Feeling lost at sea

When the solid ground is falling out from underneath my feet
Between the black skies, and my red eyes, I can barely see
When I’m feelin’ like I’ve been let down by my friends and my family
I can feel the rain reminding me
In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
And in the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm

~Eye of the Storm [Radio Version], by Ryan Stevenson

Today, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day. I heard this song for the first time today. To me it sounds like a description of someone who is struggling.

Struggling with mental health can feel like being lost out at sea. No boat, no lifejacket, no land in sight, and no idea which way to start swimming. The only options are to tread water, to float, or to sink. To tread water looks like still getting up each day, still studying, still working, but growing increasingly tired. To just float looks like days at home doing nothing, using up as little energy as possible. To sink means that things have gotten too hard, there’s been too long out at sea, or that there’s just no energy left.

But where is God in this analogy?

When I heard this song today, something about it made me think ‘What if God is like a pair of floaties?’ What if God is a constant presence who makes it just that little bit easier? Maybe God doesn’t lessen the need to tread water, but makes it require just a little less energy. Maybe God is there to lessen the risk of sinking.

Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

And maybe God is also in the people that surround us, in the fish and dolphins and turtles that circle us no matter how far out at sea we are. Who are an encouragement to keep treading water or to keep floating. Who, at just the right time, might point out a bird who knows how to start to head towards land.

When the solid ground is falling out from underneath my feet
Between the black skies, and my red eyes, I can barely see

Being in this place is hard. Shaky ground and black skies can be scary. There isn’t necessarily an easy answer. But just keep treading water. Look for who is circling you. Keep your eyes up so that you’re ready to spot that land when it appears. And feel God’s presence and love for you wrapped around your arms like floaties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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