RE: Seven

A shift in perspective can do a lot. So often I still identify with who I was before or focus on who I’m not. Rather than focusing on who I am now with an appreciation of how far I’ve come.

God has really brought me far from where I’ve come. After writing my post titled “Seven,” I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Then, the events of this weekend was just another reminder of this: How much of a difference a shift in perspective can make.

Truth is, I see hope and a future now. Something that seven years ago, I never did. Yes, there was so much pain and heartbreak, but I’ve learned so much through them and those lessons I hold close to my heart. I catch myself looking back through a “woe was me” lens without appreciating and having a grateful heart that in my weakness He is strong.

I pray that regardless of what situation I find myself in and in every circumstance – my perspective stays heavenward.

Throughout the years I’ve always asked myself, “Why hasn’t God taken this stupid depression away?” When in reality I know the answer, even if at the time I’m in too much pain to remember. I know it’s just what he uses so that I’ll trust him more. Not that when I’m feeling like garbage, it means that I’m not trusting Him. I think it serves as a reminder to trust that He’ll come through. That He’ll provide the grace when no one else does, not even myself. That He’ll love me when I feel most unlovable. A reminder to trust that in His time, He’ll fill in those gaps in my life. The ones where I feel so incredibly inadequate, gross, ugly and unworthy.

Isn’t that what the message of the cross is anyway? The reason my Savior lives – to stand in the gap. How can I doubt that? Even when I feel like this world is better off without me, I know the message of the cross is real. How can doubt He won’t stand in my gaps, when I know the cross stands true?

I never want to worship vicariously, like so often I do when I feel terrible. I never want to serve without fully loving people. I long to always stay as close to His fire as I was on Mt. Carmel. I know nothing stands in the way of that, besides so often myself.

d115cf0f406ba70607e6da5714515d79I’m coming to a place in my life where all the chapters are coming to an end. I’m graduating and now officially a professional in this adult world (lol help). I can longer work at my job, because it’s for students. Even emotionally, God is working on my heart and healing so many wounds.

This weekend was the first to many doors I know God is going to open. I’m excited that I’m able to volunteer on a team at church dedicated to one of the things I’m most passionate about in life. I was never able to have my two worlds collide: church and mental health. More often than not, they collided in a negative way, resulting in me being shunned at church for dealing with mental illness. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be using my clinical license and educational background to educate the church and serve it’s members in a way not many can.

And to think that I still find myself identifying with the “old me,” when everything around me is proving how the “new me” is blossoming. God always reminds me of His special love for me in flowers, this is just another one of those reminders.

I feel like I’m coming to a season of new beginnings. My body may not  be “regenerating itself,” like people say the human body does every seven years, but I know my spirit is coming to a place of revival. I may feel stuck in my situations, but I know that just means God is going to move.


A note to self 

Dear Nicole,

The only justice is love. Just let it go. You don’t have to write back. You don’t have to respond. You don’t have to explain. Life is not about being right. There is truth inside the words you read, inside the songs you hear. You don’t feel at home anywhere, but you feel at home when you read that book. 

Someone calling you a liar, does not make you a liar. Just as someone calling you a hero, does not make you a hero. No human gets to name you. Find your identity in what matters, in that one true place. If someone gives you something, and then takes it back – accept it. If someone says something, and then they don’t – that’s okay.  Don’t keep reaching for rewind. Guilt and regret are awful places, you know that. Don’t live there. Do not despair. Do not be afraid. There is grace, there is hope. 

“God must be a pretty big fan of today, because you keep waking up to it.” You don’t always believe that. The sun keeps raising on this thing that has never been known. Regardless, you have made your request known for a thousand different yesterdays. Yesterday is dead. It’s over. Those days are wrapped in grace. You’re alive. Embrace today as the best place to be. 

Today deserves your attention. Friends, family, strangers deserve your attention. People whose lives you’ll touch even if you don’t feel worthy of it. Tell them about grace. Tell them about the books, the songs and how you hold onto it.  

Wake up. You’re alive. You don’t always want to be but accept that you are. Make the most of it. Immerse yourself in the grace that is today. You are free. Regardless of the madness in your head. Regardless of the pain and the heartache, the losses and the tears. You are worthy and you are loved. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by others, to be so deeply affected and hurt by the rocky bends of the river of life. Remember that every river leads to the ocean. Remember, you will make it. 

Your friend, 



It’s said that the human body replaces itself, at the cellular level, every seven years.

