Thank God for “Realistic Hope”

I have a story, of sorts, to tell. I will try to keep it brief but there is so much I want to say.  Let me first start by telling you a bit about how my life has been the past few weeks/months.

I am drowning in a swirling ocean. Water has filled my lungs and the salty residue is slowly coating the inside of my body. However, somehow, my life seems to be drying up.
Darkness prevails day in and day out, as I frantically search for light – even just a small match to light amongst the blackness. As a child I was afraid of the dark…some things never change.
Have you ever drunken Clorox? I hope not. I can tell you what it’s like. Everything burns. Everywhere you look, everything goes blurry. Every breath you take is excruciatingly painful. Every movement you try to make is a bit slower and more difficult than the last. I have never literally drunken Clorox, but that’s what these past weeks have felt like.
Feeling? What is a feeling? I have none. My body, although commonly misunderstood and often times misinterpreted has no feeling. My legs feel like logs stuck under water, my arms are numb and tingly…and my head – a perpetual morning fog resides there. I feel nothing. Because lately, I have been wishing that I could BE nothing.

I have been wanting to write – OH how I have so desperately been wanting to write. But how can I write without feeling a single thing? How can I inspire and help others when I cam hardly able to place one foot in front of the other and take a breath in, then out, then in again. Unless I remind myself, I often times forget to breath – at least, when things get unbearably hard.

Even sleep jokes with my body – you want relief? Yes. Take a nap. Okay. Toss and turn and torment and nightmares and tears. Everything is fading. I am fading.

Things have been unbearable and often times I find myself thinking, “God has far too much confidence in me and what He thinks I am capable of handling. I can’t possibly make it through another hour, much less a whole day.” But then somehow…God willing, I manage to make it through. It’s exhausting – exhausting in EVERY possible sense of the word, but here I sit.
There’s a point to all of this, I promise!

I have found hope, my friends! For the first time in quite a few months I have found REALISTIC, hope and strength where I never imagined finding it – in a book. Zack Eswine wrote “Spurgeon’s Sorrows. Realistic Hope for those who suffer from Depression.”

Read it. I’m not kidding. It is helpful to those who experience depression and those who know someone who experiences depression. It has provided insight, knowledge, power, and as I mentioned, empowering hope for me as I have been battling day in and day out.

It doesn’t lessen the pain any, to read a book. But the book helps to find strength within your pain. Here are a few main things that are crucial:

  • Despite the mind games depression and other mental illness are extremely capable of playing – you are not, never have been, and never will be, alone. Ever.
  • There are different forms of depression – this includes Spiritual depression.
  • The book provides insight on different forms of treatment: therapy, nature, medicines, pastoral care, and quite a few others.
  • The book quotes and references the famous author and preacher Charles Spurgeon and shares insight into his own battle with depression.
  • The book does cover the topic of suicide and provides relief for those family members or friends of someone who has committed suicide and also provides hope for those who have considered their own suicide.

The last point that I was EXCEEDINGLY thrilled to come across in this book is that of being grateful for our trials and what they have taught us. I am not at the point yet in dealing with my depression that I can truthfully say, “I have learned so much and I am so grateful for this experience for x, y, or z reasons.” But I do pray that day will come…and the sooner the better.

However, in regards to some of the other trials in my life…dealing with anorexia, my grandfather’s suicide, and some of the other, more personal, family things I have been forced to attack head on and deal with – I can honestly say that I am grateful for who they have helped me become and what I have learned from them. That being said, I never ever want to have to deal with them ever again or repeat those experiences, but I do not regret what they taught me.

“I am sure that I have run more swiftly with a lame leg than I ever did with a sound one. I am certain that I have seen more in the dark than I ever saw in the light, – more stars, most certainly, – more things in heaven if fewer things on earth. The anvil, the fire, and the hammer, are the making of us; we do not get fashioned much y anything else. The heavy hammer falling on us helps to shape us; therefore let affliction and trouble and trial come.”
-Hayden, Searchlight on Spurgeon, P. 178

It’s funny how God works. Just at the moment when I thought I couldn’t possibly go on any longer, this book finds its way into my hands and even more importantly – into my heart!  Lots of things shape us as individuals and these include our trials and experiences during our time here on this earth.  May we always be reminded of God’s great plans for our lives – unfailing, perfect, and always on time!  God bless!

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