I suppose that my post earlier this week has been a long time coming. I've been struggling to get back into blogging but things just never seemed right. To be quite honest, getting out of bed every day has been a struggle, let alone taking care of four children and myself--forget the house and the chores entailed in keeping it running smoothly. I've soldiered along with a "fake it till you make it" attitude, barely keeping my head above water. Sure, some days are better than others. In reality though, I feel hollow far more often than I feel anything that vaguely resembles happiness.
If I look back over the course of my life, I am sure that I have struggled with depression for... gosh... probably 9 years. Maybe longer. I've never admitted it. I'm a strong person. I scorn weakness and people who seem to *choose* to live in pitiable situations. Not people who have no say in the matter, but people who just refuse to work to make their life situation better. Complainers annoy me. They get under my skin. When I listen to people going on about a troubling situation I think to myself that if they would take half the time they spend telling others about how badly off they are and just use that time to work on making things better the world would be a better place. Or at least we'd only have to listen to their sad story half as much, either way, it's a small victory for mankind. I jest. In part.
I suppose I have struggled with looking at myself and saying, "I'm depressed." because that's just not something that *Christians* do. Christians don't get depressed. They have an awesome God that has redeemed their soul. They have a promise of an eternity in paradise. Depression is looked at like a spiritual condition that evidences a person's lack of faith and prayer.
I haven't gone to see a doctor. Up to this point in my life, I would have deemed it an absolute lack of faith in the God to turn to a man for help. I don't know if there is a person who has wanted a cloud of darkness to be lifted from them so badly. I've prayed. I have fasted. I have tried to fake being happy until I felt it. At this point, I do not believe that my state of mind it just that, a state of mind. I firmly believe there is a physical diagnosis that contributes to why I feel the way I do. Or rather, for why I feel almost nothing most days.
In light of my person confession, I have another one to make: I still know that God is good. His hand in my life is undeniable. I feel His presence, hear Him speak and KNOW that He is guiding me to a better place. Even though I feel like I am walking through the darkest valley the psalmist wrote of, I know that God is with me. I am hid in Christ.
I am sure that I am not alone in my personal struggle. There are others out there who may feel guilty that depression is a cross that weighs heavily on their shoulders. To admit that you struggle with dark days, months or even, as in my case, dark years is not to deny the power that lies in the cross that Christ bore for us. In this search for personal healing, on our journey to become whole, God is always faithful.
There is a song that has spoken volumes to me and become a personal anthem of sorts to me. On brighter days Brian Doerksen's "Your Faithfulness" is a song of thanks. In my darkest days it has been a song of hope and encouragement. Always a reminder that God will never leave or forsake me. He is always here.
Whole Orange Bundt Cake
4 days ago