Gospel music artist Kirk Franklin recently revealed he was battling depression, worry, anxiety, and fear. But he found a simple way to overcome it and wanted to share the secret with his followers on social media.
In an Instagram post, recorded while Franklin was in the Dominican Republic, the 13-time Grammy Award winner talked about his struggles that transpired over the past year, including the loss of several loved ones.
"I went to more funerals in 2019 than I ever been to in my life," he said. "I went to the funerals of friends, people's parents, and people's kids. And it was a lot."
"Not only that, it really brought a lot of anxiety to me," the singer said. "I really struggled with a lot of anxiety and really got into a funk that I couldn't get out of. This really dark funk that I was in... depression. Kind of battling it."
"But not only that, but just the angst that death can bring to you," Franklin continued. "Also anxiety about the future. It's like a fear of who's next or what's next. Whether it's the fear of death or just fear."
"So I just got off the phone with my therapist, a great godly-guy. I normally call my pastor Dr. (Tony) Evans, but because of his own loss in his life, I just want to respect his time," the singer noted.
"My therapist has been a good friend of mine for over 22 years," Franklin added. "He was very vital in helping my marriage when we were going through a rough time. Great guy."
"I was just talking to him about being very anxious, and being very consumed with fear and worry and just struggling with it all. And he said to me something that I want to encourage you. I paid him so I could give it to you for free," the singer said with a smile.
"He said when I begin to live a life of more gratitude, I will begin to be more selfless. Because fear is rooted in self," Franklin shared. "Think about it. When you start a conversation, it's, 'What about me? What's going to happen to me? How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to make it? They are going to hurt me. I'm going to get sick. I'm going to lose this. I'm going to...' Everything starts with I, I, I. It's very self-focused."
"So if we can begin to live a life of gratitude. Always giving things even though things are dark. I'm here in a part of the world where I am seeing seven, eight and nine people sleeping in one bedroom with no electricity. No windows. I'm seeing kids who have to be careful because of the sex trafficking. They're scared to speak to you. They are scared to look at a man from another country in his eyes because of their fear," the singer continued.
"Things for you could be worse. I promise you it could be worse. And so, living a life of gratitude, then you will begin to be more selfless. Giving God thanks for what he has already done," Franklin stressed.
"And then he (the therapist) laid this one on me, and I want to encourage you with this. He gave it to me and I'm giving it to you for free. He said to me, 'Kirk, you need to be more grateful.' He said, 'Because Kirk, you are a miracle that you are not acknowledging.' You need to say that to yourself. You need to look into the mirror and say, 'I am a miracle I am not acknowledging,' Franklin said.
Then the singer paused and said, "Because when we are so busy worrying and having fear or whatever, we forget because it could be worse - seeing another day is a miracle. The fact that we are still alive is a miracle. The fact that we still have the activities of our limbs. The fact that we made it this far. That we were not stillborn. That we are here... we are a miracle that we are not acknowledging."
Throwing his hands above his head, Franklin looked into the camera and told his followers he hoped that encouraged them.
"It encouraged me," he said. "I've been blessed being here. I have felt needed and I needed to feel needed by people. My wife does a great job. My kids do, but I needed to get around people that can't give nothing back. They can't give nothing back but a hug."
"Wake up every day saying, 'I am a miracle I am not acknowledging.' Love you all, man. Have a strong year. Have a strong year. God has not forgotten you," Franklin concluded.