Christmas is a time for many things: giving, sharing, loving and fellowship. All wonderful ways to celebrate the birth of our Savior.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
So is honesty.
So here goes.
From parties, to concerts and holiday outings I've enjoyed a lot of wonderful events this Christmas season. But during the moments between those events I've been sluggish, cranky and withdrawn.
It's a relatively new thing for me to be honest about depression partly because of the stigma attached to the word and partly because in my pride I don't want anyone to think I don't have it all together.
I so don't have it all together. (That should take care of the pride part and as for the stigma, well, I've decided not to care.)
I can honestly say I'm not depressed all the time, but depression does rear its ugly head in my life from time to time. Christmas 2008 is apparently one of those times.
Praise the Lord over the past year I've learned some tools for managing these times: prayer, the Word, talking to PB, talking to others, going outside and actively changing my thought patterns. That last one is just as hard as you would think and some days I'm better at it than others. Frankly, some minutes are better than others.
Above all the Lord is the One who breaks through the fog of depression and reminds me that His truth is so much stronger than my feelings. I've been noticing a recurring theme in my bible readings lately: the compassion of God. That compassion has reminded me in the past couple of days that I can have hope even in the midst of depression.
On Sunday I halfheartedly sang "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" with the rest of the congregation but stopped short when I read the words of the third verse:
"O ye beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing."
Those "glad and golden hours" mentioned in the song? That's an empty tomb and the source of my hope. I love that the song doesn't follow up that part with, "so snap out of it you useless toad" but instead it says "oh rest beside the weary road". A baby was born in a stable a little over 2000 years ago to save and give real rest to a world full of weary people who don't have it all together.
People just like me.
Oh let the angels sing.