CLOUDS OF DESPONDENCY
It happened while I was peeling carrots. With each sccrrrtch, sccrrtch sccrrtch of the blade, thin orange curls fell away into the bowl, piling up like a jumbled mound of spaghetti. Mindlessly preparing a salad for dinner, I was unaware of the almost intangible darkness that was creeping over my spirit.
Maybe it was brought on by the after-storm stillness, with the syncopated dripping of rain off the roof the only interruption to an eery quiet. Maybe it was the echoing emptiness of the house. Perhaps it was the darkening of dusk and the realization that another week was almost over, with not much to show for it. Whatever the cause, I inexplicably felt myself being weighed down with a growing sense of despondency.
“Oh no,” I groaned inwardly, “not again.” The encroaching thoughts started up with the rhythm of the vegetable peeler. Sccrrrtch, sccrrtch, sccrrrtch… “It’s back! I thought I was over this! But maybe I’ll never really get over it. Maybe it will always be part of my life…”
The familiar clouds of hopelessness and despair were settling into place. It took me back to those long weeks and months after my return from Asia three years ago. Sleeping for hours during the day. Avoiding interactions with friends. Making any excuse to stay at home rather than face the outside world. Bursting into tears when someone asked how I was doing. Feeling trapped, plagued by ominous thoughts. “This is my life now,” I remember thinking many times. “I’ll always be this way. I’ll never be happy again.”
It had taken a long time to get out of the pit before. And now here I was, without any warning or apparent cause, feeling myself sliding down into that hole all over again. But this time I recognized the lies the enemy was whispering to my spirit. And so I started speaking truth to my soul.
“Depression is NOT going to be a permanent part of my life. I WON’T be stuck here forever. I am God’s child, and He has a good future for me! It’s NOT hopeless – my hope is in Christ!” Slowly the clouds started to dissipate as the power of the lies was broken.
Do you ever feel helpless or hopeless? Do you ever feel trapped in a cycle of despairing thoughts? Identify the lies that try to keep you bound in the darkness of depression. Speak the life-giving truth of God’s promises to your soul. He WILL provide a way of escape!
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11, NIV
“In my anguish I cried to the Lord and He answered by setting me free!” Psalm 118:5, NIV