My Brokenness

My depression back in January/February has changed the landscape of my heart, of my soul, of my personality. It broke me. It broke me deep inside. Because of that, my whole perspective on faith, on hope, on love, and on God, has changed to a much deeper level than I never knew existed. There are so many deeper levels yet, and I only hope God will lead me there. I cannot see the way for my next footstep. Scripture says that we do not see with our eyes but by faith. I’m not seeing anything but darkness at the moment. And yet, I believe more than ever. It is the only thing holding me together at the moment.
I have never really felt fixed or whole again since that depression. It has been a matter of tolerating the feeling of brokenness. Much prayer helps. A loving family, a close group of friends, and especially my students have helped even more. I know God will heal me completely when the time is right. I pray for patience and mercy.
Most days, I hardly ever notice the broken pieces floating around inside me. The edges of the broken pieces feel worn smooth. The scars healed. Lately, over the last few weeks, I felt an inner source of energy deep underneath it all, at the very core of my being. The surface of my being could be in turmoil with anxiety and busyness of everyday life, but there was a sense of peace deep down. I think I was beginning to understand in my heart what scripture calls the Spring of Life. It didn’t matter if I was still broken. Ah, sweet consolation. Thank you Father.
Then some days, the jostling of life brings the sharp jagged edges back to the surface. They stab and scrape and cut from the inside. Old wounds reopened. New wounds formed. Today, it feels like I’m hemorrhaging inside. My stomach hurts. My heart aches. I just want to curl up and…
Because the landscape of my heart has changed, the shallowest and briefest of periods of desolation brings screams of no! The edge of slipping back into the hole of depression is just too close. The howl of the black dog is easily heard in the distance.
Yesterday, I think that damn dog may have bit me in the arse. I don’t know yet. The pain from the ache in my heart hurts too much to tell if my butt hurts. I don’t feel the cool refreshing waters from the spring within. The well seems dry after such a short time.
Many things are different than in January/February. Some things are the same. But this time, I know in my head, and hopefully my heart is learning this too, all is gift from God. Each and every moment is filled with His grace. I know to force myself to do the opposite of what I feel like doing. Instead of pulling inward and withdrawing, I must push outward and look. I must risk reaching. I must live in the now for I may be blind to His gift at this moment, but what gift does the next moment hold that I may see.
I may not feel His presence, His warmth, His light, at the moment, but I know He is still there. I know He will never abandon me despite what Pride or Fear or Self-Pity say. I am probably closer to God now than ever, like a lamb on His shoulders. (But it still aches so bad…)

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