WordPress has done something today it has never done before. In my ‘preview’ it is highlighting and linking to certain words and terms. Have no idea how to get rid of that, whether or not it will be there when I publish! Sorry!
The other day I had an interesting experience. I was babysitting two of my little granddaughters. The natives were getting restless so I decided to take them outside for awhile. We were wandering around and they were doing their tiny girl things, when a wave of crashing depression swept over me. You know those feelings that make you feel absolutely desolate? And immediately hopeless?
I probably have twenty (forty, sixty) years left to live. And those years are going to be like this. Panic. Can’t stand it. Can’t do it. Blackness.
It hit hard.
Now, I used to live with much more of this. But I have been a Christian for over forty years and, though I have periods of being depressed, they are not generally of this magnitude anymore. So I reminded myself of that and decided I wouldn’t panic. Rather, I must dissect my life and just figure out what in the world was happening.
And, honestly, when I did, it wasn’t difficult to come to conclusions. I have had some very difficult situations to deal with recently. And, as always, there are the ordinary pressures of life: relationships, the sorrows of others, fatigue, our communal challenges of politics and economics. All of a sudden…BOOM!…It detonates.
Nothing fancy. Nothing unusual. Life in a sinful world.
But it reminded me of what an enemy time can be, of what it is like to be severely depressed. We know that, to God, a thousand years are as a day, and a day as a thousand years. In depression, every minute is like a thousand years. Something heavy to get through. An enemy. Life becomes terrifying; the future a horror, as it is composed of these interminable minutes.
As an unconverted teenager, I found Shakespeare’s Macbeth the most powerful reading I had ever done:
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time….
It’s (that is life) a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
I could identify with that. I lived that once. And, Tuesday, for just a couple of hours, I was like a sexual abuse victim having a flashback. I felt like I would die, almost, from the pressure of desolation and the perceived meaninglessness of life.
But there is a God in Heaven. And I am his. His mind is my mind. His strength is my strength. I have truth to turn to in any and all situations. And this Truth lives right inside me. He restores my soul.
For me, this was just a quick trip into the depths of the Slough of Despond. But it was like visiting Hell for a few hours. If that is where you are (and often the stays are longer) my heart is with you.