taking on the taboo

I’ve had a couple of discussions about it in the past couple days. I saw several posts and vlogs about it lately. I know many people who suffer with, from and through it. Heaven knows I have dealt with it enough myself.

So let’s just discuss it. I feel like maybe I’m supposed to speak about it.

Maybe you’ve figured out by now I’m talking about depression. Sadly, even in the 21st century, it’s still a taboo subject. It’s still cause for shame or at least embarrassment in America.

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I’ve shared here and other places online about my own struggles with depression. I have had discussions publicly and via private message with people about it.

[DISCLAIMER: I’m not dispensing clinical advice to you or recommending you do a particular thing. I am just sharing MY experiences, MY “what works for me”, MY findings while researching the problem. You do what’s best for you, seek professional advice first and BE WELL!]

My motives are pretty simple and very straightforward. I think it’s important for people to be aware of depression…of the signs and symptoms, of the treatments, of the facts that there are many of us who suffer with it and how it would surprise you to find out how many of your friends, family and acquaintances are living with it right now.

First let’s look at what depression actually is and what it isn’t. What I have is referred to as “clinical depression” and it’s what many of the folks who have reached out to me also deal with.

    [NOTE: Please make use of the many links I have put in this post. (the first one is in the previous paragraph!) If you don’t live with depression yourself, at least be educated enough to understand and help those around you who are living with it. I guarantee you there are more than you’d think.]

Clinical depression is that “black cloud” that sticks with you. It’s a “sadness” that you can’t explain or shake. I find that the best way to explain it to those who don’t understand is that I KNOW without a doubt I have MUCH to be thankful for,
I K-N-O-W it. But I can’t make myself be happy. And it’s not that I’m overtly sad or anxious. It’s just an indescribable inertness, if you will. A complete lack of energy, or perhaps an inability, to feel joy.

Depression

If you read all through the link for clinical (or major) depression (and I urge you to!) then you’ll see it lists the symptoms and then states “when it’s not caused by a medical condition or medication” and that’s where I depart from the medical book, as I usually do. (ha) I DO have medical conditions that can cause those symptoms. I even have a chronic disease which makes me much more susceptible to being depressed. (diabetes, to name just one) so I don’t fit “neatly” into a particular diagnosis. Lots of us don’t and that’s okay as long as you have a medical professional who can deal with that.

There are currently several types of depression recognized by the medical community. Some of these you’ve probably heard of, like “clinical depression”, “major depression”, “postpartum depression”, even PMS has its own depression called “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder”! That last link will take you to webmd.com’s list of these with links to more info on each of them. I’m not sure how valid some of these are, but perhaps medicine is just trying to give a name to the things we deal with all the time but never know what to call it. (for instance, on the list is “situational depression”…who on this earth hasn’t experienced that before? I’m not sure the emotions tied to various temporary events deserves a medical diagnosis, but that’s fodder for another post, right?–HA!)

Let me say that I don’t want to “push” depression and make it like so many things these days, cool or in any way desirable or something to be envied. That doesn’t make much sense I guess, but stick with me while I try to explain… Like so many things in our society, people try to put labels on various people and behaviors. Sometimes to make them ‘hip’ or whatever, sometimes to make them seem acceptable. (first thing that comes to mind is how ADD became a buzz-diagnosis so quickly and then, even though it can be a genuine problem for some people, it soon became the go-to excuse for not doing your work, not being dependable or responsible, etc., etc.) I don’t want to do that here. Depression is serious. It can be life-threatening at its worst, debilitating or at its very best, it can make living feel like a burden. So it’s not something to be trifled with in any way. I guess I just don’t want to come across as if I’m just tossing the word around and diminish the real significance of the disease.

Okay, so here, I want to share with you a video by a pastor I’ve met a time or two that I really admire. For one, he’s now an avid cyclist. (Seriously, the man’s a beast on a bike!) For two, he’s an honest-to-goodness Bible-believing man of God who isn’t afraid to speak truth. For three, he’s a loving husband and father and he also suffers from depression. I already like him, but after he posted this video on Facebook, I admired him even more. See for yourself as someone with a position of leadership and somewhat notoriety goes very public with how he struggled with and then overcame the monster that is depression: Pastor Greg Locke on Overcoming Depression

As you might guess, one of the reasons I so love this video is that he says cycling helped with his depression. Of course, not everyone can jump into this the way he did. Since I’ve been watching him for years now, I can tell you that he first got “into” bike riding when he went to the Goodwill and got a bike to ride in a charity ride. From there, apparently, he was hooked. He has since done a 3,000+ mile ride (IN TEN, that’s 10, one-zero, T-E-N DAYS!!) to the Pacific shore and also the Tour Divide, an unsupported mountain bike ride from Canada to Mexico! He’s a beast, I tell you!

