It seems that lately, much has been written and talked about regarding an upside to depression and the gifts received from it. And while some of it infuriates me or at a minimum, makes me roll my eyes, I cannot deny there is some morsel of truth to it.
Of course these gifts can only be seen in hindsight. Isn’t it ironic that our eyes are on the front of our heads when we are able to see so much more clearly from behind?
Depression has a way of forcing your perspective to shift and cultivating your spirituality. It has a way of closing the gap between me and my God.
I am the proud owner of literally boxes of journals. Some are lovely, fabric covered books from Barnes and Noble while some are just 75 cent spiral notebooks. Early ones are loaded with concert ticket stubs and notes from girlfriends. Come to think of it, I just put a “Life Is Good” sticker in one last month so not much has changed. I have been keeping a journal since high school and have always used them as a means of talking to God. If you want to know when all was going well in my life, look for the gaps between entries. Those gaps of time reveal when the big D took a vacation.
I’m forever in awe of how depression can twist your arm, force you to your knees and make you pray like you were a southern preacher on the best Sunday of the year. It puts you firmly in a place of not having anywhere else to turn. In desperation, you come to Him sheepishly….“It’s me God. You know, Leslie? Blond hair, blue eyes? I took the watermelon Bonne Bell lip gloss without paying in 1973? Oh yeah, sorry for that. Oh! And sorry about forgetting to thank you for (fill in the blank – “the food on my plate today” is always a good one) – I really meant to, I promise. And while I’m here, PLEASE HELP ME”!
And I never fail to hope for my burning bush moment…I pray that if He hears me He’ll make a picture swing off its nail and drop from the wall or move a pencil across the table. When those don’t happen, I adjust my expectations and change my bargain to “if you hear me, make the news come on in 3 minutes” (never mind that my prayer is at 5:57 pm).
At the end of the day though, it truly is my greatest need. I don’t lose hope that to be close to God will somehow make me understand the oppression, confusion and terror that are the disease of depression.
I don’t lose hope that He will remove it. In the words of my minister, Joel Osteen, what looks impossible to us in the natural world is not impossible at all for God who is a supernatural God and in an instant, He can change things. I will never lose faith in that. He is what I wrote of in an earlier post, the force behind my pilot light that refuses to go out.
photo credit: Vivianna_love
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Last reviewed: 23 May 2010