I remember being here last year: heartbroken. My spine crumpled into the hard wooden cross, tears splashing between my splayed fingers.
“Please take away my anxiety.”
Another girl testified God had healed her mental illness.
One year later I’m told I have depression, too. I fight it. A few days later I realize it’s true.
Will anyone love me now?
Of course they will. They do. But sometimes the people around me feel like memories, like ghosts just passing through, and I’m alone in some other universe with a head full of air that should be in my lungs but isn’t.
I want to shut my eyes. I want to escape. But He holds my eyes open and grips my chin and begs me to look at the cross.
The single middle-aged man behind me grabs my shoulder. He says ‘peace be with you’ with a handshake that’s too warm and I say it back without any peace to give. He is not Jesus. My arm seizes sporadically for several minutes afterward. It still does when I remember.
I don’t know what to ask for.