Where I've Been This Week (I've gotta start somewhere...):
I have dealt with depression since I was a child. Sometimes it flares up... sometimes it grows quiet for periods of time. I've learned (for the most part) to deal with the ups and downs that come with having chronic clinical depression. But the past couple months the depression has flared... and has grown worse with each passing day.
Each day, I felt a strong calling for me to be there for others who've been suffering with various problems. Almost every day, I answered this call. I listened to friends and loved ones and even strangers as they told me their problems. Sometimes I only listened. Sometimes I offered advice. Sometimes I offered a hug. But, mostly, I tried to just be there.
And with each passing day, I recognized more and more how unqualified I was to be there. I wasn't qualified to listen to their problems, or to offer any help. I wasn't qualified to be a friend, or offer guidance. I wasn't qualified to pray with them. I wasn't up to this task set before me. I was not the one who should be here listening to them and offering them peace and comfort. I simply wasn't strong enough, or qualified enough, or... well... good enough. Obviously I had misunderstood God and what He wanted out of me.
My depression slipped nearly out of control. I would come home from visiting friends, and break down crying. I would get off the phone, and break down crying. I would turn off my computer, and break down crying. Eventually, it came to the point where I'd get done making dinner, and break down crying. I'd wake up in the morning, and break down crying. I'd hear my phone vibrate or ring, and would break down crying. I'd be shopping, and break down. I'd be in the car, and break down.
And... if you know anything about me... I do not cry. At least, not in front of most people.
So, I shut down.... my phone was put away for a few days. My computer was turned off. I turned down invitations to hang out, and essentially became a recluse. My husband supported (and encouraged) this decision, and explained to the children to leave me be as much as possible. And he also left me alone unless I wanted to be with him. And in these few days I learned a few things....
God is always with us:
Yes, it is true. God is with us. While in my mind, I generally always know this... I often cannot feel it. I get so wrapped up in what I'm doing, or so stressed and depressed, that I just cannot feel Him. But after a few days wrapped up in a lot of prayer and quiet time, I have felt His presence again. And I do know that even in my break downs and fits and anger and frustration - He has been there with me.
I AM Unqualified:
Yes, you read that right. I am not qualified for some of the the tasks God sets before me. But, this does not mean I quit. It does not mean I ignore God. It means I need to recognize that I am merely a vessel for God to use to reach out to others. It means that God is with me - He is the strength and courage and knowledge and ability. This stuff does not come from me, and cannot come from me.
Where I am:
I am still withdrawing a bit. I am still trying to heal (or, rather, allow God to heal me). But in learning the above lessons... in learning to trust in God, and learning to open up to certain people... in learning to understand the power and necessity of prayer, and in the necessity of dumping all the negative energy off of myself... I am getting there.
I thank those who've been there to let me pour out the negative; I thank those who've been understanding of my need for some time with God; and I thank those who've supported me and let me be weak for a while.