On a recent anniversary trip with my hubby, as we drove in the car taking in the beauty of Alaska, I pondered how God used my lowest moment from that anniversary weekend to produce the sweetest memory. Which got me thinking that as much as I wish depression away in my life, I can’t deny the good things in my life stemming from it. Things like:
Ordinary days are sweeter. When the heaviness of depression isn’t weighing on me, even taking a breath feels lighter somehow. Walks in the evening are more peaceful. Time spent doing ordinary things with my family produces a happiness in my heart that I don’t take for granted.
Music is incredibly meaningful to me. I don’t think I would listen to Pandora or Amazon Music as much if it wasn’t out of desperation! I see God sending new songs just when I need them and when that happens, it speaks of His deeply personal love for me.
Yet, experiencing depression produces even greater blessings than gratefulness for the good days and loving music…
One morning at breakfast, it hit me– I will only understand depression to the level of depth that I experience it for myself. Living through depression gives understanding earned no other way. I can relate to people on a level I wouldn’t if I didn’t experience depression to this extent.
Along those same lines, depression is often an open door to connect with people. When Jim and I raised support to come to Alaska, we visited churches telling about the work we hoped to do in the north. During our presentations whenever I shared even the tiniest bit about depression, it was the number one thing people came up to talk to me about after each service.
I have seen God perform miracles on my behalf. If I wasn’t so bound up with depression in the first place, I might not have seen God for the Healer, Chain-breaker, Rescuer that He is. Hours spent in the counseling room resulted in experiences of being met by Jesus. Stories almost too precious to share. Maybe someday I will.
I see a side of my husband I maybe never would have otherwise. Jim doesn’t consider himself a compassionate person. Yet, God chose him to live these past fifteen years with a chronically depressed person.
On a recent trip, I found myself awake one of the nights struggling with the most overwhelming depression I’d had in a long time. Frustratingly, it happened to be during our anniversary weekend. Depression doesn’t care if it is your anniversary and you have no kids to take care of. In the middle of the night, in one of the most beautiful demonstrations of love I have seen of him, my dear husband knelt beside my side of the bed, both hands rubbing my back, my arms, stroking my head while urging me not to dwell on anything. He stayed that way praying for me for some time.
In that moment I needed to know that I was not alone and having Jim that physically close was what God used to show me His love and care for me. I finally fell asleep and slept peacefully.
Depression (and healing from it) developed my passion to see myself and others walk in truth about who we really are. Specifically through identifying lies linked to past trauma, experiencing Christ rooting those lies out by His healing touch and cementing His truth in it’s place. Nothing gets me more excited because I have seen this work in my own life. Nothing is more freeing. When I saw how many lies I had been living under on a daily basis and how Christ has the power to set me free through His truth, I desire that for others.
Do you see ways depression has brought about good in your life?