Unworthy Launch Week: Safety Found Not in Ourselves

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Have you ever plotted yourself into a corner?

I have. Many a time. Namely, with Unworthy. There were two plotlines in there that I really didn’t love, but the story—and the rest of the series—really wouldn’t work without them.

One of those was Evgeny’s struggle with depression.

Some people talk about “writing what you know”—and do I believe that? Not really. I write a bunch of stuff I don’t know—thank the Lord! But when I realized what I was up against with Evgeny’s story, I was a little overwhelmed.

You see, I’ve never struggled with severe depression. I honestly don’t know what it’s like to think death is the only choice from an overwhelming pit of darkness. And for those of you who do … I’m praying for you. Please know that death is never the better choice, that God has given you life, even when it is incredibly dark and hopeless.

Evgeny’s story does include that place of utter hopelessness. And as a writer, how do I approach these things? I believe that we should include real-life struggles in our writing, because that’s the truth of life. But how do I accurately portray such suffering without seeming callous or too dark? How do I address a problem that can be so multi-faceted? For some people, there’s no apparent physical cause of depression. Maybe a sin is the cause of such a state. Maybe it’s an attack from the devil. Others suffer depression due to health issues—whether that’s a severe lack of minerals or vitamins or chronic illness. As humans, our natural bodies do affect our spirits (you know, “…the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”, as Jesus says in Matthew 26:41), but how closely does that work? How do I address this when it’s an issue that’s a little murky to me? And moreover, how do I speak to this rightly and gently when I have never gone through this exact struggle?

Then I finally came to the realization that I don’t have all the answers. (Surprise, surprise!)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

But God does.

You see, Evgeny’s story isn’t just about depression—it’s about so much more. It’s about the grace of God that is sufficient in our every need—needs that include depression and everything else we face in life. It’s about the grace of God that is greater than our sin, than our darkness, than our weakness. Because even through our changing, fleeting emotions (and we change so much, don’t we?), God remains the same. Even when we can’t see Him, He still remains loving and faithful and true.

Even depression can’t change the Lord. Our salvation isn’t dependent on our feelings or our ability to be “happy.” Nor is it based on our good works or strength (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our salvation remains sure and steadfast even in the deepest of nights, because our salvation is not dependent on us. It never has been—yes, we trust Christ, but He gives us that faith. That faith links us to Christ, Who is our salvation. It’s not the strength or ability of our faith that saves. It’s Jesus, and He is unalterably true and steadfast. Oh, how safe we always are in the Arms of Jesus, no matter how we stumble.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Hebrews 13:8

16 thoughts on “Unworthy Launch Week: Safety Found Not in Ourselves

  1. Wow, amazing post! Ohh yes, the “write what you know” advice is just, uh… not for me, I guess, LOL. “Then I finally came to the realization that I don’t have all the answers. But God does.” AMEN. Something I need to keep in mind!! (Hehe I’ve plotted myself into a corner too many times to count, and it’s usually right on the heels of being amazed at a brilliant plot idea I had! 😀 )

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I feel like my writing would be pretty dull if I only wrote what I knew! (Though I’m very thankful my life is dull, but no one wants to read about my day-to-day life.) And the same for me! I think we always seek to have all the answers right now, and sometimes we just have to trust the Lord.

      Hahaha, yep, I guess every author has plotted themselves into corners! Our imaginations can get a little wild sometimes. 🙂

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AHHHHHHHHHH, I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH!!!! ❤❤❤ This can give me something to think about with one of my WIPs.

    And you never suffered from depression??? 😮😮 Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, I’m so glad it was encouraging! And yay for food for thought for what you’re working on. (Though I feel like that character needs a hug, then, if this gives you some inspiration … 🙂 )

      Definitely not to Evgeny’s level, thank the Lord. That’s such an incredibly difficult trial to walk through – but He walks through it with us.

      Like

      • Yeahhhhhhhhh. 😂 I was already condoling with some of them while I was trying to figure out plot ideas and flaws for them.

        Oy, those days are dark indeed. 😶 But praise God for His walking with us through them as you said and the people He uses to take us by the hand and lead us (in some instances, drag us 😂) in the RIGHT direction.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no, poor character! 🙂

        Amen, you’re so right! He always provides for us. One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 50:10, and it can be applied to all sorts of trials, but especially emotional/mental struggles: “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.” I just love that this reminds us that even in the darkness – darkness that WILL come in some form or another on this ol’ sinful earth – we are still to trust in the Lord and stay upon Him. And those that wait upon the Lord, they will mount up with wings as eagles, run and not be weary, and walk and not faint! (Another Isaiah reference there. 🙂 ) Hugs, girl! 🙂

        Like

  3. Wow! That is so true and beautiful! I Don’t know what its like to suffer from depression either but I know my sad talks about going through severe depression when he was a teen (now later we know it was because he has a gene mutation which makes him unable to attain the right vitamins without supplement help)…but I could feel where Evgeny was coming from based on what my dad had shared with me and my siblings.
    Thank you taking the time to write Evgeny’s story! It was incredible!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That must’ve been such a terrible time in your dad’s life – I’m so thankful the Lord brought him through that and led him to the help he needed! (And it’s crazy how missing a few vitamins can truly mess with so much. Our bodies are so complex and amazing!)

      Aw, thank you, and you’re so welcome! But praise the Lord – I wouldn’t have written it unless He had caused me to (and carried me through endless rounds of edits! 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Blog is One Year Old! | Vanessa Hall

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