After reading my brother’s blog this morning I decided to make myself sit down and write. For someone with severe ADHD (me), this is the hardest part of the writing process. I sit down to write and my to-do list from the last two weeks pops into my head. So many useless things begging for my attention, and all I want to do is get one sentence out. Taylor so graciously reminded me this morning that writing is my calm. For Taylor putting his feet to gravel is where he can focus his attention and for me its putting pen to paper. I keep thinking of things I want to write about and then losing the thoughts. Mostly though I have been suffering from a lack of motivation and a decline in seratonin levels.
I was diagnosed with depression my Junior year in college after one extremely over-worked summer in “ministry.” For some reason working for people who work for God almost always brings you to near death. Two months after leaving my sleep deprived summer I had a stress-induced breakdown and have never been the same. I used to be ashamed that I could be so “weak,” but after many visits to my therapist I realized that depression isn’t a weakness, it’s a sickness (if you think I’m a nut-job feel free to unfollow at this point).
I have spent the last four years on and off antidepressants, but always on sleeping meds, wondering when God was going to cure me. I always assumed that Christianity and depression could not be uttered in the same sentence, but my depression had no effect on my standing with God. This seems to be my thorn. I can go from joy to tears in a matter of days, and fall into a pit so deep only the hands of angels can lift me out. I ache for joy, but so many times all God will grant me is grace. It’s life though; we all suffer, and mine by comparison is nothing.
One of my good friend’s brother recently passed away from cancer, and she suffers. They were as close as siblings get without incest, and now she is an only child. Daily she suffers, but not without the comfort of our heavenly father.
Sadly, suffering is a part of our lives here and just a reminder that we don’t belong. My mom has been sick since I was two, suffering. My uncle has brain cancer, and he and his family suffer. One of my best friends has an absent father, and she suffers. We all suffer, but only for a while, and if there is anything Jesus understands it’s pain. Our suffering doesn’t make us unique; it’s how we handle it that does.
See, I can stay in bed and cry, or I can get up and deal with a broken world. Yes, I can grieve, and yes, I can hurt, but as a good friend recently told me after the loss of her brother, “I can’t quit life. It’s just not realistic.” I can’t quit because Jesus didn’t quit on me. When he felt the weight of the world on his shoulders he didn’t quit, and even on my worst days I haven’t felt anything like that. So this is my promise, to not let my suffering get in the way of the joy God gives me through writing.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.