This past weekend at church, I shared my story about depression with the church family. It was one of 12 stories highlighted during a video presentation at the end of the service. It was a short clip, basically in which I expressed the depth of sorrow and sadness I have experienced, and how lonely and despairing my bouts with depression have been. I wish you could see it. I feel like it really captured my heart in terms of what I have actually been through, what I would say to people about it if I had less than 2 minutes to share with them about my depression.
What I liked most about the way the story was told was that it shared the struggle, but not the resolution. There was no happy ending, no bow to tie at the end of the story, no quick fix. After our video played, we walked up to the stage with a representation of our struggle (mine was a black cloak - "I lived in darkness") and laid it at the foot of a cross.
It was so symbolic of what every day is like for me. There is no fix to my life. This isn't over. The story is still going on, and there could possibly be a lot of twists and turns in the road in the future... but the common theme throughout the rest of my life will be the same thing I did yesterday at the service. I will continue to lay my burden at the foot of the cross, and I will take up the burden that Jesus asks me to carry - His burden is light - and I will follow Him. I will hope in Him. I will choose to trust Him every day, even when the doubts and worries cloud my mind. I will continue to lay it at the cross, where he defeated sin and death and depression and doubt and fear. He has the victory, and so then do I. Still fighting the battle, but ultimately victorious.
There is no quick fix. But there is an end to the story. I picture if often. Me, standing face to face with Jesus, tears in my eyes (like there are now), Him looking at me with the knowledge of all I have known, and Him seeing me - fully seeing me - and finding me beautiful and complete in Him. The struggle will be over at that time. My journey will be complete, but also just beginning, for I will just have started to truly know Jesus. Our journey will continue, and I will live in eternal hope and peace at that time.
This is what I hope for when times get tough. I hope for the hug from Jesus that lets me know that it was all worth it, that I fought a good fight, that I ran the race with endurance. So now, I stumble and fall. But I press on with the hope and knowledge that Jesus sees me, knows me, and finds beauty in my journey right here, right now.