Photo courtesy of Jamie Marie Photography
“But I don’t want to write about this.” With a warm spring breeze skimming across the tops of the trees in the surrounding forest and the entire family home for the summer, I am happy. More at peace and content than any time since I was a little girl. Life is beautiful.
One of the last things I would choose to do right now is relive the season last year when, for long months, the word “happy” lost any meaning. There are some things you would just as soon erase from memory.
Do I know God’s full purpose for the darkness I crawled through? Far from it–I can see only a few possibilities. His purposes are His own; whether we like it or not, our task is to endure and to wait. Nothing less.
Some people think it’s a bad word. I say it’s real. Whatever name you call it by, if you have ever battled it, whether for a month or a year or a decade, you know its touch. Depression. Despair. Darkness. That season (or seasons) of life you remember with a cold feeling in the pit of your stomach. One of those subjects which people rarely talk about and then only in the abstract third person. No one wants to bring it up. No one dares admit they struggle with such a volatile malady. But if someone did, I wonder what might happen?
I wonder if others struggle too?
I know they do.
I’ll throw my arms wide and share it willingly. “What’s to hide?” Are we so afraid of man that we will insist upon wearing masks with each other to the point where we cannot remember what our true face looks like? Is it a sin to battle depression? Is it unbiblical to lose sight of joy?
Well, is it?
Our trusting the Lord does not mean that there are not times of tears. I think it is a mistake as Christians to act as though trusting the Lord and tears are not compatible. – Francis Schaeffer
Here I sit. I’d much rather read or take a walk or do anything other than write this post. How do you write about something like this? It is like trying to describe a black hole–it is like a vacuum. You are seeking to describe the absence of something, the gradual smothering of joy, memory, and life itself.
I do not think very many people write well when treading through the darkness. Perhaps they can form some words in the murky shadows, but when the utter desolation strikes your heart and mind you cannot. It is enough of a challenge to keep breathing. Anything I wrote during the Darkness is nearly incomprehensible. You cannot put tears and screams and heartache on a page–not when you are in their clutches.
In the real dark night of the soul, it is always 3-o’clock in the morning. – F. Scott Fitzgerald
When you are battling the Darkness you do not want to read a book. Or hear a sermon. Or tell one more person, “I’m fine,” when in actuality you are smothering to death. I’ve begged God to take me home. I’ve stood on a balcony and thought about jumping off. I’ve lived days where I gave up on making the smallest bit of progress and knew God would have to do it all. Every day seems an eternity.
Eventually, though it is impossible to pinpoint exactly when, it will become slightly easier. Then you will realize the words you read speak truth and the words you write bring healing. It never lasts forever, though it always feels like it will.