For many years, I woke each morning to severe anxiety and a mind filled with worries too many to count. I can’t begin to explain the full scope of the journey that has brought me to a new place of peace and rest, but I want to take a few minutes to write about the difference between living in fear and doubt and living with a sense of hope, of trust, and of purpose.
Depression and anxiety are awful experiences especially when they linger over weeks, months, years. The toll it takes on the mind, body and emotions can be overwhelming for the person living with the problem and for those who live with them; for those who love and care for them. For the person living in deep depression, it sort of feels like walking in quick sand, the harder you try, the harder it gets and the deeper you sink into the thick darkness.
Professionals can listen, they can give you medicine, they can encourage you, they can help you, but they cannot heal you.
The thought life of a depressed person is gloomy and fatalistic, they see sadness everywhere and they are intensely sensitive to it. It’s hard for others to be around them without feeling drug down too, so they are often socially isolated which only adds to their problems.
Some people appear to give up, they go to bed and sleep their lives away in effort to avoid the struggle. Others have what is called agitated depression which is characterized by the depressed, bleak thoughts and sad emotions along with restlessness and raw energy to be managed, usually by doing, doing, doing…that is the kind I have had, a restlessness that wouldn’t settle, wouldn’t go away and couldn’t be satisfied. I was just from one thing to another trying to get relief only to find myself worn out and unable to rest.
OHhhh, I can’t begin to express how thankful I am to live in peace! I was thinking this morning how my thoughts are so very different than they were in the past. I don’t dwell on the negative or on the sad. I acknowledge the hurts all around with prayer to a Lord who is ready, willing, and able to heal and to bless. I awake in the mornings with hopeful anticipation of what lies ahead. My thoughts are never far from the Lord…so often I remember in those first few moments of wakefulness, “His mercies are new every morning…” What a lovely thought to wake with.
I then go quietly through the house and look to the sunrise that I can see from our front living room windows and enjoy the peace of the early morning light. How blessed I am to have a home of peace and a quiet and a sound mind.
I often wonder if my joy is greater because I haven’t always had peace. I know what it is like to live in darkness and worry, confusion, and the clarity of mind and calmness of spirit I experience now is a blessing I am very aware of each and every day. The gifts of healing go far beyond what we tend to consider. Once we have experienced sickness and suffering and have been blessed by the healing touch of the Lord, our faith grows and we are anchored in a new and deeper way.
I also find I have great compassion for others who struggle as I did, and I want to encourage them and offer evidence that life can be transformed from that troublesome existence of depression into a life of joy, of hope, and of peace.
There is a song I absolutely adore. It is called “Unfailing Love.” Part of the words say, “I praise you God of earth and sky, how beautiful is your unfailing love, unfailing love. You never change, God You remain, The Holy One, and my unfailing love, unfailing love. And everything You hold in Your Hands, still you make time for me, I can’t understand!” I was singing this song in the car this morning on my way home from taking Noah to school and I wanted to share this piece of my life story in hopes of encouraging anyone who is struggling. There is hope and healing, still, in this world today and it is available to those who seek it from The One who Heals, The One who holds everything in His Hands.
I so often think of how I delight in my children and grandchild and I am reminded of the scripture that says the Lord delights in His own…just as we love to have our little ones climb onto our laps and let us love on them, our Lord delights in having us climb into His arms with our hearts open and our minds fixed on Him. If only we will come into His presence in submission, He will only bless and love us as we delight His heart with our surrendering love.
May we all draw closer to Him, cast our thoughts on His goodness and His grace, His great power and will to bless with all good things today and always!