I don’t foresee myself ever doing such amazing bike rides, and that’s okay. I have impressed myself enough with the longer rides I have been able to do. I’m just happy to be getting out and being active because before cycling, I was pretty much a couch potato. A long day of errands was about as much activity as this ol’ gal ever got! So, praise God that I have this activity to get me moving and inching toward better health!

Okay, back to the topic at hand. I hope you watched Greg’s video. Part of what was SO encouraging to me was the discovery that someone who seemed so alive, so interactive, so “with it” would have a problem with depression. It was like LIFE-GIVING to realize that he KNEW what it felt like, knew how it felt when someone says to you, “Just snap out of it. Just trust the Lord. Just read your Bible more.” When it was all you could do just to get out of bed in the morning, IF you even did that!

And I guess that’s the most important thing I want to do with this post. I want YOU to know that *I* KNOW. If you never meet another soul who understands depression, know this… you’ve stumbled across this minuscule spot on the web, this unknown web address to this post because God wanted you to know that you are not alone. Let’s face it, that’s the only way you’d have ended up here! Ha!

Maybe, if you happen to know me in real-life or you’ve read other posts here, maybe you never imagined that I have depression. Once you start being open about it, researching and talking to others, you will find that many of us who suffer from chronic clinical depression can be the funniest, goofiest, seemingly-up-beatest (Ha!) people you know. Here’s the thing.. it’s easy to fake it for a few hours. At least most of the time. So don’t assume that someone who’s always cracking jokes and smiling could never understand depression. Often, it’s a way to cope. That doesn’t mean we’re not genuinely funny or goofy, it’s just that that part of us isn’t the strongest during the dark-cloud times and so we relish our time of being able to laugh and make others laugh, because once that’s over, the cloud is back. At least that’s how depression is for me.

Y’know, you’d think that for those of us who cope that way, since it does feel so much better to be with a few people laughing it up we would seek that out, but in reality it finally becomes too hard. It gets to be too much effort to drag myself out to be with people, to even want to be with people. The devil and my own dark place will start to tell me no one really wants to be with me. They will just wonder what’s wrong with me…why am I so pale, why don’t I have any makeup on, why am I not talking as much, etc. Then there’s the whole monologue that goes, “You’d need to shower and fix your hair. You don’t have the energy for that. It’ll be too hard to smile enough or to ‘be your usual self’ and they’ll know something’s wrong. They will think you’re weird or sick or they’ll just wish you hadn’t come. What if it gets too hard to try and you burst out in tears. You can’t let them see you cry, and you’ll probably cry. No, just stay home. It’s easier that way.”

Only a few short months ago, that conversation played routinely in my head. I stopped going to the get-togethers with some of the most dear friends I have. I’m sure they knew something was up, but I couldn’t bring myself to just say, “Hey guys? I’m hurting. I’m in a bad spot. Nothing physical, no one in my family is terminal or has died, I just feel like crud and I can’t smile anymore. Pray for me. Tolerate me if I come around– encourage me to come around because it’s entirely too easy to convince myself not to!!”

I finally just had to come clean with them. Some of the reasons were deeply personal, so it was hard to even speak them out loud. Secrets in my marriage that were decades old, but they had contributed hugely to the massive black hole I was in and at that time, I had decided to confront and seek help for that and it had stirred up all kinds of ugly. It was HARD to tell my closest friends where I was and how bad I was hurting. They still probably don’t entirely understand, but at least they have an idea now and when I say that I’m feeling “dark” and need some prayer, they are on it. They don’t hesitate to check on me and encourage me, to ask questions which are not comfortable, not convenient to ask.

