This past winter, I struggled, once again, with depression. It is something that had been chasing me for some time, and finally got the better of me. In some ways, it was a relief to admit defeat, and let go of every responsibility and activity save those that I could manage with the least amount of stress and effort.
At the same time, I had started to read “Heaven,” by Randy Alcorn. In it he comments on how little we know of, or look forward to Heaven. We Christians seem to have little understanding of Heaven, and aren’t able to fully grasp the reality that it is our ultimate destiny and will fulfill every desire for happiness and contentment. It struck me, while reading, that if as earth bound creatures we cannot envision, or live in the light of, our eternal destination, living with depression puts one into another realm altogether. For in depression, even the things of this life seem somehow out of reach, and impossible to experience, let alone drawing comfort from what is yet to be realized.
To believe in Heaven requires faith, for it is a world that we have not yet seen. Living with depression is being in this world, seeing and hearing and touching the things in it, yet feeling not of it. It is a strange existence, almost like being an alien from another planet. You try to blend in by going through the motions of living, when inside you feel cut off, desensitized to what everyone around you is experiencing. It is a separate existence, and a lonely one. Just when you need most to grasp the reality of God’s promises, including Heaven, they seem that much farther away.
I am blessed with good friends. One of these, a co-worker, knowing what I was going through, generously offered me the use of one of her guest rooms. She owns a Bed and Breakfast, and gave me my choice of two rooms: the red or the blue. I chose the blue one. She has been constantly counseling me to do what is best for me, insisting that “it’s all about you now.” This surely contradicts the Christian mindset, yet it did give me something to think about during the two days that I spent in the peaceful setting of her home. While I was there, I wrote two poems that describe somewhat my experience and my state of mind and heart at the time.
Looking back on that time, I realize that it marked the beginning of my journey toward letting go of religion and resting in God's love for me. Maybe you can relate to some of these thoughts.
There Is No Me
“Take time for you, and do what’s right,
You’re all that matters now.
Relax, regroup, rekindle life,
Those things you’ve lost somehow.”
It all makes sense, I know it’s true;
These steps I need to take.
Forget the past, those things before,
Old ways I should forsake.
But who am I? How will I know
When all is figured out?
Who is this “me”, important now,
This “one” it’s all about?
I’m here somewhere, though buried deep
Beneath so many layers,
Of should’s and shouldn’ts, ought to be’s,
If I could only see myself
For who I really am,
And not for who I’d like to be,
Or should be, maybe then,
I’d start to find my place in life,
My way in all its tangles.
I’d see my path – The Narrow Way,
And not so many angles.
Just one perspective, point of view;
God’s purpose, plan and reason.
As I see who I am in Him,
He’ll bring me through each season.
The Room was blue.
Wedgewood next to white,
Pure and even.
Soft grey light,
Safe and sound,
Not with words,