I Have No Answers   3 comments

For weeks I have been trying to fight off the soul-sucking depression that envelopes me.  When I can work through the darkness–uncover the reasons and respond with healthy steps–my depression turns into an instrument of growth, but for now my insight is deaf and blind, and so, blocked from any resolution, I try to distract myself with work or entertainment, naps or walks or cuddling with my pooches, just to keep the misery at bay.  That fixes nothing, simply postpones the falling night, but at least it makes life manageable for a while longer.  Still somewhere underneath, the darkness gathers strength pushing more often and irresistibly passed my efforts to block it.  The muddled mutterings of discouragement and hopelessness become louder, more insistent, and having nothing to counter the assault, I find each day a little more of my emotional footing crumbling.

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Posted October 5, 2015 by janathangrace in Personal

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3 responses to “I Have No Answers

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  1. I have also struggled with depression in my lifetime and had plenty of reasons for it, but, will not go into my “can of worms” with you. I have realized I cannot change those “triggers” which like to send me into the pits of depression. Believe it or not, it helps to ignore those thoughts (maybe even laugh at them!) and accept God is Sovereign and He alone can pull me up out of the mire. Here is my struggle, in my arrogance, I THINK I can “do it myself”! Which, by the way, I’m sure you know is “sin”. Right! Thankfully, God in His mercy, keeps me “needy”. The church wants “Christians” who are successful, smart, beautiful, talented, etc. etc. The list is endless. But what is God looking for? The One who sees the heart? My encouragement (hopefully?) to you is “embrace” your weakness and thank God for it! In this life, we will not be perfect, only in the life to come for those who know and love Jesus! If we look at scripture, how many of the prophets of old were happy go lucky, socially accepted, successful by the worlds standard, etc. etc. This list is also endless! We cannot understand a lot of the “why’s or what if’s” of life…. we must have faith in the goodness of God and trust Him by clinging to the wonderful Cross of Jesus! There we can find solace, in Him alone! Jesus is coming, keep your eyes on Him!

    Your Sister in Christ!

    • Elsie, I’m sorry to hear that you struggle with depression as I would wish that on no one. You cover so many ideas in that short paragraph that I don’t know how to respond adequately, but I would encourage you not to blame yourself (or others) for your depression or for your efforts to escape it. I’m not sure that “sin” is the best way to categorize what you face or how you try to deal with it since depression often results from a fundamental sense of being unworthy, so that self-blame is very likely to simply add insult to injury (“You feel low? Well, you’re bad for feeling low!”). If it is possible for you, I would recommend self-compassion instead, even in those instances when you feel you failed–perhaps especially in those instances. There are many ways Scripture refers to those things which harm us spiritually because there are so many dimensions involved–sickness, darkness, wounding, foolishness, sin–each referring to a different “take” on the issue, and some perspectives are much more apropos to a situation than others. Jesus seems to model for us his response towards those who were aware of their own brokenness: he offered compassion rather than condemnation. Without doubt the grace of God is our ultimate answer, so may we all find a way to live in the light of His love.

  2. Dearest Jana, as you know this is a familiar landscape for me. But these dark places are, for each of us, so personal, so intimate. They are just as dark for each of us but not the same kind of darkness. So I cannot give you my things to help you in your darkness. But I can call out to you through the darkness and let you know I am here.

    For me, sometimes to make art out of the fabric of my darkness, to write it into poetry, to draw it, to wail it to the wind, somehow takes off the chilling edge that cuts at the core of my soul. It blurs the blackness into deep purples, dark greens, deep blues. Though these are as dark as the blackness, the colors push back the paralyzing cold from my heart and lets me breath.

    Billy Holliday and Leonard Cohen can give form to my sadness and lostness and transform my darkness with their art. I love the work of Edvard Munch, Katie Kolwitz, and others who express this great cry of sorrow. They are like friends walking wtih me in the dark. The darkness doesn’t lift, the sorrow does not go away. But I am able to live within the darkness and sorrow without it destroying me.

    I would send you poems, or the music or art that have expressed my darkness for me, if they would accompany you on your way. I don’t want to send them if they only add to the weight on your soul.

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