When she said that, I felt an overpowering burning in my heart telling me that I could find hope and healing through the Savior and that others could also find hope and healing if I was willing to share my journey with depression. I could hardly concentrate through the rest of the session of conference, because my mind was flowing with words to write and experiences to share.
I got home and started writing right away. It was late, so I didn't get much written by the time I had to go bed. I tried to sleep, but I couldn't, because the words were weighing so heavily on my mind, so I got up and continued writing. I felt my heart begin to heal as I wrote about my experiences and was very real with myself about how hard it had been. By the time I was done several hours later, I was filled with so much gratitude, hope, and light. I cried reading back over my story and knew that it would take courage to share such personal details, but I also knew, without a doubt, that it would help.
The next morning, with a nervous and fearful heart, I logged on to Facebook, said a prayer asking for courage and strength, and then shared the link to my family's personal blog where I had written my story.
Within hours, over 500 people had read it and many people had contacted me through private messages, comments on the post, texts, and calls to tell me about their own struggles and how my story had helped them. As they shared their personal experiences, I felt comfort, hope, validation, and support. I knew that I wasn't alone, and I knew that my friends weren't alone either. We were there to help, love, and support each other through our hard times.
After reading several messages and talking to several people, my mind started racing again. What if there was a place where people could share their stories and could find hope and healing through their honesty and openness? What if those struggling right now could read these stories and feel validation, comfort, and strength? What if the family members of those struggling could read these stories and better know how to help their loved ones? What if those who have never struggled with depression could get a glimpse of understanding and feel more love and compassion for those who fight these daily battles?
That's when the idea of starting a blog was born.
But how did I choose the title?
Originally I thought about calling it "Like a Broken Vessel" after the wonderful talk by Elder Holland about depression (I'll share more thoughts about that talk later), but I wanted something more encouraging, more uplifting. I prayed that God would help me and then I watched General Conference. One of the talks referenced the scripture 2 Nephi 2:25 "Men are, that they might have joy." Immediately, I knew that the title needed to be "That We Might Have Joy."
I believe that by sharing our stories and our struggles, we can strengthen and uplift each other