Depression, I’ve learned is not something I can run from.
Whether I like it or not, I will live with it for the rest of my life. There will be times when it seems to lie dormant and other times when it seems to consume the very life inside me. I certainly did not choose depression; did not choose moments that seem so bleak. But, it is at these, my darkest moments that I am given a choice. This choice carries great weight and has great impact on all that follows. In these moments, I can choose the path I will take.
My choice will always stem from what I know to be true about this illness: I alone cannot defeat depression.
As a result of my inadequacy, and the knowledge that I am hopeless to defeat depression, I default to Choice One. I realize that its nasty claws are in and I am powerless to take them out. Give up. Call it quits. Shut down. Skip the event. Lock the door. Ignore the call. Snooze the alarm. Close my eyes. Pull the covers higher.
As I dive further and further into this choice, it leads me down a path deeper and darker than I ever imagined I’d be on. I found myself on this path nearly one year ago, unable to recognize any of my surroundings. Even if I wanted to turn back, I wasn’t sure I could.
But over the past couple of months I’ve become aware of an alternate choice. Like missing keys hiding in plain sight Choice Two was revealed to me. Like a light being turned on in a dark, dark room I finally began to see.
My weakness isn’t a call to surrender to depression, but rather a call to surrender to God. To remember that aside from Him, I have nothing and that He alone is my strength. Instead of championing my depression, I champion Christ as the victor that He is.
The same facts still apply. I still have depression. It still punches me in the gut sometimes and knocks me to my knees. But, on my knees I begin to acknowledge that Christ is all-powerful. My weakness is illuminated, but not in a way that defeats me. It is illuminating in a way that pushes me to complete dependency on the Lord.
The following verse comes to mind: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
I see that in my weakness, God is strong. In my inadequacy, He is adequate. In my defenseless, He is the Great Defender.
I sink comfortably into Choice Two. The choice to acknowledge that Christ has the final word. That He has already overcome. I glory in his defeat of darkness and stand firmly in the light with Him.