Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From Depression to… Something On the Way Up

I don’t know any other way but to say that I’ve always had a sense that God exists.

I also don’t know any other way but to say that I’ve been battling depression for as long as I can remember.

Strange to say this, I was/ am much like how Kristen Stewart portrays Bella Swan in the Twilight movies. I don’t show much emotion. People don’t really surprise me. I feel awkward about gifts and attention, like I can appreciate a gift so much but it doesn’t come across to the gifter how much it means to me.

Even as a child I remember not having much affect in public yet I would cry myself to sleep in the backseat on the way home. Nothing was really wrong and I didn’t know why I would cry, or why I wouldn’t cry even in front of my family. It was always alone.

I accepted Christ when I was 13, but the crying didn’t stop. I had grown up “in the church” yet I didn’t know much about God. I took many opportunities to learn more about this faith I had.

In my third year of college, something happened that gave me something real to cry about. My life took a downward turn. I took a downward turn and the crying became more frantic, sometimes even dangerous.

So began about 9 years of serious yet somewhat functioning depression. I had moments of crying out to God to come and comfort me, and then moments of crying out to God to leave me and not look at me in this condition. My faith was about all I had to go on.

In all of that, God didn’t leave me. He gently drew me to him. It didn’t matter how ugly it got. He was faithful as only God can be, knowing it would take 9 years yet assured that I would come.

I am a different person today. I am still myself, yet stronger in Him.

I’ve been slowly opening up to people about being depressed yet depression is still a struggle for me. When I tell them, almost always they ask the question of how I came out of that specific long period of depression. I would say that God drew me near. How did he do that? What specifically happened? Well, the Holy Spirit had been constantly stirring in me; I just finally started to really listen and act on it. I started thinking that maybe the Holy Spirit knows a thing or two about what I should do.

God worked on me through fellow Christians who cared. He worked on me through podcasts of programs put on by Christians. He worked on me through music by Christian artists. He worked on me through urgings to do the right thing. He worked on me to desire more with Him. He worked on me through great friends who cared, whatever their beliefs.

Two and a half years ago, I gave my life to Christ, a second rebirth, if you will. This time, things have been different, better. I’m not wandering aimlessly anymore. I’m not complacent anymore. The first time, I recognized Christ as my Savior. This time, I recognize him as my Savior and Lord.

To explain how life is better is difficult. I may not know where I’m going or how I’m getting there, but I know with whom I’m going. I think that’s as best as I can explain at this time.

The depression is why I struggle to post here; it's why I think too much in general. I don't want to post something unnecessary, out of pure emotions, yet I want to be truthful about... how I am.

I have my moments. I struggle. I learn and I stumble and I get back up to walk with Him again and I learn and grow and learn to grow…. I’m learning more and more about what it means to be in relationship with Him. I’m learning obedience, trust, to honor people around me, to stand firm on my faith while being open to God’s possibilities.

“Not perfectly but faithfully.” I think that’s becoming my motto.