October 2019

I never understood how people struggled with depression.

How could they be so incapacitated? UNABLE to face the world. UNWILLING to leave the safety of a dark room or the privacy of the shower. UNSTABLE and UNPREDICTABLE and altogether UNIMAGINABLE for sparkling, serene and superhero-mom-me.

UNDERSTANDING now has a name. Postpartum depression.*

It’s like walking around with an ocean of tears in my chest. Just because they aren’t falling doesn’t mean their weight isn’t soaking me in wave upon battering wave. Tearing me apart in their silence. But something more sinister lies beneath the surface of the waves, fearful as they are.

UNDERCURRENTS. Undercurrents of guilt. Regret. Shame. Fear. An iceberg whose mass lies beneath the surface, towering and terrifying, freezing you into something unmovable and heavy that just sinks to the ocean floor.

Sometimes it feels like the miniscule and ordinary tasks of daily life have drained a bathtub the size of the sea and my brain is empty. It’s a drought. A desert. A wasteland leeching life and devoid of hope. The empty numb sensation helps keep the ocean inside, bottled and hidden, so I can get through the day.

Even so, the waterfall of tears is only ever a breath away.

Days with hints of blue, ever so far away, and yet all forms of clouds cover the sky. Huge clouds, thunderstorms and the flashing lightning of unrelenting anger. There’s never just one. Never just one cloud. They come in ever darkening layers, endless grey mocking the orange and purple of another missed sunset.

Unlike earthly clouds, it is now my experience to live under the clouds of depression. To only have moments of sunlight filtering through heavy shades of gray. To droop under the canopy of darkness that obscures the stars.

And there’s never any clouds without a storm.

Whatever physical and psychological forces are causing the storm doesn’t really matter, when you’re in it. You just want to be on dry land and it’s nowhere in sight. But maybe instead of calming the storm, Jesus calls you out onto the water, where the only thing worse than depressionseasickness is depressiondrowning.

I have hope though, and it’s this I cling to.

You see, until now, I never understood the significance of Jesus coming on the clouds.**

I never understood that He died on a hill so he could be with me in the valley.

My suffering doesn’t change God’s character. It changes mine.

Please, God, let it change mine.

Thank you Jesus that you are here. Thank you Jesus that you are coming on the clouds. Clouds full of the water of life that will drench away drought in a river that sweeps away the sea into the churning, healing waters of life.***

*If you think this is yourself or a loved one, please talk to friends, family and your doctor. Find support and find what help works for you. The best thing I did was tell someone who loved me what I was struggling with.

**Mark 13:26 (NKJV)Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

*** Revelation 21:1-4 (ESV) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”