I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:1-2, NIV
I have always loved being a pastor’s wife, but the demands and pressures of that fish bowl existence can skew priorities and shatter a life. I know. I broke.
I allowed my schedule to spiral out of control. Human reasoning drove me to believe the lie that if I was doing worthy things, I must be worthy. God mercifully shut the door, turned off the lights and said, “Child, that is enough.”
I was paralyzed. I had fallen into a deep, dark pit. If I managed to crawl out of bed and get dressed by the time our kids got home from school, it was a good day. Meals, housework and shopping were all left undone. Panic attacks were a daily occurrence. I finally stepped out of all roles of leadership and ministry.
I had no idea how to navigate these unfamiliar waters. I needed help.
I went to a Christian counselor who named my pit – clinical depression. A psychiatrist discovered I had a chemical imbalance that required medication.
A pastor’s wife should not struggle with clinical depression – right? But it took two long years for me to climb out of that pit. My anguished soul cried out to God. He heard my cry and turned to me.
God. Turned. To. Me. He slowly redefined who I am as I began to learn some important truths about dealing with depression.
I am learning to wait on God. Waiting is not passive. Waiting is a time of preparation, a time of rest and healing.
I am learning to accept the pit. Some things cannot be learned in the light. The pit of depression has become a hedge of protection for me, a warning light that something is wrong. To wait means to accept the pit, knowing it is for our good.
I am learning to be patient. It took me two years to climb out of that pit, and I am still climbing. Yes, I still battle depression. I have found that anything that makes me cry out to God can be counted as a blessing.
Consider this story. A little boy spotted a caterpillar struggling to get out of its cocoon. Feeling sorry for the helpless creature, the little boy ran home, grabbed a pair of scissors, and ran back to cut the caterpillar free. He watched it spread its wings and try to fly only to discover it couldn’t. It is in the struggle out of the darkness of the cocoon that the butterfly’s wings gain enough strength to fly. Be patient.
The purpose of the pit is to purify and then restore. Surrender the broken pieces of your life to God and you will find hope in the midst of depression.