You know in cartoons how a little rain cloud appears over someone who’s sad?
I don’t have that.
But sometimes I wish I did.
Because otherwise depression, especially chronic, or low-grade depression is hard to see. There’s no rain cloud to indicate what someone’s head is doing to them on any given day. Eeyore doesn’t accompany them everywhere. Dooms day music doesn’t follow them wherever they go.
But the same can really be said of anybody, we usually don’t walk into a room and announce with great aplomb, “I’m feeling fat today, so no one comment on my clothes!” or “Feeling betrayed by a close friend today, so no one ask me anything personal!”
And we certainly don’t walk around announcing our depression.
That’s the trouble with depression. Unless I were to speak up and be honest about my health, you’d never know the days I’m living with random phantom pains, you’d never guess which days I had to fight to just get dressed, you’d be unaware of how long a certain task took because my focus was sketchy and sounds and distractions messed with my mind.
I can’t tell you how many times someone has found out that I live with Dysthymia and the first words they exclaim are, “Well I wouldn’t have known it to see you! You always seem so fine…”
Looking fine. It’s exhausting. Can I be honest? I don’t want to crumple into a ball in public, would you? No… so you cope and you navigate and you take a deep breath, and you pray, and yes, you pretend you’re doing okay. In general. It’s yucky to always feel low, it’s even more yucky to be so “authentic” that you spend all day telling people you feel like crap. No. You go minutes at a time, all day long, and you fall apart at home. Or you never leave the house to begin with.
And sometimes the less amount of people to know the better. Less probing questions, less attention, less hovering, less advice. You already have so much in your own head, you don’t need anyone to add to it.
That’s why the little black rain cloud would come in handy.
Handy, but not the solution.
My solution continues to be the Solution Maker. I can honestly say my faith has never been buried for good under the wet blanket of depression. My faith has always been what I can cling to. The Life Preserver takes me through each storm, and all the things that make Him who He is, are why I run to Him daily.
If depression is a black hole, He is the Light that causes darkness to scatter.
If depression is a deep pit, He is the lifter of our heads, the ever-present Help.
If depression is a raging storm, He is the Refuge, the Shelter.
If depression is an empty desert, He becomes our Daily Bread.
If depression is an unpredictable illness, He is the Healer.
If depression is like a swelling ocean, He is the Life Preserver.
What does the worship chorus “Came To My Rescue” say?
“I call, You answer. And You came to my rescue. And I, I want to be where You are…”
I have always run to that truth. It has never failed me.
It’s so much bigger than my flares of despair. It’s so much larger than any pit. It’s far more powerful than any faulty neural pathway.
Actually, the trouble with depression is that we think it makes us less valuable in His eyes. But that’s false. When He asks us to give our lives to Him, He never says He only wants the good stuff. He wants it all. We’re to give it all to Him, and in return He gives something beyond what we deserve or need. Who does that any more?
The Life Preserver does. He always has. He’s the culmination of everything else that’s been missing in all those other places you’ve ever looked. While you carry the hard things around with you, whatever they may be, He’s saying, “Why don’t you just give that to Me?”
And as I watch the video below from that same chorus, I hear the truth that even encompasses my chronic D… “Lord, ALL I am is YOURS”
I don’t know who needs this today. Maybe no one. But I hope this post reaches it’s intended mark. And I hope the words and the voices lifted in the video carry it straight to your heart or your soul where it’s the most thirsty.
You might have trouble with depression, my friend. You might be having trouble with anything hard.
But He won’t have trouble with it. What will you do when He asks, “Why don’t you just give that to Me?”