When I am in a depression, my comfort comes once the sun goes down. The day seems unbearable and so I spend it simply waiting for the darkness.
That’s what I did today. I had options to leave my house in the afternoon, but chose not to. Tried to paint, but lost the inspiration once the picture was not what I wanted it to be. As I crumbled that paper, an overwhelming sense of loss and grief came over me and all I wanted to do was climb in my bed, pull the covers over my head, and wait until the darkness comes.
As the sun went down, I got up and used the energy I was receiving from the impending darkness to clean dishes and bake a gingerbread, gluten-free. After I ate my gingerbread…here I am. In the darkness.
This depression has been longer than most, especially given that I got on it early, taking my medications in increasing dosages but I am still depressed. I am still crying every day. A deep pit is inside my chest, anxiety I call it, but now I’m not so sure that’s what it is.
Because in the last week, I’ve had a number of encounters with holy women who have ministered to me. I didn’t seek them out, but they found me. As confused as I am about why I am still depressed, I do know one thing: God sent those women to me. And while I’m not quite ready to share what they shared with me, when you hear the same message over and over again from holy women that God sent to you, well…you listen.
“But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you…”Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you…Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.”
“And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness — secret riches. I will do this so that you may know that I an the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”
The preacher today is finishing up a series “How to Get Through What You’re Going Through.” This series was obviously meant for me, and others like me. (Find the whole series here.)
Today’s message was about the treasures hidden in the darkness. One thing I never understood was why God allowed bad things to happen to those who love him, those who proclaim him as their lord and savior. But now I get it. Not all bad things are of God. But God “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)
Maybe I live for the darkness in depression because there is something to be found here, a treasure. He is using my depression for not just my good, but for the good of all who love Him. My depression is not just mine, but a part of the something God will use to the benefit of us all. And even though I don’t know what the good is that will come from this, because I know His character – that his love is more than sentiment, that his love is a productive and active love – I know he is with me. His love keeps me afloat, keeps me from drowning or burning alive. His love calls my name, and reaches for me, maybe not to bring me out of the darkness, but to help me live through the darkness.
Wrap me in your arms,
wrap me in your arms,
wrap me in your arms
Take me to that place Lord,
to that secret place where
I can be with you, you can make me like you
— William McDowell, Wrap Me In Your Arms