The Positive Side
Suffering, difficulty, and loss should never surprise the believer. The Bible is filled with it.
- Mark Chandler
The best thing about my blog is that I can just be me. I can be vulnerable, I can be transparent, and I can let my guard down. I can be honest because this is my blog. So here's me being honest.
Warning: This post is a tad bit longer than my normal posts.
I'm struggling to keep my eyes on God. It's been a huge struggle to focus on Him because of the state that I've been in for the past few months. The ups and downs, it's all a part of life. But when you're suffering from depression, it's as if everything you're going through is brought into a whole other level of intensity. My fears, my doubts, my insecurity, the anxiety, the pain that I feel . . . everything is magnified. Everything.
The worst thing about it, is that I feel like I can't talk to any one about it.
I'm known as an upbeat, positive, outgoing person. Countless of times, I've been described as "bubbly". That image of me, that specific description, I don't want that to disappear. THAT'S who I am. I hate the idea of burdening others, so when I have an anxiety attack, or a sudden mood change, I close off. I hide and I run away. When I radiate positivity, Jesus can shine. When I'm easily targeted with anxiety attacks, I take on a downhearted and grim persona. I refuse to let my mood affect others. But because of my personality, I become even more depressed when I'm alone. And then it becomes this fixed circle. Unable to be broken.
Never having imagined this to happen to me, I was confused. I didn't know how to handle it. How to handle life. I still don't. But a few months ago, when I first realized it, I thought I did. I was that type of Christian who looked up and said "Okay, God. This is clearly Your doing. I'm just gonna go with it. There's nothing that I personally can do." I had the outlook of "God is in control. Whatever, I'm stupid if I even try to worry about it." Then one week went by. And it hit me. And I looked up again and said "WHY? Because now, I feel weak. I feel helpless. What do You want with me God?" Then a couple of weeks went by and I looked up again and said "Okay. Okay. Let me just take it one day at a time. Let me keep my eyes on Jesus." And it was okay for about a month.
Then just recently, I felt a wave of sadness. A wave of inadequacy. Inefficiency. And I became incredibly frustrated with God. I didn't understand. I read my bible every day. I started and ended the day with a conversation with God. I strove daily to become more and more like Him. But I wasn't happy. And because I wasn't happy, I became angry. Angry at how clueless I am about my future. Angry at the reclusive, solitary person I was becoming. Angry at my loss of faith in God. Angry at God for being silent.
2 days ago, I went for a walk at night after a Dorm Bible Study. Where my school is located, it's generally not a bad neighborhood at all. The hospital is a couple of yards away. The cancer center is across the street. And there are mansions surrounding the school's parking lot. However, it's completely dark. I don't know what it is about Ohio, but the neighborhoods are pitch black. Aside from the occasional house decked out with Christmas decorations, all I could see were my white shoelaces. I don't know what made me decide to go and walk in the darkness of night, but I did. With how sinful this world is, you never know what could happen. So I didn't wave away the fact that I may have been doing something risky and stupid. Even if it was just a brisk walk to clear my mind. But I was yearning to hear God's voice. I wanted Him to make it clear to me. I ached for an explanation. For some insight. Just enough to give me hope again. After 20 minutes in 34F weather, I was greeted with silence.
Complete and utter silence.
So here I am, placed into a marathon of sermon-listening, Bible-reading, knee-resting, answer-searching weekend. It's a Saturday afternoon. For most Sabbath-keepers, it's a time also known as nap time. But I can't nap when my head is overwhelmed with questions and my heart is weighted with disappointment.
That was a long introduction to what I want others who are struggling in the same way to ultimately know. You're not alone. Most importantly, there are people in the Bible, people that God specifically has chosen to do His will that went through what you and I are going through.
Straight to the point, David struggled with depression. Psalms is filled with his anguish, his loneliness, his pain, his fears. I thought I couldn't bear to feel what I was feeling? David says "his guilt overwhelmed him - it's a burden too heavy to bear." (Ps 38:4) In Psalms 42, he also was confused why he was so discouraged? When you really take the time to study the book of Psalms, words can't express just how David struggled. The positive side? He was "a man after God's own heart." God can AND will use you. No matter how broken you feel.
Then there's Joseph. He was sold into slavery by his own family. Can we just take a moment and think about just how traumatizing that is? His own brothers sold him to a stranger out of jealousy. He is one person that deserves to feel some type of way. He must have had moments of sadness. But his outlook? Genesis 50:20 shows David was grounded in the fact that "[God] brought [him] to this position so [he] could save the lives of many people". The positive side? God did. Many lives were saved during the famine through Joseph's authority. The position of authority that he would not have gotten had his brothers not sold him.
Depression isn't uncommon. And it's not taboo. It's just... sometimes, it's inexplicable. And that's okay. We just have to take it one day at a time. I have to take it one day at a time. The positive side? God will pull-through. I don't have proof in my current moment of life. But I have His Word. And His Word reminds me that I'm not alone. That this happens, and that at the end of it all, God's glory will shine. And ultimately, that's all that matters.