If you know me, like really know me then you know a few things. I can tend to be pretty upbeat and bouncy in general... but I also really struggle with depression.
Over a decade ago, I would definitely have described myself as emotional with a flair for the dramatic. The intense struggle with depression came in after my sister's death. I'm not saying I never had highs and lows before my sister's passing. I did. But the crippling depression, anxiety and panic attacks started after that March 7th 2004.
I have tried really hard to "pull it together". I've tried coaching and motivating myself. My most effective tool had been guiltripping and shaming myself into getting things done. Something has been wrong with me for a long time. At times, I've even had very strong suicidal thoughts.
Couple this with having five kids in six very short years. Very high demanding medical needs of my kids. Dealing with oxygen tanks, apnea monitors, g-tubes, cancer, and hypotonic cerebral palsy and Voila... you get a very "special" person.
I'm a perfectionist and that doesn't help. I live in ideals. Thinking of the way my life should be and how I should be and react to my circumstances. And in a sinful and broken world... what the heck is ideal???
All this said, I've been having a shift. A realization. A deeper understanding... that although I can't control my feelings I can choose to not let them dictate my life. And some days this is easier done than others. Some days I just want to crawl in my bed and never come out again.
This past decade has kicked my butt and sometimes I feel crushed by the weight of loss, grief, trauma, despair, hopelessness, helplessness, sadness, and anxiety.
Instead of looking at my circumstances and hoping they will change or that they will remain good... Instead I look vertical. I look to God and see that I am in perfect standing with him in Christ Jesus. I don't have to do another thing, another work. It is finished. And not only is every sin forgiven and wiped away that I have committed, will ever commit, in addition my Savior's righteousness is applied to me. As though I have always lived a perfect life and done things right and good.
Sweet relief. It's not up to me. It's not how good I am or how bad I get... I'm in Christ. And in Him I am held, fixed in a position that is unchanging. Even on my darkest days He walks with me. And though I feel afraid I will slip and fall my footing is secure and assured. I am His. I belong to Him. He loves me and He is enough for me.
My feelings and emotions and hormones may ebb and waver but my assurance in WHOM I belong to will never change. His feelings and emotions and dispositions towards me WILL NEVER CHANGE!!!
And that is the Hope of the Gospel. That even in the midst of my depression I am fixed in my position. I am homeward bound. I draw closer to that day. That day when I will be called Home. That day when Christ will return and make all things right. The new Heavens and the new Earth. No more pain and sadness. We will be changed. And all will be right.
Til then, I press forward. I stumble. I cry. I at times feel close to despair. I mess up. I am broken. But I am loved. I am moving towards wholeness and completion. I am moving towards the One who loves me in spite of me.
Praying that wherever you are, whatever you are walking through that you would know the sweet assurance of Jesus. That He would be your Savior. Save you from your sins and from this messy, broken world. And that in Him you would find joy and rest. And peace that surpasses all understanding in spite of your feelings, your circumstances, your limitations.
Trusting Jesus. Believing Him at His Word. No matter what comes today I AM IN HIM.