Down in the dumps.
Not quite myself.
One of my favourite characters puts it quite eloquently as being in the “depths of despair.” (Thanks Anne Shirley)
One of the things that has always frustrated me in my life are those moments when the darkness creeps in.
The joy that I so easily embraced suddenly becomes contaminated by that tar-like void that seems to contaminate and seep so quickly that suddenly I am suffocating in a quicksand pit of despair, loneliness and depression.
“Why?” I always ask myself. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Yet, sometimes I do, but I don’t know know how to change my behaviour. Instead, I allow the lies and shame to seep in further and isolate myself from people who love me, who can and want to pull me out of the pit.
A couple of dear friends have been challenging me by being transparent and sharing about their struggles. How often do I admit out loud that I don’t know the answers, that I am struggling to even think about picking up my Bible, and *gasp*, sometimes I just don’t want to go to church. Yet at the back of my mind, that truthful voice is telling me that this has been where I discovered my joy, love, freedom, family, salvation, hope, truth, grace and forgiveness for even the darkest, most shameful, disgraceful moments in my life.
I’ve been challenged and humbled by my own words. I’ve often said that we are weakest and most vulnerable when we are isolated from each other. We were made for community, to grow together, to love together and even to be weak together, which actually makes us stronger. Yet, in the past couple of weeks, a true hypocrite, I have been isolating myself and avoiding the people that I need the most.
More of my hypocrisy: It would be so easy for me to spend an hour looking and thinking up words of wisdom and thinking of spiritual ways to guide and help my fellow-downers through this journey. I would come up with an eloquent way to express how I had entered into and then defeated the darkness that I had supposedly now conquered.
I haven’t conquered it. I won’t. Not on my own. I’m not the one who will defeat it. Scratch that.. I’m not the one who HAS defeated it.
This post is not about my great thoughts or revelations on the Bible. This is about my weaknesses and being transparent.
I am still struggling.
So once again, challenged and humbled, I am writing to expose the darkness that has been overwhelming me and to ask for help. I can’t do it on my own. I’ve been trying to do it that way for a long time. But it’s so clear that that’s not the way to do it.
Yet, in the midst of this pit of despair, there has been a peep hole of piercing light. It never fades, and the warmth that emanates from it is almost delightfully painful in comparison to the emotionless, cold, dark corner of the dungeon that I have chosen for myself.
God has never left my side, and I know that he is the reason for my hope and the peace that has never left my heart amidst all of the craziness that has happened in my entire life.
The beautiful thing is the simplicity of this truth and revelation that first broke through the wall around my heart( and it continues to do so every day) :
It is the moments like these, when we are shamed, naked, starving and covered in our own filth, that Jesus says, “Yes, I love you. I choose you.”
And that is how my God turns my dungeon into a palace.