The Presumptuous Ladybug

A blog about Faith, Family, Life....and Anything else

Tag: depression

Hope for the Disconnected Heart

I haven’t written anything in several weeks.  Somethings are hard to explain.  Somethings are hard to process.  Life isn’t an easy cake walk where you stroll along to the beat and, once in a blue moon, collect a prize just for trying.  Some roads you walk alone and it seems like there isn’t a soul on this planet who can understand exactly what’s going on inside.  It’s a messy journey and at the end of the day we can find ourselves tired, broken down and terribly disconnected from the world around us.

As a Deputy’s wife, a special needs Mother, a Christian, and a contemplative soul; I have found myself disconnected from the people in my life on a variety of levels on more than one occasion.  The result is my own internal spiral into silence; an awkward quiet where I desperately want to speak and connect and show you my heart but where instead only silence, or worse, inadequate words bounce around in the distance between us.  My quiet attempt to save you the awkwardness, and me the verification that we are walking different paths, can leave me stranded at sea while the cruise ship goes celebratorily sailing by.  The voyagers wave at me and I smile and wave back as they pass, and though I want to call out, and though I want to say, “Throw me a rope”…I can’t.  I even mutter that “I’m ok, just out for a swim.”  There are no words for deep sorrow and turmoil.  There is a hope that “this too will pass,” but also there is no explaining it; there is only silence.  There is only watching, and waiting, and feeling and silently screaming in the dark and wishing someone could hear it.

I want to be connected.  I want to be, not just seen, but understood.  I want to know that someone out there is bobbing in the waves, just as I am.  There is comfort in thinking you aren’t alone in the deep dark…but sometimes…you are.

And it can be easy to miss in someone like me.  I’m social, outgoing, and laugh easily.  I can find joy and humor even as my heart breaks.  It isn’t a mask; it is genuine joy in sorrow.  Optimism is easier to show the world, but it isn’t always the whole story and getting the other half of the story out is a much more difficult endeavor.  It isn’t me hiding; it’s me unable to communicate what’s turning inside.

So where does a heart deeply stranded and isolated find an anchor?

Where does a soul like mine grab hold when the waves are crashing and life makes no sense at all?

Where do we turn when there are no words for the brokenness?

Who can we trust?

I need to know, and maybe you need to know…

Because the looming question is…

If I let the waves take over, will I wash up on shore or drowned in the sea?

I can’t explain all of the sources of my grief here, but they do find me in multiple areas.  Some circle around, some are fleeting, and some simply take time to heal.

The really important thing is:  I do have an anchor.

I’m tied to something that keeps me from getting washed too far out into the ocean.

I’m tied to a source of strength that always pulls me back in; little by little, hand over hand until I’m safely on shore again.  Wet, soggy, exhausted and a bit beaten up…but standing on the shore, eyes on the clouds, as the sun breaks through.

I don’t have a “prayer language.” I don’t speak in tongues when there are things I can’t voice.  But that doesn’t mean I’m left without a life line to Christ or that we aren’t in communion.

For me, the greatest source of peace is right there in the torment of silence…just me and God; together in a quiet space of seclusion that no other soul in this universe can enter.

We don’t have to speak, we don’t have to communicate.  I have no words anyway.

But there is hope….there is assurance…there is the satisfaction and understanding that no matter how hard, no matter how deep the struggle within me…I am not alone.

He is there, always.

I can’t rely on people; they don’t always get it.  They don’t always understand.  They can be flaky and dismissive and hurtful.  They can leave me feeling lonelier and more disconnected than before.  And no matter how hard they try, I know…I always know…that soon they will be gone, chasing other dreams, other relationships, other friendships, other purposes, and other people.

And, I will be standing on the edge of the sea, peering into the swirling madness with God alone by my side.

No words are spoken because there is a knowing; an understanding between us…a conversation of souls in the silence.

The people, they don’t know.  We are disconnected, and maybe we can never be connected in the way I desire.   Even so, I am not alone.

You are not alone.

And there is peace there.  Peace in the knowing, in the silence, in the presence of God.  And there is comfort and tears and release and healing.

Right there in the mists of the sea, in the silence, in the storm.

Isolation, loneliness, disconnection, depression…

They can get a hold of any one of us.  But there is hope.  There is always hope.  No matter how bleak or desperate or hopeless you may feel.  There is hope.  There can be healing.  There can be rest.  There can be redemption, resolution, and recovery.

Stop fighting the terrifying waves and surrender to God.  Let Him pull you into shore; hand over hand, one day…one moment…at a time.  Stop looking to people to fill the void or bring healing; let God be your sanctuary, your peace, your anchor and your connection to life.

The hope for the disconnected heart is that we can be deeply connected to the One who created us; the faithful One who will never leave us, or disappoint us, or misunderstand us.

