DEPRESSION & THE GIVER

this morning is crisp here in montana, the sky's pale blue deepening in hue and mountains distinct in the skyline so clear they look to me like they've been cut & pasted from a painting .  i'm sitting in a little café on main street, my coffee's steam rising into my face .  you know these moments, the ones where all the details feel right & good?... the sunlight is glorious, your heart is at peace, some moments alone .  if you & i were sharing a cup of coffee this morning -  i wish we could - we might ask each other 'how've you been?' and then, i hope, we would share trustful and genuine of what the week or handful of recent days has been like .  as i've come to recognize my very intimate & personal struggle with depression i've become less apt at hiding it, or wanting to hide it, or pretending i'm always fine .  and the last few weeks have been hard ones, i'll admit . days i'm not proud of, marked by sadness deep enough to make me thankful that today i got up, got dressed, and walked to the coffee shop, spirits lifted, eyes lifted .  this is Grace, dear ones .  another morning, another breath, another _________ .   

depression can press down so heavy it feels like a thousand crashing waves, violent and unceasing . it can hover as a fog so thick can't make it dissipate on your own, or lift yourself out of it, above it, and far from it finding you again .

in that place, Light peeking through is a gift .   the energy to make yourself food is a gift .  a bit of relief in darkness . 

psalm 3 says : 

'i lay down and slept;
i awoke again 
for the Lord sustained me' .

these words permeated my life this week,  reading them over & over .   
the Lord sustains me . 
the Lord sustains me .

the formal definition of sustain is to strengthen or support physically or mentally . to comfort, to encourage,  to assist . 

my sisters and my brothers too,  i wish with all of me i had a formulaic cure for depression, the crashing waves, the fog, the hopelessness that can settle in so quickly it rattles your mind and spirit .  i don't have a step-by-step-feel-better plan .  but as this on & off battle of mine continues i want to share all i'm learning in these seasons, as sporadic or long-lasting as they may be .  i'm finding in my seeking in darker places i'm confronted with deeper Realities -  essential & altering discoveries about our Maker, our Redeemer, Jesus .

because when you read a verse like the one above you will likely either read it and pause, knowing a reason for holding hope -  or feel a lackluster sigh of disbelief .  it confronts our self-centeredness,  our believing that we are the sustainers of ourselves, and our lives are about us .  

this last week i was confronted with all of the above . and again & again came to these two intertwined Realities, beautiful & true :  

God is our Sustainer, our Redeemer, our only Savior .  and this life is not about us, me or you . it's about Him .  

from the beginning of time, all through the Bible, from then until now continuous, the stories of brokenness & healing, running and rescue, crazy characters who boldly praise or unabashedly abandon - they're all meant to show us God .  pointing us to who He is,  to our desperate need for a Savior,  to His indefinite mercy and faithful love for people who are inherently needing wanderers .   and in our present, in your life today and my life today it's no different .  it's not about us, it's about Him .  

it may sound like a truth too grand or too removed from all the stuff of everyday life to grasp onto or mean anything,  but i just ask you to sit with it awhile . let it marinate your thoughts and permeate what's inside .  

you are awake, breathing & reading these paragraphs because the Lord has given you life,  and He is sustaining you . He is pursuing you, in whatever place you're in,  joy or deep sadness . 

not for your own glory,  not to be more awesome,  but to be broken and know it and look to Him to be your all,  in the dark, in the messiness .  He sustains you because He loves you,  and wants to draw you to Jesus, to look beyond yourself & your immediate reach to know more of Him & His love for you .  His love is far better than anything here,  anything we can conjure up .  And God's love is not a grand notion, far & removed from you & i, but rather the opposite and more - near,  constant, and overflowing . a Love that sees us where we are, intersecting even in the dark places where we feel like hope's gone missing .  


the Lord sustains you . 

this is comforting to me in the day-to-day real life wrestling with depression, knowing He has brought me to another day for Him and His glory, even as laughable as that can seem most days, and though many moments i think ' in all my crap you choose to sustain me for Your glory? '.   what a remarkable and wild Reality .  but it is the truth of what God does - He redeems us surely,  even when it's hard to see, even when we doubt, when we're struggling to get up off the floor, or out of bed .   another morning,  another day that dear ones my hope is you know His sustaining and love for you in the thick of it .  

--- >>    if you want to share your story of depression, redemption, or anything in between, or you want me to pray with you,   you can write me at amymessenger@icloud.com .