written in March of 2022
“You are worthy.” I read this phrase as I mindlessly scroll on my phone, watching other people’s life updates ascend as my thumb flicks upward. This string of words surfaces so much it feels like it should be keeping me afloat; but because I don’t believe these words, the opposite is true. Depression exposes the beliefs I try in vain to bury daily: I am not worthy; I do not deserve good things; and if I receive good things, I should feel guilty.
My anxiety comes up within me, stretching again between my left shoulder and my neck, leaving pain in its place. From a young age, I believed worth came from always “doing”. I don’t know how to be worthy in all-consuming despair, where sometimes all I can do is stare at the wall, my body void of feeling.
I thumb in my Bible to Psalm 139, hoping this often recited passage while changing my daughter’s diapers will help me remember my worth, even in the pit of consuming anxiety and deep grief. I hope it will seep into the depths of my aching soul, like the rain drops erase the cracks in the parched ground. I read the words aloud to the air, trusting God’s word will comfort me.
After reading Psalm 139, there is no doubt of my worth, for God’s Word says in verse 14:
Wondrous is the word that I would use to describe a breathtaking sunset, a bouquet of bubblegum pink tulips just beginning to open towards the sunlight, or a blue sky sponge-dabbed with fluffy white clouds. This is how you describe me. Wondrous. Wondrous means to inspire a feeling of wonder or delight–marvelous. I inspire a feeling of wonder and delight in You. This is how I feel when I gaze upon my big-eyed, wavy-haired daughter. Sometimes I can do nothing but delight in who she is. You delight in who I am. I am worthy of Your delight. I am worthy of Your care, and Your shepherding arm. I am worthy of walking through this dark journey with You.
My eyes trace back the earlier words of Psalm 139 in verse 5,
I picture Your mighty hand laying upon me and my tension eases, loosening my shoulder and neck. Your loving hand reminds me my worth does not rely upon the racetrack of striving, but in the truth that You alone created me wondrously with Your hands.
In the pit of depression and anxiety, I want to remember these truths. I am worthy when I am grieving. I am valued when I feel empty inside. My worthiness covers me, even when I have to ask others for help. I am worthy in the pit of darkness. God desires me, even when the sadness is so thick I cant see to even begin to verbalize it. I am worthy when I stare blankly into space. My worthiness remains the same, whether I am walking or I wake up and I can’t find the energy to get out of bed. My head is crowned with worth, even though the anxiety tightens my chest and shoulder, making it impossible to do daily tasks. I am still valued, even when I have to take a break upstairs to gain strength.
My eyes retrace the words of Psalm 139 and new words trickle off the page this time. The comforting words of verses 7-12, quench my desolate soul,
Again this truth, washes over my weary soul. God is with me always; there is no feeling or darkness that can overwhelm me, separating me from God. No matter what darkness my depression catapults me into, God is there, ready to turn the darkness into light. How desperately my soul needs this light, His light.
I encourage you to stop what you are doing right now and take a moment to read Psalm 139 slowly, savoring each word your mouth forms, speaking His Word to the world around you; but most importantly, to your heart. Let these truths from this passage envelop you and clothe you, reminding you of your wondrous worth. You are marvelous because God formed you with His tender hands. He is with you always and He loves you. Weary friend, I hope these truths comfort you today. You are worthy.