The Lies We Believe

August 13, 2014

Tim and I were on a walk the other night and he mentioned Robin Williams' death. Yesterday, details on his suicide, his struggle with depression and substance abuse bounced around the Web like so many mismatched marbles, opinions thrown around without thought to their effect on his family or on others who have experienced depression. And then I read this comment from someone on Facebook:
I have actually shed real, mourning tears today. Such a fixture in my life, and whose stand up comedy literally kept my husband alive during his own debilitating depression. I wish that knowing how much people loved him would have been enough to keep him going one more day.
And I thought -- thank you for speaking to the heart of why this hurts. 

Because it hurts to know that people who are desperately loved feel anything but loved.

Because even though I've never struggled with depression, I've watched loved ones walk through agonies I've never encountered.

This morning, as I thought about Robin Williams and his death, and the deaths of so many others from suicide, my grief feels almost overwhelmed by my anger. And I found myself crying angry tears over a man I've never met.

Not because of the choice that he made, but at the lies he believed that led him to that place of despair.

I don't mean to take away from the impact of mental illness; I'm not saying the lies he believed didn't have a stronger pull than they may have on others -- and yet I know that I've sometimes found myself smothered and silenced by lies that feel true, even when I know they're not. And don't we all believe those lies, some days? Maybe on a smaller scale -- but don't they, nonetheless, often define our life? Determine our attitude, our actions?

If I smile enough, people won't notice that I'm empty inside.
I would have better relationships with others if I were thinner or better looking.
If I could just make $_____ in my career, I would be happy.
Someone else could parent my children better than I can.
If I spend enough on my clothes, people won't notice my lack of confidence.
I've lost my identity so much that I feel like my only value is found in my role as a spouse/parent. 

If you're struggling to overcome the lies in your life -- no matter what you might think or feel -- please know that you are loved by the God of the universe, and by those you've touched with your life. You matter.

That doesn't diminish the pain you feel and the struggles you face, but my prayer is that the truth of it will sink in until you feel overwhelmed by the sheer extravagance of the abundant love of Jesus.

"The thief’s [Satan's] purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." John 10:10 (NLT)

If you struggle with depression, this post from Sarah Bessey really touched my heart today, as I hope it does yours. You are so, so, so loved.

We're also linking up with Holley Gerth today.


  1. Beautifully written! Praying to uncover the lies I believe today about myself and God!!!

  2. Amen! I wish more people spoke words of truth like this!