I turn my back from the sun, and slap the snooze…again. Thoughts form, “just get up and move.” Limbs proceed to upright position; feet dangle a few inches from the floor. “So close, but yet…forget it.” My head drops back against the pillow, down feathers envelope and cradle me. I am incapable to motivate myself for another day. Instead my blanket of dull and dreary, I find safe and most content.
I desire it different. I wish I would always greet each morning with joy and expectancy. But I’m human with deficiencies and wounds and “thorns in my flesh.” Depression is one of them. It has been a companion for decades and though I have taken measures with the medical field, it still surfaces, at times debilitates me. I have not given in, but I’ve accepted its role in my life. It is part of me.
My inquiry of the day: “Can one whose heart is in the midst of darkness and discouragement be an effective tool for God?” Can I possibly rescue and aid others when my head barely breaches the water I am drowning in?
Once I considered God the Author and Creator of all that I face I found the answer to be yes. He doesn’t fill me with depression, but he allows it in my life. I find that the more I embrace it as a part of me, the more I am empowered to minister and touch others in spite of it.
We are created as emotional beings and if we want to experience fullest joy, we have to know deepest sorrow. To appreciate freedom, we have to recognize what bondage feels like.
If we want to feel the depths of life, we need to have something take our breath away, both good and bad.
In order to exist richly the way God designed us, we have to recognize the opposite spectrum of each emotion or we remain nothing more than a one dimensional being.
Look at the Color Wheel of art and décor and its definition of complementary colors.
By definition: Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel are considered to be complementary colors (example: red and green). The high contrast of complementary colors creates a vibrant look especially when used at full saturation. Complementary colors are tricky to use in large doses, but work well when you want something to stand out.
Experiment! Let me reshape the definition in relation to emotions…
Emotions that are opposite each other on the emotion wheel are complementary. The high contrast of complementary emotions creates a vibrant experience especially when felt to the fullest depth. Complementary emotions are tricky to use in large doses, but work well when you want something to stand out.
Do you want vibrant and true joy that stands out? Then don’t avoid encounters with sorrow. Want love? Disarm hate. Want hope? Experience what fear is. “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” A quote from an all-time favorite movie, Steel Magnolias. It’s my favorite emotion as well.
When I am in the deepest valley of grief, I can discover the maximum height of joy. Where do the greatest joy, deepest love and most vibrant comfort come from? Only from the one who conceived them. Depression has made me keenly aware of the multi facets of God’s character and drawn me into more intimate relationship with him.
I’ve concluded that I must have received every dose of emotion in my 5 ft. frame that was intended to be dispersed equally amongst all my siblings. I exist to feel deeply, both the good and the bad. I have had my share of hardships. Suffered through sexual abuse, infertility, verbal abuse, great loss and encountered many moments of anguish. There has been great need for God’s comfort. He longs to comfort me, if only because it gives Him opportunity to wrap His arms around me and pour His soothing gentle spirit into me.
Without suffering, I would have no need for His comfort.
2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
God of all comfort; so that we can comfort others.
First, His comfort is all-embracing, completely comprehensive and perfect. He knows how to comfort me, reach my inner most being, penetrate through the deepest sorrow and pour on his quenching relief. A component of God that we miss out on when we ignore, avoid or self-medicate the negative or live in it without searching for the complimentary emotion that God so masterfully created. Yes, heaven will be perfect with no more sorrow or pain. But until then, I want to know every attribute of my God, no matter what it takes to discover it.
Second, if my depression allows me to look for the opposite emotion and it is found in God and I turn around and share it with those who are hurting, then I have the ability, in my greatest weakness to connect with others in a way that displays His greatest strength.
Depression doesn’t define me but it is my companion and it keeps me close to the God of ALL comfort. I am then able to turn around with the consoling ability to comfort others in need.
Yes, I am effective in the midst of sorrow because God’s spirit is filling me with the same comfort He calls me to extend to others on His behalf.