So I guess my next suggestion or bit of advice for you is this…get, find or make yourself some good friends. At least one. They don’t have to be people you talk to every day or even every week. It doesn’t have to be the person you do everything with (when you DO go do something)… It just needs to be someone you can count on to see through your hiding, your coping methods. Someone who will confront you when you have slipped into dark mode.
don't give up
One last thing, there’s something even more taboo than depression and that’s suicide and having suicidal thoughts during a deeply depressed cycle. I won’t lie to you. I have been there. I’ve said before, I’m thankful to have my faith in God because I truly believe that’s the only thing that kept me from attempting to end myself years ago when the idea came to me often.

I now know that a permanent solution to a temporary problem is never the answer. It took growing in my faith and becoming solidly convinced that I am worth something to God and even when I feel I’m not worth anything to anyone, not even myself, I have to trust that God’s got a purpose for me being here. A lot of the lies I tell myself are that my family would be better off, my husband could find someone without my problems, who he wouldn’t have to worry about or care for, take to countless doctors or wake from a dead sleep to feed through a low blood sugar, who wasn’t so self-doubting that I paralyze myself and need him to make the simplest decisions… I think my kids could live without wondering if their mother is crazy, without her words that come out so carelessly unintentionally causing pain to them and the ones they love. Even when those quite loud thoughts are going through my mind every single day repeatedly, I can remind myself that God has a purpose. I don’t have to know what it is because He does. I just have to trust Him.
suicide
That kinda takes the pressure off me. *ha* So if you don’t know Jesus, I urge you to learn about Him and trust Him with your life. He will keep you safe if you will just trust Him. He’s the best friend and ally against depression I can recommend to you. He may not choose to deliver you out of the dark hole, but He will be with you in it and make you strong enough to endure it.

Hebrews 13:5“…for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.””

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God’s place, God’s time…

I’ll try to make this follow-able, understandable, but I can’t promise it will be.  Just do the best you can.  🙂

When I first got on Facebook, I started a group page for graduates from my high school… for the entire 80’s decade.  Yup.  Everyone who graduated from 1980 through 1989.  The school underwent a name change after that when it became South “County” High School because they had build a new high school that was called North “County”.  All of us who went there during the days when it was the only high school in the county were bummed that when you did a search for the school, it would only come up as “South” or “North”.  Hmph.

Anyhow, I ended up with a TON of people on my friend list since anyone who joined had to be my friend since I was determined that a bunch of people outside that time frame not be in the group.  Not to be exclusive necessarily, but because the 80’s were just so cool, y’know.  Ha.

And so, that’s how I ended up with so many “friends”, many who I don’t really know other than they went to my high school in the 80’s.  And that’s how Sasha* ended up on my list.

She’s been on it for quite awhile and I always appreciated her posts.  She seemed like a very committed Christian mother and wife.   We didn’t really interact so much other than to like each other’s stuff and occasionally comment.

Then Saturday happened.

She posted about needing prayer because she was prejudice.  Turns out, none of the people who commented thought that was so.  But because she had got out of a drive-thru lane when she saw a lady in middle eastern style clothing (don’t want this to come up in searches for certain words… overlook my not using the titles for this type of clothing).  Anyhow, I commented that I felt the same way but that didn’t make us prejudice.  There was lots of talk about being cautious and language barriers, etc.  And that was that.

Then a bit later, I posted a link to this (yeah, you need to go read it) and I posted this comment along with it:::

This used to make me insane when i was in school. I have to say, I believe this mother was right on the mark with her response! That teacher should have been disciplined for not making the boy stop. Reminds me of a teacher I had who was beyond inappropriate when a boy was bothering me in class (he was grabbing my pencil away from me during a test) I don’t even remember who the boy was now, but I remember this man’s response when he looked up and saw him snatch my pencil… I won’t put it here because it was just pervy but it makes me sad that I didn’t feel I had anyone to report that to back then. I wish I had at least mentioned it to my parents. Not sure it would have had any sort of result, but I wish I had now. As it was, I just sat there, embarrassed out of my mind and hated that teacher more than usual.

