Depression is insidious.
It is stealthy and cunning and treacherous.
The only time that I have suffered real depression was when I was diagnosed with postpartum depression after the birth of one of our children. It lasted for six dark, dreary months before it lifted.
Recently, however, a darkness has been closing in on me and my joy in the Lord and in life has been slowly fading. I have been repeating the following words “life is too difficult, I don’t want to do this, I can’t do this anymore”. I think it started when I heard the news that a fifteen year old girl in our community had killed herself. I have found myself, almost on a daily basis, crying for the mother, desperately longing that I could take her pain away. My own father is dying and that has brought a lot of emotion to the surface for myself and my siblings. I am struggling with the pain and hurts of my own children – when they feel they are failures, when they are hurt by friends, when they are lonely – I take that burden on myself and carry it and gradually the burdens have been getting heavier and heavier.
My husband told me recently that my life was just like a truck. I was constantly stopping to pick up burdens along the road, a majority of those burdens don’t even belong to me but I have picked them up and put them into my truck anyway and driven off with them! My truck is soon going to be too heavy to drive. On top of that I am only looking at the side of the road to see what burdens I can pick up next. I am ignoring the amazing beautiful view of life that I have through the windscreen.
So today I took a hammer and some nails, climbed into my truck and drove to the cross. I parked at the foot of the cross, climbed into the back of the truck,took the hammer and the nails and started hammering my burdens one by one to the cross.
The burden of sorrow, the burden of anger, the burden of disappointment, the burden of addictions, the burden of lack of faith, the burden of self-worthlessness, the burden of doubt, the burden of self-pity, the burden of grief, the burden of lack of appreciation ….. each and every burden was nailed to that cross. It took me most of the day to unpack and nail the burdens.
And as I hammered away the darkness started to lift and I thought on these words:
“He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:14)
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
There is no sin or feeling too big that God cannot forgive and if we are constantly feeling burdened and depressed how are we ever going to be witnesses to others of His light and love? Once I had nailed all my burdens to the cross, I abandoned the truck and continued my journey on foot with the resurrected Lord walking beside me. This way I won’t be able to pick up burdens that don’t belong to me and I will be in a position to help others carry their burdens:
Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the Law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
Miracle within me
Align soul with Your will
Let Your light shine through me
With love that You instill (You Instill by Daryl Madden)
I am going to start shining again!
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you …the sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory” (Isaiah 60)