Lessons Learned from my Depression
by: Mandy B. Anderson
There was a time when I hated staring at the bare wall across from my bed. I would wake up each morning and see nothing but a book shelf with trinkets and journals that screamed with the hollow echoes of dead dreams. Darkness smothered the atmosphere. My home felt like a cave – no, a tomb – and I was the frail skeleton fighting to hold on to slivers of hope.
There was a time where I wondered where God went. His words were etched into the depths of my heart, but it felt as though He had packed His bags and left, never to return. In His silence, my soul felt black, wrapped in the icy chills of anxious thoughts and lifeless eyes.
There was a time where I felt lost. Abandoned. Alone.
He reached down and rescued me out of the pit of despair. He held me close and breathed new life into my deadened soul. He restored my hope. He reminded me that He was there all along, even when I couldn’t see Him. He swept me off my feet and reminded me of the woman He designed me to be…
Confident. Bold. Determined. Tenacious.
Now I love gazing at the wall across from my bed. It’s no longer a barren space on a yellow wall taunting my desperate heart with memories of what could have been. No. It is a daily reminder that the sun always shines the brightest after the rain. It is a symbol of life. Of family. Of love. Of brand new dreams.
My eyes fall upon this wall now, and the pictures and books that inhabit it’s space, and a thought dances across my heart: I’m thankful for the wasted days once colored in depression. They are the fossils of my past that have become the fuel for my future.
It takes a shift in perspective to begin to see things this way though. It won’t happen overnight. It won’t happen just because you pray about it. No. At some point you must choose to find the light that is emerging from the darkness. You must choose to believe the truth. You must choose to look at the patterns in your life with a vulnerable and teachable heart. You must be willing to let God do the chiseling and trust that He knows what He is doing.
Where are you at today, dear friend? Are you in a season of feeling abandoned, alone, and lost? If so, don’t lose heart. Hold on to God’s promises. In Isaiah 46:4, God says “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Hold on to that promise, and the vision you once had. Remind yourself that this too shall pass, and choose to rise up in the midst of it.
You can do it. There will come a day when you’ll be thankful for the fossils of your past too. Just. Keep. Going.