The long dark night is finally over. Dear Reading Friends, I wanted to share with you both my joy and relief at the change that has taken place in my life recently.
Over the past year I have been struggling greatly with depression. It began intently in the fall of 2008 as my Mom approached her home going. My wonderful husband moved to Kansas City to begin his new job and left me behind as was the plan. I had things to take care of in Wisconsin...
When Mom left this life in January of 2009 I was numb for just a little while and suddenly I found myself in a place I had never been before. My family was telling me I was angry and bitter. I became very negative and could (and did) find something wrong or bad in even the most beautiful day. I stopped being thankful or grateful for the blessings I had each day. My heart was heavy, I could not sleep, or all I wanted to do was sleep depending on the day. I found little joy in anything and each day was something to endure, not a reason to celebrate.
My children were asking me what happened to my faith, even berating me for my lack of trust in God's sovereignty. I did not want to be this way, I did not want to feel this way! I listened to sermons on suffering and trials, read books on Job, and desperately clung to having hope for the future.
Moving to Missouri last May helped some. At least my husband, son and I were together again. The cost was personally and financially high however. It meant leaving my counseling position and returning to a former job in a medical field that I never intended to do again.
While I love my new home the adjustment was incredibly hard. My life was no longer "my own" and I had to put everything ministry wise on hold and devote myself to re-learning my job. I was hemmed in to an 8-5 commitment leaving my heart here at home each day as I went out the door to work. To make matters worse, the doctor I work for is...difficult and must have been going through a hard time in life too. I dreaded waking each day, and dreaded going to bed because it meant I would have to wake up and do it all again.
Some people knew my heart, and could see how badly I was struggling. Others had no idea because I continued living my life in spite of how I felt. Make no mistake, had I not had the training in biblical counseling I have I would have gone for the pharmacology solution. At times I despaired even of living because the blanket of darkness was so heavy and thick.
Each day was a test of my faith, did I really believe all I teach? Was God truly enough? Was His Word enough? Was His love enough? Did I trust in His sovereignty enough, believing that this place He had me in was intentional and purposeful? There were some times I honestly didn't know. Those times came when I was living in the feelings that came with the black cloud; when I couldn't seem to shake those dreaded feelings.
Other times, I could mentally accept that I was depressed and acknowledge it for what it was, a season of life, a slice of time that would pass eventually- when God had accomplished what He intended to accomplish in me.
I continued to work, counsel, write, be a friend, a wife and mom, and live out my faith as best as I could in spite of how I was feeling. Each day I would pray that God would enable me to glorify Him, even as I struggled through each hour. And oh, how I prayed!! I knew praying for the depression to lift was not the right prayer although I certainly wanted it to! I prayed that God would effect the changes in me that apparently could not be wrought any other way. If there was another way to bring about God's perfect will, He would have done that instead.
God is a sovereign God of the universe and He does what He wants with what (and who) is His. I have believed that as long as I can remember, and I am so very thankful I do for my faith in Him is all that has gotten me through this time. My faith is a product of His grace and love for me. It is all of Him.
The beginning of the lifting of the heavy blanket of depression occurred with the anniversary of Mom's passing. I began to see glimpses of "normal" in my thinking and in my responses. Then one day recently, it was just gone. Just like that...gone! If I drew it as a picture it would be as though a many tentacled alien (as black as the blackest night) lifted off of me and released me. That sounds very dramatic but I want you to understand the suffocating weight of what I was under.
I do not yet know fully what God's intentions were in this time in my life, I have not received any wild revelations or messages from heaven. But I have come through it- I am whole. I am healthy. I am stronger in Christ.
So to you who suffer today and think you cannot go on another day under your own depressive blanket, please take heart! Your God, the God who loves you with an everlasting love is walking through this time with you. He is holding you and keeping you and He promises to never let you go. You can run to Him and hide in Him, in the shadows of His wings.
This ministry exists for the purpose of helping other women (and guys, I know you are out there too!) who just struggle so with life and are looking for God's answers to their problems. Sometimes listing Bible verses is not the right answer to give, sometimes it is as simple as letting you know that if depression can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.