Not long after that, I got a private FB message from her asking who the teacher was.  We messaged back and forth; me giving her the name and her telling me about two incidences that had happened with two other teachers and her frustration that one of them was witnessed by a third teacher who just rolled his eyes and shook his head.  We lamented how things like that were not reported when we were kids and such.  Then her messages just stopped.  I assumed she’d got busy or something.  It wasn’t a big deal, but later I saw she  had commented back on her ‘prejudice’ post that FB messages had stopped working and wondering if I’d got her last message and that she’d like to continue the conversation.  I gave her my email address and soon we were messaging back and forth like long lost friends.

I told her what exactly had been said by the teacher from my post.  [When he looked up to see a boy reaching across the aisle to grab my pencil repeatedly he said, “______”, (using my last name) “if you want to make love to him, go out in the hall.”]

*insert incredulous face here*  Yeah.  I was mortified and didn’t know what to do.  He was a real gem of a fella *SARCASM* normally, so this wasn’t out of character, just a bit more over the top than usual.  That’s when Sasha asked if I’d gotten her message about being kidnapped and raped by a fellow student when she was a freshman!

I was stunned!  Obviously, I had NOT got that one, so she directed me to a status post she’d put up a few weeks ago that I had not seen.  In it she talked about this incident and how it was years before she realized that a crime had been committed against her and how she’d tried to cope as a teen with alcohol and how God had since healed her.  She eventually told me who had done this, both his name and the name of the boy who had helped carried her to the truck and drove.

She said she was hesitant to tell me since I had this man’s wife as an FB friend, so I explained that I didn’t even know this lady.  When she told me who, it struck me that normally, I never see status updates from her.  Either because she doesn’t post often or just because they don’t show in my newsfeed.   But for the past week or two, I’d been seeing these posts from  her about her husband being sick and having to have surgery.  I hadn’t thought anything of it since I don’t know them, but after this revelation, I felt God had put them there.  I don’t know WHY, but for whatever reason, He wanted to me see this info about this man.  And the other thing?  Just that day, the wife had posted a photo of him sitting in a chair in the hospital.  That was the first time I’d ever seen him and I didn’t recognize him.  Perhaps I need to be able to though?  I just don’t know, but for all that to have happened in that order, at that time was just too much.  I don’t believe in coincidences, so I believe, for whatever reason, God orchestrated all that stuff… me seeing those posts, seeing his picture, connecting with Sasha and getting on a subject to where she would share that info with me.

Of course, then there was the additional stuff… like me just pouring out my heart and telling her about all the things I’ve been dealing with lately, even the intimacy issues in my marriage and that I’d started seeing a therapist for depression.  She then sent a reply telling me that she deals with depression too and basically describing me by telling me how she isolates and has no energy, etc.

So, I really wish Sasha didn’t live in Michigan now!  It’s just uncanny how much we have in common while also having such different backgrounds.  And we just connected SO well almost instantly.

God’s pretty amazing the way he does things.

Proverbs 17:17 — A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

*not her real name, obvs

and a fun day…

So besides going back tot he therapist today, I spent the day with one of my dearest friends and best supporters. When I first saw the therapist and then the gyno and got all those appointments, this dear friend offered to go to appointments with me any time I needed her to.

Since we hadn’t seen each other for quite awhile, she arranged her work so that she could go with me today.

We had fun chit-chatting on the way up there, then after my appointment, she very sweetly insisted on buying my lunch, so we had a nice long sit at the steakhouse, talking and laughing.

Then we took a trip to TJ Maxx. That probably doesn’t sound like a giant deal to most people, but for me it was huge. I haven’t gone anywhere but the grocery or the pharmacy in probably 3 or so months.

To go traipsing through a store just for the heck of it was SO MUCH FUN. Even more so with a dear friend. My intention was to window shop since we really don’t have any extra money, but I ended up finding a pair of the MOST comfortable shoes and having looked for shoes all winter without having any luck, I just had to. I knew we could find a way for it to be okay, but I felt so bad, however, soon I found a perfect birthday gift for my first daughter-in-law’s birthday coming up in a couple weeks, then I found a kitchen gadget that my younger kids needed…then I found an amazingly nice tea kettle for us. The one we’ve been using is not long for this world and this one is really well-built and was a great deal! Um, I also found an awesome little colander that we needed. Oh, um… and an adorable ceramic owl.

Okay, so I went a little wild. Heh. Thankfully, my sweet hubby made a little overtime this week and he is very understanding.