The One who knows…

even in the silence.

“The LORD is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:18

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8

 

Author: Jacqi Kambish

Note to readers:  Please know that I am not advocating that you reject treatment for depression when needed.  Counseling, medication, and proper care can be essential elements for health and wellness. 

Christmas Hope for Seasonal Blues

Author: Jacqi Kambish

Know what I hate about winter?  Everything. I live in the Colorado mountains and I get the full winter experience.   I hate the frigid bone chilling mornings, I hate the windy face numbing afternoons, and I hate the arctic nights.  I hate that stepping outside means navigating around dangers like impalement by icicles, hidden patched of slick ice, frostbite and other drivers on the icy road.  The cold seeps in and a gloom begins to stir within me and a bit of despair rises up.  By the time May rolls around, I’m struggling to find a glimmer of goodness to hang onto.

It is there though…the goodness and the light and the warmth.  It’s hard for me to see it when the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder or other mental illness are threatening at my door, but it is there and at the very root of the goodness and light, is my faith.

I can see that there is beauty in the bitterly cold snow.  The way it gleams off the trees and shines back at me with the reflection of the sun.  It is breath taking.  And it isn’t so different from the way the light of God’s Son reflects back at me from other believers.  Their smiles, words of encouragement and prayers…they lift me up.  They remind me of the hope I have in the true Light of Life, Christ Jesus.

And hope is everything.  That’s why I love the Christmas season so much.  There in the midst of the shortest, darkest days of winter are the bright lights, festivities, and merriment of hope and light.

John 1:4-5 says that “In [Christ] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

The light shines in the darkness….

I realize that the Christmas season is hard for a lot of people.  I regularly offer prayers for those tormented by memories and emptiness and loneliness. But for me, as I struggle through the short days and cold temperatures and fight against the gloom, Christmas is a bright reminder that the light still shines in the darkness.  No matter how horrible and dark and evil this world becomes.  And, I need that reminder.

There are times when the grip of depression cuts too deep and the hole feels too dark.  It’s in those times that I have needed help on a physical and spiritual level.  I know I’m not alone.   I want to assure you that it’s ok to see a doctor and it’s ok to ask friends and family for prayer and help if you’re there.  When I am in the depths of despair, I know that I can’t hold myself up and I need Christ to bring healing to my soul, faithful friendships to lean on, and sometimes medication to stop the downward spiral.  My war with depression isn’t new and I have seen some very dark days.   I believe that addressing depression takes a whole mind, body, and spirit approach.  Believe me, I know the struggles are real and no amount of fluff can wipe them away.  I need my mind and body to be well, but I need my soul to be well also.

I know what my body needs.  It needs the triad of good nutrition, good exercise, and sometimes medication to stay balanced.  My mind needs truth and goodness and scripture to think on and sometimes counseling. As far as my soul goes, looking to the joy and hope of Christ and clinging to that truth offers freedom; and a reminder that God is good and is present and that he cares.

I believe in Christ Jesus.  I believe that he came to earth as God incarnate, lived through every experience of man, and that he is deeply moved by the hardships we face.  When life is crushing, I believe in a good God who works as our Defender and offers peace to the weary soul even when I can’t feel him at work.

The God of all creation, the GREAT I AM, has made Himself fully known to us!  And, at the very end of it all… good ultimately overcomes all that is wrong and evil and the chains that bind can be broken.

It is easy, in the misery of life, to believe the lyrics from ‘I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day’:

“And in despair, I bowed my head ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said, ‘For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men,”

The good news is that in the dawn of faith, the Spirit of God filters through our muck and…

“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep, ‘God is not dead, nor does he sleep, the wrong shall fall, the right prevail with peace on earth, good will to men.”

In the end, hope does prevail and peace and goodwill come near.  We can still rise from ashes and sing.  A bud still breaks through the snow and a gleam of light still touches the earth.  Good still overcomes.

In this Christmas season, may we put aside the crowds and shopping sprees and controversial debates long enough to recognize and proclaim the goodness of Christ.  Let our hearts and lives shine as brightly in the darkness as the bulbs on our homes and trees do.  Even in a dark, cold, dreary winter season, may we find hope and joy and peace in the Light of Life.  When the depression of our mind threatens to steal our joy, let us fix our eyes on what is good and be filled with awe.  Then, let us seek the intervention we need to get back on track.  There is good to come.  Let us remember that, for Christians, this season is about worshiping a perfect and loving God who had mercy on us and who gently pursues us because he loves us deeply.  In the difficulties, let us cling to hope.  Let the lights in our homes be a reminder of the Light that has come into the world.  Let our attitude and actions be a reflection of all that is good and noble.  If not for yourself, then perhaps for souls like mine that need to be reminded sometimes – the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not (and cannot) overcome it.