Depression is a beast that has plagued me often. I would call myself a high-functioning depressive, along the lines of that high-functioning alcoholic I once was.
There are so many days that move along nicely, the ones with lots of scratch marks through the long list of to-do items. I love those days filled with productivity. Unfortunately, that’s not always how I roll.
Just as I used to get through life and make the dean’s list while consuming far too many adult beverages, I can be a functioning member of society with depression. However, I know God has bigger plans for me than living at half-mast—that space in between. I stayed there almost two decades thanks to the hold alcohol had on me, but after leaving it behind all those years ago, I want more out of life today.
The days that aren’t filled with checking off completed tasks can be long and dark. Sometimes there are countless hours spent on the couch escaping in front of the television. Other overwhelmed moments are consumed by mindless Facebook scrolling or adding even more stress through my News app.
I get so tired of the rollercoaster ride. The ebb and flow. The valleys and mountaintops. Why can’t life be filled with mountaintops? Wouldn’t it be amazing to just jump from one to the next with no huge drops in between?
This is not how life works. Whether you struggle with depression, anxiety, or just normal human circumstances, the years will still bring a variety of joy, suffering, and everything in between.
Jesus warned us long ago and far away there would be trouble and suffering in this world. This is absolute truth as anyone can easily see today. But there is an upside here…
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
~John 16:33 (NIV)
Take heart—He has overcome the darkness of this world. Through Him, we can too.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
~John 8:12 (NIV)
There are so many times this gift of light is shared through His Word. Why don’t we simply reach out and take it? The easy answer is because we are human. Sometimes His outreached arm can seem miles away.
So we stay in that unnecessary space. Whether it’s stuck in the valley, living at half-mast, or just hanging out a few hundred feet from the mountaintop, we settle.
I’m not settling anymore. The light is calling and my fingertips are almost touching His. I’ve come so far over the past couple of years thanks to the many tools He has blessed me with—closer relationships with friends, inspiring books, unconditional love from my family, natural healing with essential oils… The list is endless.
There were long stretches of bed-ridden depression in my past. They make those current days on the couch with my TV seem so insignificant. But I know better now. As I mentioned earlier, I know He has much bigger plans for me.
Those many mindless shows and the unhealthy snacks that go along with them can be replaced with much more worthy lifestyle choices. When I start my day with God and a healthy breakfast rather than plopping into my indented spot on the couch with my remote and laptop, everything changes.
Let’s be done with the in-between. It’s time to stake our claim to those promises He gives so freely.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
~Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)
He will give us exactly what we need. Let’s start soaring today…
As always, thank you for being on this journey with me. If you’re new here, make sure to subscribe to my free newsletter and join me on Facebook!
What a beautiful thought!
Thank you, Akaleistar! Now I just need to remember to live this way ;).
What a beautiful way to end my day by reading this. Yes, settling is a second rate option. Thanks friend for writing and sharing this.
I’m so glad to help you end your day on a happy note, Jen. Settling is definitely second rate and not somewhere we need to set up camp ;).
Thank you for sharing a bit of your journey, Candace. I love your explanation of a high-functioning depressive. I found a beautiful verse in Psalm 119:49-50 today “You have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: your promise preserves my life.” May God bless you today and help you in your journey! Your neighbor at Holley’s.
What a perfect verse to share here, Anita. So fitting. Thank you :).
I’m always so grateful that you are so transparent with your struggles, Candace. There are many functioning depressives, people who struggle with various addictions, and those who live in that ‘unnecessary space’- and I can relate to the need for more, more purpose and less ‘in-between.
The scripture you shared is inspiring and SO encouraging. Thank you, friend.
There really are so many of us that struggle yet live somewhat functionally, Chris. It can be difficult but I truly believe those dark times make the mountaintops so much more amazing :). Thanks for your encouragement, my friend!
My heart resonates with much of what you say here, Candace. Thank you for understanding that roller coaster ride and in-between space. Thank you for your encouragement in the verses and your words. John 16:33 especially strengthened my heart. And your words – “Take heart—He has overcome the darkness of this world. Through Him, we can too.” His power and faithfulness will bring us through! Love and hugs to you!
I know you can relate, my friend. It can be a tough road, Trudy. He really will give us what we need. Love and hugs to you!
Hello, friend! This is my 2nd read of your beautiful post, such an important one for many of us who have struggled in one way or the other. The holidays can be hard, can’t they …
The game changer are your important words –>’I’m not settling anymore.’
Cheering you on, girl …
The holidays can be SO hard, Linda. The extra stress, unhealthy sugar binges, family get-togethers… Thanks for the cheers, friend! It can be an oddly difficult transition to leave the safety of settling ;).
Beautiful! On Eagles Wings was one of my dad’s favorite hymns! Thanks for the encouragment and the memory this morning! Blessings!
That’s a wonderful memory, Liz. I’m sure that hymn brings you great joy. Blessings to you!
We both have LIGHT on our hearts! This is a beautiful post, Candace.I appreciate your description of living in the “in-between” … the “unnecessary space” (that is also completely unproductive!) … and moving forward into the life God has for us … I needed a reboot today. Thank you for this gift.
Yes we do, Dianne :). What a beautiful thing to have in our hearts! I so agree that the in-between can be completely unproductive. It always seems to give me the feeling of being stuck which is not a great place to be. Moving forward gives me hope. That’s where joy is found!
Such an encouraging testimony!! Thank you for sharing honestly with us. Hearing how God has lifted you up and how He have changed the way you think and do things differently now is inspiring. Starting my day off with Him makes a huge difference for me as well.
Thank you, Gretchen! Starting my day with Him makes all the difference for me. It’s been hard making that a consistent habit though. I’m definitely a work in progress :).