Stepping Forward

I can recognize it better now. The foggy, fuzzy feeling that coasts along in apathy at best and morphs into inadequacy and despair at worst. Depression.
And although I can recognize it, I don’t have the power in me to tell it to go. I am thankful for the ability to recognize it. I remember going somewhere around 3 months before I realized that what I was feeling wasn’t okay. The apathy had lulled me my spirit, my mind, to comatose. I didn’t know I wasn’t okay. How do you not know you’re not okay?
And so, coasting along in relative ignorance of what depression can feel like, at least what it feels like in my skin, I ignored it.
Until I couldn’t. I began to dread coming home. I could handle work, I could coast at work. But home. Kids. Dinner. Dishes. Laundry. Just a running list of all the things I couldn’t quite get a handle on. Failures, everywhere, in every room in the house.
I wouldn’t have described it that way then, there in the midst of it. But depression has a way of warping reality, magnifying what’s usually manageable into glaring pain. And the enemy, Oh. He got in. How could he not? When you coast along in total apathy, when your heart instinctively shies away from revealing too much, opening up, exposing hurts and hidden things, its easier to ignore everything. I couldn’t even share my heart and feelings to my husband, much less to my heavenly Father. To the loving Creator of that messed up heart.
I don’t know where it came from. I am a naturally content, happy person. But somewhere in the middle of marriage, work, kids with special needs, finances, and a chronic shortage of sleep, I got lost in the fog.
Jesus experienced heart ache, more than anything I could imagine. If my own fragile heart hurts so much carrying around only household burdens, how much more my Savior must have ached, preparing to carry the weight of world’s sin?
There in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46), He agonized. He wept. He prayed. He sobbed. He fell on his face. His soul hurt so much He felt like He was dying already. He begged God for another way.
But He also knew the end of the story.
Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to Him so He stepped forward to meet them. John 18:4
Jesus knew what was coming. There in the garden, He was fully aware of what was coming. He’d just begged His Father to take this task from Him, it was possible. He knew it would be hard, the hardest thing any man had ever done. And yet He stepped forward, to meet the beginning of the battle head on.
And Peter, impulsive Peter, tries to take things into his own hands. Poor thing botched it up pretty good. He cut off an ear. didn’t even injure a soldier, but a servant. I can almost hear his thoughts, “Well, that didn’t go as planned…” Definitely no battles are won by ear injuries to an unfortunate servants.
But Jesus said so gently to Peter, “I must take the cup that is given me.” He stepped forward, met it head on, and accepted the task. Why? Because He KNEW. He knew with absolute certainty that this is temporary, that this too, shall pass. This HAD to be done. For his beloved disciples, for the Roman rabble, for all of mankind. This had to be done, in order to offer salvation and grace and mercy and peace and forgiveness and redemption. This, as unimaginably painful that it would be, was the ultimate expression of love.
What’s more, He had the Spirit to help. We do, too.
What is your battle? One of mine is depression. I am owning this battle. Its ugly. Its messy and complex and tangled and crushing at times.
But. I do not have to fight it alone. I don’t have to flail around clumsily causing minimal damage. I have victory in Jesus, who WILL win the battle, all the battles, the ultimate battle. I have the faithful love of the Father. I have the fire of the Holy Spirit inside me.
I have the armor of God.
And…I know the end of the story, too. I don’t know the details of the plot, but I’ve read the last pages.
and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. Revelation 21:4
No more tears. No more oppressive depression No more crying in the shower, or in the stolen moments before you get out of the car. Jesus Himself will wipe my tears away.
Father, thank you for this example, for showing me what Jesus did at the forefront of the battle. Like Your Son, I ask for the strength to step forward and meet my battles head on. I’m not there yet. Thank you for the grace to recognize it. I ask for the discipline and strength to step forward, even when its hard. I don’t want to fight a battle on my own strength, but in Yours.

person wearing black low top sneakers and black jeans
Photo by Nicholas Githiri on Pexels.com

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