Hey! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.
My name is Allison. I’m 23 years old and currently reside in East Tennessee.
I decided to start Reclaim the Roar in May of 2016 after graduating from college.
I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for the past 6-odd years and skirted around my issues, living from burnout to burnout, finding solace in a busy schedule and an occupied mind. I prided myself on maintaining perfect grades while I put in long shifts at work.
I was tireless and intense but I was so, so empty–only when I’d slow down for a few minutes would I realize I was deeply unhappy and stressed out to the wire.
My relentless pursuit of perfection led to frequent panic attacks that made me feel paralyzed. I was isolated and lonely but I felt unable to talk with anyone about the raging storm in my head.
So I kept trudging and trudging through this pile of dung until I finally fell head first into it.
During my senior year of college, my struggles with anxiety and depression came to a head. I missed my alarm the first day of class and beat myself up about it so much that I spiraled. I thought it was all over.
I fully understand that missing your alarm does not make you a failure, but anxiety can do funny things to your brain. I ended up withdrawing from my classes completely and took a year off to get myself healthy again.
Taking a step back from school helped tremendously, but it’s only through the grace of God was I able to get through this dark period.
In the past I’ve struggled with doubt and shame and feeling that – if there were a God – He could never love my messy, tattered soul. Maybe He loved me when I was young – but I’d messed up too many times. I was far past redemption – broken beyond repair – and so I searched for comfort in the temporary.
I looked for the Father’s Love in people and places that temporarily filled the silence and distracted from the pain. I partied a little and drank a lot and I’d always end up in the same crumpled state, feeling dirty, empty, and ashamed. Studying and exercise and dieting didn’t work either. These paths only led me to dark roads of self-destruction and self-centeredness. I was trying to nourish my soul with food that could never satisfy – I ate and I ate what the world offered but the gnawing hunger never subsided.
Once I took refuge in God’s love, He enabled me to see His hand throughout my entire journey – His hand that refuses to let go of mine – His love that isn’t diminished by my shortcomings. His profound grace that is deep and far-reaching and so hard for me to comprehend.
The Lord has brought me JOY and I don’t think I’m supposed to keep it to myself – the Lord heals, comforts, and redeems. Therapy didn’t save me – I didn’t save me – the LORD saved me. He saw me in my sinfulness and in my brokenness and He never stopped loving. He never stopped pursuing my heart. The Lord has taken what was dead in me and brought it back to LIFE.
Even in the wilderness, I’ve never walked alone. The Lord has never forgotten or forsaken me. In the silences, in the pain, in the loneliness, He is faithful. My story isn’t about me, it’s about HIM. It’s about a grace that knows no boundaries. It’s about a wild, reckless love more powerful than any pain – it’s about a God who is worthy of PRAISE. I can boast of nothing else. He’s brought me out of darkness and into light – and in this light I can see that my life is nothing apart from Christ.
Thanks for reading, sweet friend! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on Reclaim the Roar’s latest posts, you can enter your email address at the bottom of the page. Blessings to you!
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)