Sometimes I Think In Analogies

There is not a single piece of me that believes I have progressed on my own, or that I have been in control over my recovery in any real way. I can honestly say that Jesus has stood for me, fought for me, spoken for me, and everything in between that has allowed me to stand where I am today.

One thing that I have wrestled with during this time, however, is that while all this has been going on, it takes so much energy, so much work, for me to make sure my thoughts don’t get carried away, to ensure that the “me that I want to be” is the one making decisions.  The hang-up about this is that, if Jesus is in control, and I have let Him take the reins down this road, then why on earth do I have to work SO DAMN HARD?!

I think the problem with the way I’ve been expecting things to go is related to the stories in the bible where Jesus steps up and touches the man, and he is healed right then and there. Which, let’s be real, is the coolest.  He gives us these stories and documented events of what He did here on earth, so we can know who He is and what He is capable of in our own lives, even though our stories are OUR stories, and He has no obligation to follow what happened then, or even how we want it to happen.

I have to remember that this is a process, and that, as badly as I want it to, it’s not something that will be gone in a split second. Gosh, that used to be my prayer. Watching my friends be free and happy, I begged Him to let me be part of that life. I didn’t trust his timing or his plan, and it led to jealousy of those around me and anger at my life and my struggle, and sometimes anger at Him for allowing my life to go like that.

I’ve also taken a scan of what is actually happening in the process of cleaning out the mess within me, and that indicates another scenario that explains why it just can’t end instantly. I’ll paint a little analogy of what I have learned. (You: Another analogy?! Me: Let’s be real, I have used sharks as a metaphor on this blog, so let’s not act like you’re surprised.)

Let’s say there is a house. It started out pretty normal and vulnerable, as houses sometimes do. Various moments, events, and lies created tiny, radioactive seeds that landed on the roof and slid down into the foundation. They began to grow roots and stems and branches that broke into each room and affected the way it was designed, how it connected to the other rooms, and began to produce poisonous fruit throughout. The homeowner, seeing that this is affecting the structural integrity of the house, begins to add reinforcements to walls and pours concrete down around the roots into the foundation to prevent it from crumbling.

Building thicker walls and support beams, she turned the flimsy house into a more solid, stable structure. This works for a while, and then the trees grow some more, and the patching and building continues. Somewhere along the way, she realizes that a storm or high wind could potentially damage her house, so she begins to build a large wall around her property, very strong, and very tall, with a single gate that she barricaded with beams and padlocks on padlocks.

Okay so that’s the set up that exists; now let’s get into the solution, and how it could potentially be difficult.

Say one day she realizes that this house, although it stands, is not the way a house should be, so she decides to let the city come in and gut it, rebuild, tear up the roots, break down the walls, and restore it. The problem is that she has protected it so well, that she has to use all her strength to break open the locks, and hold open the gate so they have a chance to get in. Then, when they reach a room, she has to be there to unblock the door, to let them in, and tear down all the structures that have been built to secure the walls.

She knows it needs to be fixed, and is more than willing to let people in to help fix it, but years of fixing a house the wrong way has made it to where she has to work the entire time to allow them entry so they can do their job.

Sure, the city could have stopped her at any point, but they gave her the choice to do it herself or to ask for help, to allow them to come in and dig up the plants when they were just sprouting, but she didn’t see the need for help, everything was working great, so why did it matter?

Just because she opened the gate enough for them to come in, doesn’t mean that they are able to do what they need to do in each area until she lets them. And even when she does, she has to prepare herself to watch her hard work and the way that things have been fall away before her eyes. Making the decision to fix it doesn’t actually do much until she puts in the hard work that allows the professionals do their work.

So hopefully you have been able to follow that story in a real life sense, and why I think it helps me understand what is actually happening. God let me choose my way, to choose the ways of the world. He’s not going to force me to love Him or let Him into my life, but he is waiting, and He is ready. I have guarded so many areas of my life so aggressively, that each area requires focus and work to let him in.

