Maybe God isn’t enough? I mean, I believe God is everything, that Love is the answer to everything. But what if we need help seeing that God is the answer to everything, that Love is enough?
A year ago, this week, I decided God wasn’t enough. I decided that the prayers I was praying weren’t enough, that the begging only made me more of a victim. This week, last year, I counted out my meds to see how long I could make it until I needed to find a way to refill everything. One week left, and I refused to go back to the pain doctor to get more. I sat in this same spot, on this same sofa. This exact breeze meandered through the windows to my left. Atticus was new and asleep, the girls played outside, David sat, numb and sad, next to me. I looked at him and said, “I can’t do this anymore.” Soft, gentle tears trickling down. “I can’t do this anymore. I need help.”
I’d known for a long time I needed help, but meds just made everything appear so much better…for fifteen minutes. And I always had a better reason not to feel. Months prior to rehab I prayed for a therapist, I prayed for help detoxing at home, I prayed for everything I knew to pray for. Then I realized I needed to stop praying and start doing. So on 10/20/14 I went somewhere to get the help.
God wasn’t enough, the version of God I was submitting to wasn’t enough. I needed professionals, I needed intensive therapy, I needed group therapy, I needed 12 steps, I needed classes on anger and trauma and forgiveness, I needed to hear I wasn’t bad— that I was actually normal, and brave. It was radical. My entire existence flipped, no exploded. Never before had I been allowed to be so…me. So human. Never before had I heard other humans speaking such human things. Can you imagine how refreshing a week in rehab and six weeks in Intensive Outpatient Treatment were?! I could say anything, and everyone nodded with a knowing smile. “We know, we’re hurt humans, too…” Imagine that. I’m not talking bible study vulnerability, where you say pretty versions of things and finish with “…but I know God is good and everything will be okay, just keep praying. Please.” I’m not talking best friend confessions where you spin it ever-so-slightly. I’m not even talking journal confessions, where you write it (almost) all down, but while you wrote you convinced yourself you really felt a different way, a better way, and so you record that instead. Nope, rigorous honesty means you can’t lie. You literally cannot lie.
Do I believe that journaling and praying and verbal processing are enough to heal? Yes. Do I think God shows up whenever we show up? Yes! Here’s the thing, humans suck at showing up when we have things we are protecting. We suck at showing up when we have defended ourselves so well from the world and the people and the pain. Even when I thought I was showing up and being vulnerable, I wasn’t. At all, like…at all. I am an extreme case though. So let’s take less gnarly cases of trauma and pain, let’s take any number of events that change the way you perceive reality and life (the definition of trauma). You’re not weak or bad for thinking maybe God isn’t enough to help heal it. It’s actually the bravest thing you can do, admit that you need help. My experience is that God loves saving the day in the form of professional mental healthcare providers who love Him/Her.
It was through therapy and healing help that I re-learned how enough God really is. Please, go to therapy if you feel like maybe not all of you is showing up, if you’re still protecting bits of you. If you need a referral, I have several for the Denver area. All of them amazing and real, and they WILL HELP. If you need help, get help. It’s so brave! God was always there, waiting to fill up all of my holes, waiting to hug me too hard. It’s just that, I wasn’t. I wasn’t there.