This post was written ages ago, before Covid began, but re-reading it today I felt it had a place in the near end of 2020. I hope some of you find it a hug and comfort, a moment of "Oh good! I'm not the only one." Know, you are not alone. You are loved.
Why is it not Friday?
Truthfully, I wanted it to actually be Saturday morning so I didn't have to drag myself out of bed. I did not want to mom today. Didn't want to make lunches, run the kids to school. I knew that before the first bell my son would have a meltdown in some way or shape. I just wanted to sleep. I hadn't slept too badly. But I felt heavy. Moody. And the idea of having to face the day just felt like too much!
This was the state of my brain when my husband brought me a cup of coffee this morning. Through the fog of frustration and smell of caffeine I heard a small, calm voice (no it wasn't my hubby), "You have a choice" it said. I knew exactly what the voice meant and Who it was. I had the choice to begin my day by embracing this negative fog, or choose to make a plan and begin with a thankful heart.
Most mornings this is how I wake up. No matter my state of mind going to sleep, I generally wake up on the "wrong side" of the bed. And it has been this way for so long, I can't remember when the switch flipped. I used to be a really bubbly morning person. Now, I'm a person that drags and dreads the day ahead. The spark of joy in a new day has long since left me. Why?
Well, I can tell you the last 8 years story in my life, but that would take to long. So how about I sum it up in, it's been hard. And anything but emotionally stable, let alone controlled. Everything from a child with cancer to big financial mistakes. Big things. But in the middle of these big things, I lost sight of the hope in tomorrow. And was starring straight down at my toes. One foot in front of the other, gritting my teeth through each day. (Please don't think all 8 years have been bad. They haven't. We have had times of joy and some short seasons of good. But overall it has been very heavy.)
So back to this morning. I made a choice. It wasn't perfectly executed. I wasn't a very cheerful person coming out of my room, but I had made a plan to take this day and to do something with it. After getting my kids to school, I'd walk. So I pulled on some leggings and a t-shirt.
Now, these choices may seem a bit "duh" and mundanely obvious to some, and you may be wondering why in the heck it's such a big deal? Well the big deal is what mindset I used to live each day with, the one that you haven't seen; I used to only do life with the view of what people would think of me if I didn't. I then turned that expectation I put on that mindset into a resentment towards the world around me. And the worst part was I didn't make the choice of thinking this way all at once. It took years of work. The negative kind. Today I make these choices because I make them for me. I get out of bed because I choose today. I choose to take today as a gift. And I choose today over my close "friend" from the past, depression.
After packing lunches and having something to eat, I finished pulling myself together. I got the kids to school with only one minor meltdown, and then I walked. And do you know what? I felt better. I felt all the angst from the morning melt away. I listened to a podcast. Drank a hot cup of coffee and walked for an entire hour alone.
I read recently: When we feel down in the dumps, do the opposite of what you actually feel like doing. This then helps to get you out of your "funk". That may be easier said than done, but no one is forcing me to sleep longer, or watch t.v. all day. At a times during my depression, I'd say in the darkest parts, I honestly felt like this wouldn't have helped. I would have shrugged and truly believed I had no choice but to sleep or do nothing. Believing myself to be both mentally and physically incapable. (I need to say here, that depression is a very broad spectrum thing. It is so vastly different for each person. For any person to think they have the right to judge others living through their own story's depression and compare it to another's, well that person would be very wrong. You truly cannot compare.) But thankfully, at this point in my walk through my depression, I found this piece of knowledge to be helpful. No it didn't happen over night. Nothing worth something comes easily. I have put in a lot of time and energy to find healing and clarity. And I stumble a little everyday in different ways.
Above all else, God has been, once again, my saving grace. I can't deny that without Him, I'd still be believing the lies wholeheartedly that my depression was deserved. That I was pathetic and worthless. Doomed to a life of everyday being a heavy burden of crap. But instead, He has sent me rescue line after rescue line for years through books, sermons, and podcasts, telling me the truth of His unending and unfailing grace, mercy and love for me. And slowly, I've softened and began to take the line. And over time the Light I have longed for, I began to draw closer to it. But the thing is, the Light, it hadn't moved. I have been the one moving. For years I had moved further from my faith in order to show others an appearance of my "capability". I was proud and unwilling to appear weak. I could not even understand what true humility and humbling looked like. But again, slowly, gently, God continue to pursue me through His perfect timing.
Today, I am at a point, where I have done a lot of changing. And to some the changes I made may seem odd, or un-natural. I have come to better understand what rest looks like in a world that tells me I should be so busy my head spins. But I changed my mind about what I wanted to see in my life. I have chosen time well spent rather than rushing to the goal. I have chosen less stuff and more space. I have chosen to let go and work through. I have chosen to be humble before the Lord, and to say that I truly cannot do this life on my own.
In hindsight, I needed to come through the muck and mire of these past 8 years. Through it, this Light at the "end of the tunnel", has only truly shown me a new and better beginning.