“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs” (Matthew 10:27).
The truth is, what you see in me – or read in my words – is not all there is. I may look wise and together on paper, but it’s not the full picture. I wrestle daily with the dark devil of depression; it has been my constant companion since I was very young. It has taken me to some deep, gloomy places. It has cost me a great deal in my relationships, health, time, money, and hopes and dreams. I’ve tried many things to keep it at bay; medication, Scripture and prayer have all been effective and helpful tools. But they haven’t made it completely go away. Especially in the past few months. This is what I wrote in my prayer journal not too long ago:
Lord, the truth is, depression lingers just below the surface. I walk through my days like walking across thin ice on a river of discouragement, knowing that one misplaced footfall and I will plunge into the dark waters again. Then sometimes I think, it would be so easy to give in to it; just take a deep breath and let myself slip under those familiar waves of despair. In some weird way it is a comfortable foe – we’ve been together for a long, long time. I fight it most days, but make no mistake – it’s always there, looming, dark and taunting, waiting for me to take that one wrong step and tumble in.
So, am I a fraud when I write words of encouragement and hope? Not at all. Do I really believe the things I write about God breaking through despair to bring hope? Yes – because those are the very same words that God speaks to me – His continual stream of goodness and inspiration that keeps my feet steady and my head lifted. They are His constant reminders of love flowing through His Word and His Spirit and shining in my darkness. He knows me. He knows that I can’t make it one day without the hope He gives. He knows that the frustrations and uncertainty I am facing right now threaten to do me in. So He speaks to me.
Then He tells me to speak to you. Because He knows you too. He knows that some days are so hard you don’t even want to get out of bed. He knows that you are lonely, grieving, hurting, fearful. He knows that you have been disappointed, forgotten, rejected, passed over – and so He tells me, “Take the words that have spoken over you and speak it over them.” That is why I write. It’s so you can grab onto the same lifeline God threw out to me. Paul said, “The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort . . . comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). I can’t keep this comfort and encouragement to myself – it’s much too big and wonderful for just me. It’s for you too. It’s a warm blanket we can share in a cold world. The blanket of hope. The quilt of encouragement. And the beauty is – there’s always room to welcome more.
Beloved, come join me in the sweet, blessed comfort of our Heavenly Father. Hear His words of hope, of peace, of encouragement and of joy. Let Him wash over you with the warmth of His love. We’re in this together – you and I – and the God of Heaven and Earth. We’re gonna make it—He told me so—and then He told me to tell you.
Holy Father, You are so faithful to speak words of light and life over me. As long as I have a voice, whether speaking to one person, a crowd, or the whole world of cyberspace, I will speak of Your goodness and faithfulness and love. Let me always be a conduit of Your comfort. Amen.