The reason we were at this school
Trip Start Aug 21, 2010
59Trip End Dec 31, 2010
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We were at this school in Norwich doing our show in an old auditorium. The school is a campus of really old buildings, really pretty. The auditorium is part of a museum on campus. Anyway, it's a fairly small space for our set-up, and the 600 freshmen that were to see it couldn't fit. But the building had movable walls that they opened up and set up folding chairs in the back.
I mention the space because it deals with the reason for writing this post. At the end of every show, Mike or I, whoever is talking for that day, always invites students to come talk to us if they have questions or comments about the show and what they saw. Well, today, we talked in the back on the auditorium and Mike decided to scratch the invitation from his conclusion. We figured that with so many kids, half of whom were sitting so far away, it'd be awkward and unlikely for anyone to want to talk to us. We'd make the conclusion quick and get them off to class. So, the show ended and Mike went up to the front to conclude, and he went on with the invitation, saying later, "I just felt that I needed to give them the option." It was a good thing.
Sitting in the second row of that assembly was Nathan. He boldly came up to Mike as his classmates left the assembly. He just wanted to ask if there was a copy of the video he could get to watch when he needed encouragement - he really liked it and would like to be able to watch it again. Soon it came up that Nathan struggles with depression. Not sure what to say, Mike was about to wish him well and send him off with our website address and song list when I finally made my way through crowds to where they were talking. Then I heard, "Wait! Kelsey was depressed!" Mike called out, "Kelsey, come here!"
From there, I was able to share my experience of dealing with Clinical Depression, which was coupled with an eating disorder, with Nathan. Not wanting to leave him empty handed, Mike ran to our van and grabbed a DVD from Nick Vujicic that we had gotten last year. It's not our show, but it's encouraging! And Nick's video could share a lot more of the gospel than we could at that moment.
I could see Nathan trying to hold back tears, clinging to the fragile wall behind which he hid himself. I told him I saw that he was barely holding it together, and I knew he needed to because he did have to go to class after this. But I wanted to make sure he knew he was loved. If there is anyone reading this who feels alone or unworthy, depressed, I am going to share with you what I believe God put on my heart to share with Nathan.
You have value. You are important. If you feel unlovable and unworthy, you must believe that it is a lie you are choosing to believe. Furthermore, if you are struggling with depression, you need to seek help. This will not go away by itself, it won't go away by ignoring it. You may need medication to balance out chemicals in your brain, you may need to seek counseling, and there is no shame in asking for those things. I needed both of those to heal from my depression. But the key to my healing and resulting joy was a relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you are feeling alone, my best practical advice is to look outside yourself. It will be hard to do, but it will be worth it. Depression feeds on inward focus, the more you focus on how sad you are the more sad you become. So, focus outwardly. If you feel alone at work or school, chances are, someone else feels alone at work or school. It might be scary, it might be hard, but you can be the change that you need in your life. If you need a friend, find someone to whom you can be a friend.
Whatever you do in your depression, don't do it alone. Get help. Seek encouragement. Surround yourself with people who love you. And when you feel so alone that there is no one to turn to, turn to Jesus Christ - He is the only who got me through.