In a similar way, I have also, in recent months chosen a specific way of thinking and feeling that has gone against how I have historically done so. In the past, my heart has been very fragile and sensitive to the words and actions of others, so I decided to protect it, to put it in a steel box where it would be safe. Then after a while, I would get comfortable, take it out of the box, and it would wind up bruised and bleeding again, so back in the box it would go.  This was a pattern that lasted for most of my life, of trusting, and then almost instantly regretting it.

What has changed now is that I leave it out of the box. Not only that, but sometimes I let it fall a little bit, or see something coming for it, and let it come, let it hit. When I allow the hard moments to exist and don’t rush to protect my vulnerable heart, it gets tougher. Living with it locked away does not allow you to really reach people, or to invest in the lives of others. When you let your heart experience hard things, and even put it though some of your own on purpose, the skin gets thicker, stronger, callused if you will. When it gets treated like this, it’s a living, breathing, feeling, piece of flesh, but one that can take the pain as it comes. It’s not going to bruise and bleed every time it faces rejection or the truth of its own mistakes.

I used to think that avoiding the pain was the best choice, but that just makes it so much harder to face life’s chaos. I much prefer having tougher skin and feeling the life as it comes, even when it hurts. Scratch that. ESPECIALLY when it hurts.

Eventually, He and I will be able to pull out the last of the roots and redesign the whole house interior, this time with an open floor plan, a skylight, and a wall of windows. Just to let the light in.

Love from a callused heart,

Kennedy Kenton (3)

The Art of Losing

I should probably start by saying that I have been working through my recovery in a structured, Christ centered, step program. I’m not going to go into detail about it, but lately it has been the goal to dig up a lot of old hurts (both to me and by me), find the root cause of issues, and catalog any and all of my transgressions. Naturally, this has been extremely difficult. I don’t mean that I am having a hard time identifying them, but that the things I have kept buried for a long time are now finding their way into my daily thoughts and emotions.

Another special gem that I have begun to see clearly is the series of people who have been hurt by me, and choices that I have made that have directly, negatively impacted others. This part has been one of the worst, as my mistakes seem to be set on repeat, projected on the inside of my eyelids. Some days I try to distract myself from thinking about it, but other days I think that it’s good for me to see the consequences of my actions.

This post might not be clear and coherent, as I usually have a specific goal or plan, but today is not that day. I just have a pile of broken glass ideas, that with any luck might resemble a mosaic when I get them all out.

I was speaking openly about this year to someone the other day, and she brought up a concept that I haven’t really allowed myself to grab hold of fully. After kindly listening to my story as I tried to get through the details without completely losing my mascara, she dropped some truth on me. I need to grieve the life I lost.

*Insert deep breath here*

It is clear to me that I have been spending the last few months in a state of intermediate acceptance, where I saw the truth in what was going on, but I refused to release all hope that I could get it back. The real truth is that holding on to something that doesn’t exist anymore is only causing me more pain. If I let go of what I want and allow myself to accept what I have, then it stops being about looking backward and starts being about picking myself up and moving forward.

2016 was an intense year. 100%. Hands down. I gained community, I made my first adult car purchase, I moved out of the house I grew up in, I was given a role in a business dream, and a thousand other tiny pieces of joy that formed the canvas for where I was going to paint my future. Although I couldn’t have known any better at the time, that was my biggest mistake.

The truth of that year was that I was being given a very special gift. So much of that life consisted of things I spent a long time not believing even existed. I could have gone on living without ever knowing that those things were real, that there were people who invest in each other, and cheer each other on every day. But I received the greatest of gifts, among them, a couple of the greatest people I have ever known.

I have gained the sweetest memories from that time, and although I allowed myself to believe in the idea that this season was the beginning of my new reality, I am so thankful that I got to be there to see and feel it all for myself.

Maybe it would have been different if I had known that I wasn’t going to be able to keep it, but I still believe that I would have approached it all differently, and hopefully handled the changes better.

