After last week’s post about finding treasure in the dark places, Philip Matheny asked me to share any of the treasures I am finding. Philip also asked if I had “a sense that this depression is for a communal purpose.” The answer to that is “yes.” Several times I have been sure that this experience was not only for me, but for my church family and my wider circle of friends. So some of the Treasures listed below are personal and some are communal.
This depression has
- Given me compassion for other people suffering from depression.
- Given me compassion for lonely people.
- Spurred me to initiate more with my friends.
- Helped me not be so task-focused but to be more relationship-oriented.
- Made me value my kind, nurturing husband.
- Drove me to spend more time with Kal, walking, exercising, talking.
- Made me appreciate Kal’s sweet nature and enjoy her more (direct answer to prayer)
- Pushed me to talk with Wayne more about deeper things, not just family logistics.
- Made me value my own parents more and spend more time with them.
- Made me value my friends so much more.
- Caused me to depend on God more.
- Made me crave time in God’s Word more.
- Pushed me to do the hard thing, whatever that might be, instead of avoiding it.
- Showed me the need for encouraging books, videos, etc. that I had dismissed before.
- Helped me focus on the “from now on” instead of the “should have.”
- Taught me humility.
- Caused me to recognize my perfectionism and how it is me trying to be like God.
- Made me more insistent in prayer.
- Made me be more honest with God, pouring out my misery, my desperation, my anger, my disappointment.
- Showed me everyone goes through the desert (the dry time) or the valley of death (the terrible time) or both.
- Reminded me that if we’re not pruned, we bear no fruit.
- Drawn me closer to my church family and caused me to love going to church more (a direct answer to a specific prayer).
- Spurred me to try to live in the silence and the waiting in contentment.
- Propelled me to ask our church for prayers.
- This transparency was good for me and apparently helped others.
- It made it ok for some others to say the same.
- I learned how many of our church family struggle with depression.
- I saw my church family rally around me with support and prayers.
- I saw how our shepherds and staff minister to those who ask for help.
- I also saw our shepherds battling spiritually in prayer for me.
- I saw the ministry of encouragement and support that many of our church family members dedicate themselves to.
I do not like this depression. I want out of it. It is not actually beautiful to me in an emotional sense. But I can see how it is beautiful in the kingdom of God.