Dear Grace in 2010 – 2014,
Four years ago last week, I was at the lowest part of ‘the pit’. I had fought battle after battle with depression for eight long years, sometimes feeling like I’d won a victory, but it was always short-lived. The lies that I’d begun to believe about myself took over. I was not the wife, mother, sister, friend, fill-in-the-blank that I should be, so there was no reason for me to be here, right? Surely everyone would be better off without me.
Thankfully, I was (and still am) surrounded by people who loved me and made difficult decisions that ultimately led to the healing I have received. It was not easy. In fact, it was one of the most painful times I’ve ever experienced, and it still stings to re-live it. But…Grace. You have shown up in some beautiful and amazing ways in the years since that pit attempted to swallow me whole. Restoration has come in my treasured relationships, and a peace has settled in my heart. Yes, there are still some days that I hear the old familiar call of the Enemy and am tempted to wallow. But…Grace. You remind me that I’m not who I was, that I’ve been healed and changed in ways I may not fully see yet. You let me know that even though those days were some of the most painful I’ve known, God will not waste that pain.
One of the books that was most helpful to me during my healing was Defeating Depression: Real Hope for Life-changing Wholeness by Leslie Vernick. At one point, Vernick quotes Charles Spurgeon, who said, “I often feel very grateful to God that I have undergone fearful depression of spirits. I know the borders of despair, and the horrible brink of that gulf of darkness into which my feet have almost gone; but hundreds of times I have been able to give a helpful grip to brethren and sisters who have come into that same condition, which grip I could never have given if I had not known their deep despondency.” (p. 222). My pain is not wasted. I’m beginning to see it as a gift that I can share with others, to encourage them that they are not alone, that they have worth and value and are needed.
So, past four years…thank you. I’m grateful to have been lifted out of the pit and to have experienced the growth and change that you have held for me. I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned, the forgiveness that’s been extended and given, the better understanding I have of my God, and the deepening of relationships that might not otherwise have occurred. And I’m grateful for Grace.
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(Please forgive the technical difficulty!)