Along with the process of grieving my losses has come the pain of knowing what I have done to the people involved with my struggle. Being able to look back and see how things really were, and not how I was seeing them at the time fills me with something like regret. I see myself making choices and living my life in a way that added stress and hardship to those around me.

As you can see, it has been quite the experience diving in to all my life’s mistakes, friendships I have let fade away and bridges I have burned with a lifetime of great people. Part of that hit me really hard from an unexpected source last week.

I had a best friend in high school and we told each other everything. We were together every weekend and she was there with me on the worst day of my life. I still remember a night that, while we waited in the school parking lot, we danced on top of our cars in our letter jackets to the song Fireflies by Owl City. It is still my favorite memory from high school. That’s a super brief history, I know, but the point is that she had a beautiful baby girl last week. The most wonderful news and the happiest day of her life, and it just reminds me of the fact that I always meant to be there. I never intended for us not to be in each other’s lives. I guess life is hard that way, but I just can’t shake the feeling that the loneliness I find at times is because I have burned the bridges with almost every good person in my life.

There’s this internal argument between my emotional and logical minds where one is saying, “you can’t just write apology letters to everyone you have ever hurt,” and the other side that is already sealing envelopes and yelling back “BUT THEY HAVE TO KNOW HOW SORRY I AM.”

On top of that there’s this thing that I just can’t figure out. On one hand, I know that isolation is bad, and that only bad things come from being isolated. But on the other hand, I have actually seen with my own eyes the difference that being free from me can make. How can I in good conscience choose to let people invest in me when I know full well that it is not what is the best thing for them. I’m the one who knows better, I’m the only one who can be responsible, so how can that be the wrong choice?

I guess by now you see what I mean about the lack of coherency. I’ve been listening to a lot of Ben Rector lately, so I added the relevant songs to the music player at the bottom of this page. My reasoning for adding “Sailboat” I think will be quite obvious, with concepts like being lost at sea, waiting for something, speaking and not being able to hear anyone listening- since that is my every day. “The Feeling” is a song that describes something we have all experienced, feeling this certain way (as he describes in the song) but a certain line has really been on my heart as I deal with these hard things that people don’t always see.

The line is:

It’s the heat you feel when someone brings it up,
Someone who doesn’t know enough
To know it’s deep inside,
And just how hard you tried.

Give those a listen if you feel like it and please forgive me for the jumbled mess that is this post.

Fireflies and wax-sealed envelopes,

Kennedy Kenton (3)

The Leaf Phenomenon

There’s this common thing that happens to some people when they get glasses for the first time, I like to call it: The Leaf Phenomenon. I’m sure many of you know exactly what I’m talking about, but I’ll go into detail anyway. You get your glasses or contacts on for the first time, and already things seem sharper, more detailed, but then you go outside. Suddenly the trees you have spent your whole life walking past are made up of thousands of INDIVIDUAL LEAVES.

What once was a giant green blob now has so much movement and exquisite detail. It’s as if everything in the world has changed, but that’s not exactly true, is it? The only thing that has changed is how you are seeing it through your new lenses, lenses that have been designed to correct what was once wrong. You can walk around trying to get used to it for days in awe, shrugging and telling people, “I couldn’t see, I didn’t know.” Even after a short time, taking your glasses off for a few moments makes you wonder how you were ever able to function without them.

It’s funny how memories like that can work their way to the surface when life creates a similar scenario. I ran into this type of situation during this season as I was becoming free from the fog and chains that held me. I had been living my life a certain way, only aware of the big green blobs, not knowing that there was something I was missing. Not only did I begin to see the detail of what I was looking at, the truth of who I was and what I had, but I began to see the days that had long passed, days when I was unkind and manipulative, digging myself further into isolation. Honestly, it’s hard to think about the girl that I was, about that time, and not be filled with anger.

