago, and something entirely different to hear your friends, your colleagues, your children, share their little miracle. Still, as powerful as our own stories can be, we can be reluctant to share them with others.
A year ago, I wrote a blog post that was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever written. I shared with you all the fact that I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, something that I had only shared with a handful of family members and friends. I ended up sharing it, knowing full well that my coworkers and family would read it after having a conversation with my friend, Susie.
I talked to Susie about my reservations. I didn’t want to be seen as “that person,” especially since I’d only been at Diocesan for a few months. I wasn’t sure I wanted my aunts and uncles to know this about me. How would my parents feel, knowing others knew? Would my siblings be ashamed of me?
Susie told me that my embarrassment and fear was just the devil’s tools to keep me down. He was playing on my pride and my anxieties, making me feel unloved and unworthy. My coworkers would understand. My aunts and uncles would be happy to hear that I’m doing better and working on it. My parents would love me and know my pains. My siblings would support me. More importantly, she reminded me of why I write for the blog: to bring people to God.
I was still nervous, but I knew that God had given me the gift of writing and the gift of being able to rest in Him. I submitted the blog post.
Once the blog post was published, I realized how true her words were. It didn’t hurt my relationships or even my ego. Just like Susie said, everyone was supportive of me. My coworkers and readers appreciate my honesty. You all either sympathize or empathize with me. My parents and siblings were proud of my strength and faith in God’s plan.
The times where I find myself the most anxious occur when I consider just being vulnerable with people. Allowing them to see your struggles and weaknesses. On my journey, I was depressed and wanted to die, and it’s hard to admit that I had even gotten there. Yet, that dark place is one that so many share, thinking that they are all alone.
It was that same dark place that gave me the opportunity to see God’s glorious light and ask how I could serve Him, rather than myself.
That’s why I share this, and all of my struggles, with you.
How is the devil keeping us down and subservient to our pride? How are we letting our ego get in the way of helping others? Is it keeping us from being honest with even our loved ones? Pray with me, for yourself and others:
Oh, heavenly Father,
You have watched us grow and know the true contents of our hearts.
Help us to resist Satan’s quiet temptations.
Remind us to experience your love and acceptance.
Guide us towards honesty and gift of self.
Lend us your strength to rise above our pride.
Grant us the peace to share your saving grace with others.
Veronica Alvarado is a born and raised Texan currently living in Michigan. Since graduating from Texas A&M University, Veronica has published various articles in the Catholic Diocese of Austin’s official newspaper, the Catholic Spirit, and other local publications. She now works as the Content Specialist in Diocesan’s Web Department.