So I just spent the last 5 minutes laughing hysterically at this post about epic failures at DIY. Seriously funny stuff. I still have damp eyes. Man, does it feel good to laugh.
Yesterday the world heard about one of the funniest comedians ever committing suicide. Iran is committing absolute atrocities against Christians. There are people fighting for their lives against Ebola virus in West Africa. Women and children are being sex trafficked all over the world, even here in the US, right under our noses. There are still people who do not have enough to eat. Who are sleeping under the bridge tonight. Right here in town. Its enough to get anybody down. Add in real life and you have a recipe for a serious case of the blues. Or worse.
I am one of those unfortunate people who go to dark places when winter sets in and the sun is a rarity and cold rules the grey world. I wasn’t always this way and like anyone who knows a lot about real depression or anxiety will tell you, its not something you can talk yourself out of. The only thing I have found to make sense of the crazy fallen world we live in and the horrible things that happen everyday that , thanks to social media, are in our face 24/7, is Christ. He is the only person who can speak to my broken heart and lead me to a place of hope. “In Christ alone, my hope is found” are the beginning lyrics to one of my new favorite songs by Keith and Kristyn Getty* and those words couldn’t be truer.
I can totally “get” Robin Williams. Its easy to be funny on the outside when you are hurting on the inside. Its the best mask ever. I’ve seen it over and over in other people. And I’ve seen it in myself. It is still sad and disheartening when the darkness takes over and someone takes their own life. This one precious God-breathed life that we are given. It makes me and many others ask “Why?” The only, painful, answer is sin. We live in a fallen broken world as a result of sin. We are each guilty. We mess stuff up. A lot. We ignore the call of our creator and God and deny He even exists. It’s not that anyone of us is more messed up than anyone else that causes us to go to the depths of darkness, its simply that we are all sinners in need of redemption.
I am a testament to the fact that coming to faith will not instantly, or ever, cure you of depression or anxiety or any other malady. What is healed is the heart. We will still fall down but we have hope in our getting up. We can see light throughout the darkness, even when it is only the tiniest flicker. I know. I’ve been there. A lot of people have been there but not everyone is willing to admit it.
In what I do for a living, I see depressed people every day. Some have been beaten down by life, others an illness, and some by other people. Many don’t even recognize it and some are ashamed of it. I have had to convince more than a handful of people into at least trying medication for depression and most are grateful they did. What frustrates me the most is that sometimes that is all I can do. Give them a prescription and send them off with a prayer and a follow up appointment. What I’d like to do is to have the time to sit with them and tell them about the ONE who gives hope and is always there through the storm. THAT is the best medicine.
How does this relate to simplicity and minimalism? Well, I’m not really sure. I just know that my journey has helped me make room in my life to be able to do more than just dwell on the things I don’t like in my life. I am making room for things that matter, creating space and taking time to clear away the clutter in many areas of my life, including my brain. When everything is in order and there is empty space, it is as if fresh clean oxygen has been breathed into me and I can feel the anxiety melting away. Each step of the journey makes more room for my heart to breathe. I like it.
THIS is a great post by Ann Voskamp*, one of my favorite writers. Her words* helped to turn my heart and mind this past year to the One who gives all hope. She helped me to see that its ok to not be “happy happy happy” all the time, even if you are a Christian. There is a beauty in sadness, especially sadness over our broken world. When we realize that every “thing” in this life is meaningless, it brings great comfort to also realize that there is only one thing that does have meaning, and that is Christ. It sure makes getting rid of all that dusty old crap in the basement a lot easier too.
Have a blessed day.