What I can see now is not something I would trade for anything. The fog has been lifted and I am able to see people and things as they are, and not what I thought they were. Knowing what I know now, however, does cause a pang of regret. It’s a sense of responsibility for my words and my actions that I feel like I should have been able to control.

As someone who finds comfort in the confines of her own mind, it is not a comfortable reality to know that I can’t always trust my thoughts. It has always been my understanding that when chaos surrounds me, I can find peace and truth within myself. Now, when I am sad or upset about something, I feel a degree of fear, fear that I’m slipping back into how things used to be, that my progress is falling away.

My doctor uses a kind of “depression quiz”, where you answer questions on a scale of 0-3 and total it up to get a feel of how you’re doing. I’m only supposed to do it every couple of months or so now, but I find myself doing them when I start to feel the fear. It takes going through all the questions containing actual symptoms of depression and seeing that I don’t actually feel the things listed to see that what I’m feeling in that moment, sadness, frustration, anger, is just a natural human emotion. I have to use real quantitative data to tell myself that normal people would be sad in that situation too.

I have these memories of before, and I want so badly to go back in time and give that girl a pair of my new glasses so maybe she wouldn’t do so much damage. I don’t have that option though, so I’m stuck with this feeling of responsibility for everything I was and said and did. It makes me want to go with a heavy heart to the people who were there and tell them, “I’m so sorry. I couldn’t see. I didn’t know.”

I guess it’s all a learning process, and knowing that the only way out is through. I had to go through that to get where I am now, and I’ve got a ways to go before I’m on the other side. As slow as this season has been, I know that it is getting better, I’m headed in the right direction, and for now, that is enough.

Over and Out,

Kennedy Kenton (3)

Burn this After Reading

I’ve been meaning to write something for the last couple of weeks, but if I’m honest, the last couple of weeks have been hard. Between being sick and coming to some hard realizations about my recovery, there hasn’t been anything that I felt like sharing. Today I decided that my circumstances don’t get to dictate what I do or don’t do. So here goes.

Lately I’ve found myself thinking about a specific memory from a while back that I didn’t realize was so significant to me. In the memory I was visiting a church out of town, one that I had never been to before, and one that I knew almost nothing about. The service itself isn’t what I remember, however, but the environment in which it was held. You see, this service was held in the gymnasium of a high school. While this might seem like an insignificant detail, or just a normal situation for a church, it made me realize something.

It occurred to me that this place was a beautifully entwined version of two of my favorite places, places I have sought out to find my peace and solace. I used to go to the gym early before practice or games and just sit on the wood floor, sometimes thinking, sometimes trying not to. To this day being in a gym is one of the most comfortable places I can imagine.

On the other side, some of my most significant emotional and spiritual moments have been in my seat during a church service. Moments where I felt God more deeply than I ever had before, where all my doubts and fears were washed away, worship services that brought me into the Throneroom and to the feet of my Jesus, the thin place where nothing separated me from his presence.

It really was almost magic being in there, as we all started to worship, and something cool happened within me, in a building that I had never been to before, in a town that I’d only been through a couple of times, it felt like..


Home is a strange concept for me currently in life. Something that hasn’t been easy for me to have, however, I have kind relatives who have opened their home to me in my time of need, to give me a place to go. I’m sure that if I asked, I could find other kind people willing to take me in as well, but I have chosen to think of this as a temporary situation, to keep my mind on what I am striving for, only allowing myself to be comfortable enough to find my next move.

Being on your own after college and then not on your own is a strange transition, and I never expected to be here. It’s hard to not feel like taking a brave attempt to fly out of the nest, only to fall to the ground. I have a vision for what I think my life could be, but it’s like running on a treadmill, as fast as I can, with everything I want in view, but I can’t reach it.

I guess I’m learning how to be patient, how to believe that I actually do deserve good things. I’m trying not to believe what was told to me recently, that you only lose the things that you never really deserved. I’m trying not to believe it because I’m afraid it might be true. I’m afraid that who I am and what I’ve done has brought me here, and that maybe I’m getting what I deserve.

