Currently, I am counseling a very depressed client. She has had no significant trauma, she is not in crisis. She has a loving, supportive family with money to provide for all her needs. She has friends and is smart. There is really no definitive answer for why she is depressed, nothing to point to on the outside. But on the inside she is drowning. Drowning in self doubt, self hate, lies, confusion. She is searching for truth, not able to recognize it when it stares her in the face or when I point it out to her…she cannot see it…she cannot hear it. Despite all my efforts, she is not moving forward in therapy. I am finding myself frustrated with her, with her inability to change, to see, to hear, with her choices to believe lies, just frustrated with her being stuck.
But then I remembered…
I remembered when I was depressed, so stuck…stuck deep down in the dark. There was no trauma, I was not in crisis. I had a loving, supportive family and husband that provided for me, I had friends, I was smart. There was no answer on the outside to the cause of my depression. And just like her, on the inside I was drowning, drowning in self doubt, self hate, lies and confusion.
I knew the truth but just couldn’t believe it…for almost two decades…
Until I did…until my ears were finally tuned to hear and my heart was fertile soil to receive…
And then… slowly…it was a waking up, a coming out, coming up for air, color, breathing deep, smiling big, laughing loud and hard and being surprised. That’s what coming out of the darkness feels like.
I guess I forgot. Sitting in my chair, facing this stuck client, I forgot my stuckness, my sickness…I forgot I was down deep, in the deep, dark pit. In the darkness where no one knows, no one but Him, no one sees the thoughts, the ones that scare you, that shame you, that steal who you are and try to replace you.
But there is one who does not forget, who sees you there, who is with you there, who speaks to you there. One who also is acquainted with pain and darkness…
“Jesus saw him, and knew how long he had been sick.” John 5:6
“As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord is thinking about me right now.” Psalm 40:17
He knows, He knows you and he sees you. He is with you right now in the pain and knows how long and how deep your sick is.
No one wants to go there, to the mirey pit, but you learn things in the sickness, in the stuckness, in the dark. Those things have purpose and are meant to be spoken in the light, meant to be spoken over other dark souls. I learned lessons there that couldn’t be learned any other way. Lessons that can be spoken over my sweet client. Instead of being frustrated, in my light I can speak to her what I learned in my dark.
There is purpose in the pain. Are you in pain or stuck or sick? Are you in the dark? Listen, listen for Him, look for the meaning, wait for the word, the words over you in the dark that can be spoken in your light. It’s coming. Just don’t forget there is purpose in your pain. He’s not abandoned you.
He’s not just in the glory, he’s on the ground, even below the ground, in the deep, dark pit…He’s there. He sits with you. Sometimes he sits with you awhile there, because the lessons take time, but it’s sacred, on-purpose time. He waste nothing.
We want to rush and hurry the darkness away, but know there is work, a new work being done in the night that prepares you for the day, for your day…your day to come out, to come up for air, to see color again, to breathe deeply, smile big and laugh loud. Loud enough for someone else to hear and catch their breath…to hear in the light what you learned in the dark.
David instructs us in Psalm 40:
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the muck and the mire.
He has given me a new song to sing,
Many will see what he has done and be astonished
I have not kept this good news hidden in my heart;
I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.