Early this evening, I found myself on the way out to the farm.
I wasn't yelling.
I was worshiping.
I was singing loud and strong, along to a worship CD.
I was overcome with awe as I watched the rain clouds break apart,
the sun start to stream through,
and the trees light up with all their glorious colors.
I didn't feel alone.
God was right there with me.
Showing Himself to me in His glorious creation and inhabiting my praise of Him.
He has been all along, but I was sinking so much in my own pain and shame that I couldn't or wouldn't see it.
What changed my perspective today?
Nothing has changed. My situations and struggles are still the same. The depression is still there, the feeling of being pulled away from people and things... all still there.
However, my perspective has changed.
Yesterday, after the kids had left to go to the farm, I read a friend's blog post. She said that she would, even in the midst of her own struggles, be interceding for others. She asked in that post for us to share prayer requests with her. Tentatively I sought her out via email and shared as briefly as I could where I was at and just asked her to pray as she was able.
I received her reply a little later in the evening. In the course of her email, she made a suggestion. She said to find a favorite story of mine in the bible and read it. But to not just read it, but fully put myself in the story, feeling it with texture, form and substance.
Well, I did as she suggested, right before bed. I didn't anticipate how God would touch me, but I read the story of the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. It was one that was instrumental in my coming to Christ 17 years ago. I read it out of Mark 5:24-34.
It was powerful, and for some reason, what Jesus said to her at the end of her story on those pages, I felt like I had never even heard before.
"Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
I was in that story. I was the woman who had suffered at the hands of many doctors, spent all she had, and was worse off than before. I was the one so worn and weak, trying to push through the crowd that was crushing Him to just try to touch his cloak.
And His words touched me. I am His daughter. My faith has caused me to push through the crowd to find healing in His touch, in the past, and will again. He spoke to me about going in peace, to cease worrying about what might happen or how it will look, or what I'm even supposed to do. Just rest in His peace.
He spoke precious words to me of freedom. Freedom from suffering. I know we will never be fully free from suffering here in this world. But when we are looking at our Savior's face, the suffering fades in comparison. I wrote in my journal last night that maybe I would never be able to shake the depression I suffer from, but maybe I can find peace in it, knowing He is there, He knows what it's like. Jesus cares and never leaves me alone or drops me off along the road somewhere.
I know God is pulling me away for a season, drawing me apart for a while to spend more time with Him. He's making room in my life.
For us together.
I will be able to fill up with more of Him. He will be able to show me the things I need to work through, the healing I need, the sins I need to confess, repent and let go of. He is spending this time clearing out the junk so that He has room to work, and I can only sit back and watch in amazement as He does His thing.
Jesus was a carpenter you know. I imagine He loved to work with His hands, taking a bare bit of wood, seeing what it could really become, cutting it, carving it, and shaping it, polishing it until it was a thing of beauty, and able to be used fully for the work it was made for.
He is doing that with me. He is with you too. He sees the flaws in our bits of wood, and he works with them, turning them into ways His strength and design and plan can be seen.
This depression and depth of despair that I have had may come and go, and never really leave. But I am working at getting it from my head to my heart - choosing to believe that it will once again be for my good and for His glory. Depression will keep me weak, forced to depend on Him like no other. No one else would be able to stand up to the pressure that I would put on them in my deepest need.
Only Jesus can.
Only Jesus has experienced the deepest darkness, the deepest aloneness, the most painful separation, worse than anything we could imagine.
So He knows, He understands, He cares.
And He WILL REDEEM IT ALL.
He will buy back the pain and the agony of our situations. He will use it somehow in my life, and it will spill over into the lives of others. He has in small ways already.
I wish that I could have written this yesterday, showing the hope that really was there at the end of that post. But I didn't see it. I was drowning, until Jesus stepped in, through the words of my friend, and drew me to His Word where He met me.
I rocked myself to sleep with that story from Scripture last night. This morning, when I woke, nothing had changed. Yet, EVERYTHING had changed. It was enough. It was so good.
God is so good. I choose to believe that. That He is good, that He has my best interests at heart, and that He will never leave me or forsake me. I choose to believe the truth of His Word.....
....despite what my feelings may say.
May I look back on this post when I am down and depressed and see no hope and remember how He was faithful to me to fulfill His Words of healing, peace and freedom in my life.
Will you choose the truth too? Will you choose Him? Will you choose to believe Him and what He says about you, and how much He loves you? Will you choose His hope with me today?