Feb 19, 2012

Hope Springs Eternal...Or Does It?

I'm doing this blog in a little different format than I usually use, cause I have a lot to say. If you suffer depression, you need to read this. I have struggled with it for 9 years...so that I might learn things from God, and maybe...so I can help someone else.
"Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." II Cor. 1:4

You know that saying? "Hope Springs Eternal!" It sounds so nice...and...hopeful. And it's true!

But sometimes...you lose hope. You search for it...you beg God for it...you cry out to it... but it's not there. And when there is no hope, even the smallest burden will lay you flat, unable to go on.
"Where there is no vision, the people perish: ..." Prov. 29:18

First, lets understand that depression is not feeling bad cause something is wrong, or someone died, or things aren't going your way. You can't make me laugh and then think I'm better...and think the depression is gone. It's not about that. It's about having no hope. Nothing to look to, fearful that everything is going to fall apart. It's indescribable. You can't explain it to anyone. You can't explain it to yourself. It makes no sense...yet it's there all the same. And that's what really upsets you...you know you have no reason to feel this way. In your  mind, you know you have so much to be thankful for...you know things aren't as bad as they seem...but in your heart there's a dark cloud hanging, threatening forever rain.

I've always been an 'up' person. No matter what is going on, I can make myself feel better and get over things. At least, I used to be that person. Then a few years ago, many things were going on in my life, big things. I couldn't keep up...I couldn't make myself feel better about the things going on because there were too many. I was losing ground fast...and couldn't do anything about it.

These were my favorite verses:

"Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.
Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; 
Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked; for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.
My heart is sore pained within me : and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.
And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.
Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.
 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest."

I honestly would think, "If I had a million dollars I would get on a plane and go anywhere." I knew I would never do that...cause I love my family and would not want to be away from them, but I just wanted to get away from my life...from myself...and from my faithless heart.

I knew only Jesus could heal me...but I didn't know how. I had prayed everything I could think of. Sometimes I couldn't even formulate any words other than..."Jesus, please help me."

"Sometimes I call out your name,
But I cannot find you.
I look for your face
But you are not there.
By my sorrows, Lord,
Lift me to you,
Lift me up to your side."

"Lord of etenity,
Father of mercy.
Look on my fainting soul.
Keeper of all the stars,
Friend of the poorest heart,
Touch me and make me whole."

That's a song by Fernando Ortega. It spoke the words I couldn't. I felt like I was searching...never finding Him. He who had been my best friend...I could no longer find. I knew He hadn't moved away from me...but I from Him...I had lost my way, and couldn't get back.
"By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but  found him not." Song of Solomon

I didn't want to bother my husband with it...because he's a Pastor and has enough on his shoulders. I determined I would never say anything that would make him feel bad for me and consider getting out of the ministry. 
Fast forward about 6 years.
 Actual words to my husband:  "I hate my life...please take me away!"
I couldn't even stick to my word. I just wanted peace. I wanted to love Christ with abandon...like I used to. Instead I would listen to preachers talk about the love of God, with tears streaming down my face, cause I couldn't find Him.

One night when my husband asked who had something to Praise God about, seriously, the only thing that I could think of was that I hadn't had a major meltdown that week. How do you share that with people? So I came home and texted Sunny, and told her...and she didn't get it either. And then I cried...cause I couldn't praise God for all the good things I knew He was doing, but didn't feel in my heart.

A few things began to seep through. My friend, Terri McDonald told me about a supplement called GLA (Gamma-linolenic Acid) and what it did for her. I really doubted it would help, but I would try anything at this point. It turned my life around. Within 4 days I began to feel like I had some semblance of control over my emotions. I still had ups and downs, but now they were mostly up, with a few major downs thrown in there. But at long last I began to feel that maybe I could start to enjoy life again. So I knew part of my problem then was physical. Check

Then I went to a preaching conference. The preacher talked about bitterness and depression and how one leads to another. He had counseled lots of people and found that most people that were depressed, if it wasn't physical, had something they had not forgiven someone for. Something had happened that they blamed someone for and haven't been able to get over because they had not truly forgiven them. This person could be a family member, themselves, or even God. The depression usually starts at this point.