I think that sometimes I spend too much time thinking about where I’m supposed to be and how long it’s going to take to get there. I’m trying to believe that someday I’ll find that place that feels like the home that is meant for me, that maybe someday I’ll have people, even though I know that some people never do.

Like I said, this week has been hard. Sometimes I have more questions than answers, I guess not every post is going to be profound and put together, but that’s just how things go sometimes.

This week I’ll remind myself that everything is for a season, and that I’m doing the best I can.

Be kind and love people,

Kennedy Kenton (3)

Second Star to the Right


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about fairytales. I think in part because I never really saw myself as the hero in my own story, just a supporting role, the Watson to someone else’s Sherlock. We as children are exposed to these stories and tales of magic, of dragons, and of happily ever after. Through our youthful eyes, we imagine our own lives as stories of adventure and fantasy. As I grew older, I learned that the world was not as it is in the storybooks, and I began to dislike the idea of instilling these illusions in the minds of children.

It’s one of those mindsets I have a tendency to get stuck in, that is, until something comes along to change my perspective.

In my random internet wanderings, I stumbled upon a quote that was able to begin to change my mind, along with the reality of what it could mean if we approach things a little differently.

The quote, by Neil Gaiman reads:

“Fairytales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

If we’re looking at it that way, then growing up believing in impossible things turns from nurturing an illusion of an imaginary world into creating strength and bravery in the face of our own, very real battles. I have said here before that I’ve been a skeptic to the truth of things that are actively affecting me, and as much as it seems like another pattern in my mind’s attempt at protecting itself, I have to admit that it is still true here.

If I look a little harder, I can see that there were days I woke up with a dragon sitting on my chest and a poisoned apple in my hand, ready to make me forget everything I was made for. If I approach that situation with the knowledge that I know about how this story plays out, I know that the power to defeat the dragon already resides in me, and that good will always triumph over evil, even if you have to fall into an enchanted sleep for a little while.

I’ve learned that being a lost boy from Neverland is not a curse, but an opportunity to walk through life with adventure and to create family with other souls brought to the island seeking freedom from loneliness. I’ve learned that things like pixie dust sometimes exist in our lives in the form of medication and counseling, but just like in the story, you don’t get to fly until you believe in yourself. You won’t get to take to the skies until you find that hope within your own heart- find it, and hold on for dear life.

It’s important for me to remember that there is not just one path that leads to victory over the things that try to destroy the good. True love is the most powerful force that has ever existed, as we have been given the most pure form of that in the love that was poured out for us on the cross. He has already written the story, he has already triumphed over evil, he has already given us everything we need to find the magic within ourselves.

I’m choosing to listen to the voice that says, “brave girl, you were made to do hard things- stand up to the pirates and the dragons, for you will defeat them with the strength of your wild heart.” When I’m scared of the darkness that rages against me, fearful of the flames and the rocks below, and when I turn to cry out, “but what if I fall?!” my Jesus will be there beside me, taking my hand with a smile as he says, “Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”

Love and Pixie Dust,

Kennedy Kenton (3)

Moments of Exhale

I’ve never been one for fame. The idea of being publicly known and have my privacy invaded has never seemed like the idea of anything I would want for my life. My anonymity is one of my most valuable possessions, and quite often, I find myself in a public place, aware that nobody knows anything about me, and find such peace in that truth. Keeping to myself has consistently been a place of solace, my introverted personality coming alive in moments of quiet.

Since disclosing the details of my internal battles, there has been a degree of that comfort that I have lost. The fact that so many people know the exact nature of my struggles means that I have been required to relinquish that privacy and lay it all out for everyone to see. I can’t even remember the number of medical professionals I have had to let in to the private areas of my heart that I spent years protecting. At the beginning, it was essentially a nightmare talking about it, since my pain told me that what I was dealing with was shameful. Over time, it has certainly become easier, but some days it still feels like I’m under a microscope, with people watching my every move and reading into every one of my words.

