Friday, November 14, 2014

Double Edged

I have this friend. She is beautiful and special and a magnificently thoughtful mother. She and I shared too few moments together when she lived here, and she has long since moved to the other side of the country, but we have a bond. 

We both love and adore our savior and our children. And we both have our gray sky days.

Depression. It's a heavy, weighted word. It can sometimes be overlaid with shades of shame. And it is an often misunderstood disease. Even I don't understand it, and I've been treading its waters since puberty. 

For me and my own particular journey, depression is not something that makes me sad. It is something that makes me nothing. It slowly leaks all of the color and joy from my world, and presses me down so hard that I am foggy and sleepy and restless. It pulls me away from family and friends and makes me a quiet and gray person who lives on the edges of life, not IN IT.

The problem with depression is that it is also sneaky, gradual, and relentless. It can tug pieces of you away until you don't fully realize you have unraveled. It starts very small and you gradually give up more and more to it. You may realize these defeats for what they are- a new cycle of the disease- or you may be full in it when somebody else points it out to you. Either way is hard, but the former is best. The more you know your disease, the more armed you are to fight it. 

My friend and I share this battle. Despite both of us being very strong in our faith. Despite us both being good, dedicated mothers. If prayer could cure depression, neither of us would have it. If focusing on our blessings could make it go away, we would never have to fight it off. 

I've struggled with why I have this particular challenge forever. The other morning I woke up to a gray day. I knew I'd have to fight for energy to push through. I was praying about it when I felt God speaking to me. An idea I had never had before.

What if I was struggling with this because it was forearming me to be able to help my children when they battled it? 

In one single moment, this battle I have been fighting for 25 years turned into a blessing. 

Depression is hereditary, coming down to me from both sides. It's almost a given that one of my children will have to go head to head with it at some point. 

And I will be able to help them so much more than if I didn't know what it was like to feel gray in a world full of sunshine. 

I texted my friend, who confirmed for me that her mom tells her the same thing all the time- that she has so many more tools to help her children should they need it. 


I've been changing my perspective about God lately. Trying to work my mind around the fact that HE  sees the whole picture- every single moment of my life, every mistake, every struggle. None of it is a surprise to Him. He sees the masterpiece as He paints it. I only see a postage stamp sized view of it. 

I know I don't ever fight this disease alone- but now I know I may be fighting it for a PURPOSE. 

This realization is just more confirmation of how God carries me. Every single thing, good and bad, in my life can and should be used to propel me forward. Mistakes teach us what not to do, what doesn't work, and the beauty of grace. Blessings teach us gratitude. And struggles teach us to rely on God and dig deep for His help. 

All of it can be used to teach our children about life. Even the things that we have been shamed about- our struggles with depression, our feelings of worth, our deepest hurts. 

I love an amazing God, who helps me to overcome all things. But who also uses the broken things of this world to teach me more about who I am, and what I can do. In turn I can teach my children the same thing. 

John 16:33 - These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Jeremiah 33:6 - Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.

Isaiah chapter 9:

2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, [and] not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, [and] as [men] rejoice when they divide the spoil.

4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

5 For every battle of the warrior [is] with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but [this] shall be with burning [and] fuel of fire.

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.