Saturday, June 20, 2015

Depression, My Grumpy Teacher

Earnest prayer doesn't always make it better.
Sometimes it seems to "make it worse."
Truly seeking God's will for your life... well, sometimes that means realizing & embracing that he has a cross he fully intends for you to bear. And when God intends for you to bear a cross, there is no amount of squirming and running that can get you out from under it.

I think my cross is anxiety & depression.
I honestly don't know if I'll ever be free. At least for this season of my life, it is my constant companion. Sometimes it's so quiet that I forget it's there... and then some little stressor (a bad night sleep, a long week, a bad conversation, a highly publicized crime, one too many fits from my babies) and all of a sudden the sneaky voice of depression becomes a wail so loud it drowns everything else out.

I was reading a book written in the 1500s on the subject of prayer.... the author specifically said, "If a sister struggles with 'melancholy' solitary meditation might not be good for her. If someone starts to wilt under this discipline, give them a job and get them active and around people."

I found this SO comforting... because it is yet another example of how depression is not some new fangled issue first world problem. I'm not a wuss. I'm tough as nails because I'm pretty sure this curse would have run a lesser person under the ground by now.

Sometimes I think God is using depression to protect me from myself.
My default mode is "Dream Big! Do Do Do! Go Go Go! Achieve, Accomplish, Create!" But ever since Depression+Anxiety, when I begin to shift into this aggressive gear, I am suddenly crippled by the brokenness in my spirit.
It keeps me low.
It keeps me humble.
It keeps me so small....

Which keeps me focused on my children... cherishing each quiet moment, each stupid game. Or not cherishing the zillionth scream fest, dirty diaper, stolen snack... but being present with it. Not distracted. Engaged. Engaging. Otherwise I'd be a million miles away dreaming up dreams!

It seems like that would be better....

But this is my cross...

And when I pray deeply, the Lord makes it clear that the cross remains heavy on my shoulders.


Today I felt these quiet words slip in and stay: "Because the highest aim of this world is not to make this world more my home. More friendly. More safe. More comfortable for me. The highest aim of this world is to bring me face to face with a reckoning that it is not my home. The world is good, but it is not perfect. It is beautiful, but it is not bliss. It is strong, but it is broken. This is my journey, but it is not my home."

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