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on birthdays and floundering.

May 20, 2014

So, it’s my birthday. Most years this produces constant refreshing of Facebook to see who’s wished me a happy birthday and joyous celebrations. Last year on this day I graduated college and had a monster party and laughed.

Today I woke up depressed.

That’s a hard word for me to write down. It’s a hard reality to admit. It’s difficult to be vulnerable with that piece of information. It’s even more difficult to admit that this is not a passing phase, but a constant struggle over the past months.

This last year of life (and actually the year before it as well) has been the hardest. It has included the loss of friends (both through my own choice for my health and through being cut off and through the natural transitions of life), the death of my grandfather, the serious illness of my father-in-law, the loss of a job (much bigger story there), the worst period of financial struggle that Gil and I have ever known, and a deep spiritual crisis that has left me questioning all that I once held true.

I wish that I had the emotional strength today to celebrate with joy the loveliness of life despite the struggles it includes. Unfortunately I feel that I have depleted the reservoirs. Fear seems to abound. Fear that life will never get better. That I will never again find confidence to be myself. That faith and God and light will remain dark.

Rational, thinking, typical Candace sees all of this as shit. She says to get it together, buck up, be strong, pull yourself out of this funk. I kind of hate that Candace right now. She’s mean and cruel and forces a facade of happiness and strength on my face when all I really want to do is lay in bed. She tells me that writing this is a pathetic plea for assurances and sympathy from the world.

I don’t know how to silence her.

Maybe writing this blog, coming clean with myself and the world about my reality is a step towards silencing her. Towards accepting the place that I’m in and the place that I’m no longer in.

I think that’s been the hardest part of this last year. The lack of stability I feel in my soul caused by no longer being in the places that I used to be. For so long, my life was structured around church and school and ministry. And community. There was consistency and pattern, even if those patterns were unhealthy and manipulative. Structure and hierarchy and standards even if they were abusive and overwhelming. Having released myself from those things, I was hoping for freedom, for life, for healing. I’m finding that those things are more difficult to find and create than I expected. And that realization is depressing.

Most of my blogs follow a consistent pattern. Maybe one I’ve forced on myself without knowing it. I question and process and think on the page and then find resolution, hope, resolve.

I’m not there today.

depressing water


10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2014 10:58 am

    Honesty and vulnerability is a hard place to be. I can’t say buck up because this has been the most profound year of loss. My mother passed away in my arms 2 days before my birthday last year. My brother unexpectedly died from who knows what, in February. My close friend who lives with me, was diagnosed last week with 50 tumors is her brain and my best friend from childhood suffered the loss of her mom last Tuesday. All I can say is I’m sorry you are going through this and I will pray for you!


  2. Pam Schaffeld permalink
    May 20, 2014 12:39 pm

    Thank you Candace for your honesty! I too have felt like that. I’m glad my God is big enough to accept my rantings, frustrations and doubt! Thank you for putting into words how I think many feel but are too afraid to say.
    Love you…Pam


  3. May 20, 2014 12:44 pm

    Wow Candace, thank you for writing this. It’s brave, you’re brave.


  4. May 20, 2014 1:23 pm

    Happy Birthday, Candace! Won’t try to advise, fix, change or even console. Good description of the Dark Night of the Soul. Been there a few times myself… it’s not fun.


  5. May 20, 2014 3:13 pm

    You’re not alone, my friend. And no less lovable and beloved when floundering than when you feel solid. Love you.


  6. Nicole permalink
    May 21, 2014 6:29 am

    Even in a ocean of doubt, with all recognizable landmarks out of sight beyond the horizon, Deut 33:27 “The eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms”. Reading your blog reminded me that my year after graduating from CC was much like this. Looking back it was a season of cleansing, of removing things from my heart and life that were habitual but not necessarily life-giving. And most importantly, it was a time when I had to surrender to grace instead of “should”. Grace renews, restores, rebuilds. “Should” can come in many “acceptable” disguises but always leaves you feeling unworthy. Embrace the silence, let yourself float because it’s too hard to swim, and let God just hold your hand and lead you out. Slowly. Perfectly.


  7. May 21, 2014 3:32 pm



  8. Amy permalink
    June 25, 2014 6:18 am

    I can literally FEEL you in a place of transition. I have complete faith that you are bound and destined for a better place, not only for yourself but for the betterment of others! This is not the “sympathy” that you were afraid of, this is my true gut speaking to you, my sister in this sometimes upside-down world.


  9. defygravityjournal permalink
    June 29, 2014 11:34 am

    I left the corporate church a long time ago, so I get it. At the core, my problem was the fact that I still longed to worship. I hated the answers from the culture, the university and my corporate life. I didn’t know what to do with my desire and spiritual hunger! I quit going to anyone for answers about worship because I know worship is life and everyone worships something.


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