Have you ever been held underwater or confined to a tight, stuffy area that caused you to long for—to crave with everything in you—a breath of fresh air?
Imagine stepping out of a hot, crowded elevator into the cool breeze of evening. A light mist washes your cheeks as you breathe in the fresh, damp air, sweet with the scent of lilacs and the earthy smell of freshly wetted dirt.
I felt this today for just a moment.
Oh, I wasn’t stuck in an elevator, and it didn’t even rain here. But in my spirit, I felt a fresh breath of air from God. Long and deep. Refreshing and revitalizing. Giving me the strength to continue. Helping me forget, for the moment, my secret pain. My secret life of depression.
For me, it’s grief. For you it might be the same. Or the permanent loss of a dream … or, maybe, employment. Betrayal of a friend … or a spouse. Fear of the unknown … of the future.
Whatever it is, it’s hard to shake. Hard to pinpoint, define, or put into words. We just know this dark cloud settles all over us. Suffocating us. Making us long for just one small breath of fresh air. Something to hope for. A reason to keep going.
For several weeks I’ve been praying about what God would want me to blog about on my website. Getting published, nowadays, is all about having a substantial platform. A following of readers interested in what you have to say. Willing to spread the word about your writing and encourage friends and family to check out your products. A team willing to support and pray for you.
But we’re incredibly busy, and one thing I know is that the world doesn’t really need another blog. Or does it?
As I prayed, I promised the Lord I would not post one word to my website for the sole purpose of building a readership. I would wait on Him for a topic. For a word He might want to share with those in my circle of friends and family. For, in His words, there is life.
Tonight, as I walked out of the grocery store, God spoke to my heart, and I instantly knew what I was to share. My pain. My struggle with depression. My effort to appear normal to others when spending hours alone, at home, in bed. Because sleep is safe. Comfortable. Non-demanding.
I’m embarrassed if this is still about my grief from losing my husband. It’s been 7 ½ years. I have a good life and the most wonderful family one could ever imagine. I have precious, godly friends.
But I can’t reach the real me. The one I remember when Greg was alive. The one who loved to entertain and care for others. To go out to eat with friends and laugh. To pray for the hurting at the altars. To paint. Play the piano. Bake cookies.
She’s gone, and I miss her so much. Sometimes I lie in bed with my eyes shut and see her cleaning house. I can hear the oldies blaring from the radio as she so happily buzzes around striving to make her home a haven for her family and friends. I can smell the Pine-sol, the cozy aroma of cinnamon from burning candles, and the fresh outdoor scent of sheets dried in the sun as she changes the beds. I want to live in that house again. I want to be her again.
But even as I think about it, fatigue washes over me, and I can’t imagine having that kind of energy. I’m so tired and feel like a slug. So I sleep again. Later I will feel better and have more energy. Later, I’ll pull my boots up and tackle life again.
But later never comes.
I’m not saying I’m never happy because I am. I have so much fun with my grandkids. I love my work I do for the writing conferences and love working on my writing projects. But it all wears me out. I mean, completely. It’s almost like I’m pushing a truck through thick slush and mud. I can do it, but only one fraction of an inch at a time. And I don’t know how to change.
I ask the Lord, is there really any difference between me and one who is not a Christian? Shouldn’t I have this power from above? Healing? What’s wrong with me?
And then … sometimes … I remember what God has been telling me all along. “I lay before you life and death. Choose life.”
And I remember something Joyce Meyers once said. “If you think you’re too afraid to do something God is asking you to do … do it afraid. But do it.”
So that is where I am. After 7 ½ years of basically holing up in my home to avoid life, I am going to choose life. The abundant life God has for me. I want to find Barbie, and I’m going to believe God to bring her back to life within me.
I don’t mean to imply that I can just choose to overcome depression. I know better than that. But God is calling me to change something in my life. I don’t even know what it is yet, but I am listening for His next word. The next small step of obedience.
And this is what God has called me to blog. My journey back to life as I long for it to be. It can’t be the same as before. And that might be part of what stops me from trying to go there. Maybe I’m still angry. Maybe I just don’t like the way God did things. I don’t know. But I’m asking God to search my heart. To cleanse my heart. And to change my heart and draw me closer to Him with every breath I breathe.
I covet your prayers … definitely not your sympathy. I’m fine, but I want to be fine-er ?. I want my life to reflect the glory of God that will draw others to Him. I want to obey my precious Lord and Savior. And I want to truly live again!
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