Boundaries that I used to have, the ones that I had to set to protect myself from people who have been sources of pain in the past, are no longer feasible, and I have to address anyone who expresses concern.

Don’t get me wrong, I seriously believe that being open about this is the better option, and has led to a significant amount of freedom from the issues that accompany isolation. What I do wish is that the conversations I have with people who know about all this, and who care about me were just not so heavy.. and that it didn’t feel like they were laced with subtext.

It’s like going about my day, taking in a bunch of tiny breaths and not taking the time to let any of it out. I had a chat recently with an old friend, and the topic of “exhale” came up. I think that so often, we wind ourselves up, with whatever it is that keeps us on edge, trying to do the right thing for all the right people, and we don’t realize the importance of releasing the tension.

The idea of the exhale can mean different things for different people. Sometimes it’s being around all the people that bring you peace and reassurance. Sometimes it’s a day free from work and stress, or a vacation from the daily grind. Sometimes it’s just a prayer on the way home, laying it all down and becoming free from the burden of the day. I didn’t know what it was for me, not specifically, until recently.

I have owned an inflatable kayak for about a year and a half now, half of that time carrying it in the back of my car. It came with a whole set of ambitions, but I didn’t do anything about them for a very long time. I only actually used it for the first time a couple of weekends ago. I went with a friend up to the lake and we spent the next several hours on the water.

The first thing I learned is that I didn’t know how to steer a kayak, so I ended up going in circles a lot. I also learned that it is a serious arm workout- (like I was sore for about 3 days afterward). The most important thing that I learned, however, is that being out there was the biggest moment of Exhale that I have had in months- the sun on my skin, the cool water splashing on my legs with each dip of the paddle, and the shoreline rocking in the distance.


(Photo for reference)

Out on the lake, there was no list of jobs that I hadn’t heard back from, there was no email to check, no medical bills, no unanswered text messages, just the sun and the water and my inflatable kayak. I am a firm believer in the majesty and wonder of specific moments in life, and in that moment, I was overcome with the awareness of God’s goodness, and the beauty of his creation.

There are all kinds of ways I think we can learn to exhale, but we also need to be reminded of the big moments, the places where we find our center, where we become the people we want to be.

Life sometimes makes us have to do hard things, and appease all the people, and take in everything that is pushed toward us. It’s all necessary most of the time, and we don’t have much control over it, but we do have control over what we let out. Find your place, find your peace, and just..


Stay as you are,

Kennedy Kenton (3)

Sharks and Sandcastles


I have a complicated relationship with fear. For example, I am paralyzingly afraid of sharks. When I was young, I watched a couple of terrifying shark movies and then allowed my imagination to run wild, creating images of sharks busting through the shower wall like a shark cage, or jumping 20 feet out of lake water, or waiting for me at the deep end of a pool. But on the other side of that, when I was on a snorkeling trip and we were warned about the open water and the potential threat, I became overcome with this sense of invincibility, with an attitude that I welcomed the idea of a shark approaching. I don’t know why I am this way, but looking at this fear as an example, it poses a greater question for the way I respond to it.

Logically, I know that these fears are irrational, unfounded, and absurd because there are real facts that I can look to and remind myself that, no, there will not be a shark busting through the walls of my shower. When it comes to the more serious types of fear, however, it’s much harder to differentiate.

When I knew my depression was worsening, I remember looking around at my life- my comfortable, independent life that had everything I needed, everything I wanted. Despite my inability to fully live in the happiness and comfort that this life provided, I knew that I didn’t want to lose it. In fact, I was terrified to lose it. The fear told me that if I was honest about what I was feeling, honest about the thoughts that riddled my mind, then all the things I worked so hard to build would be gone.

As things progressed, I realized that my options were limited, that I either needed to be honest and vocal and trust that my fears were unfounded, or that I would lose myself completely.

