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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Broken Like Me

What is the word for those moments when you meet someone who has gone through, or is presently going through the same issues you struggle with? I wouldn't dare say I'm encouraged but there is that empathy of "I understand" that makes me feel less alone. The truth is, depression is something I wouldn't wish on anyone.

Depression is the loneliest, darkest, torture. A torture so deep, there are no words to adequately describe it to someone who hasn't been there in that same pit. It can be a quiet disease. Some days I waltz around without a care in the world. Other days, I "don't want to"...get out of bed, feed my family, do the laundry, get dressed, eat...

I want to sleep, or squint hard enough to get rid of the blurriness in my vision, or drink something warm enough to help ease that feeling of constant, choking pressure on my throat, or cry...

But life keeps asking me to live, and do, and be...

On my own, this torture is unbearable. I can understand those who come to the end of themselves and just want to make it all stop.


But God...

Yes, God.

He covers me like a blanket and calms my soul. If I just take a moment to stop what I'm doing and pray. And by pray, I don't mean some long-winded Psalm recitation. No. Most days "pray" sounds like "I can't. God, help me."

He calms me. He restores my soul.

And from that healing, I'm able to see past my physical state and keep my heart tuned in to His goodness and peace.

From this place, from this calm, I'm able to be encouraged. I read about Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before He was to be arrested and crucified. I see the anguish of His prayers as He started out pleading for the circumstances to change. He knew God was able...but He also knew that the path He was on couldn't be changed if God's will would be done.

And Paul's journey in the book of Acts is enough to make anyone want to ask him "Why do you keep setting yourself up like that?" He would preach, get beat up/arrested, and then he would be run out of town. But Paul knew he was on a mission and he knew his path couldn't be changed if God's will be done.

But here's what I love about Paul, and here's what I take to heart. In Acts 23:11, he's ended up in prison after being beat up {again}. The next night, Jesus came to him and said, "Take courage...". It was as if God saw him deflated and exhausted by his journey and feeling discouraged. And so, when Paul reached the end of himself, Jesus came on the scene and said "I know you're out of courage, but take mine. I have a plan for you."

I, too, take courage. But to take courage, I have to know the one who gives it. I have to make sure I'm setting aside time in my day to learn more about who God is and earnestly seek out what He wants me to do. Yes, I'm completely frustrated by my chemical depression and life's circumstances from time to time. However, I choose to see this as part of a bigger plan. I take {His} courage.


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