It was two days before I left for my writing conference.
News I had been anticipating arrived. But instead of relief, I was let down. According to this paper, something that had devoured time and left an emotional wake was over. It should have been glad tidings. Instead, all I could see was a glaring mistake.
As a journalist, the first thing I learned was to check and double-check names. In my career, I misspelled a name once, was called on it, and felt terrible. Oversights happen.
But this thing? It was supposedly an official document...with a spelling mistake that made me realize it had been given a cursory glance.
For yet another time this summer, my stomach rolled and lurched.
And my demeanor dropped.
With sadness, I folded the letter.
I went to the conference, and rather than exiting filled and excited, I left disenchanted.
I came home and went about my days.
But nothing seemed to soothe my spirit.
My study times felt fragmented.
I let my book proposal sit.
My quiet time was underwhelming.
My energy all but deserted me.
And yet, I continued to press on, knowing something was wrong, but not having courage to face it...thinking, if only I could rest, I would feel better. If only I would hear about my book proposal, I would have a deadline to work for. If only...
Until yesterday, when an ugly word re-entered my sight-line. Depression.
After that official document arrived, I slipped into a tailspin. And it took over a month to recognize it for what it was. Not a funk. Something way more. Way deeper.
After living for so long in depression, I still have a hard time recognizing and naming it...probably because it was "me" for so long. Putting on that smile. Saying, "I'm fine."
For the last week, I've been praying against confusion...because this is a spiritual battle after all. And yesterday, that prayer was answered with that one whispered word. Depression. Not a funk...because that's two words. Just one. Depression.
That whisper was huge. A game changer. A blessing!
Now that I've named it, I can own it. I can FIGHT it.
Yesterday, this was my battle cry: "No, despite ALL these things, overwhelming victory is ours in Christ, who loved us." I wrote it on my arm. I will write it again today.
Today the fog has lifted. This depression thing? I hate it. But even when I felt disconnected, God was still there...in the pit with me. Keeping the flame burning in the dark.
Like the sunset gift I was given driving home Sunday evening:
Even after the sun disappeared behind the horizon...into the pit, if you will...the rays were STILL visible. For a really long time! I couldn't stop taking pictures, because I was completely amazed.
Even after the sun set, the rays were still visible.
Definitely something to ponder.
Where do you need to know that the rays are still visible? Are you struggling with a fight against depression, or is it something else?
If so, remember that God is still there...shooting up out of the dark.
Let Him help you name it.
For an overwhelming victory.
"No, despite ALL these things, overwhelming victory is ours in Christ, who loved us."