If you have ever taken a human biology class, ever, you know that’s not true. Every body part, every cell, has its own very distinct lifespan. A bunch of cell types are constantly getting replaced, and there are also a handful that never get replaced.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot this past week. That myth has always been in my head. Part of me always thought it to be true, or rather I wanted it to be true.. I think of this especially with the things going on in our culture right now. This past week one of my favorite humans ever, Jamie Tworkowski, wrote a response to “13 reasons why.” It was brilliant. Everything I could have possibly wanted to say.. (Read it here!)

2017 makes 7 years to a couple of things, including but not limited to:

7 years since I started taking antidepressants.

7 years since I first read the book 13 reasons why.

7 years since I attempted to take my own life.

Which as one can imagine all the above made the Netflix series really exciting for me to watch because I loved the book, but really triggering because Hannah was me.

I never talk about it. There is such a negative stigma around it, especially considering the field I’m in. Of course, theres the concept of “wounded healers” but no one really shares the “wounded” part. Of course my family knows, they found me half dead. But in my family, everything is shoved underneath the rug. How would that look like to others? A girl who went to church all her life, purposely overdosed. No one in the church knew. To everyone I was in the hospital for a month that summer for a “headache.” Right, okay.

I remember it so clearly. The agonizing stomach pain from all the pills, but the relief slowly letting go of reality into the nothingness that awaited me. I didn’t even care about what I’ve always heard at church. “I was going to hell.” Correction, I was leaving hell. I was in so much physical pain, but it was bliss. Pure substance induced bliss. I have no idea how I wound up at the hospital, incubated days later. Once I realized what was going on, I basically turned into the hulk. Forcefully ripping everything off me, with nothing but anger. Being forced down, strapped and labeled “flight risk,” so many thoughts flooding my mind. “Why didn’t it work? How could this happen? Why can’t I do anything successfully?” Being, the con that I am, I then faked it ’till I made it. I played every doctor in that hospital, then every therapist in the following residential treatment center into believing I was okay enough to leave that place weeks later. But of course, not without acting out, pulling pranks and flirting just because I was bored..

Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, maybe I would be okay now if I had only adhered to residential treatment, therapy, support groups, etc. I think about that sometimes. Not once have I regretted the attempt to take my own life though. Probably wrong to admit that, but it’s honest. More often than not, I get angry all over again that it didn’t work.

I still resonate so deeply with Hannah Baker, my former self, it frightens me. I still have that notion that everyone is against me, that my rep is a bad one, and that I’m perpetually alone. It’s not even a said notion, but much of it is fact. I probably shouldn’t have watched the series to be honest, for my own mental health. But truthfully I get mad at myself, too. I don’t blame my parents for not telling anyone. I should be okay. I should be relying on God. Regardless of how much I try its like nothing works. I should have a proper support system that points me to Him. How can I do that? How can I be a successful social worker anyway? These are only my daily anxieties, exacerbated by the viewing of the Netflix series. What is one to do anyway?

For this, I wish so badly that the body would regenerate itself every seven years. This year being the year I get a new brain, one that isn’t sick, or sad, or broken – or whatever is going on in there. This year being the year I simply forget everything in my past. I know all things are made new with Christ. And don’t get me wrong, so much has drastically improved, but I’m so incredibly tired of the journey. Of the struggles and the pain along the way.

But I guess that’s all that I shaped me into who I am today, huh?



Same Old

You know. I always tend to find some hope for the future.

Something will change. Things will get better.

I’m starting to not believe that anymore. I look back to the things I used to feel, or even posts on here. I still feel the same exact way. I still feel alone, empty, hopeless, useless.

I was so proud of myself for getting off my anti-depressants. I really thought God had cured me. I had this whole epiphany. I thought that my life had changed forever. I’m slowly coming to the realization that I can never change. I will always be the mentally unstable girl. Will I always need to rely on pills for stability? For happiness? I hate to admit that they actually work. I hate to admit that I don’t always believe that “the joy of


the Lord is my strength.” I hate to admit that “choosing joy” is nearly impossible for me. Why wouldn’t I “choose joy?” I’m a terrible Christian. Surely God hates me. I know he doesn’t. I know that when I’m sad I’m not rational. Logically, I know the truth. But really – why can’t I even trust him for my happiness? Honestly right now I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to turn?

I feel so alone. I feel unworthy of love. Family, friends, guys, even God’s love. I let him down – I continuously let him down. I mean I’m still depressed, right? I have people in my life, and for that I’m thankful. Honestly, I really am. However, I can’t help but have this constant notion that no one will stay around forever. Everyone will leave me because no one really cares. I know people will always let me down. I can’t expect much from them. Does that mean I can’t expect much from myself? I can’t expect myself to be 100% okay like I want to be?

