What You Can’t See. The Second Part of My Depression Story.

Divorce is tragic – no exaggeration. If you have been there you know what I mean. It is a pain of incredible loss. But the person that is lost isn’t truly gone. They are walking around and, in my case, happy to be free.

I spent at least two weeks in a blackout. I remember nothing of that time. I had a two-year old son at the time. I don’t know how he survived.

I get flashbacks of acting crazy. I chased my ex around in my minivan like we were on a movie set except we were in public and my son was strapped into the backseat. I traced the veins in my wrist with a broken razor, never brave enough to press harder. And those are the things I remember.

I was broken.

Colored broken glass bottles against a blue and cloudy sky
Broken Glass

By grace, I survived. And by grace I was pulled from that darkness.

One night I lay awake in my bed not daring to look at the empty pillow on the other side of the bed. I just knew I could not take another night like this one again. I just knew I had to do something different.

So I went back to the basics. I prayed.

I didn’t have the frame of mind to form an eloquent prayer. I only had raw, deep despair so I cried. Literally sobbed. I pleaded with God:

“Dear Lord, please help me. I am broken. I am alone. I am afraid. I cannot go on. I am at my lowest and I need you. Please God, I must know you are here with me tonight. I am going to put my hand on this pillow and close my eyes. Would you hold my hand and stay with me until I fall asleep? Please Lord, please, please, please. Amen.”

I turned my face on my tear-soaked pillow to watch as I lay my hand on the pillow next to mine. Taking one last glance I closed my eyes. And held my breath.

Jesus took my hand. My sweet Jesus was there with me. And he knew I needed to know he was there. So he touched me. He placed His precious scarred hand in my own to give me comfort. My body filled with warmth and a lightness flooded all through me.

I wept with every emotion I had in me…but mostly I wept for joy. By His gentle touch I knew I was going to be ok. He spoke to me through holding my hand. He said, “My precious child I have greater things in store for you. Move forward. You will always have me. Sleep, now, and know that I will never leave you.”

And I did sleep. I fell asleep holding Jesus’ hand. And I had never slept better.

Sunrise over a farm
Sunrise over a farm

I woke to the sun shining. There was hope dancing in the sparkling dust motes that morning. The transformation was astounding.

I found a little bit of peace for a short time and I was able to move forward.

But the depression demons would not stay away.

The truth is you can have a transformative experience like mine and still fall into despair. Depression is a life-long struggle. There are ups and downs. These are not what most people consider normal ups and downs. These are the lowest-trenches-of-the-ocean anguish to the highest mountain top joys and they happen with dizzying change.

There are very rarely “even” times, at least for me there are not. I am either up or down or on the verge of one of the other. It is a constant battle. It is a disease. It is not in my mind. I fight it every day. Medication, counseling, self-help books, aromatherapy, but most of all, God.

Maybe my struggle is God’s big lesson in my life. It has taught me empathy, patience, and compassion without compare. This battle will never go away but I will never fight it on my own. My Jesus is with me every single day. He strengthens me, carries my load, enlightens me, teaches me…and holds my hand the whole time.

Praising You!

woman with upraised arms in a sunset
Praise Be to God

 

“Heavenly Father, I come to You today and humbly ask Your forgiveness for all of the times that I’ve taken my burdens to others instead of bringing them to You. Help me to turn to You first when problems come my way. Please blanket my heart with your peace and give me strength for today.”                    ~Girlfriends in God

 

Oh, how I have been there! The deep, dark despair when you can barely lift your head from your pillow. I have cried out to God. My heart ached with remembered pain as I read this devotion and prayer today.

But, praise God, there is no despair today. This prayer reminded me that I not only need to pray to God during times of fear and anxiety but also during times of praise!

I have a new job!
Thank you Jesus!

I have been searching for months. It has been heart breaking to apply, interview, hope, hope, hope, and be told no. I knew there was a door waiting somewhere. I have been praying. Friends and family have been praying.

And the door opened. Just like I knew it would. Just like I prayed for it to.

All the praise to my Jesus. I don’t ever want to forget who has been with me every step of the way and who was quietly whispering, “Be patient my sweet girl. I have something in store for you.”

After reading about struggles this morning, I also realized I had so much to be thankful for. I raised my hands and repeated over and over “Thank you, thank you, thank you” until tears were streaming down my cheeks and I felt my Savior speak to my heart again, “See my child? You are so very loved. I had this planned for you all along.”

It Was So Nice to Interview You, But…

Sad person

Ouch.

I can’t count the times I have heard that. Never, ever does it get easier. Never, ever do I feel any less worthless, undesirable, unwanted. Rejected.

My heart hurts. A LOT. I feel like throwing up. A LOT.

I want to cry. I want to yell.  I want to hide until the hurt goes away.

But I can’t.

So, how do I pick up and keep going when everything in me is begging me to stop and give up?

When God closes a door, he opens another.

We have all heard this phrase before but until we live through it I don’t think we appreciate it’s power. I have been through many life experiences where I cried out “Why God, why?!” The answer never appears right away. In fact, it usually takes months, and most likely, years for me to see where the other door opened.

But with age comes experience. I am noticing the doors now. YES, they are already opening!

I don’t know why God said no to this job for me. I am disappointed and very nervous since I don’t know what comes next. But what I am certain of is that there is something bigger in store for me.