Even during the process of seeking the help I needed, I remember trying to comfort myself by the reassurance that nothing would change, and nobody would look at me differently. In this mindset, I found the strength to power through, and work toward a place of healing.

On the other side, I knew that my decision was the right one, that it was the only way to truly reach the recovery that I had desperately craved. The thing was, that one by one, little by little, the wonderful life that I had so carefully crafted began to fall away. The fear in me rose up again, countering the assurance that I knew was right, telling me that my fears had been valid, that I never should have been honest like I was.

Wait, WHAT? Isn’t this a post about fear being wrong and that when we’re brave and vulnerable then good things happen? In a way, yes. But as I watched my world crumble beneath me, there wasn’t anything proving to me that it was the right call.

While I walked through the rubble of what had once been so valuable to me, I felt a surge of anger- anger at myself for the choice that I had made, and committed to never admit that I was in a dark place again. If everything I was afraid of came true, what would possibly happen next time?

As things go, that anger didn’t last, and instead it was replaced by the reality of what needed to happen in my life, what I had to go through to truly be free. As Jesus walked with me, and gently revealed what my life had really been, I saw what I never wanted to see. I saw that I placed all my value, all my worth in what I surrounded myself with, the people I found solace in, the places and things that brought me peace. I had stopped turning to Jesus in my pain, stopped standing on the solid ground He had built for me and chose to stake my claim on the sand castle I built myself.

He showed me that my fears were only fears because I placed my identity in the things around me, instead of in Him. Good things come from doing the hard things, even if it doesn’t look like it. Sometimes a shark winds up in the deep end of the pool, but is it enough to keep you from ever swimming again?

Fear can be a liar, but what we do in spite of fear, the courage we are able to find even when the odds are against us, even when the things we are afraid of come true, is what dictates our freedom from the fear in the end.

Always be brave, sweet friends,

Kennedy Kenton (3)

The Dark and Twisties

One of the biggest things that I struggle with on a daily basis is insecurity (I know, I know, OBVIOUSLY, right?). I find that I’ll start to look at things going on around me and draw unnecessary conclusions from them- something I affectionately refer to as “spiraling.” It’s when stuff around me combined with little whispered lies from the enemy lead me down quite a lonely path. For those of you who have watched Grey’s Anatomy, another way to refer to it is as a case of “The Dark and Twisties.”

The thing that I’ve learned about insecurity is that it doesn’t always come out of nowhere. Sometimes the things in your life are not ideal, and what’s happening around you doesn’t always reflect the good promises of the life God has for you. Sometimes you try to find a good thing, but you can’t, and all the evidence is screaming at you that you failed. And, damn if that’s not the most fragile place to find yourself, because it’s the fork in the road, where you could end up too far down the wrong path.

So this is the part where I get honest and raw about the thoughts that I have. I promised myself that if I was going to write, that I would be nothing but truthful.

I have spent a few months searching for community, for Christian friends to surround myself with, the kind of people who cheer for each other and speak truths into each other’s lives. In my search, I hit barrier after barrier, setbacks and rejection. It’s hard for me to see that and not feel like I am too damaged, too far-gone for anyone to invest in. On my worst days, the facts outweigh my strength, and sometimes I succumb to the spiral. I begin to create my own conclusions: That I’ll never have people, that people will always only see the broken places that I’ve been, that I just can’t be loved anymore. It’s days like those where, if I do nothing, it is almost impossible to stop.

But that’s not who I am anymore. I am refusing to let that go on the way it was. The way my brain has been, where it believes all the thoughts, twisty as they may be, is not a way for me to live- for me to be healthy.

The trouble with my current life is that I am alone 98% of the time. I don’t mean that I’m lonely, because after spending months unable to see and feel Jesus, I am relishing in the joy of a daily walk with Him. What I mean is that whatever I’m doing; going to Target, eating dinner, working out, going to church- I am by myself. So it poses a more difficult scenario where I have to find a way to keep my thoughts accountable on my own.