Maybe that’s the answer. To give myself grace because in the end, I’m human. But I really can’t do that. Doesn’t seem right. I don’t want to settle for being depressed. This feeling is not okay. I’m not okay. I cannot go on through life feeling like this. There has to be more. And I know there is – I’ve experienced it. Why can’t I stay at that place? Why can’t I permentantly reside at the place of happiness and peace?

Milk and honey

A constant prayer of mine is that God may truly “break my heart for what breaks his” (along with the rest of the lyrics of the song Hosana – the whole song is actually always a prayer of mine, I love it so much). That way, He is exposing my brokenness and sins and He can mold me into something beautiful – even if it hurts. I had no idea what I was asking for. a4533033456546a288f5457c73bfaefe

I knew at the end of the summer that God was preparing me for a new season in my life. Little did I know that within the next several weeks my life would turn into what felt like a train wreck.

Family issues at home resulting in facing multiple things from childhood. School work stressing me out. Relationship issues exposing sins I didn’t even realize I was dealing with. Beginning to deal with a real client caseload which is emotionally heavy. Unexpected medical diagnosis. A presidential election, a national reaction to it and a broken heart resulting from it all.  — All that just to say, it’s been a lot!

It’s weird making a list like that. Makes it feel like the things i’ve been dealing with aren’t a big deal because they’re so tangible. They’re right there, so black and white. Right? EH. Wrong.

It’s been taking  a real toll on me. Typically, I would be completely shut down. I mean I have retreated to a certain extent just for self-care, but not like I would in the past. Strangely enough, despite it all, I have an immense peace. Well, it’s not strange at all actually – I know this is God. I know He is allowing me to go through these things in order to mold me into a better person. Don’t get me wrong, some of it I brought it on myself. Some are consequences of my own sinful nature, and I’m accepting full responsibility. However, I’ve learned so much and grew so much just in a couple of weeks. I feel like a completely different person than I was a couple months ago.

I know I’m growing into who God wants me to be but I’m hurt, I’m not okay because of my present circumstances. But it comforts me knowing growth happens only through pain. Going through a desert is hard, but no one said living according to the word of God was easy. I know He honors it, though. I know He promises great things, so I can’t wait for Him to reveal His blessings. I know he’s bringing me to a land of milk and honey.


And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV

Take heart

When you think the world has hardened you, remember these things I tell you:

No amount of guilt or shame can change the past and no quantity of anxiety will change your future.

You will one day find yourself thinking for hours that you are unable to think like you used to, and it’s okay. You will think you are unable to be the person you were, and that’s okay too. Life happens, and will continue to happen, so I encourage you to live knowing that you are strong enough to use the callouses given to you by this world.

Callouses are hardened skin made by discomfort and pain. They aren’t pretty but they’re not useless. Callouses give you better strength and grip, better tenacity and discipline. Callouses are what help you to control pain after the initial painful blister. Many people in throughout their lives have physical callouses, but many of us have emotional, psychological, and invisible callouses. It may be easy to harden your heart because of the situations presented to you. Some trouble you get yourself in, and some problems present in your life that are out of your control. It’s up to you to see them differently. Aren’t battle scars caused when you overcome the suffering?

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A diamond is one of the hardest minerals. They are incredibly pressurized carbon. Their cut and clarity can distinguish them, but isn’t a diamond a diamond? The name itself is so precious and worthy, and no one bats an eye when you claim to have one because they are universally understood as having value.

They are hard, and we can be too.

Doesn’t life pressure us sometimes? What can a stone do that we cannot? Have some backbone, and be a strong, precious person. Have your own cut, and make your own valuable carat through personal accomplishments. By the grace of God, you really can do it. There is no such thing as pure luck when it comes to our abilities, so become the best pluck from the mine. Even if buried hundreds and thousands of meters deep, you’ll still make it. The deeper you are, the deeper your potential to turn your life around.

When you feel that the problems of this world is beginning to harden you, take heart. There’s nothing greater than improvement or growth. Keep hope. Make small things, great accomplishments; make great things, small goals. Push through and stand tall. Nothing is worth giving up your dreams and life now. You will learn that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28).

Your life has been given to you as a precious gift, but in the end remember it’s not about you. It’s not about your pain or even who hurt you. You are the clay in the potter’s hands. Allow yourself to be broken, and remolded into something beautiful in the hands of our Creator. Because ultimately, life is for living but living for God. Life has been and always will be only about Jesus. Keep your focus on Him through your suffering and pain.