Today we continue to share stories about depression in a series cohosted by Lisa from community moms.wordpress.com and myself. You can view all posts in the series so far here. Be sure to visit Lisa’s blog next Wednesday 25 February 2015 to read another person’s experience with depression.
Today’s story is brought to us by Grace. Grace is a wife, homeschooling mom, doula, pastor’s kid, and writer. She currently resides in southern Oregon with her husband and three gorgeous children, where they enjoy walks in the woods, wading in the river, reading good books, and attending a diverse and compassionate church.
You can find Grace over at My Divine Blessings where she blogs about special needs, family, pregnancy, christianity and many other things.
Green grass below my feet, high trees surrounding me, and the visage of a hundred year old manor in the distance. I breathed in the misty air, my eyes glued to the worn Bible in my hands. I stopped, struck by a single verse. Walking a little farther, I stopped to pluck a small purple flower. I set it in the Bible, intending to press it into the pages at that very spot. I stopped reading, wanting only to ruminate on that one verse. It echoed inside me.
“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
You… Are… Mine…
The Creator of the universe—the God who holds our galaxy (and more!) in the palm of His hand—He calls me His own. I belong to Him. Even in the midst of trials—in deep valleys and on the faces of rugged cliffs—when I can’t see the end of my struggles—He is there to hold me.
Like a wise and loving parent, He allows us to go through various stages of growth and difficulty. He won’t always lift me up and carry me away from the mountains I must pass through, but He will hold my hand as I do it. I’m reminded of the book, “Hind’s Feet in High Places”. The main character, Much Afraid, must pass through difficult terrain. At times she feels alone, but He is always with her. He allows her to struggle, but never come to ruin.
“He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places.” (2 Samuel 22:34)
It’s the climb up the mountain that gives us the strength to bound down the other side with joy. Knowing that I am His gives me the drive to keep going, and to know that, no matter what, I will be victorious in the end.
I thought about the verse for days after finding it, and it still encourages me when I find myself under a shadow of depression or anxiety. It’s comforting to know that I am a precious child of the King. Many times I wish to return to that place—to walk the grounds of the manor and find peace in the solitude of the woods; to have no children whining, no heavy burden of financial stress, or marital conflict. We go through life adding responsibilities and things to manage. But as we mature, we also grow stronger. The muscle builds as we use it. With each hill we climb, we are more able to leap over the mountains.
“The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes Leaping upon the mountains, Skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.” (Song of Solomon 2:8b-9a)
He bounds over the mountains to reach us. We are His. He is our Beloved. Behold, He comes! For you and for me! We long for the days when we had less to carry—when our yoke was so much smaller. But we forget that we are much stronger than we once were.
It’s been over twelve years since that day in a far away place. I was attending Bible college in Hungary. I had always struggled with depression, and my one semester on the other side of the world was just what I needed to give me the foundation to fight that enemy in the future. I continue to climb, remembering that I am His. He has called me by name. He formed me—created me. He knows my innermost thoughts—even the sad ones. He knows my heart and mind, even when they are troubled and dark. He knows me better than I know myself. I am His.
I have since discovered that my depression is the result of a hormonal imbalance (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and PCOS), but having a spiritual rock to rely upon in those hormonal dips and ebbs, I have a buoy to which I can cling. Something to keep me afloat until my body can be put back in order. Each person may have a different way of battling their depression, but the Word of God never returns void. Even when your hormones are fluctuating, or your neurons are misfiring, even then He is there. Because you… are… His.
I’ll leave you with one more verse to ponder:
“If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:8-10)