Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Future Is Nothing To Fear -- Hope Chronicles 7

I struggle with depression. I can honestly say that I think the depression started when I was 10. That is, at least in my recollection, the first time I wished that I was dead. I've struggled with it off and on now for 28 years. Sometimes I get a break for a a few months, but it has been more on than off. A couple years ago, I got about an 18 month break in the depression. It all flew out the window when a friend of mine died this spring. I completely crumbled.

I'm probably an unusual depressed person. I'm fairly functional. I manage to hold a job and all of that but fall apart all around the edges. After struggling with it for so long, I know the symptoms and what to do. I keep busy, see the doctor and therapist regularly, take the meds, watch my thoughts, work hard at connecting with people even when I don't feel like it, . . . .

I know there was a precipitating factor, but having the depression hit so hard the last few months has been really difficult. I struggled with what the point was in keeping going because statistically every time I have a depressive episode I am more likely to have another. Why not give up?

Because there are points when I feel better.

Because there are people who care.

Because God wants me to keep going.

Because of things like faith and hope and love.

I am doing better. The last 2 weeks have been a major turn around. (That is good news!) I saw my doctor yesterday. She was totally thrilled. But then in the midst of it she said, "While you are doing well, we need to strategize the best way to handle the next one." I understand what she is saying, though I would love it if God made it so the depression never came back.

As I contemplated the discussion yesterday and today, I've felt fear creep in. Fear is a thief. It steals joy and peace and takes my eyes off of God. I came across this quote from Max Lucado in GOD CAME NEAR today and it spoke to me:

Such moments are necessary because they remind us that everything is okay. The king is still on the throne and life is still worth living. Eternal instants remind us that love is still the greatest posessession and the future is nothing to fear.

Do you know what he is talking about? Have you ever had an "eternal instant"? It's those moments when life just feels so right. Maybe it is when your child hugs you or you see a sun set. I know I've had them over the years. One of the most recent was when I had a friend's children spend the night with me. I was putting them to bed and Elena asked, "Do you have a Bible?" They wanted to hear a Bible story. I explained that I had a Bible but I didn't have one for children. They made sure that I knew that their parents read to them out of the "regular" Bible. So, I read to them about David and Goliath from my regular NIV. I was so touched to see their tender hearts towards scripture. There have been eternal instants: baking with a friend, sitting on a porch, cuddling with my cat. Eternal instants are ones that push back the darkness and fear. What was your most recent "eternal instant?"

As Max Lucado writes, the King is still on the throne. Life is worth living. In spite of what the world and our circumstances might say, the future is nothing to fear.

Because it seemed fitting in starting off the New Year, I've reprinted this from my xanga blog dated Sept. 1, 2007 -- www.xanga.com/BabblingBrooke135


Lysa TerKeurst said...

Dearest Amy~
You are an amazing woman and a beautiful writer. You so beautifully stated your victorious struggle with depression. You have come a long way. I am thankful for those eternal instincts as well. That is a nugget of truth that I will carry with me. I love your blog and can't wait to come back.
Happy New Year friend!

Anne said...

Hey Amy, I would love to help update your blog! :) I really enjoyed working with my mom's, so I'd be up to working with yours. What are your thoughts? You can email me at aemcclane@yahoo.com.