I’ve been half asleep for 4 months… wandering around in a state of groggy haze much like what my mornings look like before coffee. That place where you’re not quite certain if it’s Saturday or Monday but either way you’re “UP” and should get moving. Yet full alertness isn’t forthcoming and you’re getting impatient with your sleepy self; wondering why you can’t slap your face enough to join the land of the living.
This is no way to live. The world coming at you way too fast for you to actually catch anything; it’s disconcerting and disheartening when you start to recognize the fog for what it is. Depression.
I’ve been depressed and wandering. Some days I could not do more than get up, go to work and come home. No strategic thinking, no dreaming and envisioning the future-just get through the everyday meetings and responsibilities.
THIS IS NO WAY FOR A PERSON TO REALLY LIVE….let alone a leader. How do you lead when you’re half asleep?
My counselor said I’m not clinically depressed just “normally” depressed. Whew…that’s a relief….but not really because knowing the depression is real doesn’t make it go away and does not make running 4 miles any easier. Depression doesn’t make new friends, strategize discipleship programs or read books on how to grow your leadership skill set. Depression goes to sleep. Depression paralyzes the life you know you’re supposed to be living and gives you groggy, sleepy no coffee life. Depression stops you from living into what Jesus has called you to.
Lately, upon waking in the early hours before the sun is up and the coffee is made a phrase has been cascading around me. Calling me from the haze back to life. “Awake my soul….” I hear the whisper of the Spirit in this invitation to life. “Awake my soul…” I here the branches of my life starting to stretch and creak from lack of use. “Awake my soul…” I hear the heartbeat of the Father pumping life into what has been near death. “Awake my soul…” The paralyzed limbs start to feel again, start to be reanimated. My soul has felt asleep, dancing on the edge of giving in to the dark blanket of winter sleep at a time when JOY and LIFE should be central.
So here I sit…four months into being married, living in a new city and in the middle of transition into the Lead Pastor role at my new church…and I’m waking up. God is drawing my heart, mind and body back into this abundant and exciting life that he has called me to. And I am thankful. Thankful for a patient husband who really does have more grace and support for me than I could ever have for myself, thankful for a counselor who is trained and committed to his profession and willing to work with me, thankful for friends, who may be far off in miles but who are never far off in heart, thankful for the Word and it’s ability to call to life that which feels dead and thankful for the still small whisper of the God who knows me, is familiar with my suffering and still wants to utilize my gifts and talents to pastor, lead and equip his people.
Today…I’m grabbing some coffee…and I’m waking up. Where do you need to start today? Have you come face to face with depression and you feel completely alone? I want to encourage you seek someone to talk to; a trusted friend, a counselor, a mentor or a ministry peer. Recognize that God is present even in the fog and he can use medical professionals, therapists and friends to bring us back from that half life we’ve been stuck in. Do not give up today friend, I am praying for you and cheering you on! Embrace the call to AWAKE!