Through Reclaim the Roar, I’ve told the story of my battles with anxiety and depression — and I’m so grateful that many of you have taken the time to read about my journey.
I’ve talked a lot about regaining inner strength and taking back my health, but it’s only recently that I’ve realized I’ve omitted the most crucial part. I’ve expressed that getting through this difficult period was the result of my own efforts — that through self-development, exercise, and healthy eating, I’ve been able to surmount the pain and suffering that characterized the past 6 years. Undoubtedly, developing better habits helped — but to attribute my “reclamation of health” to these habits would be a misrepresentation of the truth.
So here’s the deal, the whole shebang, the honest truth: Christ saved me from myself. I’ve been shaken, reclaimed, and brought back to life by Christ’s Mighty Roar. His love is so transformative, so earth-shattering, so powerful, that I’m compelled to honor Him through my words.
He’s The Only Bread That Satisfies
In the past, I’ve struggled with doubt and shame and feeling that, if God existed, He could never love my messy, tattered soul. I grew up in church and was so certain in my faith as a child and young adolescent — but I failed Him over and over and over. Maybe He loved me when I was young — but I was too messy, far past redemption, broken beyond repair — and so I searched for comfort in the temporary.
I looked for that 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.
Only recently have I taken refuge in God’s word and been able to see His hand in all of this — 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.
He Redeemed My Broken Life
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: even in the silences, even in the pain, even 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.
He’s brought me out of the darkness and into light — and in this light, I can see that my life is nothing apart from Christ.
I tried with all my might to rise out of the pits of depression and anxiety on my own — and in doing so, I’ve realized that no amount of yoga, personal development books, or practices of “self-love” can replace the love of Jesus Christ — the pursuit of peace and joy apart from God is meaningless.
The Mighty Roar of Christ
Back in high school, I had a recurring dream that a big cat would appear on the front lawn of my house. I’d be inside, paralyzed with fear, peering through the blinds at the lion or tiger that was pacing to and fro in the grass.
I’d wake up in a cold sweat, not because I was fearful for my life; rather, the big cat was terrifying because it was in a place where I wasn’t expecting to see it. It was a wildness I couldn’t control.
I don’t typically attempt to derive meaning from dreams, which often seem chaotic and senseless— but I can’t help but think of this dream recently and how apt it is to illustrate God’s radical, untamed love. I sat in fearful isolation for years, peering through the blinds, hiding behind walls of sheltered pride.
In my dream, the big cat only paced to and fro in the grass, and never entered into the house itself; in my waking life, however, God mercifully broke down my walls and entered my house.
He took mercy on me and, like a mighty lion, wrecked my pride and awoke my lifeless heart.
The name of my blog — Reclaim the Roar — was originally intended to illustrate my story and the journey I’d taken to “reclaim the roar” back from the pits of depression and anxiety.
The “roar” indicated the sound of my own individual strength, identity, and purpose — the self that was weary and weak and in desperate need of revival. God has shown me that the strength, identity, and purpose I longed to reclaim could only be found in knowing and praising Him:
- The Lord is the only one who can give me strength.
- “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31)
- My identity is found in Christ.
- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16)
- My sole purpose on this earth is to praise God and spread the good news of His grace.
- “Sing to the LORD; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods.” (Psalm 96:2-4)
- “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16)
His roar is the booming sound of resurrection. It’s a shout of reckless grace. It’s a song of bold love. It’s the cry of salvation that we so desperately need to hear.
There is no redemption apart from Jesus. God has allowed me to see what true revival is, and I can see that, apart from Christ, I am spiritually dead. I’ve felt what it means to be fully ALIVE in Christ, and now I can proclaim with joy that there is no other mightier roar than that of the Lion of Judah.
A New Direction
From this point on, this blog is a platform to glorify the Lord and by telling the story of how He redeemed my life from the rubble — how He took my sadness and turned it into eternal JOY — how He broke through my walls and pride and wrecked my life in the most beautiful way. I can boast of nothing else.
If you’re reading this and living in darkness, doubtful of the Father’s love — know that my past is so unbelievably tarnished that I never thought this peace and freedom was possible. I spent many, many years in sin, darkness, and self-destruction. But the Lord redeemed my life and reclaimed my heart through His Mighty Roar. I am so undeserving of grace — but I can testify with a full heart that Christ’s sacrifice covers all. No amount of failure or iniquity can separate you from the love of God.
If you ever want to talk about the Lord and His radical grace — you can pop over here to send me a message. Praise be to Him!