Chronic depression has such a variety of symptoms.
On any given day, it likes to try to do its worst. Phantom pains, insomnia, anxiety over the slightest thing, zero focus, relentless sensitivity to your environment, despair.
And sometimes the worst it ever gets are the days where the bed is a magnet. You feel like it’s got this seductive hold. You can’t imagine leaving it any time soon. It’s overwhelming to say the least.
Maybe you’ve known the feeling.
Known the pull.
The day already seems too huge and too hard and you’ve only just opened your eyes.
But they feel weighed down like the rest of your body, betraying you when you have things to do and a purpose waiting and all the living planned out already.
When my brain can’t fathom what the next move is, when starting – not even finishing – but starting the day feels impossible for my dysthymic body, my bed has this overpowering pull.
“This is a safe place”, my head whispers, “just stay here.”
“This is the only place that doesn’t feel too hard”, my heart wants to implore, “just feel how invisible you can be.”
“This will be the only thing you can manage today”, my soul cries, “just succumb, and give up all the rest.”
The blue rainy cartoon cloud moves in over me hiding in my sheets and the comforter that seemingly weighs a ton.
Everything within me says I won’t be going anywhere today.
All too often these are the voices that are the loudest. No matter how I try to avoid them or ignore them, they’re often just so relentless.
They too are a part of the magnetic and dysthymic pull.
I lay one morning, foggy and slow beneath the forgiving and enabling blankets, soft and toasty and the depression keeping me within their grasp, and appalled that over and above almost everything else waiting for me within my day, the hiding inside my bed felt the most doable.
Until a stronger, more intense, more beautiful voice leaned in and spoke over all the other voices…
“My dear one, this is not the only place you could hide.”
I lay there, electric with merely the sense of the Spirit.
“See what happens when you choose to hide in Me.”
I think I might have wept at the words.
Pure relief in the form of tears.
“Lord, yes, this is exactly what I would like.”
I think in our christian world we equate belief with overcoming every obstacle, and we say things like, “we are unstoppable in Him!” and “I am heading out into the day, more than a conqueror in Him!” but we don’t like to talk about how it’s still belief if instead we need a place to hide, or recoup, or regroup.
And those of us on the side lines, watching all these seemingly unstoppable people spouting victory quotes everywhere wonder what we’re doing wrong with our faith.
That morning in my bed I was reminded that we don’t use Him as the quick solution going need to need, but that He is available to be our refuge and hiding place, our fortress, our shelter, at every turn if need be. That we are designed for hiding in Him on the hard days.
And not once has He ever expected us to do any of this life on our own.And not once has He ever expected us to do any of this life on our own. Click To Tweet
Just inject some faith and never look back is not scriptural.
But dwelling in Him completely is.
I lay swallowed up in my blankets and pillows and realized I was hungry for the same but from where it counts.
I crawled out of my covers to grab my Bible, then hunkered back down with pages open, hungry for promises about hiding in Him, dwelling in Him, finding rest in Him.
And the Word revealed treasure after treasure.
“And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7
“For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.” Psalm 27:5
“I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” Lamentations 3:55-57
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” Psalm 91:1
My dysthymic brain had the right idea but the wrong solution.
There was a refreshing of His magnetic pull… and now the conversation from earlier looked more like this;
“This is a safe place” He whispers, “just hide yourself in Me.”
“I am the dwelling place where you can rest from all the struggle”, He caresses, “you’re never invisible or insignificant to Me.”
“If this is the one thing you do today, beloved, abide in Me, and hand over the hard things, for in Me you will find rest.”
Hiding in His Almighty Shadow.
Hiding where there is promised rest.
There’s all the time in the world to be the Christ-filled conqueror, sometimes hiding in Him is the rest-filled submission He needs so He can move on our behalf.
Sometimes it’s the most faith-filled, most brave decision we can ever make. Battle-weary just means it’s time for Him to complete the needed victory.
While we hide inside His perfect rest.
All that week, I made it easy to dwell in Him.
My Bible beside my bed, the last thing I touch when I got to sleep, the first good thing waiting for me when I awake.
Small breaks through the day where I could just collapse into Him. Sing a little. Pray a little more. Just talk out loud, even when the words feel like lead, I knew He was listening.
Giving myself room to recoup. Giving time for my brain to regroup and refusing to place everyone else’s expectations on myself.
Knowing He has a plan for my story, and not to forge on ahead with out Him, striving too often, resting too little.
Whether you battle a mood disorder. Whether you’re facing too many impossibles. Whether you are longing for the perfect answer.
He is our ultimate hiding place.
So, where will you hide?