This morning I sat up and quickly decided to lie back down.
Could I do life today?
I wrapped myself tightly in the soft covers that always welcome me and closed my eyes hard. I knew what my mind would chant, and I knew I would have the choice to combat it with Scriptures, whether I committed to a day standing upright or not. One eye at a time reopened tentatively. The loud thoughts pressed in around my mind.
If I was just a better or stronger Christian, my mind wouldn’t feel so dark.
God healed me of my struggle; you’ve got to believe He can help you, Stacee.
And then came the question I have been asked for years, “What am I not getting in this life that is making me sad?”
Calling on the Light
If I could just lie here and sleep the day away, I wouldn’t have to explain these thoughts, these feelings, which make others feel distant and me feel lonely when I'm with them. In my hesitation to stay awake, I simply say His name… “Jesus.” Then, like the playing of a recording in my mind, I shift to … “for you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13-14).
These promises slowly but faithfully begin to form in my mind, and I find the courage to sit up. Before one foot even hits the floor, I know the next step must be to keep going with the Lord. “Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long” (Psalm 24:4-5). In relief, I begin my day of surrender. Not to the depression, but to the One who carries me every moment of my day.
This is how I fight to not only get out of bed and begin a day of hope in Jesus, but to step by step choose to live in obedience…whether I am at a counseling appointment or running errands in my community. No, some days are not this intense, but everyday a delicate combination of specific depression medication helps to balance the chemicals in my brain so that I can have and carry healthy thoughts.
There are so many reasons to fight my battle of mental illness. People need hope, and they need to know the Light which shines in the darkness and that the darkness has not (cannot) overcome it (John 1:5)!
Every day I have a choice to make.
Is today going to only be about me?
Or, will I share the hope Jesus gives to me as I fall down
in my struggles and trials?
Some days it’s truly hard to choose. Certainly, depression has caused me great shame over the years. But I’m trying hard to give God my days…and to give Him the glory for all he is doing in my life. “The dark is about bravely being a canvas for light—about courageously letting your dark be a canvas for sparks of God’s glory, a backdrop for embers of mercy in the midst of your fire” (Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way).
Know that if no one else understands the depression you suffer with, God knows it’s real and there are professional, Biblically based counselors who are trained to help you experience some relief. No matter what your days look like, “turn your eyes upon Jesus…. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
Love to you as we journey together - Stacee
Meet the Author!
Lover of diet coke and long strolls at the mall, Stacee Goetzinger is an author, speaker, wife, mother, daughter and friend. Psalm 118:17, "I will not die but live, and proclaim what the Lord has done," is her life verse and describes her passion to allow God to use the pain of a lengthy battle with mental illness and an eating disorder to write and speak words of hope, courage and life.
Connect with Stacee at Speakoutloud.me.