Last week everyone seemed to be busy wishing friends and family
a Happy New Year. Except me. I was in the midst of depression. Nothing felt very happy and I didn’t want to talk to anyone, much less celebrate a new year.
While I have skirted depression often enough over the years, I had not fallen into the pit for more than a decade. My husband didn’t seem to notice, nor did the kids as they had Dad to entertain them. Life seemed to swirl around me as I curled further into a ball behind a book. My Kindle distracted me from the numbness of the void.
As I began to fully realize that I was depressed, I resolved to just do the next thing. Get up, get dressed, cook, interact (at least on a limited basis). I knew from experience that this was the only way out. It was going to be a slow crawl out of the darkness.
Then I went to church.
Sunday came, and I got dressed, packed everyone into the car and went to church like it was any other week. My plan was to hide in a corner, to remain as unseen as possible. The irony here is that not feeling seen is part of what led to my current state. I wanted to be seen, but simpl didn’t have the energy to respond to anyone with a smile.
God saw me.
My plan for hiding didn’t work. When dropping off the kids, I saw one of my favorite couples. A friend and mentor who is never the the children’s area on Sunday mornings. But they were there this Sunday, with smiles and welcome. When we went upstairs, I tried to hide in a corner alcove. A friend that I rarely see during service just happened to sit in front of me. When she saw me crying, she sat next to my and prayed for me. I was seen.
The tears I shed during worship were ones of gratitude. Even the music seemed to echo the message that God sees me and loves me. I can’t even remember what we sang now, only that it filled me with such emotion that it leaked out of my eyes while my friend prayed quietly next to me.
After feeling nothing for a week, or at least nothing positive, I was suddenly filled with a peace and gratitude that could only have come from God.
I won’t tell you that I was suddenly depression free, but I was definitely on the road to recovery. A road that shortened drastically. Rather than the weeks of slow progress that I expected, I felt close to normal in a matter of days. By Tuesday, I was able to smile. By Wednesday, I was taking a long walk, coaching, and meeting friends. I was reaching out and connecting!
“We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.” – Philippians 4:13
This is one of my favorite verses. The road may be hard, but you do not have to walk it alone. I pray that my words will be an encouragement to those who find themselves in the dark.
Know that you are not alone. There are those who love you and want to reach out both here and in Heaven.