Breathing Underwater

Read this while listening to Emeli Sande’s Breathing Underwater.

Four years ago I tried to kill myself. The details are unimportant in this post. Failing at that felt like one more failure in a long list my head kept replaying.

This is not about death. This is about life, but I don’t think it’s possible to talk about one without the other. It’s light and darkness.

I wanted to die because it was dark. My life was a stumbling around bumping into things in the dark. A constant wounding without healing. Death and darkness aren’t any different. Didn’t feel like any difference—except death promised the nothingness that meant no more wounds.

Not dying didn’t make me alive. Follow me, it makes sense. Not dying didn’t mean the darkness lifted. Darkness doesn’t lift without light. It remains.

This is the first year I’ve felt alive. Like life flows through me. I feel alive because of light. I can’t say this is the moment it came, or this is why it came. I know I definitely didn’t do anything to spark it. If I could, I would have ages ago.

Earlier this year I had these vivid moments where it felt like I could literally feel the life of Christ flowing through me. And I’d dance in my room and laugh, and talk to Him about it.

Light finds us in the darkness, and if we let it in, light grows and grows and grows. So that even when darkness tries to return, we are not stumbling without help. Light knows where the stuff lies in the darkness and helps us to navigate it. Till it grows again and we can see well.

I know what is true. The life of Christ. The light of the Word of God. I know what I’ve held on to during depressive episodes. I know what has lifted me out of them, unlike anything could in the past.

“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.” – Isaiah 43:2

“My God, I’m breathing underwater.” – Emeli Sande

Do you understand the song now?

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