the difficulty of hope


image credit: ashley rose @ flickr

i wanted to share a comment i made on a FANTASTIC post made by Molly at mollypiper.com (John Piper’s daughter-in-law). You can view the post here: http://mollypiper.com/2010/04/i-hope-who-me

you MUST read that post. you will not be sorry.

here’s my comment:

oh, molly. wow. i can’t even tell you how much i am with you. girl, i’m so with you we could be riding a tandem bike! 😉

i have bipolar disorder and with the exception of the last few months, the last 5-6 years have been a big black never-ending bottomless pit of depression. every time i thought that i had reached the bottom, i’d fall farther still.

in these few weeks/months of not-exactly-sunlight-but-not-pitch-black-either, God’s shown me some things (not too many though. i still can’t make those years make “sense.”). one of these things was that my thinking was a huge part of my depression. my physical illness could only take me so far down, but my thinking could keep digging the hole deeper and deeper. if my negative thinking was limitless (and it often is) then the pit would be limitless, too.

now, i have to honestly say that i don’t have a clue about how much of my thinking i can “control.” depression makes you crazy! you don’t see things realistically. your perceptions are so altered. can you even break free from that long enough to have a clear, coherent, truthful thought? sometimes i can, but sometimes it feels like there’s no way i can.

but, in His mercy, there are times when God gives my brain enough juice to realize that i’m in a bad negative thought pattern, and to give me a glimpse of the truth to combat the lies of my thoughts. (“things are ALWAYS bad” “things will NEVER get better” “God will NEVER change things”)

it’s not much, but just this awareness has really made a difference for me. sometimes, you can’t get out of the downward spiral. wise words, thoughts that should be comforting, even truths about God, just don’t reach down far enough sometimes.

and that’s ok. God’s mercy extends even to our fumbling and stumbling and struggling just to hang on. He’s holding on to us, not the other way around.

John 6:39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.

Hosea 12:6b …and always live in confident dependence on your God.

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2 thoughts on “the difficulty of hope

  1. This is my first visit here but it won’t be my last. What a wonderful testimony to God’s grace you have given. I have found the same to be true for me. Even though my thinking is often irrational, occasionally God can break through that and clear my head, even give me some wisdom now and then. That is where the hope lies. That God is always there and he can break through and rescue your thoughts when he wishes. Even though depression is tough and scary, I would still rather do it with God than without him.

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