My solution to said problem came in the form of “The Car Monologues.” I call them that- but they are really just me, speaking out loud what is going on, potentially stating obvious things, how I’m feeling, what my thoughts are telling me, etc. Then I get wherever I’m going and I write it all down. It’s a funny thing, writing. Seeing the words written out opens up a completely new perspective- and I can usually see the fallacy of what I have been feeling. It also helps to get my bible out, and break it down, line-by-line, comparing what I’ve written to the promises in His word.

When you are in a situation like mine, it is easy to fall into the trap, to get stuck in a certain way of living and thinking. What I’ve found is that it’s way more work to fight, but I’ve got to think that after every bout, I am stronger, more capable, and more understanding to the pain around me. So maybe it’s not the worst thing.

All my love,

Kennedy Kenton (3)

Here we go!

Well, here goes my first post.

I’ve decided recently that I feel strongly enough to speak about something very important to me. Although I’ve debated internally whether or not to start writing about this, I feel like I have some things I need to say. I have been battling various degrees of depression for a couple of years, and it has been the hardest thing I have ever done. As a Christian, I have spent most of my life believing that what God says in his word is true and faithful, so much that I would stake my entire life on it. Since I met and fell in love with Jesus when I was 12, the truths that I have learned and studied about him have built an interlocking structure for me to stand on.

This alone probably wouldn’t have been enough for me to submit my life to, but the real relationship that developed, the tangible peace and security that I found in turning to him gave me undeniable proof that he was there with me, walking me through every turn. I know I wasn’t always obedient and faithful, but I never stopped believing that He loved me and would never forsake me. The truths that he gave us in His word combined with the realness of hearing his voice in quiet times, feeling his presence in the stillness gave me everything I needed to love and follow him. I experienced pain, grief, betrayal, and a slew of other troubles, and never once did he leave me on my own.

I say all this so that what comes next makes more sense to those who may not know to what I’m referring. As my depression worsened, something in my brain started to block my ability to find him in my struggle, to see his hand working, to hear his words of encouragement and truth. I knew that he was there and that he would never stop loving me, because I believed his promises were true, but what was happening inside me, the battle I was fighting, kept me from being able to reach him. I spent nights in tears, crying out to him, asking why he had left me, what I had done wrong to deserve this. It was an impossible feeling to describe, and I remember several occasions where I would be sitting with my kind friend, where she wanted so badly to help me, asking what she could do. How could I explain that everything inside me, everything around me, told me that God had abandoned me, even though what we both believed told me the complete opposite? I lived in a state of not being able to feel the love that was waiting for me, of feeling as if anything kind or supportive around me was fake and fleeting. I spent months craving his presence, of going to the quiet place inside myself where He and I would meet, and finding more loneliness.

As far as skeptics go, I was the worst of them. Even during my season of experiencing it firsthand, I still believed that if I was a good enough Christian, then this wouldn’t be happening, that I would be able to be healed and to live a completely normal life. Believing this sent me into a state of constantly falling short, failing at every turn. I believed that if I tried hard enough, then I could be better, which only made matters worse.

In recent weeks, I have been lucky enough to find relief as I discovered that my depression was being caused by a treatable, physical, medical condition. These revelations about what was going on inside of my blindness is heartbreaking, knowing now that He sat with me in every sleepless night, He matched me tear for tear, and above all, gave me the people and the resources to fight my way out.

I know there are so many people talking about mental illness, breaking stigmas and creating a more open communication about this issue, but I still felt the need to share my story. You can tell people when they’re in the dark place that they’re not alone, that there are people around them who care about them, that Jesus has never left, but please don’t be discouraged when they can’t believe you. Remind them of truths and show up even when it’s hard.

Depression is a monster, it’s different for every person, and sometimes-good things just can’t get through.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that maybe it gave you a small understanding of what some of your friends might be fighting. And if you’ve been there or are there, you’re not alone.

Until next time,
Kennedy Kenton (3)