It is 4 days now since my husband got out of the hospital, and we are experiencing God's hand of grace. The struggle has not ceased, but my husband has had the strength to return to work and has worked the past 2 days. We had a wonderful weekend together as a family, spending time at places we love like The Memorial Union Terrace off Lake Mendota and taking a day trip to Devil's Lake State Park. We have had some good times of prayer, and the Lord has blessed us with many friends and family coming alongside us for prayer, support, encouragement and fellowship.
Now this is strictly my opinion, but from my experience, depression with intense anxiety is a medical issue that can be hard to put into words and explain to others. If I hadn't gone through it myself in a severe post partum time, I really could not empathize very well with my husband. It's the kind of "being sick" that is difficult for others to understand if they haven't experienced deep depression themselves. When my husband had this kind of depression in the past before I had been through my own, it was actually really hard for me to understand how his thoughts were debilitating to him. I pictured him being able to have more power over his thoughts, and more ability to "get better". It is just not so. I now know first hand that these thoughts can have a life of their own, and you really feel like a different person since you're so far from your "normal" self and feel like you may never again get back to "normal". There can be so much pain in that, especially when you're a person of faith and feel you should be able to "trust" your way out of it. It so different from having a broken arm or something visible like that where people can imagine the physical pain and have such an easy time relating to you. That in itself brings a lot of anxiety.
We have found our greatest weapons in this are prayer and praise. It helps us to step outside of our situation and focus on the Lord by laying our requests before him in a spirit of worship. We have had several sweet times of fellowship together getting out a song book and singing praise songs. It is such an intense reminder that truly we are spiritual beings moving through this human world, and the Lord is holding our hands as we are poised to enter eternity with Him. I love this verse taken from the chapter in 2Corinthians 4 "Treasures in Jars of Clay":
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
So there is victory through suffering, and we wait on the Lord in this. In the meantime, I have this post from Ann Voskamp's blog A Holy Experience to share. It caught me off guard, the video she shares at the bottom had the caption "This is grace." It tore me up. I was left sobbing with an overwhelming sense of His true grace in all our trials, especially the one my family is in right now. The words the man speaks at the end of the video affirmed everything about my Savior. I think that's what tore me up; to have this shared truth and seeing someone else living it out in the midst of such intense struggle. But they count it all grace. Thank you Lord, that you are Grace poured out.
Here is the video:
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