And I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to spend the day with such a sweet friend. God really is so very good to me!!

Proverbs 17:17 — “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

and why God is so extremely good…

So if you read my previous post, you might, well…. you might be passed out on the floor because I’ve posted twice in one day. Ha ha! But you might be interested to know that I spent the evening with three of the most precious ladies in my life.

What a complete “God thing” it is that tonight would be the usual meeting night of these ladies. After my long post about my mindset on friends and how I don’t have that many in my life and how hard it is for me to make true and actual friends…

These ladies are part of what’s called a “reunion group” in the Emmaus community. It’s similar to a small group. We meet to talk about our walk with Jesus, the struggles we’re having, the victories we’ve realized and we pray for and support each other. We hold each other accountable.

I stopped going to the meetings except for the rare occasion when I started selling Mary Kay because I always had some MK thing to do on that night.

I missed my friends, my sweet girls, so much, but felt I had no choice. God took care of that for me. Or maybe that’s not exactly what He was doing or why my health went downhill so much that I couldn’t continue with MK, but nonetheless, I was SO happy to meet back up with my little core group of women tonight.

The group has grown and shrank (shrunk?!) and changed over the past few years since I became a part of it, but this core group of women has always been there, so it was nice to go back tonight and it just be us.

As I’ve shared in previous posts, I have secluded myself during this last bout of depression. I cut myself off from pretty much everyone. But my little core group of gals from the reunion group would still text to see if I was coming or how I was doing.

So tonight, there was a lot of heavy burdens we all had to share. I felt like, for most of the evening, that I wouldn’t add my stuff to the pile. It didn’t seem appropriate or I didn’t feel comfortable or as if it was “the right time” to share this stuff with them.

I honestly thought I would just keep it all to myself. I mean, there were three other people there. Did I really want to tell them this stuff that was so deeply painful? Did I want to trust them with that?

Well, yeah, I am kinda just telling the internet, but somehow, that’s different than looking someone in the face and saying, “Hey, I have lived 40 some years with this huge despair in my life and I’m having a hard time carrying it lately.” “Sometimes I don’t want to live anymore.” “I have this deeply personal sorrow in my life that I cannot share with just anyone–can I share it with you? Do you care enough to listen and pray?” Then hope that they are as trustworthy as you think and that they then care enough to … not ‘deal with’ but support you while you deal with your pain.

That’s a scary thing to do. The issues with my marriage I have only entrusted to two other people before tonight. One proved to be entirely trustworthy. The other, and first, did not. Tonight, I praise God for three women who love me and Jesus enough to have listened to me and who I know will pray for me as I make this journey.

So, on the day I write a post about how I have come to be so slow to label someone “friend”, I am supremely thankful that God put three more of those people in my life.

He really is a loving, merciful Savior!

Deuteronomy 4:31 — “For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.”

Psalm 112:4 — “Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.”

Proverbs 17:17 — “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

friends and the realization of why that’s so hard for me

I started thinking about a post the other day. But it included using the word “friends” in the context of the way I used to think of friends when I was in high school. And honestly, I didn’t really have friends in high school. I knew people and was friendly with some people. I tried to be nice to everyone, but to say I was “friends” with someone meant something totally different to me then.

By the time I got to high school, I’d had several people I thought were my friends treat me really bad and so I was very slow to give someone the title of “friend”. Very slow.

To me, a friend was someone you loved spending time with, someone you could be yourself around and not have to worry about everything you said or did being misconstrued or turned into an offense. It meant you could count on that person to “have your back”, to not spread rumors about you or desert you when you needed them. It meant that if they came up on some people talking bad about you, they’d be the one who took up for you, who would set the record straight…not just walk on by or even worse, join in with the group.

As a young child, I can remember a few “friend events”. This refers to an afternoon or perhaps a couple of days spent in perfect camaraderie with someone. These were hours spent playing and laughing that you might dream about days later. The time spent was that good.

I learned rather quickly though that just because I’d spent that one afternoon a few years ago in perfect sync with someone did NOT mean they were my friend or that they’d even still like me in a different setting with different people around.

For me, at that stage in my life, that was SUCH a shock! I just was not wired that way. If I liked you, I liked you no matter who was around or what was going on. But I soon learned that was dangerous on my part. That you couldn’t just be all “out there” with people because they would rip you to shreds.

