I usually feel it coming a few days out. It starts out feeling like I am speeding down a road and I know at any moment I will hit black ice. Then I hit it. I spin out of control and I know if I grip the steering wheel and try to redirect it, I will only make the situation worse. So I throw my hands in the air and I let my circumstances direct me because I don't know how to steer myself out of the spin I find myself in. Soon, I crash in a hole, a dark and deep hole. The car is gone and I'm alone. I'm swallowed in blackness. I don't care. I don't feel. Far above me I see a light to the outside world. The opening is too far to reach. I see life happening and I ache to be a part of it. This makes the blackness seem all the more suffocating. I feel alone. Sometimes I’ll get my head above the surface for a short time before my strength and will power give out, I fall back down. The brief moment is shattered and I am alone in the world my mind created for me. I watch John and the kids as an outsider and I want to be there but I can't. I go through the motions repeat over and over again: “Just fake it, ‘til you make it.” Sometimes when I try to explain to people what I am feeling, I feel stupid and dramatic- like I'm making this all up. The answer to all the pain seems simple: just stop it. But I can't. Because I'm trapped. I'm alone. And all I can do is hug my knees and close myself to the physical darkness that I feel closing in on me. But the unfortunate consequence is that I also close out the light. And the joy. And I hate myself....because I can't handle the darkness and now everyone around me suffers along side of me. I close my eyes and I feel God trying to tell me everything I have to hold on to and every thing I have to be happy about and find joy and I want to be that person. But I just....can't. I don't know how to get there.
He came to live. He came to bring light.
And so did I.
And through Christ, I can.
He can roll away "my stone" and reach His hand down and raise me to light.
"Forget Me Not" by Annie Henrie
I don't experience depression all the time. Sometimes it lasts weeks, sometimes it only lasts a day or two, sometimes there are long intermissions between and sometimes it feels like I can't get away, ever. I don't want people feeling pity for me here. I chose to come to this Earth and I knew I would experience infirmities. I love that I get to experience this life, and I don't want people to pity me because at times it is hard. It's like watching someone run a marathon and half way through you see them looking tired and worn out- you don't shout, "Oh I'm sorry! I don't know how you do it!" You say, "You got this! Keep pushing through! It's going to be worth it in the end!" This life is surely going to be worth it, the good times and the bad times.
This post isn't about my struggle with depression though, it is about the answer- it is about how through Jesus Christ I know I can overcome it.
The atonement of Jesus Christ means to me: I don't have to be alone. That despite of myself, I can find peace in the darkness of my hole. Sometimes I feel Him lift me completely out. Other times I just feel Him there, experiencing the pain with me, and those times that is exactly what I need as I navigate through, strengthening my tools to battle "the demon." I am grateful to have His comfort and encouragement. I know I am allowing Christ's influence in my life when "the lows" aren't really low, but I feel them pushing me and making me stronger. And despite the clouds, I can feel the light on the horizon. This hope is all because of my Savior. He brings me peace, companionship, hope and redemption.
I know Christ lives, and because of Him, I can live too.
He is the answer, He is the way, He is the light and He is the life.
I pray that as I turn to him, I too can find a "new life," away from darkness.
A life woven with peace, joy, love, and Him. A life repaired and made whole through Jesus Christ.
As Jesus Christ gave his life for me, I pray I can give my life to Him.
The love of Jesus Christ is the answer, as we seek it, embrace it, share it, and make it the lens in which we view the world, we can overcome any darkness within us and any darkness that arises externally in our world.
This is what Easter means to me.
May your's be bright and full of His love.