Sunday, July 10, 2016

Beauty Found

This week goes in the books as being one of the sad weeks of my life.  I have cried every day.  And, I am ashamed to tell you why. I wish it were because I feel burdened by the ache of the world.  Instead, it's only because my personal world seems a little tilted right now.

I didn't get either of two dream jobs, and I feel discouraged and frustrated.  Add to the fact that one night of sleep lasted only five hours and I had the let-down after-party blues following an amazing event.  AND I have been nursing an injured animal - and not being an animal lover, I have felt drained, confined, and lonely.  To keep this animal still, I needed to spend a lot of time on the couch, doing something we don't always do: watch DVD's.  I watched the 6 hour BBC series of War and Peace, a move about dementia (Still Mine), and the Diary of Anne Frank.  I know, right?  Totally uplifting and encouraging.

OK - I tell you all of this not so that you'll give me a virtual hug and say that it will all be OK.  Actually, writing it out is very eye-opening.  I have a friend in deep grief over the loss of her husband.  Another with cancer.  Another broken over perpetual ache in her life.  And, although I have shied away from the news, it, too, is a reminder of all kinds of sorrow.  So, I know sitting with a puppy on your lap all week does not count as one of life's great tragedies.

Here's why I want to tell you:  I was sad this week.  Just really, deeply sad.  I couldn't shake it off.  I couldn't think straight or pray straight or listen to my Scripture reading.  I couldn't even read.  My eyes blurred and my heart blurred.

I've been thinking of my dear friend.  One who lives side-by-side with depression and anxiety.  I could barely think about God - much less have deep prayer conversations and meditation - during this week.  And here she is lonely in the depths of her mind and heart... and yet, she stays constant in this:

She prays.

She reads her Bible.

She seeks after God.

Even when she doesn't feel like it.

Me, I hand this puppy off and go journal on the front porch, and I feel better.  My head gets on straight.  My heart is able to breathe.

She doesn't have that luxury.  She can't manipulate circumstances to be more comfortable.

And yet, she still seeks after God.

Someone once told me that there will probably be a lot of alcoholics in heaven.  I was taken-aback by his statement.  I, being a self-righteous good-girl, was shocked.  I didn't want to believe it.  He went on to say that people who know their desperation for and dependence on God are holier than those of us who think we can save ourselves because we have it all together.

I am thankful for this week's - well, maybe? - taste of depression.  Of course, I knew it would pass, when part of having depression and anxiety must be the fear that it won't shed off.


And in this week, when I was weak in my motivation - I was weak in my pursuit of God I found such great encouragement from and awe for my friend.  She, who will not give up waiting on God.  He might never heal her completely.  And her greatest gift to me might be how she clings to looking for God in the midst of her sadness.

I know this is because God is at work in her - even when she can't see it.  I know this is because of His love and faithfulness - even when she barely has strength to open her Bible.  I know this is because He has an eternity for her free from the weight she carries now.

There will probably be a lot of depressed, anxious people in heaven... well, healed-up-dried-eyed-resting-rejoicing-former depressed, anxious people.  Oh, what glory God will get through the people whose desperation for and dependence on Him is holier than those of us who think we can save ourselves
because we have it all together.

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