I have just come through one of my darkest journeys. Finally, the light and love have reappeared, or should I say I found a way to see them again. They really never left me. Sometimes it takes work, hard work, to uncover the light once you have let it slip away.
It's just like a quote from the Bible, the lion lays in wait to pounce when you least expect it. You don't even know he has you trapped at first, but you are.
Depression is like a trap that cages the animal of prey, waiting for the predator to devour you, but there is always a way out.
Divinity seems to have ordered the boundaries of the predator.
It can only push you so far, then it has to wait and see if you will finish the job and destroy yourself, or if you will find the will and the way to survive and thrive, breaking out of the cage.
The darkness and the stress are overwhelming, and you don't always know why.
Sometimes traumatic events from the past, things you think you have dealt with, suddenly resurface and monopolize your life. Sometimes a sadness that has no reason or rhyme just attaches itself to you with a heaviness that words can't describe.
The tears flow, the heart aches, and the pain consumes. Sadness, anxiety, worry, fatigue and physical illness sap the life right out of you. You grow tired of the fight. You want it to be over.
The search for inner peace seems futile, but you continue, sometimes spiraling downward and out of control, but you never give up.
Once it's over, you wonder how in the world you could have been so full of despair.
How did it happen?
Why did it happen?
How can you prevent it from happening again?
Age old questions that still offer no guaranteed answers. A Christian might tell you to spend more time in prayer and meditation, but sometimes life gets so hectic that you miss a day or two, making it much easier said than done.
School started which brought with it more financial worries (gas because she attends an althernative academy which is free, but no bus transportation), more time constraints (I have to stay there - 25 miles away - to save 2 gallons of gas per day), and more anxiety because my little girl is a senior this year. I became consumed with this time "next" year (bad idea). I became consumed with all the things I wish had been different as I raised her, such as her Dad not leaving us in poverty and wondering if I was a good enough Mother. I hate that my daughter has to work just to pay for gas to get to and from school. I became consumed with anguish because I could not give her the senior trip to Scotland, Paris and London, even though she doesn't even seem to want to go. It's like I started inventing things to feel bad about. Then I started thinking about my parents who have passed away, wishing they were still here because I miss them and my daughter hasn't had her grandparents to enjoy.
Then there were the "other" problems, the ones that keep nagging at you when you have no resources to change things. The porch is leaking to the point that I am wondering when it will crumble. The car is making even louder than usual creaking noises when I drive so I can't let her drive the car by herself because I worry over her safety. I need to get stuff out of the house so I can re-enter my bedroom but my physical health doesn't allow it. We still have furniture for a house while we live in a 27 year old 2 bedroom mobile home that has not been updated - at all. It's dark, crowded, disorganized and claustrophobic - except for her room.
Ants and roaches are invading the kitchen - it's a never ending fight. My sofa is broken, sitting on books and covered with a comforter. It looks like I will have to disconnect the home phone so I can pay for the light bill. I have no cellphone to use instead. There is a church funded organization that helps people once or twice a year with their light bill, but they are out of funds. The ex still isn't sending the right amount of support, but I need an attorney or a $25 fee to get it handled by family court. I still resent the fact that my little girl was forced to live this way while "Daddy" has already gone through 2 new families living in the home I remodeled with the inheritance my parents left me. I still get angry when I remember how the divorce was handled because "his" uncle was the chief of police. These are just some of the day-to-day problems facing us.
Time passes - ten days this time - while you're on a journey that no one even knows you're taking, except for God, and you find yourself wondering if He is paying attention and sometimes you wonder if He even exists, even though you have had many displays of His existence. Then you feel guilty for doubting.
You read inspiring texts, you pray, you think, you meditate, you sleep, you sob, you tremble from the physical weakness, you struggle with nausea, you stop talking to people, you stop every thing that you previously enjoyed.
You watch life as an outsider wondering why you're here and why you should even bother - and then - suddenly the clouds part and the sun's life sustaining rays are able to reach you again.
I began reading the promises of the Bible out loud - so often that I easily memorized some of them.
Finally, here's what I decided...
- I will live and not die.
- I will rejoice and not mourn.
- I will sing and not weep.
- I will hope and not despair.
- I will rebuke and not surrender.
- I will bind up depression and cast it out.
- God isn't finished with me yet.
- My best times are still ahead of me.