Christian Living

Faith Between Darkness

I am here in that spot again, the one I was standing in as a fragile soul so many times before, and thought I came out a bit stronger each time.

I thought that the Lord lifted me, taught me something along the way, and then sent me forward with a renewed sense of purpose. He showed me that fist-shaking wasn’t the answer, but I needed to go to Him and confess my brokenness and self-defeat. I had to let go of the begging and grab hold of the Savior.

Wading through these trials so many times seems purposeless. I once had a Christian mentor whom the church ladies spoke highly of, the church men highly respected, and the church children highly loved. I was matched with her when I felt lost during a time when I was far from family and my husband was across the ocean. She raved about the Lord and how another church member who suffered from depression decided that the only one keeping her trapped in self-doubt was herself. It was time to pick oneself up by the bootstraps and get moving.

My mentor did all of the talking. She barely asked questions, but I believe she saw the perplexed look on my face week after week. She told me that depression was oppression and that we are the ones who allow it. I was the one allowing the devil to bring me down. I had to get rid of the “stinkin’ thinkin’.”

Excuse me, Auntie Church Lady, but the darkness in my head, my pained heart, the anger in my shoulders, the sleeplessness, no motivation despite the need for my children, the doubt, the guilt, and the fact that I wanted to give up were all, according to you, my fault. I allowed this, for years, and was wasting her time and the church’s time.

If this is true, and the devil beats me down because I allow him to or even want him to, then I must enjoy waves of dark clouds that drag me through life. I must enjoy the thought that one day we will be made whole in heaven, but I enjoy and crave suffering here on earth.

Something is different this time. It’s heavier and longer. It feels like it’s pressing in from all angles and I fight hard to hide it from the world.

In the misery of depression, faith can often feel like a fragile flame flickering in the darkness. The weight of despair can overshadow the belief in the fact that God cares for me, leaving me feeling abandoned or questioning the purpose of this suffering. I don’t doubt the existence of the Lord, but distrust creeps in, corrupting my unwavering trust in my worth. Hope becomes obscured by the overwhelming heaviness of the mind.

Yet, amidst the turmoil, there remains a glimmer of God’s promise, and a whisper of faith waiting for me through the journey of healing. I keep reminding myself that I was pulled through before by no one other than Jesus. He has been healing me in many other ways. This is just the hardest part in the darkest of spoiled days.

I am not well, yet every day I turn the pages of Scripture to find meaning to the Lord’s plan, to His story, and to commune with Him through His Word. Every day I meditate on His words even when I would rather sit with the lights off, and with a blank mind so that maybe I could just have some quiet for a few moments. Every day I cry out to Him, hoping for help, praying for others, and asking for forgiveness. I am not well, I am far from whole, I don’t have hope, but I want those things. It is hard.

John 15:4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

At this moment, I need to remain in faith even though I struggle with trusting His care for me, and even trusting the care of others I care deeply about. I need to remain in the Lord no matter where my struggle is. Despite my doubts about my importance, Jesus still died for me, and I can count on my salvation in the end. I remember that I need to continue my Christian walk the best that I can despite my circumstances.

2 thoughts on “Faith Between Darkness

  1. My heart hurts for you.
    I hope that mentor is no longer mentoring. She sounds like an instrument of Satan who he used to feed you a bunch of lies to try and destroy your hope.
    Even if you can’t feel it right now and you are in a dark place, Jesus loves you so, so, so much. Only He knows the end from the beginning and why this is part of the tapestry of your life that He is weaving. From our side of eternity we only see the knots and tangles, not the beauty of the finished product.
    Please hang in there and don’t lose hope.
    My favorite verse when I’m in a dark place is Micah 7:8 (NIV) — “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.”

  2. Thank you for sharing so honestly, Maryann. I’m sorry you are struggling in this dark place right now, but I admire your perseverance. I don’t agree with the mentor you speak of. Depression is an illness, not something we choose or inflict on ourselves. Praying for you to know God with you, surrounding you with his love even in this place of sadness, that the glimmer of hope you speak of might grow and grow, and that you will reach a place of healing and light once again. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” I know it doesn’t always feel like God is close when you’re in a dark place, but I pray you might experience that reality more and more. Visiting from FMF and sending lots of love!

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