As I listened to this, things in my life began to be clear. I first began to be depressed when things in my life became unmanageable for me. I could no longer control the things that were happening. I realized that in my heart I was blaming God for letting all these things happen...when I had given up everything for Him. I believed the Bible. I tried to do what it said at any cost. I raised my kids for Him. And gladly! But I remember thinking in my  heart at one time that I had been betrayed. I began to think that all the things I had learned were not true after all. All the things that I had believed and built my life on...I didn't see them happening. I began to lose faith...and with that...hope.

I knew I needed to get things right with God. I did right then. At that point I was able to share with my husband how I had been feeling over the last 9 years. Things I had never been able to tell him were now gushing out as I saw the need to get everything out in the open so I didn't have to hang onto it any longer.
So then, the other part of my problem was Spiritual. Check.

Since that time, I have been able to rebuild what I had torn down and rebelieve the things I had lost faith in.

Why couldn't God have just answered my prayer the first time I prayed for him to take the depression away. The first time I begged Him for help? Because I would never have learned all the things He has taught me on the way. They are so many, I could never in a million years tell you all He has shown me. I could never explain to you how I have grown closer to Him. And I could never help anyone else if it was too easy.

I still have my down days...but they are way fewer. I never feel hopeless anymore. I sleep at night, instead of staying awake and thinking about what a loser I am. I actually feel real joy again. I didn't for so long, I forgot what it was like. God has shown me...in a deeper more intimate way...that He alone is faithful...that He does answer prayer...that He is worth living for...that He is the only One worth living for. 

Hope springs eternal? Yes, it does...but only in Christ!


  1. All I can say is....WOW!!!! This is so humbling and says so much that others of us have never been able to say. And believe it or not....this goes hand in hand with the devotion I have planned!!! Can't wait to share it!!!! Thank you for sharing this.

  2. It's taken me months to write this...and then today it just all came out at once!

  3. Yes...Lisa
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Its hard sometimes to understand what someone may be going through.
    I tell my kids to treat each other the way they want to be treated.
    And you telling us this...just shows us that we should be praying for others...because they may be having "a hard time" and we may "need" to understand what they are going through someday.
    Love and Praying for you,

  4. Lisa my dear; never fear; Dr. Ruszkowski is here. while we certanly look to God for spiritual support, It does not take a great deal of self examination or a shrink to determine the problem. It is "EMPTY NEST SYNDROME" About 9 years ago is when your flock began to flee. College, work, other relationships, Marriage. A woman is born to care for others; without knowing it you could have looked in the mirror and seen you have no one to look after. "WHAT AM I CHOPPED lIVER?" it will come full circle as youR entended family grows. Thier problems, jobs, Marriage; and those grandchildren will once again involve you in another cycle of "been there, done that" in the mean time, what about Russell? Take another look; he can't get thru the day without you. (ha) I need your blog, strider needs his meals: WE DEPEND ON YOU!!!

  5. My dear Sister "In Christ, Thank you for sharing your heart.So many times you have come along side me when my heart was heavy and prayed for me and wept with me. You have also rejoyced with me and been a huge encouragement. You hit the nail ao the head Lisa when you said you didn't get your answer from God right away because there was so much to learn. We would love to stay on the peak all the time, but the truth is our time in the valley is the quickest route back up to the peak. What is so awesome is that our Lord is so loving and patient as He teaches us. When we get it, and connect close to Him we Glorify Him. Then we can help one another. I know--- I've had several trips to the vally. Remember one of my favorite hym's "Higher Ground." Praise God Lisa, you are on a journey back to Higher Ground. "Psalm 119:2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their hearts."