de·pres·sion  Nouimagesn  /diˈpreSHən/  1. Severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.  2. A condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.

I’ve attempted writing about it various times. But rarely does the writing move anywhere.

Depression accompanies me periodically, and has for years.

A picture that sometimes resonates is being in a spacious house. Lights are on in all the rooms and it’s familiar to meander throughout, handling things, organizing, creating, doing life. Then the lights go out in the rooms around me. And the dimmer switch drops in the one I’m standing in. I lose perspective. Life shrinks into the measurable space of my dimly lit midst. It takes most of me to grasp what’s even happening there.

I used to marginalize depression. I used to think it was only loonies in the looney house who experience it.  But now I know I’m a looney, too.

One can have the most marvelous husband and kids and friends and Maker and job and church and health and neighborhood and weather and home and still battle depression. One can partake in the most vivacious and widespread of travels and life experiences and still fight a periodic fog against clarity and clear-minded thinking.

“The demon of acedia—also called the noonday demon—is the one that causes the most serious trouble of all. . . . He makes it seem that the sun barely moves, if at all, and . . . he instills in the heart of the monk a hatred for the place, a hatred for his very life itself.” –Kathleen Norris

I can’t help when it hits and sometimes can’t do much about its hitting. But for today, at least, I’m seeking solace in being able to speak about depression, in the Light, dim though my surroundings.

I’m seeking to hold it in my hand. To look at it as a piece, or piece of something, and to speak to it with peaceful separation from me. To say, “I am not you, depression, but I do struggle with your holds on me. My Father allowed—even ordained—darkness into this hour, that I might be made more like Himself through you. I am a daughter of Christ and the cleft of Christ’s Word will be my refuge.”

I’m seeking to savor the strength of His Words.

The LORD has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. 2 Chronicles 6:1

He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light. Job 12:22

It is He who lights my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. Psalm 18:28

Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. Psalm 139:12

I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who called you by your name… I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things. Isaiah 45:3, 7

But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD.  At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemy and from the deep waters. Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.  Hide not your face from your servant; for I am in distress; make haste to answer me.  Psalm 69:13-17

Afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me. Micah 7:8

 

Resources I’ve found helpful on these topics:
“Addiction and Grace”: Gerald May
“Acedia and Me”: Kathleen Norris
“The Return of the Prodigal Son”: Henri Nouwen
“Abba’s Child”: Brennan Manning

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