The Struggle of Depression
Isn't God good? I mean really good? To think that He took the circumstances of a car accident almost 35 years ago and gradually bit by bit, moment by moment, detail by detail taught me more and more about Himself as He walked with me and sometimes crawled beside me and sometimes pulled me through the days. I think of the poem I put in yesterday's blog, the one written 33 years ago and I understand that even then He really was teaching me to say "Thank You." Acknowledging that the rough places give us much more to be thankful for than the smooth, easier paths.
Today a friend said to me, "You are one of the most giving, serving, caring people I have ever known." I smiled and thought that was only because of God too. Early on, after I brought Larry home and was caring for him, three kids (6, 4 and a baby) plus a house, I had times of depression. Really tough depression but God led me to begin doing things for others whenever I could.
During Autumn, one year after the accident, in South Dakota, I went and bought snow shovels for all of us (except Larry)—even one for the toddler who would soon be old enough to use it. I thought we would need to shovel our long driveway that winter (Larry had always done that). Little did I know that this would become a big part of my "therapy" that winter. It wasn't long before we began not only shoveling our driveway but the one across the street (he worked and she had MS), our elderly neighbor lady's driveway and all the sidewalks around the block. Exercise is also good for depression.
Feeling sorry for myself and my lot in life would hit me at times like a hammer and the bottom would drop out of my world. There were many nights I got no sleep between the baby and then Larry who never seemed to sleep but thought he had to get up and go to the bathroom dozens of times. Of course, I had to go with him to keep him from falling. After one of those times hitting bottom, I spent a sleepless night "thinking."
Out of nowhere came, "You need to show others that they are loved. That God loves them. Make something to show them His love, something tangible, something they can touch, touch every single day, something to remind them over and over again—You need to make heart-shaped pot holders." Pot holders????? "Are you sure?????" He was, and I began sewing.
.....I spent hours, days, cutting out and sewing potholders for all the women in our church (maybe 70 or more). I don't know if anyone even used them, but I do know that when the kids and I put those potholders in the mailboxes at church, I felt much better and I felt God's love for ME. I still have one, in my pot holder drawer, well used and worn but still reminding His child that He does indeed love her very much with a Steadfast Love and Faithfulness.
The act of writing, of sharing the circumstances, the gifts and the graces planned and carried out by my Savior and God brings joy, peace, and contentment to know that He has my life in His hands. My prayer for those who read, who share in what I continue to learn each day, many times through my weakness, is that you will be encouraged to look for God's presence and grace in your life also.