I hadn’t heard John’s voice all day. So after “a day” I picked up the phone and called him. No answer. I mindlessly searched for something to distract me from the way I was feeling. Nothing on Netflix seemed sufficient. In the middle of starting a show that just wasn’t cutting it he had come out of a meeting, so I picked up the phone to call him again. Not but one minute into the phone call and a knowing on his end tears began to flood. Familiar words of “good breaths” and “you’re okay” came across the line. Reminders of letting feelings be what they are, feelings. I attempted jokes to quench the crying with laughter. Only then, I was laughing through tears.
After we hung up the tears continued. It was as if a dam broke lose and it wasn’t going to stop until it was done flowing. I had no reason to feel this way. I simply did. On days like these it becomes very apparent to me the true weight and reality that is clinical depression. I turned on music with truth. I cracked open my bible trying to decide where to go when I came across an old note from my sister. She was actually speaking of my depression. Of how often she prayed that God would “remove this thorn or burden” from me but that time and time again He would answer her “my grace is sufficient for her.”
I let the words resonate as I sat it down to call her and just cry to her. Unfortunately I forgot to check the clock. Moms of three are already snoozing by 10:40. After the initial shock and fear in her voice settled from a late night phone call she listened and tiredly yet gracefully said “remember He gives you grace for TODAY, don’t let it be bigger than what it is.”
There are times in these depths where it is unwise to seek out words or things that will only spur on more emotion. Sometimes, distractions are good. Sometimes the remedies are shows you know will make you laugh. But tonight, I knew with the overwhelming wave of tears that I need to let it flow. I needed to face my feelings. I needed to let them come in so that I could then in turn suite up with truths.
I myself can’t differentiate those times for you. As we learn, as we grow and become self aware of what triggers us, what works for us and what doesn’t, functionality becomes possible. After time, functionality can turn into true living. I may not be able to tell you what that looks for you. But I can tell you that we are not only capable of truly living but that we were made to. Dear heart, let grace be grace today. It’s okay to feel. Learn yourself enough to know when you can allow the floodgates to wash over without truth being washed away in the flow. If we don’t learn to slow down and allow ourselves the humanity of acknowledgment (that we are sick, broken and in need) then it will implode.
While we never really learn what Paul’s thorn of the flesh is, often I’ve pondered it being depression. Regardless of what it was, nothing is more humbling than pain. Whatever form it comes in. It requires us to acknowledge need. It requires us to seek help or remedies for what ales us. Physical and emotional pain may present differently, but when they coincide it becomes apparent they both need treatment all the same. There is a grace that is enough for today. That is always sufficient. That allows the Power of Christ to rest upon us. In that we are strong. In that we can rest our heads for the mercies and promises of tomorrow. As if we need a reminder that Christ’s power in us is a big deal, the word prefect is there in the scripture. “My power is made PERFECT in weakness.” Oh dear heart, you are being made and remade for a glory far beyond what’s in front of you. He means good for you.
Let the tears flow, let them fall, and let grace upon grace flow all the more.