The reason for my excitement? I spent a lot of time throughout my life trapped in the past. I lived each day yes. Did what I had to do, went where I had to go. But behind it all was the dark cloud of my past, always with me, always brooding. It reminds me of the cartoon character Pigpen in the Charlie Brown strips. While Pigpen walks through life with this cloud of dust from his favorite blankie, I walked through life with a dark cloud hanging just above my head, filled with the dramas of my past. That cloud tainted everything.
When I wanted to attempt something new, the cloud grew darker and it would begin to rain on my hopes. “If you try that, it’s only going to end up like…,” it whispered to me. And that would pretty much be it; the attempt at something new faded under the doom and gloom of the past. Every once in awhile I made it past the dreaded censor and actually accomplished something new or creative. Those would be days filled with hope, a hope I couldn’t quite get my fingers wrapped securely around in order to repeat the process. And the next thing I knew, the cloud returned. Living under the dark cloud of depression is debilitating.
About eight years ago, something new happened. I’d gone to my doctor yet again to ask to be put on antidepressants. I knew the signs well and when I felt I could no longer cope on my own, I asked to go back on the pills. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for science. Without the help of science, I’m not sure where I’d be to this day. But this particular day was different.
This was a newer doctor to me. My old physician (in the town I’d recently moved from) and I had come to a great plan of attack in the past; when I felt better on antidepressants, he encouraged me to go off of them. I really don’t know if this fit with medical community prudence, but he knew my attitudes about being on chemicals long term. It was a long discussion, but we came to a decision we both could live with. I so appreciated this man.
So after discussion my new doctor agreed with me that I should go back onto antidepressants. I’d gone to him with expectations. I asked how long he thought I should be on them. “For the rest of your life,” he replied. I wasn’t prepared for that answer. He explained the medical reasoning behind his words. I nodded my head, took the new prescription in hand, and left.
I had, just a few months prior to this, set out on a spiritual path new and foreign to me. As a Christian of almost 30 years, this recent move had plopped us (my husband and I) down into a new church where we were confronted by God. He challenged everything we thought, said, and did. And, as difficult as it was at the time, it was oh so good. God had gone before us in this move and provided the circumstances for us to grow – wildly grow in our faith!
So at this new experience, the Holy Spirit jumped in front of me when my doctor suggested I needed antidepressants for the rest of my life. “No,” He gently suggested, “I will heal you and you’ll never have to depend on antidepressants again!” I didn’t hear those words, I didn’t even realize anything had changed. I just knew at the time that something in me bristled when the doctor spoke. I filled the prescription one last time, took them until I felt restored to a more even way of dealing with life, and then weaned off of them, just as I had a few times in the past.
It wasn’t until months later that I realized something had truly changed. I noticed I wasn’t feeling down anymore and I was handling the difficulties of life. Even more months down the road, I came upon the truth one day — I was healed of depression! I hadn’t asked to be healed, I just knew with that bristling that something in me changed. Finally, while thinking about all this, it dawned on me. I experienced a miracle at God’s hand. I spoke it out one day in the retelling of the story. A miracle!
That was eight years ago. The dark cloud is gone. Do I have down periods? Of course. Life is well, life. It has ups and downs. But I no longer succumb to the enemy’s plan to kill and destroy the hopes God implanted in me. Please understand me in that I am in no way suggesting this is the way for anyone suffering with depression. This was simply my journey.
Today, I’m aware of excitement inside. I have hopes and dreams. I’ve charted a new course for my life. More importantly, I sense momentum building. A boulder is so hard to budge when it just sits there. But take a figurative lever or catalyst to start moving that boulder and the game changes. While difficult to get it moving from its “dug in” spot, it can be moved. And once that process begins, don’t stand in the way for you just might get rolled over.
“Holy Spirit, thank you for standing up to my past and depression. Thank you for caring enough for me that you went before me during a huge transition in my life and helped me get to a ‘petri dish’ setting so I might grow in you. This has been the BEST! Help me now Lord to continue to grow and expand and thrive in your ever-presence. There is no longer a dark cloud, only vast, crystal blue skies on the horizon. Hallelujah! My soul is soaring with you today!”
Note: Depression is a serious condition and should not be ignored. If you suffer from it, please see a doctor where help is available. However, please don’t forget there exists the Great Physician. His supernatural healing is available to all!
“Because He said, ‘…He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses,’ Matthew 8:17 (NKJV), we may boldly say, ‘I am free from weakness and disease because they were all carried by Jesus Christ for me.’
“Because He has said, ‘God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,’ 2 Timothy 1:7, we may boldly say, ‘I am free from all fear, for my God has given me power, love and a sound mind.”
Amen and amen! Excerpts from “The Good Life” by T.L. Osborn.