I am sick of them. They circle endlessly – anxious questions with no answers. Our grandson is very ill and his parents’ plans to return to their overseas assignment have to be postponed. Ministry sucks my husband dry. Our marriage is tedious with precious few moments of true intimacy. We laugh with no one any more, and certainly not with each other. I don’t want to go out with anyone – people are so much work and leave me even more exhausted. I forget things, let people down, and then beat myself up for it. I fantasize about having a serious disease that would let me opt out of life completely, at least for a time.
I sit in the mornings, my Bible on my lap, asking my Creator questions that he seems not to bother answering. Have I let my relationships slip? Should I do more? Would I be more content if I started to volunteer at the Women’s Center again? Should I try something completely new? Should I get counselling?
I try all of them. I get busier. My calendar starts to fill up. I go back to the gym regularly and work out, thinking my depression might be from lack of exercise. I go to the doctor and he reluctantly gives me a prescription for anti-anxiety medication. I take them and immediately feel better, until I read that they shouldn’t work for at least a week. In a week, the side effects kick in and I quit taking them. I make an appointment with a counsellor. I ask an elder and his wife to pray for me, admitting I have a deep need. They are generous with their prayers.
Our grandson is also prayed over by other elders.
Then slowly quietly, scripture portions begin to come to mind:
“In quietness and trust is your strength.”
“My peace I give to you, not as the world gives…”
“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid…”
“Be anxious for nothing…let your requests be known to God…the peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart…”
Then the clincher, a new verse which I happen on twice in one day from two different sources: “He will quiet you with His love.”
The grandson shows amazing signs of having been healed. It is miraculous, and the cloud begins to lift.
Over a number of days the words in my mind begin to change. They are new messages – welcome, peaceful ones. I am loved and maybe, just maybe, that is sufficient. I have a meaningful, vulnerable conversation with my daughter-in-law. It refreshes me. At the gym, I find myself unexpectedly explaining Jesus to a girl from another culture. The conversation gives me joy. My husband takes me to dinner and a “feel good” movie.
We have a satisfying discussion over dinner and truly enjoy the movie after.
I’m back - or at least on the road. Yes, there need to be changes and I will discuss those with the counsellor, at least for a session or two. Maybe my husband needs to get in on one of those discussions and actually hear how I feel about our work.
But God is no longer silent and I see contentment on the horizon. I am full of praise.