The Squeezings of my Brain Grapes.
Your Future Is So Very, Very Bright

As I look through my dashboard here on Tumblr, I see so many of my friends feeling discouraged and beaten down.  Some of them are hating on themselves for the ways their body looks.  Some are tearing themselves apart because they aren’t in a romantic relationship.  And some are feeling wrecked because they are, and it isn’t working.

Particularly when you’re in your teens and early twenties, there are so many difficult things going on around you, and you don’t have a lot of control over many of them, and you can start to wonder, “Will things ever really be good for me?”

As your big brother, let me answer that: yes.

You - yes, you - have gifts, talents, and abilities the world needs.  There is a destiny for your life.  You may not see it yet, but it’s real.  I promise.  God has set the ball on the tee so that you could come into this world and change it.  If you’ll follow the Lord (and I know you will) this world will never be the same because you were in it.  (Ephesians 2:10)

You - yes, you - have a heart and body both that will be incredibly attractive to the right person at the right time.  Actually, let me rephrase that: In God’s time, in God’s way, there’s a person that will behold you - mind, body, and spirit - and think you hang the moon.  They will be blown away by you, entranced, madly in love, and absolutely determined to have you.  And you will get married.  And you will have sex.  And God won’t want you to stop making sweet love to each other as long as you live.  (1 Corinthians 7:5)

You - again, I’m talking about you here - will have a community of people that love you, believe in you, see what you bring to the table, and value you.  You will belong.  Follow the Lord, and he will take you to that place.  You will have fellowship.  You will have real family.  And you will have a closeness that can’t be found any other way.  (Matthew 12:50)

So don’t give up.  I know you’re going through hard stuff today.  Don’t give up.  Keep taking your struggles to God.  Keep getting strength from Him to face them head-on.  And don’t give up.

Your future is so very, very bright.

Should I Tell People About My Depression?

thebeautifuladdiction asked you:
I’m almost positive I have moderate depression, but I don’t want to tell my parents…I’ve been praying, but that desire and fire I once had, just isn’t as strong. I know only God can pull me through this. But still, I feel really lost, I need advice.

Jed Brewer replied:

Hi Madi,

Thanks for your question, sis, and I’m sorry you’re going through a rough time.

I can understand not wanting to talk to your parents about this.  And truth is, depending on your parents, it may not be the best idea anyway.  (Parents vary pretty widely in quality.)

But, here’s what I know for sure: you’ll want to tell somebody.  And I’m talking about somebody there in your actual real life.  (E.g. Not just folks on Tumblr.)

When we’re going through a rough time, we need other people to walk that mile with us.  And the thing about depression (which I’ve experienced no small amount of), is that it often times warps the way we see things.  That means that “getting yourself out of it” can be very difficult.  Having other people to talk to can help you get some sorely needed outside perspective.

You said: “I know only God can pull me through this.”  Well, I suppose, theologically, that’s true.  But, sis, God isn’t generally looking for you to solve problems in isolation.  And definitely not in this case.

God’s way of pulling you through this is almost certain to include a support network of people who love and care about you, some trusted advisors who know what’s up with you, and a spiritual mentor that’s helping you grow in the Lord.  In all of those things, it will be God at work, but he tends to want to use human beings as his hands and feet.  (See 2 Corinthians 5:20)

One of the reasons you need those other people surrounding and supporting you is so you can stay encouraged.   When it’s just you and the thoughts-in-your-head, it’s easy to believe stuff that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.  Here’s what I mean…

You said: “The desire and fire I once had just isn’t as strong.”  Now, you tell me if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing that’s freaking you out, making you feel like there’s a problem with your walk with God, and making you feel guilty, ashamed, and afraid.

What other people can reflect back to you is that feelings come and go.  For all of us, without exception.  In fact, Jesus described this – see Matthew 13:20-21 in The Message Translation.  Because of this, as you know, we rely on faith, not on feelings.

The funny thing about relying on faith is it lets us be unemotional about solving our problems.  Rather than viewing things through a lens of, “Probably I’m a sinner and God hates me and that’s why I’m having a rough time”, we can say this: I have a problem, and with God’s help, we’re going to solve it.

Because we’re relying on faith, we can just figure this thing out, rather than being freaked out about it.  We can find a person who knows what they’re talking about, and share with them.  Based on that, we can begin to sort out if my depression is a normal response to events in my life, the result of something going on in my body, an outgrowth of a difficult living situation, or something else.  Then, we can begin to fix those problems.

I’m proud of you, Madi, for being brave and taking the first step in solving this problem.  Now I want to encourage you to take the next step, and find a community of people you can trust, right where you are, that can help you conquer this depression and live into the amazing life that your Father has for you.

This is good stuff.

unkaglen:

thathipster-texas asked: This might be a weird question.. But I’ve gotta ask! My best friends want to all go swimming on Labor day - 3 are boys, 3 are girls (including myself). What kind of swim suit is appropriate to wear in the company of my God-fearing brothers? And is it okay to ask…