So, as I entered high school, I really didn’t have any close friends. As I continued on through those monumental years, I did have several people who I got close to, who I considered (and still do) friends, but it wasn’t a close, deep friendship that I longed for. It was never a “best friend” relationship.

And maybe that’s where I get this feeling (that still plagues me today) of not being wanted or loved or liked.

Let me state that this is NOT a post to bash my mother. However, it’s recently come to my realization that something she said to me once and then insinuated other times in my childhood has colored my whole view of who I am and how others see me.

One of the few people I DID consider a “best friend”, at least for a few years when I was in grade school, was a girl whose family went to the same church we did and we spent a lot of time together on the weekends. She was about 3 years older than me, so we didn’t go to the same classes, but weekends were always spent together. And this friend had asked me to come home with her for some kind of whole-family thing.

Unlike me, she was the youngest of a family of six kids. I was the oldest in a family of two girls. We were total opposites, but I loved the atmosphere in her family. It was so totally different and I was treated like “one of the gang”.

I know my mother had my diabetes to consider when letting me go and do things, but this was different. I’d spent the night with this family dozens of times, but when I went to ask her if I could go, Mom said, “They don’t really want you to go.”

I don’t think I actually realized it then, not in the chaos of the situation or the feeling of unfairness because I wanted to go so bad and also the crying that I had to do then because I wasn’t being allowed to go… but every time I re-live that moment, those words, now it’s like a sharp slap across the face.

And I realize that I feel that way SO often when I’m in a group of people. If there is the least bit of talk that’s “prior history” for the rest of the group, I will instantly back away. Even if the talk isn’t purposely to exclude me, I will feel as if it is. And I will hear those words, “They don’t really want you.”

I hear that sometimes when my husband tells me he loves me and I’m feeling particularly unloveable. I hear it when my grown sons tell me they love me. I hear it when a friend offers to pick me up to go to lunch or something.

And I KNOW it’s the devil or satan or whatever you want to call him. I just know that it comes from the enemy of my happiness. The enemy of my closeness to Christ. He will even go so far as to whisper it in my ears when I want to spend time in Christ’s presence.

During this last, most horrible phase of the depression I found myself pondering death. Not contemplating it, but just thinking about how nice it would be to just “go on”. And those words came…“What in the world does God want with you? He doesn’t want you either.”

Annnnd, there went my “clinical composure”. Out of all this thinking and writing about one of the most painful aspects of my life, the tears never stung my eyes til now.

And that’s what satan wants when he whispers such horror into my head. But I know The Truth. His name is Jesus. So take that, you wicked creature!

I still have a lot of trouble dealing with that mindset that people don’t really want to be around me. They’re not really my friend. I’m not really wanted in the group. I’m not really liked by those people.

It’s a constant thing for me to fight against and in a world where it’s hard to read people and they DO tend to let you down or leave you behind, it’s really REALLY hard to keep my head on straight where this particular lie comes into play.

I’m just thankful God didn’t leave me in that lie. In the huge vat of that lie where I had been floating for months and was fully convinced that no one wanted me at all. I’m thankful He didn’t give up on me and put others in my life who didn’t either.

God’s so incredibly good!!

[ADDENDUM] As for my definition of friends, as I alluded to in that first paragraph, and how I view the word now… I have friends now. I have some GOOD friends. They will call to check on me if I’m scarce on Facebook or if they hear I’m under the weather. They will even come by to see about me or bring food or other sweet gifts if I’m sick. (and I have one friend who is so precious, she will bring gifts for no reason at all!) I have one friend who was so sensitive to what was going on with me that she insisted I follow her to a quiet room, away from a crowd at an event at camp where I was working, and she promptly sat me down, knelt and untied my boots and massaged my feet because she could see how bad I was hurting. So God has been good to me. I have some amazing, awesome friends!

And after all that, I still listen to that voice, that lie that tells me no one loves me. When I am feeling analytic and take time to ponder this, I wonder why it is so easy for me to believe that. Is it because that has been ingrained in my mind? Is it because I feel unlovable? Is it because I don’t much love myself?

I honestly don’t know at this point. But when I figure it out, I’ll be sure to let you know.

🙂

Zephaniah 3:17 — “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”