Finding Hope

Numb. Lifeless. Hopeless.

These words have etched themselves into my soul the past seven months.

I never thought I would deal with depression. My alcoholic mother has cited depression as the reason for self-medicating with vodka for years. I refused to be anything like her. I didn’t understand how someone could be so selfish.

Then, seven months ago, a tsunami hit my life.

I moved in to college…a new home, new roommate, new schedule, new classes.

I broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years… no one to lean on for stability and support anymore, no one to tell me I was good enough.

I changed my major…the assurance of stability and financial support that would have come from a nursing degree dissipated in the blink of an eye.

I thought I had built my castle so strategically. There were strong, high walls for protection and a moat to keep out the water, but my castle was flawed…it was made out of sand, ready to crumble as soon as any hint of change threatened to enter in. A treacherous, icy wave crashed down on my life with ease, destroying everything, leaving nothing but a thin layer of foam outstretched over scattered particles of sand.

For once in my life, I didn’t know how to fix my castle and I had no motivation to try. No temporary relief or quick-fix could mend the damage that had been done.

At first, I felt pain. It was deep and it ached, yet still hopeful.

But as time went on, the pain turned into torment as I became numb. Hope leaked out of my heart. Distress and affliction sucked the life out of me.

For seven months, I have been seeking out new foundations to build a new castle on. I have looked for something to breathe life back into me.

I have focused on getting stellar grades. I have tried obsessing over exercise and counting calories. I tried a new guy. I have filled every minute of my schedule so I wouldn’t have time to think about the melancholy that has a choke-hold on my life. I have contemplated death.

The melancholy is here. It has penetrated the depths of my being, but I find comfort in knowing that I am not alone in my sorrow. The Bible is filled with stories of those who suffer from feeling hopeless.

In Psalm 102, David prays desperately to God,

“Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you! Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call! For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace. My heart is struck down like grass and has withered; I forget to eat my bread. Because of my loud groaning my bones cling to my flesh. I am like a desert owl of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places; I lie awake; I am like a lonely sparrow in the housetop.”

In 1 Kings 19:4 it says that Elijah,

“asked that he might die, saying, ‘It is enough now, Oh Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.'”

And the real zinger…even Jesus, King of all, Son of God, a holy, precious prince… understands sadness.

In John 11:35, it says, “Jesus wept” after hearing that Lazarus has passed away.

Healing is going to take time. Feeling again is going to take time. Until then, I put my hope in knowing that my Savior understands how I feel. My foundation will be in Him whose heart aches along with mine. He feels my emotions deep in His own soul.

I am not alone.

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