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?
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…